33 Thank You for the Meals, Flowers, or Visit While Sick, After Surgery or Hospital Stay

When you or a family member has been sick, hospitalized, or had surgery, meals, or flowers may arrive, or people may visit you. These meals or flowers may be from your church, other family members, or friends.

Some people may provide meals and flowers, so I’ve included thank-you note examples for both meals and flowers in this post.

Writing a thank-you note is a polite way to show your gratitude for the meals, flowers, or visit.

Bringing someone food or flowers is a way of showing love. Someone cared enough to bring you food, flowers, or a visit.

Use the table of contents to jump to the section you are interested in.

Organization tips

Depending on the length of your recovery or sickness, you may want to record each day the meals, visitors, or flowers received. Or if someone is helping you while recovering, they can make a list.

You may also want to write thank-you notes at the end of each day or the morning of the next day. This will keep them from adding up, and you will not feel overwhelmed by needing to write a bunch when fully recovered.

Another person in the home could also write the thank-you notes, especially when you have days where you can’t eat much or are too out of it to eat. If an adult is the one recovering, another adult in the home (spouses/partners) can write the thank you note as they and any children are likely the main beneficiaries of the food.

Remember to plan ahead. If you know, you will be out of action for a bit, purchase thank you note cards before being incapacitated.

If the person visited with you for a bit when they dropped off the food or flowers, record that too. In addition to the meal, you can thank them for visiting.

If you received other gifts or support while incapacitated, say thank you for those gifts and support too. You can do that by including another line or two in your note.

Saying thank you tips

  • Keep in mind that the time needed to write the thank you note will be much less than it took for the meal to be prepared and delivered. Or for them to pick out flowers.
  • Hopefully, the food that was provided was yummy. This will make saying thank you for it easier. If you hated the food that is unfortunate. In the latter situation, remember the thought and care behind preparing the meal. The goal is to be thankful for their efforts.
  • If you didn’t like the type of flowers, you can still say thank you for them. You are thanking them for the gesture and for thinking of you.
  • In the examples, words like surgery or sick can be swapped as needed for your note.

If you need help with the structure of a thank-you note, please check out the cheat sheet.

The examples below are for the center of the note. Please be sure to update [words in brackets] as appropriate for your situation.

Thank you for the meals wording examples

Where the spouse/partner writes the note of the recovering person:

#1. We greatly appreciate the meal you brought us when [Person’s Name] had knee surgery. Those first few days were a little rough, and I was happy not to need to worry about making meals. The cheesy potato casserole was comforting too!

#2. Thank you for making the wonderful chicken casserole for us. It is a blessing not to think about preparing meals while [Person’s Name] is recovering. The kids and I enjoyed the meal! [Person’s Name] also appreciated you visiting with her when you delivered the meal.

#3. Thanks for bringing us pizza last week when my husband was sick. I appreciate the time and effort you put in ahead of time by asking us for our pizza topping preferences. It was perfect for us and helped us to have a smooth evening.

#4. Thank you for the homemade meals! [Name] is still recovering and unable to stand long enough to cook. We didn’t realize how much she did until [Medical Procedure] put her out of action. We enjoyed your [Dish]. [Name] could not have any of it as she was still on liquids only then. She is doing better now and would like the recipe as she thought the [Dish] looked great, and the kids loved it.

#5. Thank you for making meals for my family on short notice. The emergency [Medical Procedure] that [Name] had was very overwhelming for me. I am grateful that my kids were able to have nutritious meals to eat. They are still raving about the chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy!

Note to be written by the recovering individual:

#1. I heard you organized all the food for my family when I was sick. I hope I never have pneumonia again! You are wonderful for taking the lead and making sure my family had meals every day.

#2. I am grateful for the time you spent with me when dropping off [insert dish name] after my surgery. I am not used to being alone so much. Visiting with you made my day. I am happy to report that I will be back on my feet soon! I’ll take you to lunch then.

#3.Thank you for the extra time you took to make sure my kids did not go hungry. Making them dinner last night was very thoughtful. I was worried about them when I woke up from the fever. It turns out they were just fine!

#4. The [Dish] was wonderful! I will request to have you on the meal making list if I ever need another surgery. It tasted so good. Much better than anything from the restaurant. Thank you for taking the time to make it and bring it over.

#5. I felt deeply touched that you remembered that breakfast is my favorite type of meal. The egg and hash brown casserole that you provided after my stay at the hospital was fantastic. And, the Pyrex dish was beautiful. I promise to return it soon!

When you don’t remember who brought which food

Tip: Usually, I recommend that your note be as specific as possible, but there are times when you will not be able to recall the details. Saying thank you is still better than not saying thank you at all if you do not remember. You can reference “food” or “meal.”

#1. Thank you for bringing me food while I was recovering from surgery. It was good, and I was thankful that I didn’t have to worry about what the family would eat when I was unable to cook.

#2. You are a wonderful cook! The meal you brought over was delicious. Also, thank you for visiting with me when you dropped it off—[Note this example only works if all the food you received was well liked].

#3. Thank you for the meal you dropped off when I was sick. I am grateful to you and all the others for helping me out when I didn’t have the energy to cook. The kids were happy, too, as they were getting tired of microwave meals. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Get Well Flowers Examples

#1. Thank you for the flowers after my recent surgery. Knowing that you were thinking of me made me feel loved. The flowers are still going strong!

#2. The flowers you sent are lovely. They brightened up the hospital room. Thank you for remembering me.

#3. I was happy that you visited me after surgery. I am told the pain will lessen over time. The flowers you brought with you are lovely. Thank you for sending such a beautiful arrangement.

#4. I am glad you came to see me after my appendix was removed. The food and flowers were both great. Thank you for being so thoughtful. Your time and effort are appreciated.

#5. Thank you for the flowers! Seeing them every day following surgery made me feel happy. I am glad we are friends! The purple carnations are stunning.

#6. You are a wonderful friend to think of me after surgery. The flowers helped to cheer me up! I will be back on my feet soon and will visit you. Thank you again for the flowers.

#7. The flowers you sent have helped me remember how many wonderful friends I have. The arrangement was spectacular. I am enjoying them every day while homebound. The casserole was great too!

#8. What a great neighbor you are! You have been very considerate after my surgery. The roses from your yard are lovely. Thank you for the flowers and the help with household chores during my recovering.

#9. I am thankful for you! The flowers, visits, and meals are all greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to make me feel loved and helping with the food. The boys loved the chicken wings!

#10. Thank you for the lovely flowers. I thought of you when looking at them while stuck on the couch. They are great! And thank you for getting a variety that is not poisonous to my cats. They haven’t tried to eat them, but I’d rather be safe than sorry!

Meal and Flowers Combination Note

Tip: Examples from the above sections can also be combined to create a meal and flowers thank-you note.

#1. I enjoyed the gorgeous that you sent while I was sick. The family also appreciated the pizza. Pizza is a treat for them. Thank you for showing your love for my family while I was sick.

#2. Thank you for providing the lasagna casserole after I had surgery. The daisies also looked wonderful on the counter and helped to cheer me up. Thanks for remembering me.

#3. Thank you for the bouquet of flowers while I was in the hospital. The purple and yellow tulips were beautiful together. Ted and the kids also appreciated the spaghetti dinner you provided for them. We will see you at church next week!

#4. I am thankful for the flowers and food while I was recovering from surgery. The flowers were beautiful to look at when all I could do was lay on the couch. I was touched that you remember pizza rolls are my favorite recovery food! I ate them all on the same day.

#5. What a blessing you were to my family last week! The kids liked every meal that you provided and that you visited with them. They told me all the stories that you shared with them when I came home from the hospital. The flowers are also on display now in our kitchen. The spring arrangement was beautiful.

Thanking a hospital or sick time visitor (no food or flowers)

#1. Thank you for coming to visit me when I was in the hospital. I was surprised and grateful to have someone to talk with. The flowers were pretty to look at and smelled great, too (much better than the hospital room smell!).

#2. I was so happy when you came to see me at the hospital!  Breaking my leg was a huge bummer and the surgery and recovery time kept me off my feet more than usual.  Thank you for visiting with me for a few hours.

#3. Thank you for visiting me while I was recovering from being sick. The homemade chicken noodle soup was delicious and helped me to stay hydrated. I enjoyed hearing the latest about your kids and grandkids. You have a lovely family. Let’s plan a lunch soon, now that I’m feeling better!

#4. You are a wonderful person for visiting me while I was recovering from surgery. Thank you for keeping me company for a few hours last weekend. And I appreciate that you brought my favorite Chinese meal. It was a nice treat!

#5. Thank you for visiting me when I was sick. Spending some time with you cheered me up. Now that I’m well let’s plan to go out for dinner soon.

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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.

7 thoughts on “33 Thank You for the Meals, Flowers, or Visit While Sick, After Surgery or Hospital Stay”

  1. I feel this type of note is important to the person supplying the meal.
    Everyone likes to know their kind gesture is greatly appreciated so let them know that.

  2. Hi Heidi,

    I read this again with this updated note or reminder note.
    I have been in many situations when our family received meals.
    We all need to eat and it is great when others realize we aren’t up to fixing a meal.


  3. I really like that you talked about thanking everyone that comes over to visit you. My uncle is getting ready for a major surgery that will happen in a few days. He needs to prepare himself in order to recover properly and quickly.

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