My mother passed in December and we still have not sent the thank yous for flowers, etc. It has been a tough time and it has been just too hard to go through the cards, etc. Frankly, I just glanced at them and filed them away. I feel like I still need to send them out but at 7 months what is the expectation now? I know I should have done it but...
I''ve never heard of anyone sending out thank you cards for funerals.
I don''t think anyone expects to receive a thank-you card, OP.
Of course you should still send them out, OP. People will appreciate them and completely forgive the tardiness. You do have a good excuse.
So what are you saying? The other people who got the "thank yous" out for their husbands/wives/children, etc loved them less and/or were less traumatized??%0D\
Could you be anymore pathetic? My guess is those who knew you will not be surprised at the lateness. Just send the damn thank you notes.
OP, just send them out. Say nothing about the length of time. People will understand. You will feel better about it all.
Listen to R5. Ignore R4.%0D\
Who is the DL poster who always has just the right answer for these types of questions? I forgot her name and if it''s authenticated, but she always is correct.
Thanks R5. R4 you are a douche.
Another vote for sending them and not trying to excuse they are late. %0D\
r1 and r2... Haven''t you had a close relative die? People send flowers, make donations, send Mass cards and bring food. One should always send a thank-you card. not only to thank the giver but to acknowledge that you know they DID send or do something. People may not expect a thank-you note but like to know you saw the flowers they sent..etc.
When my grandparents died, the funeral director took care of this and made a careful list so that we could acknowledge the gifts in person.
OP, wait for the one year anniversary of the death, and take out an ad in your town''s newspaper. Acknowledge the one year passing of your beloved Mom, and thank everyone for their kindness & support when she died.
R11 that seems a bit much but a nice gesture.
[quotw]Haven''t you had a close relative die? People send flowers, make donations, send Mass cards and bring food%0D\
Yes, of course. But this is the first time I''ve ever heard of anyone sending thank you cards.%0D\
Maybe it''s a cultural thing.
It is polite to acknowledge expressions of sympathy. If you and your family feel up to it, please do it. A simple note will do, and you and they will fell good about it.
r5 is correct. It''s not necessary to send a thank you for someone sending a card, but if you feel up to it, there''s no doubt your thanks will be appreciated. It''s customary to send thank you notes or cards for flowers or Mass cards. Nobody will notice the timing, they''ll just be glad to know their sympathy was appreciated.
OP, you can place the ad in the obit section of the newspaper. Just a few lines is fine.
I didn''t know anyone sent thankyous after a funeral. Sounds like a needless, crazy, custom.
Is it a Catholic thing?
What is the matter with you idiots? Thankyous are not expected on this kind of occasion.
[quote]Sounds like a needless, crazy, custom.%0D\
Like sending thank yous after a wedding. Needless, crazy, custom.
OP, you do not need to send a card for a card received. If someone sent flowers, made a contibution, or brought food etc that requires a thank-you note. You can get printed ones that say something like, "The family of so and so gratefully . . ." so that you don''t have to write a personal note to each person. Those are acceptable under the circumstances. Send them without reference to the time elapsed.
[quote]Like sending thank yous after a wedding. Needless, crazy, custom.%0D\
Completely different context. A gift requires a thank you card, obviously. An expression of sympathy, even in the form of flowers or meals, does not. It''s innappropriate to expect someone in mourning to write out thank you cards. %0D\
What''s wrong with you people?
I''ve sent flowers to and attended many funerals in my life, of all different denominations and cultures, and I''ve never once received a thank you note for either the flowers or the attendance. \
Where do you even get funerary thank you cards?
When my Mother, and then my Father, passed away I sent a short thank you note to everyone who acknowledged the passing. I wasn''t certain of the protocol but I was touched by the sentiment and actually wanted to express my gratitude. It might not have been expected but it was heart felt...
That''s what I was going to say, we are expected to attend or send flowers, no thank you note is required. We did what we were suppose to do. I have never recieved a thank you note and certainly never expected one.
"Dear Miss Manners,
One of my closest friends lost her husband very suddenly about 3 weeks ago. As usual, many many friends and neighbors brought food and drink to her house immediately after the news and for several days thereafter. Others sent flowers to her home and to the memorial service.
One of her %C3%A2%C2%80%C2%9Cfriends%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%9D told her she had to send thank you notes to everyone who brought food, drink, etc. as well as the flower arrangements. She even started a list of individuals and what they brought and she gave my friend preprinted thank you notes for her to use. I think this is absurd on several levels. What do you think? I really, really respect your opinions. Thank you.
What Miss Manners thinks is that those sarcastic quotation marks around the word friend are unwarranted. That person is only trying to make the most basic duty of the bereaved easier.
Miss Manners knows that you think you are being kind in suspending all social duties for someone who is plunged in grief. But thanking people for their deeds of concern is not just the decent thing to do. It is something one can do on behalf of the deceased. Beyond that, it shows that the widow values those friendships. It is typical for widows to complain, when they are ready to re-enter society, that their friends no longer invite them. But if they have cut themselves off from those who came forward when the loss was fresh, those people may only be continuing to believe that widows wish to be left alone."
Miss Manners has spoken.
Of course you send thank you notes. Send them now and don't wait another day, OP.
Do not place an ad in a newspaper. Thank yous should be private and personal -- the opposite of a newspaper ad.
I''ve also never heard of this, and I was raised in etiquette central.
Miss Manners is wrong.%0D\
It''s excessive to expect someone in mourning to write thank you cards.
Don''t forget me. I brought the Jello mold.
I sent thank yous for flowers, food & charitable donations after my mother died. She had sent them after my father''s funeral. It never occurred to me not to. I''m old, though.
Of course a thank you note or card is to be sent for those who sent flowers or donated to charity. %0D\
Crass people like r27 - r28 and their ilk will probably just tweet and think they''ve done the right thing.
Miss Manners'' advice is suspect. She''s essentially blaming widows who get shut out of their coupled friends lives on the fact that they didn''t say thank you properly for that flower bouquet.
[quote]Who is the DL poster who always has just the right answer for these types of questions? I forgot her name and if it''s authenticated, but she always is correct.\
You''re very kind.
I come from a very middle-class, midwestern background and have almost ALWAYS received some kind of acknowlegement after sending flowers, making a charitable donation, etc. However, it''s not usually done in the same kind of personalized thank you note one receives after giving a wedding gift. %0D\
Instead, the funeral home gives (probably sells) cards to the family which are sent to everyone who signs the guest book and which contain either a pre-printed message ("The family of ______ thanks you") or cheesy verse ("Perhaps you sent flowers or were there for us with a kind word and a sympathetic smile...") The pritned message takes up most of the card, with just enough room for a family member to sign it with or without a personal comment: "The flowers you sent were beautiful" or "Thank you for the generous donation to the American Cancer Society."%0D\
Did you appreciate it? If not, leave it alone. If you did, it is polite to say thank you.
We sent out the pre-printed cards for both my grandparents. I think they came with the funeral expense.\
Yes send them out.
Sometimes people bring food as well to the home of the grieving family; that should be acknowledged with a note in my opinion.
Send thank you NOTES, not preprinted cards. A few sentences is all that''s required.Such as: Thank you so much for your (donation to XYZ, floral tribute, casserole,kind words, whatever) on behalf of my mother. My family and I appreciate your support at this difficult time.
It used to be fairly common for the bereved to extend a written a thank you to those who sent flowers, a donation, a gift, or signed the guest book at a wake.%0D\
It also used to be a common practice to send a thank you to someone who had hosted you for dinner or a weekend. %0D\
That is another of the social graces that we seem to have lost along the way in our society''s quest for a less formal lifestyle.%0D\
I think anyone with feelings would understand that right after a loved one''s funeral you''re not going to be in any shape to sit down and write out a bunch of cards. It''s nice to send thank-yous, but not until you''re really ready.
Wow there is a lot of low brow trash posting here recently. Of course you send thank you cards to people who sent flowers, food or expressed sympathy in a tangible way.
Ive never heard of people sending thank-you cards after a funeral. To me, it would depend on what they did for the family.
You get a break, OP. Your Mom died.%0D\
Send the notes out, it could be be healing.%0D
Yes, you send thank-you notes after a funeral.\
My mother died when I was 14 and my father told me to handle the thank you notes.\
He''s a real prince.
r4/37 needs to be viciously face-slapped.
[quote] Wow there is a lot of low brow trash posting here recently. %0D\
Quite the opposite. I think it''s middlebrow, middle class types who are so insistent that one sends thank you notes after funerals.%0D\
I''m sure the intentions are good, but it''s just trying too hard. %0D\
"Look everyone! I have good manners! I''m doing the right thing!"%0D\
I had a somewhat priviledged supbringing and this is the first I''ve heard of such a custom.
Ignore the troll at R1, 13, 18, 22, 28, 32. S/he is quite obviously quite defensive about the issue. Thank you notes are appropriate and appreciated, although a Google search indicates that they''re no longer absolutely necessary.\
After my mom died a few years ago,many people, including college friends of my siblings and me, sent flowers, food, and donations to the charity we had specified in her obituary. \
It''s not necessary to acknowledge a card, but otherwise a thank you note is in order. Personally, I think a newspaper ad is tacky - and how do we know it was seen by the intended people?
After Linda''s husband and four kids died in that car accident the neighborhood gals and I made cookies, casseroles and just generally did what we could to help her out. \
THREE WEEKS later and STILL no thank you card! What an ungrateful CUNT!
Beverly (R2) - Perhaps you and other girls at the trailer park should cut Linda some slack. She''ll get around to it, I''m sure.
It would be interesting to find out if this is a regional thing. I grew up in New York metro area and they still send thank you notes. I''m curious where the people who never heard of this live or grew up.
[quote]I had a somewhat priviledged supbringing%0D\
r50 Im from the south and never heard of this. But then again some people in the south use repasts to eat and get drunk with family and have a huge party. So there''s the thank-you right there.
Well, repast, by definition, is a meal. However, I googled it and saw that in the South, it refers specifically to a meal after a funeral. It''s the first time I''ve heard it used that way. %0D\
Texas Southern Baptists send thank-you notes btw.%0D
It's never too late, but you're getting very close.%0D
Yes, you should send acknowledgement cards. They're not really "thank you" cards, but rather acknowledgement cards.%0D
And you don't have to send one to everyone. Generally, these cards are for those either attended the wake, sent Mass cards and/or sympathy cards or sent flowers. You can decide the criteria as to who receives a card.%0D
But it's a common practice and a nice way to acknowledge those who offered their condolences in some way. %0D
You can go to a stationery store and order a supply or cards. The stationery store staff person can show you various suggested messages. The cards can be pre-printed or you can write your own message. Or you can take the less expensive route and just buy a box of blank note cards.%0D
Yes, you should do it. It's one of the things you do, and it's a polite acknowledgement. I recently sent acknowlegement cards after my father passed away. Things like this really do matter at both ends when someone passes away. Sometimes these "old world" gestures are a thing of the past. It's good to keep going.
HAD A BLAST, BACK WHEN MOM PASSED! %0D\
OP''s 6-Month-Late Personalized Thank You Note
I''m from the south and it''s very common to send acknowledgment cards after a death.\
My extended family has always done this, and we run the gamut from very working class (if not outright poor) to upper-middle class. Religious to atheist.
(Sigh) People who are not committed to or acquainted with customs of social grace must leap in to call names and insist on what is appropriate.
In polite society all gestures of kindness are, when possible, acknowledged. Letters are responded to as a matter of reciprocity. Gifts are acknowledged with appreciation, which are all the more important when the occasion is a shared grief or an expression of condolence. That is not to say that people sit and tap their toes waiting for such gestures of civility. Nor does it mean that the closest mourners are expected to be the ones responding.
"Closest mourners" is not a phrase usually associated with adult children of a deceased parent. Such adults are usually, after a period of seven months, able to perform the actions of politeness. If they're not, then they're not. Such conditions are probably understood and recognized well before the death of the parent by anyone close to the family, in any event, and understanding people would not expect a "child" like this to be able to behave like a responsible adult. And that's okay. Manners are mannerly; they're not intended to be punishing.
What R17 said.%0D\
I would feel guilty and horrible receiving a thank you card from someone over a funeral attendance/flower purchase. Let people move on.%0D\
I would perfer, if they were an actual friend, a phone call from them when they feel up to it, and the idea that we should go get some drinks and dinner....maybe in the deceased''s honor, or maybe not. Not a mention would be required over the fact that I helped out with the funeral.%0D\
Christ, people are getting too fucking PC lately. Should we now send "Thank You" cards to everyone who has sent us a "Thank You" card? When does it end?
And, by the way, they''ve had their "No Problem" post cards printed for over six months now to shoot back to you, bitch.
"Maybe it''s a cultural thing."\
Yes, it is. People with culture want to thank their friends for their kindness at a difficult time.
[quote]Yes, it is. People with culture want to thank their friends for their kindness at a difficult time.%0D\
With a pre-printed note bearing a tacky picture of a flower. Got it.%0D\
I still say some one on one time with the grieving is much better than this endless Miss Manners shit.
If you want to spend some one-on-one time with the president of your father''s Rotary club or your mother''s old college roommate, go for it, r61. I''d rather send a thank you note.
Don''t feel bad, OP, my mother died when I was 15 and I never did get around to doing the thank-you cards. %0D\
I think I still owe some people casserole dishes, too.
Thanks for all the input. Sounds like I am doing them. And honestly, it''s fine.
[italic]With a pre-printed note bearing a tacky picture of a flower. Got it.[/italic]\
I never got a pre-printed funeral thank you note? It''s always written personally, fuck face!
OP I''m with the folk who say send them out and make no acknowledgement of the lateness. Prioritize. The people who sent flowers or masses or money, or people who didsomething special, cooked something etc. should go out first. The ones who called, visited, sent notes,came over, came to the visitation and/or funeral should come second. Send them out in batches if you must, or do it all at once, but do it.
The tacky details, R61, are your own. They are not necessary for other people.
Just back from my mother''s funeral, and just reminded myself to thank her doctors... her primary care even came to the visiting hours.
It''s definitely not too late to send them; they''re not required, but it''s still a good idea to send them.%0D\
First, it''s an honor to your mother. It tells everyone what a good job she did with you.%0D\
Second, it''s healing. As you do it, you will remember the ones who standout as being particularly kind or helpful and be warmed by it. We all benefit from remembering that there are people who love us and like us and care about us.%0D\
Third, people will like receiving these notes. You are giving them the gift of acknowledgement that their kindness did not go unnappreciated.%0D\
You don''t have to hand write them all, or even send one to everyone. Write hand written notes to those who you or your mother were close to, and send pre-printed notes to the casual acquaintences.
When I moved to a small Pennsylvania town I was amazed at the many "A Card Of Thanks" notices in the local paper from people who wanted to acknowledge doctors, nurses, and friends of someone who died. This is rude. Ask friends to write the notes, signing your name.
Born and raised in the Midwest. Sent (always) and received (about 50-50) thank yous. For me, I don''t expect to receive a thank you for flowers or a donation but I do appreciate it when they''re given.\
R33 made me laugh.
[quote]Christ, people are getting too fucking PC lately. Should we now send "Thank You" cards to everyone who has sent us a "Thank You" card? When does it end?%0D\
PC? What do politeness and good manners have to do with "political correctness"? %0D\
Tbe OP was asking if he should still send them because so much time had passed, not whether they should have been sent in the first place.
If you really want to be tacky, OP, send email thank you notes. And be overly thankful to friends who sent internet condolence cards with your favorite hymn played on the Wurlitzer by Ethel Smith.
I''ve never heard of thank you cards for funerals. I don''t think anyone would mind getting one, but I doubt anyone is sitting home waiting for one, either. And if someone feels slighted for not receiving a thank you note for sending flowers to a funeral, they''re insane.
R74 it''s not necessarily feeling "slighted." It''s confirmation that the flowers were delivered. With friends all over the countrry, sometimes I''ll send flowers, and when I receive no acknowledgement, I wonder if they got to where they were sent.
I know country has only one r. No need to sigh.
Forget mine OP. You''re as dead to me as your mother.
Have you mailed them, OP?
Oh my goodness! Where are you people from? Everyone I know, down to the most ignorant and uncultured, sends thank you cards (that you get from the funeral parlor or buy prepackaged or have printed)to everyone that sent flowers or signed the guest book at the wake, helped, or expressed their sympathy. The cards usually have a pre-printed message that says:"Thank you for your kind expression of sympathy"! You just sign your name, address them, and pop them in the mail. In my circles, it is the norm, and if you didn't send me one, I would think your family had no manners and wonder how you were raised. The first think you are supposed to learn as a child is how to say "please" and "thank you". How can you even have or hold a decent job if you don't know the basics of etiquette?
Native New Yorker
r11, Individual acknowledgements should be sent. If you can't do it, ask a friend to send them and sign your name. Putting a "Card of Thanks" in a newspaper is tacky and you don't know if the people who cared about your mother read that paper. It's just another way for newspapers to make money.
r79 must be a geezer. He wrote "funeral parlor." I bet his mother goes to the "beauty parlor." For the past fifty years undertaking establishments have been known as Funeral Homes.
Frank E. Campbell
Im from the south, and Ive never heard of this shite. You show your thanks by remembering what someone did and showing up the next time they need you.
R79 must be joking a bit. Those pre-printed things are a bit off-putting. Just a simple, plain, unprinted notecard is good, because you can use them for any time of message. As many others have said, it lets people know you appreciate their gesture of kindness (whether flowers, food, whatever). If someone can go to the effort to send food or flowers, I can go to the effort to send them a short note.
Why did this thread need to be resurrected almost 2 years after the thread had died, R79?
I did it and it was done within one month.
They took the time to send condolences and money/flowers, and I really wanted to acknowledge my appreciation for being there to support me.
I really don't know what the savages do. Maybe not send anything at all?
OP is dead now.
And nobody sent thank yous on his behalf.
Good question r84. This is a bigger resurrection of a corpse than that one in the bible.
"I want you to know that your thoughtfulness when Dad died comforted me/us.
That's it. That's all that is required; and yes, necessary.
Of course, if you know exactly what the person gave to you and/or your family, that's should be specifically mentioned, but if you don't, the above sentence is fine.
Funerals are, just like weddings, social events. As a wedding gift must be acknowledged, so too, should be an offering to you and your family at a time of grief.
It's not too late to send them, OP, but as another poster upthread pointed out, it's almost at that point.
I loathe these types of chores. I make it easier by saying to myself that I 'll sit down and get, say, three, of them done. Before you know it, I don't want ot stop. It's getting started that's the hard part.
[quote] It's not too late to send them, OP, but as another poster upthread pointed out, it's almost at that point.
Della, OP posted in July 2010. It's now March 2012. Sending out thank-you cards nearly two years after the funeral is probably too late.
Of course, people send thank-you notes in response to condolence letters. In fact, printers traditionally make up cards with a black border for the bereaved to send out. And there's no need to apologize. Everyone understands that you're not only mourning but also settling the estate, among other responsibilities. I'm sorry for your loss. Don't listen to the meanies.
As with so many topics on DL, this topic just shows the level of people posting here now.
They have no manners and, indeed, it seems they have never heard of manners, they believe in every tin hat conspiracy and they don't believe in the Consitution.
I appreciated being able to sit down and acknowledge those who honored my mother and father when each died. It warmed my heart to realize all these people went out of their way to help us or provide emotional support to us as a family or as individuals during those times and thanking them never seemed like a burden to me.
Good manners is about being decent to others and the level of decency towards others in our culture has dropped precipitously. Being rude and thoughtless in public is the norm now so I can see why being rude and thoughtless in private may seem acceptable to some.
[quote]That's it. That's all that is required; and yes, necessary.
Absolutely not. The whole point of people sending flowers or cards to the bereaved is to comfort, not to obligate. To put someone who is mourning under social obligation - now *that* is the epitome of rudeness. It's like showing up at the wake and bitching about the quality of food. Which is why *other* people often bring dishes. A funeral/loss is very different from a wedding.
I sent out two long condolence letters this month and I won't expect any response. I sent them in order to comfort the recipients.
I have lost 6+ close friends/family members in the last couple of years, so I know where-of I speak.
I'm from the south, from a working-class family, and we always send thank you cards, and always hand-written, with a personal sentence or two.
I don't expect them from others and I would not think poorly of someone who doesn't send them, but I always feel warmly toward someone who sends me one.
I always send a card to people I know who lose a loved one, and I certainly don't expect a thank you card for having sent a sympathy card.
Nevertheless, a young woman I work with recently sent me a handwritten note thanking me for the card I sent when her grandmother died. I didn't expect it, but I appreciate that when she was writing her thank yous, she wanted to include me among the people whose support was important to her.
Another friend sought me out at work to say thank you for the card I'd sent, and again, while I didn't expect it, it was a nice few minutes between us and made us a bit closer as friends and colleagues, I believe.
Yes, I'm over 50 am am old-fashioned, but I always feel a short expression of gratitude and the cost of a stamp is worth doing. I don't get gushy and inappropriate about it, but it just feels like good manners to me. Not an obligation, more of an opportunity.
I don't expect a response to condolence letters, or even tangible offerings such as flowers, food, charitable contributions, etc. But I'm always pleased to receive them, whether in the form of printed cards or personally written notes, & regardless of when they arrive.
I don't think less of those who don't respond, since I understand the circumstances, & also because I realize that it may not be the custom for everyone. But it is a nice gesture & I do appreciate it.
And when my family or I have received condolences, I don't consider it a burden to send acknowledgments, as soon as I'm able. I'm glad to thank people who thought so well of the deceased that they were moved to commemorate him or her in some way.
Oh,r89. Thanks for pointing that out.
r92, my condolences to you on your losses.
I know-of where I speak, too, being the survivor of three siblings who died, suddenly, in thier 40s.
Let's set aside, however, the can-you-match-me? grief game. i would just point out the following:
Yes, funerals ARE social events, similar to weddings in that if you throw a funeral, just as you throw a wedding, you are obligating yourself to acknowledge those who extend a token of acknowledgment at your celebration or your grief.
A body need only be disposed of within the minimal requirements of the law. A funeral is not necessary. If you do, however, choose to have a funeral ceremony, you are obligated to note any token of grief received by those who do so.
I fully understand that you expected no acknowledgment of the letters you wrote, but, that does not mean that the social rules no longer appy.
You people are cretins. Of course you acknowledge and formally thank people for their kindness and support after a funeral.
Fine Stationary has 59 examples of such a card, and whether you think something preprinted is "tacky" or not, it's far tackier to not acknowledge the gesture (flowers, food, whatever), and obviously people do this.
I did it when my father died. Recently my husband's aunt died and we were unable to attend the service (it was 2500 miles away), so we send a very nice arrangement and card to his cousins. Well I haven't heard a word. I don't know if they got the flowers, if they were nice, as dead as the aunt - ??? It's fucking rude.
I'm sad that people have no manners anymore.
Examples, whether you like them or not... obviously this is done on a regular basis, by people who were raised right, that is.
My family and I sent out thank yous for sympathy cards (and in some cases, really useful gifts: food, even cash [customary some small towns, I guess - seems strange? but was greatly appreciated/needeed in our case}, but I would say a lot of times - about 75%? in my experience people don't send thank you cards, nor are they expected; people understand you're grief-stricken/in mourning. So OP, if you don't get around to it, don't worry - let people comfort you.
I know this is an old thread, but honestly, I think if the OP still hadn't sent them and still wanted to, it would be perfectly OK and probably appreciated by most recipients.
You could just include a brief statement that the loss of your loved one really affected everyone and apologize for the lateness of the card, then thank them for their support.
I think you could have the general message preprinted, as long as you personally signed the recipient's name and your names on the card.
Thank you notes for flowers after a funeral have been customary for many decades. It is simply nice to let folks know that you received the flowers because often they are from people who could not attend the funeral. These days people are less polite and less inclined to do such nice things. It's just a sign of the times. My mother died several months ago and my brother said he would send out cards, but it took him three months because he was so upset. The earlier poster was right--send the cards late--people will understand.
If you don't send them out within a year, you have to return the gifts. Ditto, if she's resurrected, by the way. But that would be considered kind of a trade off.
I use the ones I get for free from the funeral home, and add a line or two of personal appreciation, and of course sign my name.
OK OP, here's my experience. My father died almost two years ago. In the obit I thanked his oncologist and each of the hospice nurses by name. Dad's family were florists, and "in lieu of flowers" always made them mental. So in honor of them (and because I didn't want to be haunted by my grandmother) I left that part out. But I was very specific about contributions to the hospice were greatly appreciated.
I was absolutely shocked by the response. A little over $10,000 was raised for hospice. People knew how grateful we were to these men and women, and really contributed in respect to my Dad and to the hard work hospice does.
I am a dithery, space cadet type but I thought I really have to get this right. I did use the pre-printed thank you card, but wrote an individual note for each contribution, floral arrangement and meal. I sent out around two hundred thank you cards.
I didn't do it out of obligation or etiquette, but because my family and I were truly grateful to friends, family and strangers.
OK, it's about six months. So what. Just write a note saying you've been prostate with grief (make sure not to write prostrate because people will think you have cancer and cut you some slack.)
If it cause you anxiety, don't do it
OP, you are so fucking rude and at this point you'd be wasting everyone's time for pretending to have an ounce of class. Hopefully you show a little more civility when someone else close to you dies.
R103, you get the biggest, 'Oh, DEAR!' ever.
Prostrate with grief. I promise you.
Just say, "I've been grieving..."
Thank you for the correction, r106. Where can I send a thank you card?
Impolite people always are ready to declare the propriety of their impoliteness. Ignore them, OP. They are rude.
Of course it is standard, acceptable behavior to acknowledge the receipt of expressions of sympathy, particularly those in which donations to charity, floral offerings, or other tokens obviously merit a particular "thank you."
All you need to do is write, on a small plain white card (fold-over, if you wish) - Dear X, On behalf of my family, thank you for your kind and thoughtful expression of sympathy at the loss of our mother (insert name if you think they won't know who you are). It meant a great deal to us all.
Yours truly (or how you would like to close)
Add something personal where appropriate. Don't mention the lateness - in such situations it is not necessary, nor is an accounting of the particular token. This is not like a wedding gift situation.
And that's that.
Mail it with a first class stamp, hand written, with a hand-written return address. Period.
You will feel better. You can stretch them out over a couple weeks if needed. If someone just sent a sympathy card, your response is optional - but at response to your mother's old friends and close relatives would mean something.
Why do people think such gestures of decency and social responsibility are unneeded? Because they are lazy, rude and oblivious to what social connections (social networks, if you will) are all about.
My mother was too devastated when my father died to send thank you notes, so she asked me to take care of it for her. I don't know that it was expected in our geographical area but it certainly was expected in my family.
I was only 21 and I had never lost anyone close to me before. I made a few false starts when I got too upset to continue, so I didn't write the notes until about three months later.
Because of that, I was able to make the notes more personal. Rather than thanking people for sending a lovely floral arrangement, I thanked them for their emotional support and for those things they did that made our grief easier to bear. People were very kind and I made sure they knew we were grateful to them. I think waiting made it easier to do that.
Save the condolence cards; put them away somewhere special, where you can get to them and go through them at your own pace. No thank you cards are needed in this case because YOU are the one being thanked..and that is why all these people are standing by your side. Keep living, be good to yourself, and don't rush. Time is also on your side.