How should I respond to gifts of condolence that I or my family receives?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,830
    Etiquette Expert Nancy Mitchell discusses how you should respond to gifts of condolence that you or you’re family receives.

    Nancy Mitchell

    Nancy R. Mitchell is an established protocol and etiquette consultant and advisor with more than 30 years of experience in the field. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University, where she developed and teaches protocol courses to Event Management Certificate Program students in the School of Business and Public Management, and at Stratford University, Falls Church, VA. She serves also as protocol and special events consultant to the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and cultural center. For 23 years, Mitchell was Director of Special Events and Public Programs at the Library of Congress where she and her staff were responsible for planning and managing over 400 events each year. She coordinated the institution’s major special events, visits of heads of state and other foreign dignitaries, fundraising galas, conferences and meetings. As the Library’s chief protocol advisor, she served as liaison to the White House, U.S Department of State, the Congress, the Supreme Court and other government agencies, foreign embassies, academia and corporations. Mitchell owns The Etiquette Advocate, Inc., a firm providing etiquette and protocol training to corporations, universities, embassies, government agencies, non-profit organizations and individuals. She is the etiquette consultant to Engaged! magazine, has been featured on Good Morning America, Fox 5 News, WTOP Radio and National Public Radio, and is quoted on matters of etiquette and protocol by the New York Times, Washington Business Journal, and the Washington Post. She is a co-owner of the firm, Protocol Partners-Washington Center for Protocol, Inc., and is a member of the Protocol and Diplomacy International Protocol Officers Association and the Women Business Owners of Montgomery Country (MD).

    Host: How should I respond to gifts of condolence that I or my family receives?

    Nancy Mitchell: The most traditional method of course, is to write a thank you note and you are given some time to get those into the mail. Obviously, this is a difficult time in your life and the life of other family members. So, don t worry about a deadline for your thank you notes. You do want to send a thank you note for each funeral arrangement you receive or planned or gesture like a meal brought and a neighbor who has helped you. Perhaps your next arrangement has put people up in their home when you have had out-of-town visitors come for a funeral or for a memorial service.

    Each time there is been a gesture of friendship or a gift, you need to write a thank you note. You do not need to write a thank you note for every single card you receive, but if you feel as if you can or the card came from someone who is very close to you, is very important to you then you may want to send a note that says thank you for your thoughts.