What to Say in Funeral Thank You Notes: Examples, Tips, and Etiquette

Find the right words for your thank you message after a funeral with these thoughtful tips.

Updated July 25, 2023
woman writing thank you cards

Sending thank you notes for funerals is a traditional part of funeral etiquette, and it's a kind way to communicate your appreciation for your fellow mourners. This gesture of gratitude is normally reserved for the individuals who went above and beyond to help make this day of mourning easier on you.

This can include the people who helped to plan or participated in the funeral, those who sent floral wreaths and sprays, as well as the loved ones who offered extended emotional support. We detail what to put in your thank you message after a death in the family occurs.

What to Include in Any Funeral Thank You Note

woman writing funeral thank you card

A funeral thank you note is not supposed to be long and drawn out. Instead, it's a short acknowledgement of your appreciation of a person or family's part in the funeral proceedings. These messages are typically three to five sentences long, but they can be longer if you choose to write more.

Here is the typical format:

  • Recognize what the person or family did.
    • "Thank you for serving as a pallbearer at [deceased's first name]'s funeral."
  • Note how this action made you feel and include a personal sentiment.
    • "Your help throughout the service was very much appreciated. I know that [deceased's first name] would be grateful for your kindness. You are a great friend."
  • Use an affectionate salutation and sign your full name.
    • "With Love," "Warm Wishes," "Much Love", or "With Gratitude"
Need to Know

Thank you notes for celebratory occasions should be sent within two weeks of the event, but thank you notes for funerals do not need to follow this tight turnaround. Aim to get this task done within two months, but know that it can extend longer. In cases where a lot of time has gone by, start your note with "This message is long overdue" or "I have been meaning to reach out."

Funeral Thank You Note Etiquette Tips

Putting pen to paper to write a personal thank you message after a death may seem like a chore to most individuals. However, there are healing benefits to sending a thank you card or letter. Here are some tips and important pieces of information for putting together this type of correspondence.

  • It is nice, but not necessary, to send a thank you note to each person who attended the funeral.
  • Plan to send thank you notes to those who sent flowers, gifts, or donations.
  • Try to send thank you notes to those who prepared a meal, ran an errand, or offered support during your time of need.
  • Consider sending thank you notes to anyone who spoke at or helped with the funeral, the wake, or the reception.
  • A funeral thank you message from family can be signed with phrases like "The [your last name] family" or "the family of [deceased's first and last name]."
  • It's okay to ask a close friend or family member to help you write these notes.
  • Do not send virtual thank you notes unless you cannot locate a person's personal address. This type of message should be handwritten, if possible.
  • Don't tackle this task in one day. That can become overwhelming quite quickly. Instead, divvy it up over a handful of days.

Thank You for Attending the Funeral Wording

pallbearers at a funeral

Some people choose to send thank you notes to everyone who attended the funeral, while others send notes only to those who traveled far or made a big effort to get to the funeral. Wording for this type of funeral thank you note should express how important the person's presence at the funeral was for the deceased and for you.

Thank You Notes After a Funeral to Family Members

If you are sending thank you for attending the funeral notes to family members, you can include more personal information. For instance:

  • Our entire family appreciates your time and sacrifice. We know it wasn't easy for you to get to the funeral, but we're glad you made it a priority.
  • It meant a great deal to me and Mom that you came to the funeral. Thanks for being with us.
  • Your presence at the funeral was a great comfort to me. I know it was a long journey.
  • Your participation and service in the funeral was such a blessing.
  • I can't thank you enough for spending so much time with us at the funeral home. Your presence helped me forget everything for a short while.

Thank You Notes for Funerals to Coworkers

Thank you note wording for coworkers who attended a funeral can be more general. For example:

  • It was good to see you at my dad's funeral, even under the circumstances.
  • Thank you for honoring me and my grandma by attending her funeral. I was glad to see you.
  • We may not know each other very well, but your presence at my brother's funeral showed me how lucky I am to work with someone as thoughtful as you.
  • It filled my heart to have my work family join my home family at my husband's funeral. Thank you for coming.

Thank You for Helping With the Funeral Messages

Anyone who helped plan, arrange, and host the funeral can be thanked for their specific contributions.

  • Thank you for taking the time to help me plan the funeral. I couldn't have done it without you.
  • Your help in directing guests at the funeral took a lot of pressure off me. I really appreciate you volunteering.
  • I am so grateful to you for bringing a dish to share after the funeral. This display of community care was beyond expectation.
  • Thank you for making this process a little easier for me by helping to arrange the funeral.
  • I cannot thank you enough for serving as a pallbearer at the funeral. It was a relief to know that [deceased's name] had so many wonderful people in his/her/their life.

Thank You for the Funeral Donation Messages

woman writing thank you letter after funeral

From cash donations to gifts of food and meals, you can thank others for funeral gifts and monetary contributions with a few kind words.

  • Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I greatly appreciate you bringing me such a delicious dinner after the funeral. It warmed my heart as much as my stomach.
  • The money you donated toward the funeral costs truly alleviated some of my burden. I can never thank you enough for your generosity.
  • I am beyond grateful to you for donating the funeral programs. It was such a wonderful gesture of love.
  • Your donation of the church space for the funeral is greatly appreciated.
  • Thank you for your help with the funeral costs. We used the money to buy [deceased's relation to you]'s tombstone. We are forever grateful for your contribution to this everlasting gift.
Need to Know

When you receive a monetary gift, it's customary to send a note of thanks. However, you should not note the amount that was given. Just highlight the person's generosity and your appreciation.

What to Write in a Sympathy Thank You Card

Some people choose to send thank you for your sympathy cards. You may be able to find thank you cards at stationery stores, or you can order thank you cards specific to a funeral online. You can also send this type of message of thanks as an ecard.

Original Thank You Messages for Sympathy Thank You Cards

This type of thank you card is all about letting someone know how much you appreciate their condolences or sympathy.

  • Thank you for your support and thoughtful words in this difficult time. I enjoyed our conversation.
  • Your condolences reached me in a moment of despair and lifted me up. Thank you for your sympathy.
  • I appreciate your sympathy during this difficult time.
  • Thank you for thinking of me and reaching out after the funeral.
  • Your thoughts and prayers have surely helped me grieve this loss. Thank you.
  • Thank you for taking the time to share some stories about [deceased's name]. It truly brought me joy to hear those wonderful memories.

Common Types of Messages for Sympathy Thank You Cards

Bereavement verses are often used in condolence letters and cards given to the mourners. You can add in special verses, including funeral poems, Bible scriptures, and other prose to convey your support to those you want to thank. This is especially important when sending a note to a dear friend of the deceased or a loved one to whom he/she shared a connection.

Thank You Notes for Flowers

funeral flowers

If you look at examples of thank you notes for flowers, you'll see the message is dictated by your relationship to the sender. Thank you notes for flowers can incorporate other messages of thanks as well. You can even let the sender know what you did with the flowers after the funeral, especially if you made them into a keepsake or donated them to a charity.

Sending Your Thanks

Acknowledging your appreciation of others can be therapeutic for you and the person receiving your words. It can also help to reinforce bonds of friendship and reciprocate feelings of support. In addition, as you consider what to say in your note, you will likely revisit the positive responses of friends and family and you may get some comfort.

Finally, don't stress about the thank you notes. No matter how you say it, offering your genuine thanks can be very meaningful to those who attended the funeral or helped during this season of loss.

What to Say in Funeral Thank You Notes: Examples, Tips, and Etiquette