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How Can I Find the Words?

by Paul V. Johnson

Dear Paul,

I'm trying to find the appropriate words to have thank you notes printed, following the death of my mother two weeks ago. I honestly can't come up with the right wording. Would you have a resource for such a note? Thank you for any help you can give me.

Sincerely,
A Reader

 

Dear Reader,

I am sorry to read about your mother's death and trust that you are getting needed support from family and friends during this time. In terms of "appropriate words" to have printed on a thank you note, that is really something that is up to you and is probably best decided upon by someone who knew your mother.

Most funeral homes have a selection of thank you notes from which the most appropriate selection could be made. There is one that begins "Perhaps you . . . . ." and then lists many of the things caring friends do following the death of a loved one. It is somewhat generic and can be sent to a large number of individuals without thanking them individually for something specific.

Depending on the quantity of thank you notes you have to send and how much personal writing you want to include on each one, you might consider using one of your Mom's favorite poems/verses on the outside of the card, leaving the inside blank to write your individual message.

Best wishes as you make this decision, which is but another way of honoring your Mom's memory.

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.

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