Friday, July 10, 2009

The Thank You Note Project

When H died, there were a ton of cards and flowers and donations to his favorite charity…it was quite overwhelming to realize how many people knew and loved him. As part of the funeral home’s *package deal*, I received an unlimited number of thank-you cards…which is kind of nice when you have a gazillion or so notes to send. (Sadly, they do not include postage in the deal…maybe that comes with the Premium Package.) Anyway, I made a sort of a routine to write at least 10 cards per night. To make things easier, I also wrote down 5 or so stock phrases to use in the various cards:

“Thank you so much for your donation in H’s memory. He would be so honored.”


“H always enjoyed working with you. He spoke so highly of you and your family”

Then I personalized the phrases as I wrote each note:

“Thank you so much for your donation in H’s memory. He would be so honored to know you were not a cheapskate after all…er, to know his volunteer work will continue to make a difference.”

“H always enjoyed working with you. He spoke so highly of you and your family and we often laughed when we visualized the stories you told of you and your wife ballroom dancing…er, I felt like I knew you as a friend as well.”

I am so bad.

While it was a huge task, it was kind of nice to have the mission each evening to get thru my minimum of 10 cards and then try to see if I could do 3 or 4 more. (That’s me, the gambling woman…) I had to put aside several sympathy cards as they had no return address and the signatures read something like “So very sorry for your loss, your H was such a great guy… The Omraoehrenrerhaehrjheka Family”. Sadly, these cards usually held money. Please people, write legibly! Use return address labels!

The last and final card I wrote was to a colleague of my brother’s. My brother happens to work with someone who is very famous. The very famous someone sent flowers to the funeral home, along with a generous donation. Do you know how hard it is to sit down and write a thank-you to Mr. FamousGuy? Oddly, the most difficult part is whether to address them by name or as Mr. Famous. After mulling it over for a few moments and then realizing Mr. Famous is about 6 years younger than me, I made the executive decision to address him by his first name.

“Dear Joe,”

“Thank you so much for the lovely flowers and generous donation in H’s memory.”

I then decided not to go all fan mail on him and simply told him how much my family appreciated the kind thoughts…

“The kind thoughts and sympathy from friends and colleagues has meant so much to my family.”

I then closed with a reminder of who I was…I was kind of worried he would be all “WalkTrotCanter???, who is this wacko, WHAT FLOWERS??”

“Thank you again, WalkTrotCanter (Sister of your co-worker, do you know who I am??? I am not a fan, just a gal sending a thank-you card...)