When you’re grieving responding to sympathy messages might be the last thing you want to d. Luckily, most people will give you leeway when it comes to a response—they know you’ve got a lot on your mind.
But it’s never too late to send a thank you note. That’s true even if the funeral took place a while ago. But how do you thank your coworkers who supported you?
Jump ahead to these sections:
You might be close to some of them. But you might not know others that well. It can be difficult to find the right balance of gratitude and professionalism. If you’re struggling to come up with the perfect thing to say or write, we’ve got some templates for you.
Ways to Thank Coworkers for Sympathy Messages
If you don’t know your coworkers that well, you might rely on wording that sounds a little more boilerplate. Even though it might be difficult, it’s important to acknowledge their messages of support.
If it has been a while since the funeral, acknowledge the time that has passed. It might be tempting to brush it under the rug, but you shouldn’t.
If you work at a huge company or don’t know everyone well, it’s a good idea to include your full name in your note. That way, they can connect the dots between your thank-you card and the message they sent.
1. I’m so sorry for the delay in responding, but I received the sympathy card you sent after John’s passing. I appreciate you taking the time to share your condolences. Thank you so much for your support during this hard time.
2. Thank you so much for taking the time to send your condolences. It was very thoughtful, and I’m grateful to work with someone like you. Thank you for supporting me and my family during this loss.
3. Thank you for the prayers and thoughts expressed in your message. I appreciate it more than I can possibly express, and I appreciate your kindness during this time.
4. Thanks so much for taking the time to send a card and for sharing your story. I’m so sorry about your loss. Your mother sounds like she was an inspirational woman. Thanks for your kindness and support toward my family. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
5. Thanks so much for supporting me during this time. I’m so grateful for the card you sent. It was lovely and provided some much-needed comfort for me and my family. I also appreciate your offer to donate some of your vacation days. Your kindness means a lot to me, and I’m glad to work with someone like you.
6. I’ll always remember your kindness. The card you sent was so thoughtful, and the effort you put into drawing it means a lot to me. Thanks for being so generous with your time and kindness during this difficult time. My family appreciates your support.
7. Celebrating my husband’s life is so much easier with coworkers like you. I am grateful for the time you took to send a card. The note inside was very kind. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this hard time. Thanks for offering to come to the funeral to support me. I really appreciated that offer.
8. Your card provided much-needed support on a hard day. Thanks for taking the time to send such a kind card to my family. Thank you for the good thoughts and offer to bring over a meal. That sounds lovely. I’ll text you so we can make a plan. I hope you will stay and eat with us.
Ways to Thank Coworkers for Attending the Funeral
It might feel impossible to keep track of everyone who attended the funeral. Of course, the days before the service might be a blur. And you’ll be distracted and busy on the day of the service. It’s likely many people will try to attend.
But not everyone will sign the guest book or feel comfortable approaching you to offer their condolences. So you may not have any idea of who was there, particularly if it was a large service.
The best way to keep track is to include a guestbook, like this simple 'In Loving Memory' guestbook, at the service. That way, everyone can sign their names. Asking for their home address in the guestbook might be too personal, but you can ask for their email.
That will save you time when it comes to tracking down mailing addresses and the names of who attended. You'll need to pick up a pack of thank you cards, like this inexpensive pack of 48 cards, too. You can also take this route when it comes to sending thank you notes for sympathy gifts.
Below are some sample messages you could include in a thank you note.
9. Thanks so much for taking the time to attend my husband's funeral. I really appreciated your support and presence during this difficult time. And thank you for bringing flowers. The arrangement was one of my favorites. It looked lovely during the service and that bouquet is sitting on my desk now. It is a reminder of your kindness. Thank you.
10. Thanks again for coming to the funeral. I’m so glad you came. I appreciate you supporting me and my family. And thank you for bringing over that meal afterward. I didn’t feel like cooking, and it was very thoughtful of you. Your kindness means a lot to me. I’m grateful to have a friend and colleague like you.
11. I’m sorry for the delay in responding to you, but I wanted to thank you for taking the time to attend my husband’s funeral. It was and is still a devastating loss, but having good friends and colleagues around is making it a little easier. And thank you for bringing those lovely flowers. They looked beautiful during the service, and I took a few photos to remember them.
12. I really appreciate you taking the time to attend my brother’s funeral. Even though you didn’t know him, you still showed up to support me during this difficult time. My brother would have loved the memorial gift you brought. Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.
13. Your thoughtfulness really shone through during this difficult time. Thanks for attending my sister’s memorial service and for the beautiful card. My sister would have loved to meet you. Your prayers and good thoughts are making a huge difference during this tough time.
14. Thanks so much for taking me up on the invitation to attend the funeral. I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but your kind consideration for others made my day so much easier. Thanks for the lovely sympathy card you sent, too. I’m so glad to work with kind, considerate people like you.
15. Thank you for writing such a beautiful sympathy note. It’s on my kitchen mantel right now. I’m so grateful to have kind, supportive coworkers like you. Your thoughts and sympathy means a lot to me during this stressful time. I appreciate you attending the funeral, too. Having so many good friends around me made the day easier. Thanks again—you’re such a generous, kind person.
Sending Your Thanks
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during what is a difficult time. But taking some time to thank your colleagues for their support can be a good distraction. Most people recommend sending handwritten cards, but you don’t have to do that.
It might be simpler to send emails with a simple message. Then, you can email it with minor modifications to each person. That saves you a lot of time. If you’re feeling stressed already, don’t feel guilty about taking a more streamlined approach.
If you hate sending emails, you can still thank your coworkers. There are lots of touching thank you cards you can send that have messages already written. You can personalize it however you wish. If you want to spend a lot of time on it, you can write a note below the preprinted one.
If you just want to get something out don’t worry about personalizing the cards. You can sign your name, or simply sign “The Jones Family” at the bottom.
Regardless of how you decide to say thank you, try to take the time to do it. It may seem like a big project but acknowledging your colleagues and their support is important.
Looking for more help with saying thank you? Read our guide on how to thank the public for sympathy.