Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience, and it’s good friends and relations that can often be a real comfort in the aftermath of the bereavement. Those attending the funeral frequently provide considerable support to loved ones, as well as pay their respects and show their esteem for the departed. It’s only natural to want to thank funeral attendees for making the effort, as well as for any gifts or donations which they offered. That said, finding the right form of words can be difficult. Here we provide five simple sentences that form an appropriate basis for funeral thank you cards.
A direct thank you for attending
Literally saying ‘thank you’ is important. Obviously, this is the key message which the funeral card needs to convey: putting it in the first sentence means it’s clear what the intent of your message might be.
A sentence of appreciation
It can help to indicate why you are thankful that a particular individual or family attended. This sentence may either be a generic sentence, for example, “We really appreciate you taking the time to pay your respects,” or tailored to individual mourners, for example, “We were so touched that you, as X’s closest friend/work colleague could attend; it meant a lot to us.”
A request for help, or a response to an offer of help
Almost invariably, those attending the funeral will have offered to help in whatever way they feel able. If they have, a sentence reaching out to accept their help would be a useful addition to the funeral card. Some families may wish to request assistance. Alternatively, acknowledging an offer of help, but declining with grateful thanks may also be appropriate here.
Last requests from the deceased / charitable endeavours
If the deceased made any particular requests or had any specific wishes relating to the funeral card recipient, a sentence mentioning these could be of value. For example, “X specifically asked us to enclose $$ so that you could raise a glass to them”, or “X requested that anyone who wanted to made a donation to [specify charity]”.
Make sure that you include not only your postal address but also your phone number, email address and social media accounts if appropriate. If a virtual memorial has been set up, or some similar online gesture of remembrance, it may be helpful to provide the link in this part of the card’s message.
Funeral thank you cards should be both a gesture of gratitude for attendance at a past event and a communication bridge from the past to the future. By moving the recipient through a series of sentences which are chronological in order, the overall tone is one of thankfulness, but also one of moving forward. Worded correctly, a funeral thank you card can become a source of comfort to both recipients and writers, paving the way for everyone who knew the deceased to begin to move onward whilst still holding precious memories dear.
Please get in touch if you require any further assistance with appropriate funeral card wording.