The Dos and Don’ts of Attending a Funeral

June 24, 2021 11:42 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Funerals are not a particularly enjoyable event, but everyone will attend a funeral service at some point. These events can be understandably awkward—you might not know what to say or how to behave in such an environment.

With this in mind, we’ve gathered a list of dos and don’ts to help you feel a little bit more comfortable the next time you attend a funeral service. Take a look:

  • DO share memories: Having a hard time figuring out what to say? Sharing a happy memory of the person who recently passed will never be a bad choice. Simple condolences are also more than sufficient. People have a natural tendency to want to say something, so in such a case, go with a story or a simple condolence.
  • DON’T give cliches or unhelpful platitudes: If you want to avoid irking the loved ones of the deceased, then you should absolutely never give platitudes like “he’s in a better place,” or “God needed another angel.” These can be perceived as insensitive statements, and they will almost always fail to provide any comfort to the person you’re speaking to.
  • DO feel free to give things to the family: The gesture of a gift or a sympathy card can be greatly appreciated by the family. Some people like to send flowers, while others like to make meals for the family, who will undoubtedly be overburdened by other things.
  • DON’T let children get out of hand: It’s okay to bring children to the funeral service, especially if there are extended family members who they haven’t met or seen in a long time. But it’s also important to make sure they do not get out of hand, and that you have an exit plan if they start to get fussy (this is more an issue with very young children). Try sitting close to an exit, or calling the venue in advance to ask if there are spaces you can take children to calm down if they start to get antsy or misbehave.
  • DO offer tangible assistance: If you want to assist the family of the deceased somehow, be specific with the type of assistance you can offer. Maybe it’s picking a relative up from the airport, or maybe it’s providing meals. Make sure any assistance you promise is something you can and will follow through on.
  • DON’T take photos: If you have relatives you haven’t seen in a long time, it’s understandable to want to take photos with each other. But save this for after the funeral is over, or for a different location. Definitely do not post any photos or other posts from the funeral on social media.
  • DO follow up: Follow up with the family of the deceased after the funeral to offer your further assistance and to see how they’re doing.

Looking for some more advice on how to behave at a funeral service and what you should wear or say? We encourage you to contact Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. with any questions you have about funeral etiquette.

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