After a funeral, you and your family may want to send thank-you note cards or messages to express gratitude to friends, family, the pastor, the funeral director, etc.
During this challenging time, you likely received emotional support, food, flowers, or donations in memory of the deceased.
The wording of the funeral thank-you note messages can be challenging, especially while grieving.
What Do You Write in a Thank You Note After a Funeral?
The goal of the funeral thank you note 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.
Here are a few tips for when you are writing handwritten thank-you notes:
- Mention the deceased by name in the note. And sign your full name to help the recipient know whose funeral the note is regarding, or add “on behalf of the Jones family.”
- Be as specific in your note as possible for what you are thanking them for. Change your wording based on whether you are saying thank you for the food, flowers, support, etc. Or who you are thanking, such as the pastor, pallbearers, church staff, etc.
- A personalized note can be included on the blank side of a note with printed text. Or you can order funeral thank-you note cards that are blank inside.
- You may want to email coworkers a thank you if you do not have their home addresses (or you could hand-deliver a note if working on location with them).
There are plenty of examples of thank you messages for funerals below, split by who and what you are saying thank you for.
You can find examples to thank the pastor for the funeral service here.
Short Funeral Thank You Messages
I recommend writing handwritten notes after a funeral. However, there may be times when you want to say thank you before writing thank-you notes. For example, you may want to respond to a sympathy text message or thank someone that brought food immediately.
Here are some things you can say:
- Thank you for your love and support.
- Thank you so much for dropping off the casserole.
- We appreciate your prayers during this challenging time.
- Thank you for your kind words.
- I’m so glad you’re in my life. Thank you for being there for me.
- You’re a great friend. Thank you for providing dinner for my family.
- Thank you for helping me organize the funeral for ____.
Who Writes the Funeral Thank You Notes?
Who writes the thank you notes can depend on who passed away. Funeral thank-you notes can be challenging to write when grieving the loss of your loved one.
Usually, the closest relatives will write thank-you notes after a funeral. However, it is acceptable etiquette for funeral thank you notes to have others help write them.
Also, if many gifts, memorial donations, flowers, food, or anything was received, you can split up the thank you note writing.
My mom and her siblings split the thank-you notes when my grandma passed away. And they tried to write the notes for the sympathy gifts 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 them with your 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.
For general help with funerals, check out the Funeral Resources site.
Should I Write a Thank-You Note to Those That Came to the Funeral but Did Not Give a Gift or Donation?
It is unnecessary to thank everyone who came to the service, visitation, or calling hours but did not give flowers, donate, or give any other type of gift.
However, you can thank someone for coming to the funeral. If a guest book was used at the funeral, you should have the name and address of everyone that attended the funeral.
Some funeral homes will sell pre-printed memorial cards with lovely poems or Bible verses. With these cards, you can sign your name or the family’s name on the card, with or without writing a thank you message.
I appreciate this type of note, even though it is not required etiquette.
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.
However, you can say thank you for any sympathy cards if you’d like!
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] died. You’ve always been thoughtful; I’m glad 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 could go with me. It 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.
Funeral Thank You Notes For 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.
Dear [person’s name],
Thank you for donating 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 recently.
[Your name or family of [deceased]
#2 We appreciate your generous donation to the Humane Society in honor of Uncle Joe. Joe was a dog lover his whole life and would be happy knowing that more dogs would 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 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 donating in Betty’s honor instead 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.
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.
#5 Thank you for sending flowers to the funeral home for my mom’s funeral. They were beautiful and I appreciated your kind words on the card.
Thank You Notes for Funeral Food
This section provides example thank you note messages for any funeral food. Food is one way that sympathy and support are expressed.
Food could be brought to the funeral home for calling hours or after the funeral. Sometimes there is a meal provided at the church or another location.
It’s also possible that people 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 felt overwhelmed when [Name of deceased] passed away. The casseroles you brought over were great! I lived on them for weeks and may not have eaten otherwise. Thanks for being there for me.
#2 The meal after the funeral at the church was delicious. Thank you for hosting the family and providing all the food. Food is such a comfort in times like this. We shared 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. The pizza was a blessing, with many family members visiting from out of state. We were happy 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 tough time for us. The children were glad to have some of their favorite comfort foods. 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.
#6 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 Note Messages 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 slowly declined during the past few months.
#6 Thank you all for coming to the funeral last week. I am thankful 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
Funeral directors are usually 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, addressing the note to the funeral home staff is exemplary.
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 could organize the pallbearers, as that part was too stressful for me.
#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 everything went smoothly. The family also appreciated the snacks on hand for the calling hours.
#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 manageable.
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, some samples are below.
Thank you for serving as a pallbearer at Paul’s funeral. He requested to have you as 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 you could 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
Remember that 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). Whatever the arrangement is, a thank you message does not replace their fee.
#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 had 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 Messages
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 attending 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!