How to Write a Thank You Note to a Pallbearer

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Pallbearers play a significant role in the funeral process. They take the lead when families are in mourning. Pallbearers are the individuals who help carry the casket at a funeral. They’re respectful, humble, and helpful when families need it the most. 

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Because pallbearers are such a big part of the funeral service, many families write thank you notes for their service. It's customary for the family of the deceased to send these notes soon after the service. These are a symbol of the family’s gratitude and thanks. In this guide, we’ll share how to write a thank you note to a pallbearer for a funeral. 

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Step 1: Understand Funeral Etiquette

The first step is to understand funeral etiquette, especially around note writing. While each family does things their own way, knowing all the expectations eases tension and confusion after a funeral. This is already a difficult time. You shouldn’t also worry about note writing protocol. After a funeral, it’s common to send thank you notes to the following individuals:

  • Pallbearers
  • Those who deliver eulogies
  • Guests who sent sympathy notes or flowers

Funeral thank you cards do not have to be personalized or complicated. It will all depend on your budget and availability after the funeral. Nobody expects a complex, in-depth thank you when the family is grieving. In fact, you might wish for someone else to take over writing these thank you notes on your behalf. 

Once you’ve decided who to mail funeral thank you notes to, create a list. This list is often intimidating on its own, so don’t be afraid to break it down into smaller parts. Your priority should be those who directly were involved with the day, such as pallbearers. 

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Step 2: Choose Your Thank You Card

Once you understand proper note-writing etiquette, choose your thank you card. You have a few options here. You could choose a blank note card if you want to write your own message. Or, if you’re pressed for time, you can purchase pre-written cards. 

It’s a good idea to include some personalization in your thank you cards. Your pallbearers thought of you in your time of need. This is an easy way to show your thanks for their support. If you wish to personalize your cards even more, you can include custom printing, family photos, or other gifts in thanks. 

Step 3: Write Your Note

Writing a thank you note itself is often the hardest part. How do you find the words to say thank you when you’re still dealing with a loss? When in doubt, keep it short but meaningful. You don’t need to write a lengthy thank you. A one to three sentence sentiment is more than enough. 

Start by thanking the pallbearer for being a part of your loved one’s funeral. Write “Dear” followed by their name. Say thank you on behalf of the entire family. Here are some ways to say thank you:

  • Please accept the warmest thanks from the entire family for your support as a pallbearer at John’s funeral. 
  • Your presence at Suzie’s funeral was a relief to us all. Thank you for your help on such an important day. 
  • Thank you for serving as a pallbearer at Marge’s funeral. Your contribution meant the world to us. 
  • Your kindness and love supported our family during this difficult time. You’re a true friend. 

Focus on how the pall bearer's help made an impact. How was their presence a positive force on this challenging day? What did this mean for your family? Again, don’t feel pressured to write more than you need to. 

Step 4: Sign From the Whole Family

Conclude your letter with “Love” or “Sincerely.” Feel free to sign your own name or several family members’ names. Another option is to simply sign from the entire family. For example, signing the note from “The Smith family” is perfectly appropriate. 

These personal touches are what make these thank you cards so powerful. Your pallbearers want to know that your family remembers their service. Being that in your closing is a small but powerful touch. 

Step 5: Send Your Thank You Note

Now it’s time to send your thank you note. Ideally, you should send these within two weeks of the funeral. That being said, you’re experiencing a loss. Your pallbearers understand that you might need more time. It’s always better to send your thank you notes late than to not send any at all. 

It’s proper to handwrite the recipient’s address on the note. Also, avoid using a pre-printed return label if possible. You don’t need to include your own name as the return address. You could simply list the family name. 

Pallbearer Thank You Note Tips

It’s the thought that counts when it comes to writing a thank you note. There’s no such thing as the “perfect” words, so don’t get caught in the small details. Follow these tips to write a memorable, thoughtful thank you note. 

  • Use a quote: If you can’t find the words to say, turn to the masters. Using funeral quotes in your thank you note help you capture those complex feelings. 
  • Ask for help: If you’re not in a healthy place where you can write thank you notes, ask for help. You likely have friends and family who can take over this process for you.
  • Include the name of the deceased: It’s proper to include the name of the deceased in your thank you note. This lets the note itself serve as a memento for the loved one.
  • Preprinted notes: If you choose to use a pre-printed note, add your own brief message. This personalization means the world to pallbearers.
  • Pallbearer gifts: Many families also choose to include a small gift for pallbearers with their thank you notes. This could be a small gift card, family photo, or another token of thanks. 

Sample Thank You Notes to Pallbearers

Sometimes it’s best to see samples in order to think of the right things to say. Thank you notes seem simple, but they are often intimidating in practice. These sample thank you notes to pallbearers help you find the right words. 

Thank you for your support and assistance at June’s funeral. As a pallbearer, your support meant the world to our entire family. We appreciate how much commitment you had to your friend and our family in our time of need. Thank you for everything.

Your love and support at Mathew’s funeral are greatly appreciated by all of us. Thank you for your service as a pallbearer. You’re a true friend. Thank you for being with us not only in the good times but also in these difficult times. Our family will never forget your kindness. 

Thank you for your support during our family’s time of mourning for Janet. Your service as a pallbearer at her funeral put us at ease when we needed it the most. You were always one of her closest friends, and she would have appreciated your kindness. Thank you again. 

Please accept the warmest thanks from the entire Smith family. Your support at a pallbearer at Karen’s funeral made a challenging day a little bit brighter. We will not forget your kindness, support, and compassion at our time of need. Thank you. 

Thank you so much for serving as a pallbearer at Manny’s funeral. Our entire family is truly grateful to you and your love at this difficult time. Thank you for being there for the entire funeral, and for checking in with us a few days later. We will not forget your service. 

Please accept our thanks for your support as a pallbearer at Diana’s funeral. Having you there for us in our time of mourning is something we won’t ever forget. Thank you for your kindness and concern when we needed it most. You’re an amazing friend. 

Thank you for being there as we remembered Lisa. Your service as a pallbearer was the ultimate act of kindness. We will never forget your generosity. Thank you for bringing such a gorgeous wreath for her casket. Our entire family is humbled by your commitment and compassion. 

Share Your Thanks to the Pallbearers

Pallbearers physically take on a burden during the funeral of a loved one. They not only carry the casket, but they also carry the funeral service. Their support on this challenging day is unmatched. As a family, it’s up to you to thank these pallbearers for all they’ve done on this day of mourning. 

Writing a thank you note to the pallbearers at a loved one’s funeral is an easy way to give back. These individuals are selfless and kind. They help when needed the most. Follow these steps above to show your gratitude with a simple thank you note. Your thanks mean more than you think. These are the little gestures that bind us together in times of need. Write your own thank you notes with confidence and care. 

If you're looking for more help on saying thanks after a death, check out our guides on how to say 'thank you for your condolences' on Facebook and writing a thank you note to caregivers

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