Author Topic: Blunder ?  (Read 2938 times)

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Pioneer

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Blunder ?
« on: May 07, 2013, 03:36:35 PM »
My daughter is getting married.  Our family is small and getting smaller.  Invitations were sent to my mother's two surviving brothers and their wives, not in the hope that gifts would be forthcoming, but rather as an announcement of a memorable occasion.  We live quite some distance apart, and holiday cards and wedding announcements have become our main forms of communication. 

One uncle & aunt's invitation was returned as undeliverable/addressee unknown. 

Yesterday's mail included a lovely card and monetary gift from my aunt, the widow of my uncle.  Until searching for a possible obituary online, I was unaware that he had passed away last year!  And here is what is more curious -- the bridal greeting card included the response card from the invitation that my aunt never received.

Help me out eHellions.  1.  Is it too late to send a letter and condolences to my aunt upon the death of her husband.  2.  What the heck do I say ? ? ? ? ?
"Try to live your life so that you wouldn't be afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip." -- Will Rogers

gramma dishes

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Re: Blunder ?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 03:46:08 PM »
Did your mother know that her brother had died?  Or did she not even know?

I'd send a brief note expressing your sadness at learning of your Uncle's death.  But if I were the Aunt, I'd think it strange that you didn't know before because I'd have expected your mother to tell you.

I'm also confused as to how something from inside the envelope that never reached the addressees could have been sent back to you!  How could that happen?

Pioneer

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Re: Blunder ?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 04:03:12 PM »
Oops.  My mother is also deceased. 
"Try to live your life so that you wouldn't be afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip." -- Will Rogers

SoCalVal

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Re: Blunder ?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 07:40:14 PM »
I really don't see a blunder here as you didn't know.  I would think you'd send a thank you card for the gift and, in it, express your condolences as you hadn't known your uncle had died.  I do wonder if a separate condolence card would be in order, but it seems a bit over-the-top to send them separately since he died over a year ago.



Daydream

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Re: Blunder ?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 08:53:40 PM »
I don't have first-hand experience with sending out wedding invitations with the parents announcing the wedding of their daughter, but that sounds like what you sent out.

If so, did your aunt send the card/monetary gift to you or your daughter?  Even if it was sent to your address, I think it should have been addressed to your daughter or treated as if it were.

So, I think your daughter should send a card thanking her for the gift with regrets that she did not know your uncle had passed away, and you could send a separate card or letter expressing the same regret.  Each of you could mention how you hope to stay in contact more with your aunt (if that's true).

peaches

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Re: Blunder ?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 09:27:47 PM »

Help me out eHellions.  1.  Is it too late to send a letter and condolences to my aunt upon the death of her husband.  2.  What the heck do I say ? ? ? ? ?

It's never too late to send condolences. (Actually, you would be responding in a timely way, because you just found out.) Just say you're sorry for her loss, and that you weren't aware that he had passed away. Anything you would say when someone passes away would be appropriate (a memory of the uncle, for example). It's not as if the aunt has forgotten her husband or doesn't want to be reminded of him; she will never forget, and memories or condolences would always be appreciated.

The bride-to-be would send a thank you for the gift and could express her condolences in the same note or letter.

Yvaine

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Re: Blunder ?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2013, 09:39:36 PM »
If I had to wager a guess, I would say that the aunt opened it and took the response card out, had the postal service mark the envelope as addressee unknown in a moment of upset or pique while grieving, and now has thought better of it (perhaps realizing there was no way for you to know). That's the only way I can think of that she'd have the response card.

Pioneer

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Re: Blunder ?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 08:29:54 AM »
Aw, you guys are the best.

Great ideas.  Card was addressed to my daughter and her fiance; she will indeed send a thank-you note promptly, and I will send a condolence message.  The response card was from my OTHER uncle's invitation!  He knew that his brother had died and his sister-in-law had moved, and that I hadn't been advised.  So he forwarded HIS invitation to his brother's widow, who sent the response card with her greeting card.

Mystery solved.  Etiquette dilemma resolved.  Thanks!
"Try to live your life so that you wouldn't be afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip." -- Will Rogers

Hmmmmm

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Re: Blunder ?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2013, 01:55:03 PM »
Aw, you guys are the best.

Great ideas.  Card was addressed to my daughter and her fiance; she will indeed send a thank-you note promptly, and I will send a condolence message.  The response card was from my OTHER uncle's invitation!  He knew that his brother had died and his sister-in-law had moved, and that I hadn't been advised.  So he forwarded HIS invitation to his brother's widow, who sent the response card with her greeting card.

Mystery solved.  Etiquette dilemma resolved.  Thanks!

I think you have the perfect plan. In your note you can express condolences, tell a funny story you remember about your uncle and sadness that your families have not been able to stay in touch more regularly but that you do think of her fondly and hope to stay in touch.