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Should I send a thank you card to everybody?

by Paul V. Johnson

My fiance recently passed away. It is my responsibility to get the thank you cards out. I am wondering if such cards go only to those who sent flowers, or should I also send an acknowledgment to people who sent only cards?

Please let me know soon, as I would like to get started on this task, and my confusion has me stuck. Thank you.

Dear Inquirer:

I am sorry to hear about your fiance's recent death and hope that you are getting needed support from friends and family.

With reference to the thank you cards about which you asked, it is appropriate to send a thank you card or note to anyone who provided anything following your fiance's death. Whether it was flowers, a monetary memorial gift, food, or some other service, it is appropriate to send a thank you note for all of them. One more thing about the thank you cards: I would encourage you to write and send them at a rate that is comfortable for you. Too many people think that they must be sent by a specific date; then, getting them done becomes an additional burden on the grieving survivors. I would encourage you to write them at a pace that is comfortable for you. People certainly understand if they don't receive a thank you card immediately following the funeral.

Best wishes,
Paul


Paul V. Johnson, MA, is a consultant and trainer for business, industry, and educational institutions on issues related to loss and grief. He was formerly an Associate Professor of Sociology at Bethel College(MN) and Director of Aftercare Services for the Bradshaw Funeral Homes in the Twin Cities area. He has made presentations at the national conferences of major professional caregiving associations and is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling.