Caregivers, doctors, and hospice staff are those who are there when people need them most. They selflessly care for others, expecting nothing in return. If you had a loved one in the hospital or hospice care, it’s a kind gesture to give a thank you note.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- 1. Be Personal and Specific
- 2. Share Your Feelings
- 3. Invite Them to the Funeral
- 4. Restate Your Gratitude
- 5. Sign Your Card
- 6. Include a Small Token of Kindness
Dealing with the passing of a loved one is always hard. Knowing that your loved one was taken care of in their final moments is a huge comfort. In this guide, we’ll share how to write a thank you note to a caregiver, doctor, or hospital staff after the passing of a loved one. Give a bit of kindness to those who give their all.
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1. Be Personal and Specific
These caregivers and hospital professionals work with a lot of patients. To make sure they know who you are and what you’re talking about, be specific. If you’re not sure what to write, just get started. The words flow more naturally when you put pen to paper than they do in planning.
To start, use a personal greeting. Address your recipient by name. If you’re referring to an entire staff with your note, address your note to the specific department or team. Using “Dear [name]” is appropriate.
Next, clearly state why you’re thankful. Remember, these professionals work with a lot of people. Be clear about what really impacted you or your loved one. For some inspiration, look to these examples below:
- “Thank you so much for being there with my grandmother, Adrianne, for the final month of her life.”
- “Thank you for going out of your way to make my family feel comfortable during each visit to the hospice wing.”
- “I would like to personally thank you for your kindness when helping my father through his final treatment.”
2. Share Your Feelings
These professionals rarely receive the thanks they deserve. Take this opportunity to truly share your feelings on their work. These are the people who make all the difference in the lives of so many. What difference did they make for you and your loved ones specifically?
Because this is a note, keep it brief. If you’re not sure how to get the words right, talk about a specific experience. Here are some examples of how to share your feelings about this topic:
- “Knowing that my grandmother was cared for in her final moments has given me much-needed peace about her passing.”
- “You made my uncle, Joseph, your top priority. This made my family feel heard in this difficult time.”
“If it weren’t for your medical recommendations, my father would have spent his last days in pain. Your care for his well-being was a relief.”
3. Invite Them to the Funeral
Though not required, it’s common to invite close doctors or hospice staff to the funeral after the passing. These people often become very close to the person depending on the level of care needed. They might have their own feelings about the passing, and they might also need condolences.
Inviting the care worker or health professional to the funeral for your loved one is a kind gesture. This is another opportunity to include them in your family’s funeral traditions. These workers need their own support in times of grief.
Again, this isn’t required if your family is having a close-knit ceremony. However, if you do choose to invite this individual, here are some examples of how to word the invite:
- “On behalf of my entire family, we would like to invite you to my father’s funeral. The invitation is included with more information.”
- “Your presence is welcome at our in-home memorial service on the 7th of December.”
- “If you’d like to join us in celebrating Judith’s life, our family is hosting a funeral service this week.”
4. Restate Your Gratitude
There’s no such thing as too much gratitude. Close your thank you card with an additional declaration of your sincere appreciation. Show them how much their efforts matter. Your words will mean the world to them. Not only will this help them remember their impact on your family, but it encourages them to offer this same service to others.
Thank them for all they do. Make sure they feel seen and heard. It’s easy for these professionals to feel overlooked, especially behind-the-scenes workers. Showing your gratitude is its own form of emotional currency. Here are some ways to state your gratitude at the conclusion of your letter:
- “Thank you for your dedication to your work and your patients.”
- “I’m so proud that you were on my father’s care team at the end of his life.”
- “I’m so grateful for your compassion and kindness.”
5. Sign Your Card
Make sure you sign your care and leave any other personal identifiers. Again, these professionals have a lot of patients and might need some reminder of who you are. Including your relationship to his or her patient is a big help.
Sign your card with a phrase like “sincerely,” “yours truly,” or “kindly.” This personal touch is the perfect way to end your thank you note.
6. Include a Small Token of Kindness
Finally, you might also choose to include a small token of gratitude. After the passing of a loved one, it’s reasonable to reflect on your own life and impact. Making the most of the time you have is a critical way to honor those you love.
Your loved ones might not have had the opportunity to thank those who were there for them in their final moments. They might not have said “thank you” to the healthcare workers, hospice staff, and so on. As a family member, you have the chance to repay this kindness, even if it’s only in a small way.
While it’s not usually appropriate to give a large thank you gift, there are some small things that you might choose to give with your thank you card. While your card itself is powerful on its own, consider including any of the following as well:
- Flowers — Delivering flowers to the nursing home or hospital is a friendly reminder that you’re thinking of them.
- Funeral thank you card — If the recipient attends the funeral, make sure you include them in your funeral thank you cards.
- Notify management — Facilities and hospitals love to hear shining reviews of their staff. Taking a moment to let the professional's manager know just how wonderful they are is a lovely way to say thank you.
- Food — Delivering handmade or catered food is always welcome. Sweets like cookies or a catered meal bring comfort to those who comfort others.
- Coffee — Finally, treat caretakers and health professionals to a cup of joe. A coffee gift card is a small token of thanks.
When bringing food or gifts, consider the different shifts. All hospitals, hospices, and nursing facilities have multiple shifts to care for patients. Make sure there’s enough to go around for all shifts to say thank you.
Offer Your Thanks
Caregivers, doctors, and hospice staff all work hard to make others comfortable. When those we love are nearing the end of their lives, it is these people who make all the difference. Writing a thank you note to these individuals or an entire staff brings peace after the death of a loved one.
We don’t always get the chance to say thanks to those who impact us. Taking a few minutes to write a kind, genuine thank you note is a fantastic way to honor those who dedicate their lives to others. These hard workers don’t always get the notice they deserve. They offer sympathy messages when we need them most. They’re at our loved one’s bedside in the middle of the night. They do it all and expect nothing in the world.
Your words about their dedication and service mean everything to these professionals. Honor the passing of your loved one by doing something nice for those who were always there for them.