No longer are personal letters expected by relatives, friends and acquaintances in return for expressions of sympathy. In most cases a signed acknowledgment or thank you card is sufficient to say "thanks" for flowers, mass cards, charitable donations and personal services.
Acknowledgments should be sent within two weeks following the date of death or memorial service. If a more personal touch is desired, then a few words can be written on the card with reference to the flowers sent, donation made or services rendered. These words can often make the recipient feel that your thanks are as personal as if they were expressed verbally.
We have developed the following suggestions to assist you in personalizing your acknowledgments in responding to the various expressions of sympathy. These are only samples so you should feel free to change any wording to fit your particular situation.
CLERGY: You may want to send a personal note thanking them for their spiritual guidance and service conducted.
Dear Fr. Paul,
My husband and I would like to thank you for the consolation you gave us. Your kind words during the memorial service for Mom were very comforting.
FLOWERS: A personal message may be written on the acknowledgment card. The note can be customized depending upon if they were sent by an individual, group of people or an organization.
Dear Uncle Marc,
The roses you sent to the memorial service for Mom were beautiful.
To Everyone at United Moving Company,
The beautiful plant you sent for Dan's memorial service was such a nice gesture. I know how much you all meant to him at work.
SPIRITUAL BOUQUETS, CARDS & LETTERS: Replies may be short and written on the acknowledgment card.
Thank you for your kind words of sympathy... it's so nice, to have friends like you.
CHARITABLE DONATIONS & MASSES: A brief note referencing the organization the donation was sent to personalizes the response.
Dear Mr. Stevens
Thank you for the generous contribution to the American Cancer Society in memory of our brother. Donations such as yours will no doubt assist in finding a cure some day.
Dear Sister Gloria,
Your donation for masses in memory of Betty to St. Marie Church was such a meaningful and spiritual gesture. It will give our family much comfort during the coming months.
INDIVIDUALS WHO VOLUNTEER OTHER SERVICES:
A note acknowledging the service is all that is needed.
Dear Aunt Sue,
Thank so much for the use of your car for Dad's service. It was needed and greatly appreciated
To Members of the Women 's League,
The memorial luncheon you sponsored for Mom was such a nice gesture and the food was wonderful.
Thank you for house sitting during Bill's memorial service. Having you there gave the family much peace-of-mind.