After a funeral for your loved one that passed, you and your family may want to send out thank-you note cards to express your gratitude.
For more general help with funerals, check out the Funeral Resources site.
Below, you will learn how to write thank-you notes following a funeral.
There could be many people to thank, including friends, family, the funeral director, pallbearers, musicians, coworkers, or a boss. You may also be writing thank-you notes to people that the deceased knew but you do not know.
Examples to thank the funeral pastor are in the pastor appreciation post here.
This guide will provide many tips and example wording for various funeral gifts and donations.
You will want to say thank you for any:
- Funeral flowers
- funeral Food
- Memorial donations
- Thank you for your sympathy, kindness, comfort, or prayers
Remember that any gift or kind words are an expression of sympathy.
The wording of the funeral thank-you note messages can be challenging. Below, you will find many examples to help you get started. Then, you can use them for inspiration for writing your notes.
Who Writes the Funeral Thank You Notes?
Who writes the thank you notes can depend on who it was that passed away. And keep in mind that funeral thank-you notes can be difficult to write when grieving the loss of your loved one.
Usually, the closest relatives will write the thank-you notes. However, it is acceptable etiquette for funeral thank you notes to have others help write the thank you notes.
Here’s a list of family members and friends who might be enlisted to help.
- Close relatives
- Other family members
- Older grandchildren
- Close friends
Also, if many gifts, memorial donations, flowers, food, or anything was received, you can split up the thank you note writing. And do not have to write them all at one time.
When my grandma passed away, my mom and her siblings split the thank you notes between them. And they tried to write the notes for the sympathy gifts that were given to them.
For example, there were many beautiful floral arrangements at the funeral home from friends that only knew my mom. So my mom wrote the thank-you notes to her friends.
Tip: If you are writing the thank you notes on behalf of your family or friend’s family, you can sign the note in Your Own name, on behalf of the Deceased’s family. For example, Heidi, on behalf of the Jones family.
The funeral thank you notes should be sent out within a couple of weeks of the funeral. However, that’s just a guideline, and it’s okay to delay writing while grieving.
Should I write a thank-you note to those that came to the funeral but did not give a gift or donation?
It is not necessary to thank everyone that came to the service, visitation, or calling hours but did not give flowers, make a donation, or any other type of gift.
However, you can thank someone for coming to the funeral if you want to! I appreciate this type of note, even though it is not required etiquette.
There are examples to thank someone for attending the funeral at the end of this article. Other examples earlier in the post include “Thank you for coming” when you are also thanking them for a donation, flowers, gifts, etc.
Should I send a thank-you note for every sympathy card?
All funeral cards do not need to be acknowledged. Emily Post recommends responding with a thank you note when a personal note is written on the card.
Funeral Thank You Note Etiquette and Tips
The templates and sample messages below can help you get started with your notes when you are ready.
- Mention the deceased by name in the note. And sign your full name, to help the recipient know whose funeral the note is in regards to or add “on behalf of the family” as mentioned above.
- A personalized note can be included on the blank side of a note with printed text. Or you can order thank-you note cards of your choosing that are blank on the inside.
- The notes do not need to be lengthy. The goal is to acknowledge the gift, food, sympathy, etc. Most people will understand that you are grieving and may not feel up to writing long thank you notes. Two or three sentences are fine.
- Handwrite the notes, if possible. Handwritten notes can feel more personal than other methods. One exception may be to email coworkers as you may not have their home address (or you could hand-deliver a note if working on location with them).
- You might want to look at examples in all the sections for different wording ideas.
More etiquette rules can be read here on the Bradshaw-Carter site.
Bereavement thank you note examples
Dear [Person’s Name]
Thank you for your support when my mother passed away. Your comforting words meant a lot to me. The card and your note were touching.
#2 I appreciate the sympathy card, note, and flowers you sent when [Person’s name] passed away. You’ve always been a thoughtful person, and I’m glad that you are in my life. I am grateful for your support during this difficult time.
#3 Thank you for the beautiful card and for sharing your story of when your sister passed away. Losing my sister has been very hard, and your words provided comfort. Thanks for being there for me!
#4 Thank you for going to the funeral home with me to help make arrangements for my mom. She was very special to me, and I am glad you were able to go with me. It’s all felt overwhelming. Your support helped me get through the planning details. The service turned out very well because of your help.
#5 You are such a strong, loving person. Thank you for helping me when my dad died. I am glad you came over to make sure I was eating the food dropped off by others. I am grateful for your support.
#6 Thank you for being my best friend and being there once again when I needed help. The funeral went as well as a funeral could go, and I was thankful to have you by my side. And, I appreciate the cards and phone calls checking on me.
#7 You’ve been a true friend as my family has dealt with my mother’s funeral. Your presence has been a comforting blessing during this time of loss. The entire family asked me to pass on their sincere appreciation for everything you have done for us.
Related: 30 Thank You For Your Support During This Difficult Time Messages
Related: Thank you for your prayers and condolences
Funeral Money or Donation Thank You Messages
The example wording in this section will help you with memorial donations made in memory of the deceased.
Sometimes funeral donations are made to an organization in lieu of flowers. The organization could be Hospice or the local Humane Society. It will be whatever the deceased requested.
It’s also possible that money will be given when someone passes. In your thank-you note, you can write what the money was used for or if it was passed on as a donation.
Funeral Donation Thank You Note Template:
Use this template as a guide for writing thank you notes for a donation in memory of the deceased. More examples follow the template.
Dear [person’s name],
Thank you for making a donation to Hospice in memory of [name of deceased]. We were grateful for the support of Hospice near the end of her life. Also, thank you for coming to the funeral. [Name of deceased] shared many stories about you with the family in recent weeks.
[Your name or family of [deceased]
#2 We appreciate your generous donation to the Humane Society made in honor of Uncle Joe. Joe was a dog lover his whole life, and he would be happy knowing that more dogs will be helped.
#3 Thank you for the money at the time of Betty’s passing. Your contribution was given to the American Heart Association as Betty was a long-time supporter of their research. Also, thank you for attending her funeral.
#4 The monetary donation you made at John’s funeral is appreciated. The family used it to help cover the funeral expenses. We are grateful that John had such a wonderful boss in you. He spoke highly of you often.
#5 Thank you for your generous gift given at the calling hours for [Person’s name]. I am grateful for the monetary support as his passing was unexpected. Your donation was used towards the expenses.
#6 We are grateful for your monetary support during this time. The money you donated was used to cover dinner and snack food for the family during the calling hours at the funeral home. The entire family thanks you!
#7 Thank you for the donation you made in Betty’s honor in lieu of flowers. Betty was passionate about [organization name or cause]. Betty often talked of you and how wonderful of a friend you were to her.
#8 The entire family thanks you for your very generous donation to the church in memory of Julie. We are also grateful for your prayers and warm words of comfort and support during this difficult time. You are a true friend.
#9 Thank you for the money for the funeral services for my parents. It’s been a very sad time for the family, losing both of them in the same week. Your presence and support have been appreciated by all of us. Also, thank you for the beautiful flower arrangement.
#10 We greatly appreciated your generous gift to [organization name] in honor of [deceased’s name].
Funeral Flowers Thank You Message Wording
There are examples below for funeral flower thank-you notes, and these sayings will help you express your gratitude. You may also read about the history of funeral flowers to help understand why they are given when there is a death.
There are generic thank you messages for the flower templates here. You may also want to review the thank you for the funeral plant examples. And there are more tips and examples for saying thank you for funeral flowers in this post.
Funeral Flower Wording Template
Dear [person’s name],
The flowers for Betty’s funeral were beautiful. The arrangement of purple carnations and white lilies was stunning, and Betty would have loved them. Thank you for your kindness and for remembering the family.
[Your name or family of [deceased]
#1 We appreciated the roses at my grandma’s funeral. Roses were her favorite. Roses will always remind me of grandma.
#2 Thank you for the beautiful flower arrangement sent to the funeral home for my sister’s funeral. She loved tulips, and I loved that you chose my favorite color for them. I will plant them outside soon. Each year, when they bloom, will be a pleasant reminder of you and my sister.
#3 I am grateful to have you as a friend. The flowers remembering my grandpa are lovely. Thank you for caring about my family and me.
#4 The family appreciated the lovely flowers for Aunt [Aunt’s Name]. The arrangement was unique, and my aunt would have loved them. Thank you for showing your support and sympathy through the flowers.
Related: Thank You Notes for Funeral Flowers Messages and Tips
Thank you notes for funeral food
This section provides example thank you note messages for any funeral food. Food is one way that sympathy is expressed. There are more examples and tips in the thank you for the funeral food post.
There could be food brought to the funeral home for calling hours or for after the funeral. Sometimes there is a meal provided at the church or another location.
It’s also possible that people may have brought food to your home to help during your time of grieving.
Dear [Person’s Name],
Thank you for organizing the food for the calling hours. The church has been a real blessing to us during this difficult time. The family loved the chicken wings and side dishes.
The Jones family
#1 I was feeling overwhelmed when [Name of deceased] passed away. The casseroles you brought over were great! I lived on them for a couple of weeks and may not have eaten otherwise. Thanks for being there for me.
#2 The meal after the funeral at the church was wonderful. Thank you for hosting the family and providing all the food. Food is such a comfort in times like this. We were able to share many memories of [Name of deceased] during the meal.
#3 Thank you for arranging the pizza for my family during the weekend of my mother’s passing. With so many family members visiting from out of state, the pizza was a blessing. We were all happy to be able to eat together at home without figuring out what to eat. Also, thank you for coming to the funeral.
#4 My family is thankful for the meals provided when my husband passed away. This has been a very difficult time for us. The children were glad to have some of their favorite comfort foods on hand. Your support has been a bright spot for all of us.
#5 The casseroles you provided for the meal after the funeral were great. The enchilada and lasagna casseroles were big hits. Thank you for giving us this comfort food.
#67 We are grateful for the food you provided for the family at the funeral home. The children enjoyed the snacks, and we were happy not to be concerned about what they would be eating. So again, your kindness is very much appreciated.
Funeral thank you mesages to coworkers or boss
Note: If you are thanking a group of coworkers at the same time, you may send them all one email. Also, in the examples, you can replace “coworkers” with “boss” as appropriate for your notes.
Template #1 – funeral thank you message to your team
Thank you for sending flowers to the funeral home. The arrangement was beautiful, and I felt touched that the team remembered me during this difficult. I will see you all when I return to work after settling Mom’s affairs.
Template #2 – funeral thank you message to your coworker or boss
Dear [coworker or boss’s name]
Thank you for coming to my dad’s funeral. His passing was very hard and unexpected. Your support was appreciated.
#3 I have the best coworkers! Thank you for the flowers sent to the church for my grandma’s funeral. They helped me to know that you were thinking of me while I was out of the office. I also appreciate all the work that was covered for me while I was out.
#4 I am thankful to have you as a coworker. Your presence at the visitation was appreciated. I am grateful that we have become not only coworkers but friends.
#5 You are a very thoughtful person. Thank you for coming to the visitation and funeral for my mom. As you know, her passing was very hard on me. As my boss, I appreciate all of your support as my mother was slowly declined during the past few months.
#6 Thank you all for coming to the funeral last week. I am thankful that I could be away without worrying about my job and if my work would get covered. We have the best team!
Funeral Director thank you note examples
Notes and tips:
Funeral directors are usually very helpful when the time comes to make arrangements for a loved one. So I commend you for wanting to thank your funeral director during this difficult time. Below you will find example thank-you notes to help you get started.
When my mother-in-law died unexpectedly, we relied on the funeral director. He helped us with death certificates, the cremation process, transportation of the deceased, and filing the obituary with the local newspaper. This is a small list of what funeral directors can do. Read more about funeral directors here.
Another idea for wording examples is to browse funeral home websites that share thank-you notes as testimonials. If you look at the site for the funeral home you use, just be sure that you do not exactly copy someone’s note and then give it to them. It’s possible that they would recognize it as being from their website!
If you worked with several people, it’s fine to address the note to the funeral home staff.
Template #1 – to the staff
Dear staff of [funeral home name],
Thank you for helping us through the process from beginning to end. We were not prepared for mom’s death. We appreciate all the support from the entire staff. Having food delivered during the long day of calling hours was a fantastic idea. The family was thankful to step away for a bite to eat while taking a break.
The [your last name] family
Template #2 – to the funeral director
Dear [Name of funeral director],
Thank you for ensuring all the details of my Aunt [aunt’s name] funeral went smoothly. When she asked me to be her representative upon her passing, I was unsure what that would entail. However, I was glad for your help with the obituary and obtaining death certificates.
#3 I want to thank you for all the time you spent with my family. Explaining each step helped us make decisions and feel in control of a challenging situation. Thank you for arranging for [name of deceased] to be taken to the church. Having the funeral at the church, she attended for over 50 years was important to the family. Your suggestion to make a DVD with photos worked out very well as family and friends enjoyed viewing it during the calling hours.
#4 Thank you for everything you and your staff did for [deceased name’s] funeral. The room was the perfect size for the funeral, and the organist did a great job playing the hymns. Everything went as well as possible, given the situation. I appreciate that you were able to organize the pallbearers as that part was too stressful for me to deal with at the time.
#5 We appreciate the kindness of all of the staff during the calling hours and the funeral for my grandma. She was a special lady, and I am thankful that everything went smoothly. The family appreciated the snacks that were on hand for the calling hours too.
#6 We felt blessed to have you as our funeral director. Thank you for everything you did to make sure that everything went smoothly. We will recommend you to other families when they need a funeral director.
#7 Thank you for being a fantastic funeral director! I wasn’t aware of how much happened behind the scenes until my dad passed. Your knowledge and expertise helped make the process feel not so overwhelming.
Pallbearer thank you note message examples
Notes: Serving as a pallbearer can be an honor to the deceased at their funeral. If you’d like to send the pallbearers a thank-you note, there are some samples below.
Pallbearer Thank You Template #1
Thank you for serving as a pallbearer at Paul’s funeral. He requested to have you a pallbearer many years ago. I appreciate you serving in this way.
#2 Grandma will be missed. We are grateful that you were able to serve as a pallbearer. Grandma told us how much she enjoyed your visits over the years.
#3 Thank you for being a last-minute pallbearer at Jane’s funeral. Her youngest son is doing better now, but the grief was too much for him at the funeral. We are glad that you were able to stand in and help out in this way.
#4 Greg enjoyed spending time with you. A few days before he passed, he asked us to ask you to be a pallbearer when the time came. Thank you for honoring his request.
#5 Thank you for coming to Mr. Smith’s funeral. We are glad that you were willing to be a pallbearer. Mr. Smith would have appreciated it too. We are thankful you were there with us to help celebrate his life.
#6 Thank you for serving as a pallbearer at my dad’s funeral. I loved all the time you spent fishing with him during the last few years of his life. He asked for you to be one of the pallbearers, and the entire family appreciates that you were able to help.
#7 Thank you for being a pallbearer at Bob’s funeral. You were one of his best friends for many years, and we are grateful that you could help carry his casket.
Thanking the funeral musicians or singers
- Funeral organists and musicians can be thanked for their part in the funeral. If someone sang a solo it’s possible that the deceased choose the song and the soloist.
- The organist may have been selected through the funeral home or the church. The funeral director or a church contact may be able to deliver the thank-you note or provide contact information if you do not know them personally.
- A thank-you note is in addition to fees paid to the organist or other musician. The fee is sometimes paid to the funeral home, and then they pay the musician(s).
#1 Thank you for playing the organ at my mom’s funeral. She would have enjoyed the hymns you selected. The music played before the funeral felt peaceful. We appreciate you serving in this way.
#2 You are an outstanding organist. The family was grateful that the funeral home has you on staff for funerals. Aunt Jane loved organ music her whole life, and we are glad the funeral home had an organ to help fulfill her final wishes.
#3 Attending Scott’s funeral was heartbreaking. However, hearing the beautiful piano music was calming. Thank you for being there and playing the requested music.
#4 Your performance of Amazing Grace was beautiful. I understand why Grandma asked you to sing a solo! Your ability to make it through without crying was impressive. I know how much you loved her and will miss her.
#5 Thank you for coordinating all of the music for Jane’s funeral. We felt very overwhelmed. All of us appreciated your experience. And, thank you for singing the two solo pieces that Jane requested.
Thank you for coming to the funeral examples
Notes: The samples in this section are to thank people that came to the funeral or visitation. And not another gift or donation (examples for coming + gift are mixed in through the examples above this section).
#1 Thank you for coming to the funeral [and visitation].
Tip: This may be enough wording if you use a pre-printed notecard from the funeral home and want to include a handwritten note. There may be people you are writing messages to that you do not personally know. A short note is okay!
#2 Thank you for coming to the funeral and visitation for [Person’s name]. Your presence was appreciated, and I think you for your kind words of encouragement.
#3 I want to thank you for being at the funeral. Having you there was a comfort to the family. We all love you and appreciate your support of the family.
#4 I am thankful to you for attending the funeral and visitation for [Person’s name]. [Person’s name] loved spending time with you, and I enjoyed hearing your stories during the visitation.
#5 Thank you for coming to the funeral for [Person’s name]. Your support during this difficult time has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all you do for me!
Funeral Thank You Notes Summary
I hope these example funeral messages have helped express your gratitude. But, again, I’m sorry to hear that you need to write this type of thank-you note.
Writing funeral thank you notes and knowing the etiquette can feel challenging. Through the tips and examples above, my goal is to help you write appreciation thank you messages after the funeral.
- 39 Pastor Appreciation and Thank You Note Examples
- Thank You to a Church Musician (organist, praise band member, etc.)
- 21 Short Thank You For the Donation Note Examples
Heidi has been writing thank you notes for more than 30 years and is the author of A Modern Guide to Writing Thank-You Notes. Her goal is to help people write better thank-you notes by providing tips and examples.
8 thoughts on “Writing Funeral Thank You Notes: How-To, Etiquette, and Examples”
These have certainly given me some ideas of how to write our thank you cards. Thank you so much
Thanks for the comment, Debra. I am happy to hear that you found the article helpful.
I want to know if a sibling of your husband attends the funeral and she sends flowers, do I have to send her a thank you card?
If you’d like you can send a note to the sibling. It is a nice gesture, even if they are a close relative. If the sibling is helping write out the thank-you notes than you could lean towards not sending one.
If this is regarding your husband, I am sorry to hear of his passing.
Who do I send the thank you card to when it is from multiple people
You could send a note to each person. Or if it was a large group, maybe to whoever organized the group.
If the multiple people are from an office, an email could be sent to the entire group at the same time.
Thanks for such a detailed post, this would definitely guide me.
Thank you for all the help and examples for this unbelievably difficult situation. The many different formats were very helpful and truly appreciated.
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