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Author Topic: Thank you note/Sympathy Card  (Read 3437 times)

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Mopsy428

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Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« on: April 11, 2016, 08:40:06 PM »
Last week, my aunt's brother died in a construction accident. (She is an aunt by marriage, so it's not my uncle who died.) He lived out of state (13 hours drive away), so she left to be with her family and attend the service. (We'll call her "Aunt Sylvia".)  :'(

Yesterday, my bridesmaids surprised me with a shower! Aunt Sylvia was not there, but she and Aunt Nora went in together on a gift.

My question is how do I word a thank you note? I don't want to make it sound like a sympathy card...but I don't want to come off as too cheery. I did order flowers for her to be delivered tomorrow. (She came back late last night.) Help! I don't want to commit a faux pas!

gramma dishes

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2016, 08:55:37 PM »
Two totally separate and unrelated occurrences, his funeral and your shower.

You simply write a thank you note for your gift from her and you send a sympathy card (or in your case, flowers) for the other.

Alicia

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2016, 08:57:33 PM »
Send the sympathy card first then a week later send a separate thank you card for the gift

LtPowers

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2016, 10:24:39 AM »
Send the sympathy card first then a week later send a separate thank you card for the gift

That seems like it would leave Aunt wondering if/how the present was received.

Obviously, the sympathy card should have been sent promptly last week, but it wasn't. Now sending two separate correspondences seems a bit awkward.


Powers  &8^]

mandycorn

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2016, 11:52:52 AM »
Two totally separate and unrelated occurrences, his funeral and your shower.

You simply write a thank you note for your gift from her and you send a sympathy card (or in your case, flowers) for the other.

On the surface, I agree with this - you already sent the sympathy flowers, so now you can send the thank you note.

However, if it were me, I would still mention it. I would start with thanking her for the gift and how nice the surprise shower was and then include a sentence about how sorry you were to hear about the loss of her brother and you missed her at the shower, and then follow up with how you hope to see her at the wedding. It's still very thank you note-y, but doesn't ignore what's going on in her life, without feeling like a second sympathy card.
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln 

Mopsy428

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 01:05:57 PM »
Send the sympathy card first then a week later send a separate thank you card for the gift

That seems like it would leave Aunt wondering if/how the present was received.

Obviously, the sympathy card should have been sent promptly last week, but it wasn't. Now sending two separate correspondences seems a bit awkward.


Powers  &8^]
That's because she left immediately after she received the news and came home on the night of the shower. Obviously, I'm not having someone deliver flowers and a card to a house where no one is home for days on end.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 01:11:48 PM »
Two totally separate and unrelated occurrences, his funeral and your shower.

You simply write a thank you note for your gift from her and you send a sympathy card (or in your case, flowers) for the other.

This.

Yvaine

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 01:19:46 PM »
Send the sympathy card first then a week later send a separate thank you card for the gift

That seems like it would leave Aunt wondering if/how the present was received.

Obviously, the sympathy card should have been sent promptly last week, but it wasn't. Now sending two separate correspondences seems a bit awkward.


Powers  &8^]

Wow, that's rather snarky! Aunt wasn't home to receive anything last week in any case--OP has already scheduled flowers to be delivered after Aunt's return, which presumably had a message of sympathy with them, in addition to anything she sends this week.

I agree with PPs, two cards are probably the way to go.

gellchom

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2016, 03:51:59 PM »
Two totally separate and unrelated occurrences, his funeral and your shower.

You simply write a thank you note for your gift from her and you send a sympathy card (or in your case, flowers) for the other.

On the surface, I agree with this - you already sent the sympathy flowers, so now you can send the thank you note.

However, if it were me, I would still mention it. I would start with thanking her for the gift and how nice the surprise shower was and then include a sentence about how sorry you were to hear about the loss of her brother and you missed her at the shower, and then follow up with how you hope to see her at the wedding. It's still very thank you note-y, but doesn't ignore what's going on in her life, without feeling like a second sympathy card.

I agree with this.  You already sent flowers, so I wouldn't also send a card.  I assume there was a card with the flowers.

Use your own inner ear to decide whether to include a sentence about the death somewhere in your thank you note.  It's neither correct nor incorrect; indeed, I think it's always nicer to include something else, preferably about the recipient, in addition to thanks for the gift.  Whether it would be appropriate for that to be another expression of sympathy in this case only you can say.  For a horrible catastrophe like a suicide or death of a child or something, from which you know that the recipient is still absolutely reeling, I'd say no.  That's just too big for an aside in a thank you note and would feel insensitive.  If it's more of an "ordinary" loss -- and believe me, I know that there are no easy or trivial ones, but you know what I mean -- and the recipient and family are all doing fine, then maybe.  In this case, it's really hard to say -- probably more like the first situation.  I'd probably include something like mandycorn had, but tread lightly, and base your decision on what you know about how everyone is doing and your aunt's general personality; in other words, base your choice less on what is the "right" thing for you to do and more on what you think would make her feel good or bad.

kareng57

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2016, 10:21:58 PM »
Send the sympathy card first then a week later send a separate thank you card for the gift

That seems like it would leave Aunt wondering if/how the present was received.

Obviously, the sympathy card should have been sent promptly last week, but it wasn't. Now sending two separate correspondences seems a bit awkward.


Powers  &8^]

Wow, that's rather snarky! Aunt wasn't home to receive anything last week in any case--OP has already scheduled flowers to be delivered after Aunt's return, which presumably had a message of sympathy with them, in addition to anything she sends this week.

I agree with PPs, two cards are probably the way to go.

Agree, that post was terribly harsh.  I personally don't know anyone who would consider a sympathy card sent more than 1 week after a death to be improper, and of course in this instance the OP knew that the aunt would not be at home to receive mail at that time.

Two cards are good but I don't see any reason why they couldn't be combined - the OP knows her aunt better than we do.  As long as the TY note isn't terribly gushy or irrrevent I think it would be all right to convey both messages.

LtPowers

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2016, 09:05:46 AM »
I apologize; I didn't mean to be snarky. I must have missed something in the OP about the timing.


Powers  &8^]

lellah

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Re: Thank you note/Sympathy Card
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2016, 02:47:12 PM »
I would mention that I was thinking of her in the thank you note. And, since you sent flowers, wait a month or so and send another card to let her know you're still thinking about/praying for/etc her.