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Unread 06-09-2009, 04:59 AM
 
Location: Tennessee bound...someday
2,516 posts, read 2,737,535 times
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Default funeral/sympathy ettiquette dilemma - need your advice

Long story short, yesterday someone asked me if so-and-so came to my husband's funeral almost 3 years ago. I couldn't remember (the day was a bit of a blur with a lot of people), so I got out the guest book.

To my dismay, I discovered there are at least 30 to 40 people who were never sent a thankyou card for attending my husband's visitation and/or funeral. I do remember writing thank you's at the time and my sister-in-law & two nieces were helping me. They each borrowed the guest book and were supposed to check off whomever they sent a thanks to. I was writing thankyou notes for the flowers and charity donations while they had the guest book.

Too many cooks in the kitchen it looks like, and not doing a good job of communication. There is one page in particular that I am positive - not one soul listed on that page r'cvd a thankyou.

Should I send one now, with an apologetic explanation? Or should I just let it go as a lesson learned?

Thanks (really! ) in advance.
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Unread 06-09-2009, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Gary, WV & Springfield, ME
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It is never too late to express gratitude. No apology needed. Anyone who has loved and lost will understand.
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Unread 06-09-2009, 07:00 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,273 posts, read 27,616,558 times
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I would probably let it go as lesson learned, but verbally thank anyone you happen to run into.
But if it nags at your conscience, and you won't feel okay unless you do write the notes, then you certainly should do it. I am sure that no apology is needed, but again, if it helps you to explain, you can do so.
I agree with Alice that it is never too late to show gratitude--or, for that matter, sympathy--I am sorry for your loss, Piperspal.
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Unread 06-09-2009, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Plano, Texas
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Piper,
When my son died several years ago, I did not write thank yous to those who attended the visitation or memorial service. I did not see this as something that was required.

Of course, I did send notes to those who sent flowers, brought meals, sent us money or gift certificates, books etc., made a charitable donation or helped out in some kind of tangible way. But again, I didn't think I was required to send a note to those who merely attended the funeral.

Maybe this is a "Texas thing" but I can also tell you that I have personally attended a good number of funerals, and I don't believe I've ever received a thank you for merely my attendance at a visitation or funeral, nor did I expect one.

If you believe strongly this should be done, you could still send a note explaining that it was overlooked, but to me, again I don't see this as necessary in the first place. This is NOT done in my area of the country.

Ok, I "googled" it to see if I'm totally off base here. 2 or 3 websites said it was NOT necessary to thank those who merely attended the funeral. One mentioned that an exception to this might be if they travelled a good distance in order to attend. Also, if they helped with the funeral in some way, that would also require a thank-you, but otherwise, no.

So, basically, Piper, I don't think you've had any breach of etiquette at all here. My condolences on the loss of your husband.

Last edited by kaykay; 06-09-2009 at 08:57 AM..
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Unread 06-09-2009, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Pikeville, Kentucky
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I have received some thank you notes for helping out during friends funerals but it is not something I expect..
Early stages of grief are usually like a blur or a dream that we can barely remember the events of the first days because the shock is so new and raw..
Piper, if it would ease your mind to send a thank you card, by all means do it, but don't feel guilty because it has been three years..Everyone has experienced the loss of a dearly loved parent, spouse or child and understands your emotions
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Unread 06-09-2009, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Finally made it to Florida and lovin' every minute!
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No note necessary for visiting, IMO. I would think that, if they are your friends, it wouldn't matter to them that much. They were there to ease your pain.
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Unread 06-09-2009, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Funky Town
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Piper, I am so very sorry for the loss of your husband, and can not even imagine the pain you have gone through.

IMOHO, friends, family and acquaintances, do not got to funerals, expecting to receive a thank you note for doing so. They are there to say their last good bye, and to show support to you and the family.

Unless they sent flowers, a memorial contribution, brought food, or in any way helped you during this tragic time, I just would hold on to the fact that you and your husband had the love and support of these people, during that sorrowful and emotional time.

(((hugs)))
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Unread 06-09-2009, 09:35 AM
 
Location: in the sticks, SE Indiana
758 posts, read 878,341 times
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I certainly don't expect a thank you for attending a funeral and/or visitation. I attend for the family. The only time I've seen thank yous sent was for money contributions, flowers, etc. My goodness, the bereaved have enough to deal with without sending thank yous to everyone who came to the funeral home.
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Unread 06-09-2009, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Tennessee bound...someday
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Thanks everyone for your advice and comments. I really appreciate getting your perspective on this.
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Unread 06-09-2009, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Woods of Missouri with many Critters
25,441 posts, read 8,287,329 times
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piperspal, in St. Louis and in the country where we now live, thank you cards are very rarely sent for attendance at the funeral home. As others have stated, the thank yous do get sent for flowers, memorials, or any other show of care and concern. The most I think you could do at this time is to thank anyone that you should meet in person and say something like, 'I just wanted to thank you for being there for me when Mr. Piperspal passed away'.

You didn't neglect anything, piperspal not at all.
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