Follow-Up Templates: Funeral

Three follow-up email templates to be sent 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months after a funeral.

1 Month

Dear (Name of family),

Grief can often be a scary and isolating experience, but please know that you are not alone. We at (enter parish name) are praying for you and your family. 

By now, you or your family members may have had thoughts like, “will the pain ever end?” or “are we going crazy?” or “how will we go on?”  Those sorts of questions are totally normal and are a part of healthy grieving.  So, we want to remind you and your family, today, that the pain will lessen, you are not going crazy, and you will make it through. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, no right or wrong timeline for when it’s supposed to be over. Wherever you are at right now is normal.

If you are feeling disoriented with grief, one of our priests or staff members would be happy to meet and talk with you, or one of our ministry care members can give you a call. Is there a time this week or next that works for you? Maybe it is one of your family members who needs some extra support. If so, let us know and we would be happy to set up a call with them as well. We understand that grief is uniquely personal and different for everyone, but you and your family do not have to bear it on your own.

Whatever your situation, you are always welcome to stop by to set up a meeting, say a prayer with a staff member, or sit and pray on your own in the church. We also have a number of resources available to help you during this time. We hope that you find peace and healing, and again, you are in our prayers.

Sincerely,

(Name of Priest/Pastor)

6 Months

Dear (Family name),

It may seem like yesterday, but it’s already been 6 months since the passing of your loved one. Time has a funny way of slowing down after the loss of someone we love, but hold on to hope and the word of Christ: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)

Life around you may be starting to return to a new kind of normal, but it still isn’t the same. There are times that seem to reopen the grief, whether it is going through important holidays, anniversaries, or birthdays without (name of loved one) for the first time. It can be incredibly difficult and disorienting. But whether you’re experiencing sadness, anger, or not feeling much at all, it’s okay. Again, everyone experiences grief in their own way, but we also want to reassure you that you are not alone.

(name of Parish) is here. Fr. (enter name of Priest), as well as a number of ministry care members, would love to pray with you, to listen to you, to encourage you. If you haven’t already been in touch, is there a time we can schedule a call or a meeting?

As always, whether it is for prayer, a conversation, a resource, you are always welcome to visit us and we will share God’s grace, encouragement, prayer and support.

We are praying for you.

In Christ,

(Name of Priest/Pastor)

12 Months

Dear (Name of family),

Can you believe that it’s been a year since we said goodbye to (name of deceased)?  Today we, at the parish, are saying a prayer for them again, and for you, and for your family.

By now, you may have heard it all, about how you should feel, how you should be moving on, about how your life should be.  Sometimes, even the best intentioned friends and family can leave us feeling like something is fundamentally wrong with us.  Today, we just wanted to drop a note to remind you that:  there’s no right or wrong way to grieve, there’s no right or wrong timeline to the journey, and if you need a helping hand we are here for you. The journey takes time. Through faith, patience, and honesty, you will make it!

If you or one of your loved ones are struggling with the grief, or feel overwhelmed, we would love to schedule a meeting or a call with you. Are you available this week or next? Whenever you are ready, our ministry care team is here to provide support and resources, and Fr. (enter name of Priest) is available to talk.

Wherever you are at in your journey, you do not need to walk alone. All of us here at (name of Parish), are here for you and praying for you.

God bless,

(Name of Priest/Pastor)