Thank you card etiquette

My 9 year old son died a couple weeks ago. Due to the circumstances, there has been an outpouring of sympathy. Everyone has been great and I have a great support system.

We got LOTS of cards from all over the place. Most of the cards had very generous gifts in them, for which I am very thankful for. I plan to send everyone who sent money, flowers or food a thank you card to express my deep gratitude.

Some of those cards were from large groups of people. How do I thank these people?

For instance, do I write a thank you card for each of my coworkers? I don’t know exactly who contributed and there are close to 200 people in my office.

Do I just send one to the VP? Should I post it outside my cube? On the bathroom doors?

Also, the small group of people that I work most closely with also sent a flower arrangement and money. I thanked them verbally during a meeting. Is that enough?

The offshore company that my company hired also sent a huge flower arrangement. Who do I send the card to?

A group of people that I ride the train with everyday collected a lot of cash and put it in a card. How do I thank them?

I realize that under the circumstances a lot of people probably don’t care if they get a thank you or not. But it really touched me that these people went through so much trouble for my family to try to help out during one of the darkest times in our lives.

Oh my god, my condolences.

As to your question, I say you do NOT need to send thank you cards to all of these people. However, since you want to, and if it will help you, feel free.

For the small group of people who work with you closely, I’d recommend bringing in donuts or bagels or something one day, if you can swing it.

For the entire office, you can send one to the VP, or you can also send out a mass e-mail, or even just tell the VP to relay your thanks.

The people on your train, just make a mental note to pay it forwards - next time something happens in one of their families, be as generous as you can.

The offshore company, write the card to “My friends at _____”.

Other people may have better suggestions. Hopefully that will get you started.

Stand up on the train some morning, clear your throat loudly, and thank them.

In general, a gift that came from a group can be acknowledged with a thank you addressed to the group. Post a thank you note to your company in the break room, or something like that.

My condolences on your loss.


I’m so very sorry for your loss, although I’m glad to hear you have a support system coming together for you.

Around our office, mass-signed condolence cards generally receive a single thank-you card addressed to the entire department/company/etc. who sent the card. Sweet jeebus, you have enough on your mind - you don’t need to even consider sending two hundred individually-written thank-yous!

Anaamika has given good thoughtful practical responses. I don’t have any suggestions that would be any better. I just wanted to say you have my very deepest sympathy.

I don’t imagine that any of the people you listed have any expectations regarding being thanked.

Oh, good heavens. I’m so sorry. You have my deepest sympathies.

I agree that Anaamika has covered it well, and that while people would certainly be glad to know that their support was helpful to you, they are most likely not expecting thanks of any kind.