Sending a Get-Well Card or Flowers
Aim to: Send it as soon as you hear that the person is not well. If she is having surgery or some other short-term treatment, send your card after the procedure.
If you are late: Mail a card that says you've been thinking about the person, and apologize for not contacting her during the illness.
Tip: If you don't know what the person's condition is, try to contact friends or family before sending anything. If the person's health is deteriorating quickly, a get-well card might not be appropriate.
Sending a Condolence NoteAim to: Get it there within a few days of the funeral. "You don't want to drag it out for the family," says Crane's Stationery spokesman Peter Hopkins. "People need to start recovering."
If you are late: If you're late writing the note, explain that you've had difficulty expressing your feelings on paper.
Tip: Flowers are not always welcome. The family might prefer a donation to a charity in the deceased's name. (Check with the funeral home.) If donations are requested, make one within two months.