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Thank you notes?


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I wasn’t sure where to put this... 

Am I supposed to send thank you notes out for condolence cards, food, flowers and other stuff? 

It hasn’t even been a week since my mom passed away and I’m still at the very beginning of grieving (pretty much shock and depression). I also have a newborn... I don’t know if can find the energy to sit down and write thank you notes. It takes me all the energy just to get out of bed in the morning and be a new mom. On top of that I’m still extremely sad... but I don’t want to seem rude or ungrateful.

This is an example of something I would ask my mom 😔

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5 hours ago, MamasGirl59 said:

I wasn’t sure where to put this... 

Am I supposed to send thank you notes out for condolence cards, food, flowers and other stuff? 

It hasn’t even been a week since my mom passed away and I’m still at the very beginning of grieving (pretty much shock and depression). I also have a newborn... I don’t know if can find the energy to sit down and write thank you notes. It takes me all the energy just to get out of bed in the morning and be a new mom. On top of that I’m still extremely sad... but I don’t want to seem rude or ungrateful.

This is an example of something I would ask my mom 😔

I'm not an expert on etiquette,  I was informed I "should" send out thank you cards after the funeral when my wife died.  I just didn't have the strength or energy to face that task.  I have learned not to "SHOULD" on myself over other peoples expectations of how I should perform or grieve.  You also have a newborn that takes much of your energy.  I was in shock for a long time and grief itself takes a lot of energy.  You are not being rude to take care of yourself.  We are here as a group to help you through this process and let you know that you are not alone.  Please take care of yourself and your health.  Take care - Shalom ( Peace be with you)

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I agree with George.  Let these slide.  I made a point of thanking with notes the people who made a memorial donation to a nonprofit he supported in his lifetime,  in lieu of flowers, or who gave me money (which was unexpected), because that is how I was raised.  For the simple condolence cards, I didn't go to any effort to reply.  Being a new mom, I would suspect you have quite a grace period to respond!

And if people are expecting a quick response, well... too bad for them.  You and your needs come first.

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Perhaps the best input on the subject of writing thank-you notes following the death of a loved one comes from those who speak directly from their own experience.  The following is a series of actual posts that appeared in one of the forums in our online Grief Healing Discussions Groups back in 2008, entitled I Don’t Know How To Deal With This:  

Posted Sep 2 2008, 02:56 PM:
I do have one question for anyone, I finally bought thank you cards to send, but I am having a hard time making myself go back and read the cards so I can reply, is this normal? I don't want people to think I don't appreciate what they did, but in some strange way I feel like if I reply that means it’s really real, I know I read the cards, but it was such a blur, any advice on this is good, because I am crying just thinking about it, I just can't let go.

Posted Sep 2 2008, 03:35 PM:
I never could get that done. I finally gave up on thank-you's to all the card- and flower-senders, and just wrote a few to people who were very supportive during those first awful weeks. I didn't even get those thank-you's out for a couple months. People will understand. And if they don't, well that's not your problem. 
You need support right now, not more grief!

Posted Sep 2 2008, 04:18 PM:
I don't know what the custom is where you are, but no one here expects a thank you note for sending a card. We actually made a spread sheet for each person "involved". Like people who sent things because it was their dad went on their respective lists along with the address and what they sent. I also had one and then there were those who did something more or less because of the entire family including his 11 brothers and sisters. Since the girls and I wanted to write our own special notes to those people on our lists we took those. The rest we made address labels for on the computer (maybe someone could help you with that) and that way it saved some of our arthritic hands. Then his sisters made up a general saying but you could insert something else if you felt it needed to still be more personal. We had an assembly line where one would put the return address label, one would do the address label, one would write the note and one would seal, one would stamp it. This does not just have to be family it can be friends. So maybe you could spend an afternoon with friends and get a lot of them done. Just remember to cross them off because we did find duplicates. 

Most people will understand if it takes a while, but then you have some hateful people too. But you know what? They probably have no idea what you are going through and if they don't care about you any more than that, then who cares about them. I know that sounds snotty but sometimes you just have to prioritize things and those people go to the bottom of my list.

Keep getting things off your chest by coming here. 

Posted Sep 2 2008, 04:53 PM:
If it hadn't been for my family, I would never have been able to get thru sending out those thank you cards. My daughter and son were my strength in getting them written. My husband . . . died unexpectedly in our back yard by himself on December 22nd, 2007 so I had Christmas cards mixed in with sympathy cards. It was overwhelming. But as so many others have stated we keep putting one foot in front of the other. It is my feeling that most people understand if their thank you card is not too personal. At least I haven't judged any thank you card I have ever received. I am just so sorry that the person who sent it had to write it in the first place. Whatever you do will be the right thing for you. Try not to worry about what anyone will think. I'm so sorry you have to be on this site but welcome.  

There is wonderful support here.

Posted Sep 2 2008, 05:10 PM:
[My deceased wife’s] sister helped me with mine, if it hadn't been for her I wouldn't have gotten them done as I am a terrible procrastinator.

Posted Sep 2 2008, 05:12 PM:
I did thank you notes for those who contributed flowers or to his memorial or sent money, but I didn't send thank you’s for cards. The church secretary made me a list of the donations and that's what I went off of.  I looked at the cards as they came but didn't absorb much at that point...a couple of years later I went back and re-read them and was surprised by some of them, I hadn't even remembered them sending them! I remember spending a lot of time on the phone talking with people, for me it seemed therapeutic. 
 

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When my husband died there was a tremendous thunder storm going on at the time with triple rainbows!  My sister captured in on camera and sent the images to me.  I made thank you notes with the triple rainbow and wrote to those who made donations of $ or flowers, brought food, provided music for his service, and of course the minister that traveled across the state to hold his service.  I don't think it's necessary to acknowledge the cards, I have sent many and never received a thank you for them!

It's hard to think straight, let alone do all of these things, I don't think anyone expects anything!  You are sweet for wanting to do the right thing.  

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Thank you all. I tried to google the right etiquette, but wanted to get advice from those who truly understand. I think I know in my heart, that my mother would have made me send thank you notes (she was big on that). I will have to do them when I’m ready though, whenever that may be and maybe I never will be, but I will try. I can’t imagine doing them anytime soon, so I will give myself time. 

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Maybe try one a day instead of all at once?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm coming up to 1 year since my mom passed, i still intend to send thank you notes, but im still in deep grief...she was my best friend. And 9 months before she died, my beloved grandmother passed. I think, do what your heart and strength allow. Friends and loved ones usually understand. 

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@Jenn562 I’m very sorry for the loss of your mother and grandmother  ❤️ I’ve lost my grandmother too (both of them). My mom was also my very best friend and I know the pain. The way it’s looking, I can’t imagine writing thank you notes anytime soon. I’m so overwhelmed with everything and still very early in trying to make sense of life without her. We will get to them some day right? Until then I hope we can find some sort of healing ❤️ Your reply helped, thank you! 

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