From My Bookmarks

1st February 2012

How to Write a Thank You Note, by Leslie Harpold
“I’m not going to go all Miss Manners on your ass and get into the social intricacies and delicate situations that surround thank-you note writing, as I was taught that a solid thank-you note will transcend all complicated situations—and I have seen no evidence to the contrary.”

How to Give a Eulogy by Tom Chiarella
“You were selected. You get to stand, face the group, the family, the world, and add it up. You’re being asked to do something at the very moment when nothing can be done. You get the last word in the attempt to define the outlines of a life. I don’t care what you say, bub: That is a gift.”

15 thoughts on “From My Bookmarks

  1. Jennifer

    Several years ago I abbreviated the Thank You instructions so that my daughters could use them as a guide when they write their notes. I’m proud to say that my girls have a reputation for delivering thoughtful and timely notes of gratitude. Thank you, Leslie, for that gift.

  2. Nora

    The day after my grandmother’s funeral, my mother and her sisters sat down to write thank-you notes to everyone who’d come or called or sent flowers or notes. After much discussion about how impossible these notes are to write, I remembered Leslie’s instructions and pulled them up on my computer. Suddenly, everything was so much easier. And for two hours, a group of adult siblings and their children sat around the table not bossing, not fighting, not (overly) sad, but just having a good time and being thankful. A bona-fide miracle. :)

  3. Katie

    I ghost-wrote a eulogy for a friend of my brother’s who could quite find the right words and was afraid of wrecking the funeral by being inarticulate. I didn’t know anything of the deceased and worked off some notes he gave me but I was so honored to help him in what was a very difficult time. And it’s true, its one of the hardest things to write but they are so important that I don’t think I’ve put more effort into anything on paper before or since.

  4. Leah

    That thank you piece has saved my life time and time again. I wish Leslie were around to appreciate the upcoming fact. After my wedding, I finished ALL my thank you notes for gifts received within a week and a half of my wedding. Yes. And then, as I received later gifts, I sent those thank you notes out immediately. Knowing how to write a thank you note should be taught in every single high school and college.

  5. my honest answer

    Thanks so much for the article by Leslie – excellent, solid advice.

    I received a question from a reader after Christmas who had received a thank you note and had ‘never heard of it’. They seemed genuinely shocked to have been sent it. I was shocked that they were shocked. I’m glad we’re all on the same mission to make the world more gracious though.

  6. Rebecca

    Whatever is going on in your world that requires knowing how to write a eulogy and thank you notes, I hope you and Hank and your family are doing okay.

  7. Megan

    Thank you for reminding me about the thank-you article and Leslie, who I only knew through her advent calendar and this article.

  8. Susanne

    I’ve used that Morning News site for years and shared it with friends. I think I first visited it in 2002. (Geez. I feel old.)

    My husband I say that one of the markers of adulthood is the ability to give a toast. I think we should add the ability to write a gracious thank you note and deliver a eulogy to the list.

    I’m a big admirer of Tom Chiarella. Love his work in Esquire.

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