Flanner and Buchanan Celebrating all of Life’s Events


Funeral Acknowledgement Etiquette

Posted by Greg Guffin

Writing Funeral Acknowledgements is a Labor of LOVE

Your father has suddenly died. Phone calls, e-mails, cards and Facebook posts from friends, family and coworkers start pouring in. Your neighbors make your family a spaghetti dinner with fresh baked bread. Many more family and friends show up for the visitation and funeral service. It is very common for you to receive all of these forms of support even several weeks after the death has occurred.

But, how do you properly acknowledge all of these people?

At Flanner and Buchanan we believe in sending a note of thanks to everyone that has shown their support may seem like the right thing to do, but you are certainly not expected to do so.  Formal funeral acknowledgements traditionally have been reserved for those special tokens of condolence and sympathy. Some examples of formal acknowledgement may include:

  • Participants in the funeral service such as the church, clergy, musicians, speakers, and pallbearers (casket bearers)
  • Those who have sent flowers, made memorial contributions, or sent cards in remembrance
  • People or organizations that provide comfort and support such as food, errand running, house watching, child care

Normally, personal funeral acknowledgements are sent within a month after the funeral or memorial service of your loved one. While it can seem like a large task for you to send the acknowledgements out in a timely fashion, it is certainly acceptable to ask for help from family and friends.  Remember… be fair to yourself! Do a little at a time and delegate some, if needed, to family and friends.

The acknowledgement process is a visual confirmation on how respected and beloved your family is.  It can also be a therapeutic beginning to a renewed life without your loved one.

Greg GuffinAuthor - Greg Guffin is a Director of Training for Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers, a 130 year old family owned funeral business located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Greg graduated with honors from Vincennes University, where he currently serves on the Funeral Service Education Board.
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