Being thankful and expressing our gratitude is a very important part of being satisfied in life. It is only in times of sorrow that you realize how important the ones who are there to support and help you through it are. Inevitably at some point in all our lives, the pain of loss will knock on our doors and it is the people who are there to help that will make that burden of pain feel just a little bit lighter.
A funeral acknowledgement card is the best way to show your gratitude and show your appreciation for the help and support that you and your family received during your loss.
We know that there may be some confusion about the specifics of funeral acknowledgement cards so we have put together in this article a short guide to help you through the process and make things a little easier.
What are Acknowledgment Cards?
Acknowledgment cards or more commonly called as ‘thank you’ cards are cards that are given after a funeral to thank those that have helped out or shown support during the loss of a loved one. Whether they helped with the funeral or wake, gave flowers or a mass card, or just made an extra effort to attend the funeral.
Who Should They Be Sent To?
Traditionally some would say that anyone who sent a mass card should receive one, generally what we would suggest is to use your intuition and give to those who you feel should get one. Consult with your family and close friends and make a list that feels right for you. This will help you make sure nobody is left out and everyone who should get one does.
Here is a sample list of those who generally receive one:
• Those who sent personal condolence letters cards
• Those who sent mass cards
• People who bought or sent flowers
• Those who traveled to attend the funeral
• Anyone who cooked food or helped at the wake
• Anyone who made a charitable donation (the applicable charity should be able to supply you with a list of donors)
• Any of the clergy who presided over the funeral
• Anyone who went above and beyond and helped in a meaningful way
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list and is just an example to help you decide. What we would say is to consult with family members and make a list that feels right for you.
Keep It Simple and Heartfelt
With funeral acknowledgement cards, no one is expecting a lengthy epistle. So, feel free to keep it short and simple but also personal and heartfelt. One to three sentences are more than enough (unless you want to write more), and it’s perfectly acceptable to write similar phrases on each one. Sometimes, that’s all you have the energy to do.
The best practice is to keep your message sincere and personal. Express your gratitude. Be specific about what you are thanking them for. Don’t worry about the “perfect wording.” Instead, focus on sincerity.
Feel free to include your other family members in the signature. Also, make sure to mention your last name or the full name of your lost loved one. In case you are writing to a person you do not know well, including names will help refresh their memory.
When Should Acknowledgement Cards Be Sent?
There is no best time to send funeral acknowledgement cards, at the end of the day it is never too early or too late to say thank you. A lot of people would say that cards should be sent out around 2-4 weeks after the funeral or around the time of the month’s mind.
As with who you should send them to, the question of when you should send them generally comes down to your personal choice and how you feel is the right time to send them. There isn’t a strict time limit, but it’s best to finish writing and sending them within a couple of months. You’ll be relieved afterward to have it all behind you.
Why Spend Time Writing an Acknowledgement Card
With the rise of technology and the internet, you can just send an email to say thank you, send a text message or make a quick phone call to anyone that attended your loved one’s funeral. These actions can get the job done – you can still thank them.
But, there is something that a handwritten funeral acknowledgement card can do that electronic messages cannot – it makes the appreciation more sincere and heartfelt. Perhaps, we should include this as a funeral acknowledgement etiquette—meaning we should never underestimate the power of a personalized handwritten funeral acknowledgement card.
At such a difficult time, remember that sending a funeral acknowledgement card is not a must. For some people though, the thought of writing such can be comforting. It allows a person to think of the good times and the good people who loved the deceased. If you are in such a situation and you cannot find words to say, you can always ask for help from your family members, from the funeral director who handled the funeral, or from special groups who are known for providing funeral acknowledgement cards.
The Bottom Line
Acknowledgment cards are not always expected after a funeral, but it’s still a nice gesture to offer a show of gratitude for people who have been there for you during the difficult time of mourning. It might even help you heal as you remember those people who thought of you during this difficult time.