Sunday, July 3, 2016

Etiquette re Responding to Condolence Notes

Here is the text of a letter sent to Philip Galanes (NYT Social Q's):

"Your July 3 column entitled, 'An Unanswered Letters,' states that, 'of course,' a sympathy note should be responded to by thank you note from the grieving recipient. I am sure I am not alone in pointing out to you that etiquette does not require any such response. For example, according to, and every other pertinent website I have checked, a thank you note is not needed for everyone who sends a sympathy card. Thank you notes should be sent to anyone that offered something beyond a simple card, but they are not required in response to a sympathy card alone. Thus, while it is always appropriate to send a thank you note if you would like, in the situation described in your column, it is not necessary - and grieving survivors certainly may not need the added pressure of writing and addressing thank you notes."

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