Note: This post is presented as part of Finding Resilience, a burnout prevention program for funeral professionals. To learn more about this program and sign up for free resources, click here.
Every year since 1987, the United States Postal Service has conducted a study that examines the types of mail that U.S. households receive. In 2015, the average household only received one piece of personal correspondence (a card or letter from a person, not a business) every two weeks.
If you want to stand out and be remembered, write a note. And yes, a "thank you" or “thinking of you” email is better than nothing. But a handwritten note is a rare thing these days.
Here are some examples of people who might appreciate a handwritten note from you:
- The hospice volunteer that the family you just served couldn’t stop praising
- The mentor who helped you grow and develop as a funeral professional
- The employee who went above and beyond this past week
- The boss who was particularly understanding and compassionate
- A family you recently served
- An office staff member who handles much more than their job description suggests
- Someone who gave you something (an object, an opportunity, etc.)
- The person who invited you to an event
A few reminders about writing notes:
- Try to make it a regular habit, and it will become easier.
- Get some nice stationery and leave it out where you will see it.
- Your message doesn’t have to be long – it really is the thought that counts.
- The note doesn't have to be perfect – just write it.
If you want to make a meaningful impression, send a handwritten note to those who have helped you as a funeral professional and in your personal life. It is one of the easiest ways to demonstrate that you appreciate and care about others, and it will definitely be remembered.
Dr. Jason Troyer is a psychology professor, former counselor, grief researcher and consultant for businesses that want to better serve grieving families. He has written numerous aftercare materials, including the Finding Hope booklet series, and is a frequent presenter at funeral service professional events.
This information is not intended to replace information from a mental health or medical professional. The reader should consult an appropriate professional in matters related to his or her physical and emotional health.