Senders of sympathy notes, cards, flowers, charitable donations and letters should receive a thank-you note from the recipient. If the bereaved is not up to sending a note, a close friend or relative should complete the task.

A thank-you card is typically short, hand-written and personal. It often begins by thanking the sender for the expression of sympathy, specifically mentioning the departed individual. The card should acknowledge the gesture made by the sender, such as a letter, donation or flower arrangement. Some demonstrations of condolence do not need to be individually and personally recognized, including cards without personal messages, emails or other online demonstrations of sympathy, as well as funeral home visits and service attendance.