Obituary thank-you notes often are published in the obituary section of the newspaper. These notes usually are written on behalf of the family to thank everyone who came to the funeral, sent sympathy cards, or otherwise offered their condolences. Although this is an easy way to thank everyone at once, etiquette experts say that it's also the less-polite way to acknowledge those who supported you during that difficult time. If you are going to write an obituary thank-you note for the newspaper, consider also sending handwritten cards to the people who made an extra effort to make the funeral and memorial service run smoothly.
Begin your note for the newspaper by mentioning the name of the deceased. You can state, "The family of John Doe would like to thank everyone for the love and support shown to us during the loss of our loved one."
Identify specific things that you appreciated. Mention that the family appreciated the lovely flowers or delicious food that was provided to them.
Include special or personal statements of appreciation. This is especially important if you are not going to send handwritten notes to everyone. Write something like, "A special thank you goes out to the nurse who prayed with me at the hospital," or "A personal thank you to Mr. James of Delicious Deli who donated food for the reception."
Conclude with a warm, genuine statement that also remembers the deceased. You might say that your loved one will be missed forever, but you know that he will live in the hearts of all who shared their grief with you during this difficult time. Close with a signature on behalf of the family, such as "Warm Regards, the Doe Family."
Contact the customer service department at the newspaper that will publish your obituary thank-you announcement to find out about deadlines, cost (which is usually per line), and how to submit your entry. You may be advised to email your submission or fill out an electronic form through the newspaper's website. Even though funeral homes usually handle obituary notices in the newspaper, they don't always handle obituary thank-you announcements.
When sending handwritten thank-you cards, follow the same format as used for the newspaper submission, but make sure to personalize it as much as possible to the recipient.
It's usually appropriate to send thank-you notes two to three months after the funeral. You can time your newspaper obituary to run in that time frame as well.
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images