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Bereavement Thank You Note Etiquette

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

My Mother passed away two weeks ago and we are questioning if an "Expression of Sympathy" card should be sent to those who sent and left us Mass Cards. I say yes. Do we send to those who attended? What about sympathy cards left in my office from co-workers? On the co-workers question, I stopped in to see them and acknowledged this in person.


Heart Broken

Dear Heart broken,

Our sincere condolences on the passing of your Mother. Yes, thank you notes are written to those who left Mass Cards, attended the funeral, and gave you sympathy cards.

Given that you have verbally acknowledged your co-worker's sympathy cards, then a written thank you is optional. Written thanks are best reserved for those who wrote something meaningful to you rather than simply signing their name to a pre-printed card, unless it is a Mass Card because the sender made an offering to the church in order to have the deceased remembered in a prayer during church service.

Bereavement thank you cards should be sent to those who gave you flowers, food, made donations, wrote an especially nice condolence note, attended the funeral, or helped you out in a special way during this stressful sad time.

Please remember that there is no hurry to get the bereavement thank you notes out. Do this when you feel up to it.