It can be difficult to think about what your responsibilities are when you are in the midst of a crisis, but chances are you`ll still want to respond appropriately to things like sympathy flowers and letters. When someone has taken the time to select something beautiful to send along and let you know that they`re sorry for what you`re going through, it`s always nice to acknowledge this.
Displaying Sympathy Flowers
One very nice way to make sure people know that their gift is appreciated is to display the flowers. You can do this in your home, a hospital room or even on a gravesite, depending on the situation. When the person who sent the arrangement visits, they will be pleased to see that you are using the flowers.
Keeping sympathy arrangements on display isn`t required, however, so don`t feel obligated. If you are receiving too many bouquets to keep around, you might want to simply replace them every couple of days, or ask friends and family to take some with them.
To properly acknowledge the reception of sympathy flowers, etiquette requires a note. There`s no need to get wordy, it`s quite acceptable to keep the thank you short and sweet. You can use the same note for everyone who sends flowers, so there`s no need to come up with something special for each person. People will understand that you aren`t up to writing a full letter at this point.
Thank you notes can be written on nice paper or a simple card. Thank you cards are readily available in any stationary store, all you need to do is add a short note and send it off. This can be particularly helpful for anyone who doesn’t have much time on their hands.
While the note doesn’t have to be long or detailed, be sure to address the person you are speaking to. If printing off notes on the computer, it`s only polite to sign your name afterward, to make it a little more personal.
If you are feeling quite overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start sending notes, then you might consider doing it by group. For example, you might send one note to the church, where several people have sent flowers. This note can be publicly displayed.
Keeping Track of Sympathy Flowers
To ensure that you don`t miss anyone; keep a manila envelope on hand. Each time a flower arrangement arrives, take the card or tag with the sender`s name and tuck it into the envelope. When you are ready to send out thank you cards, you can simply sort through the notes and get it all done at once.
It also helps to keep track of any addresses, so when applicable, keep the sympathy card in the envelope it came in so you won`t have to search for addresses to go with each name at a later date. It`s a good idea to assign someone close to you to look up any mailing addresses that you don`t have on hand. This frees you up to worry about more important things and relieves some of the stress. You can also ask friends to help you fill out the envelopes.
Sympathy, funeral flowers, unlike sympathy cards or notes, do indicate the need to send out a thank you. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, though. You shouldn`t have to stress over the response to sympathy at this point, when you have so many other things to focus on. So, keep it short and sweet, just a couple of lines in a thank you card, and people will know that you appreciated their thoughtfulness.