Attending a funeral can be emotionally taxing, especially if you had a close relationship with the person who has passed away. While you're likely focusing on providing your support to the family in mourning, it's also important to be aware of your own behavior, and that of your family, to ensure that you respect the rules of funeral etiquette. There's nothing worse than mistakenly making a blunder that draws attention, but a little preparation ahead of time will help you avoid any potentially awkward moments. Here are three important things to learn before you attend your next funeral.
Don't Write A Message In The Guestbook
Many funeral attendees make the mistake of writing a message of sympathy in the guestbook. While this miscue is certainly well-intentioned, it can cause other attendees to make the same mistake and quickly fill up the book. A funeral guestbook is strictly a place for guests to list their names and addresses, serving as a valuable way for the grieving family to have a record of who attended so that the family may send thank-you notes in the future. Written messages of sympathy are best left for greeting cards and emails sent to the family's home.
Don't Overstay Your Welcome
The appropriate amount of time to spend at a funeral is largely at your discretion, but your attendance at funeral-related events doesn't need to be as long as you might think. At a visitation, for example, it's often acceptable to remain for just 15 minutes. While there's no set timeframe for staying at a funeral, given that every service has a different length and structure, keep in mind that shorter is often better. Once you've offered your condolences and spoken to some other attendees, you shouldn't feel obligated to remain.
Don't Say The Wrong Thing
Many people make the mistake of saying the wrong thing when they're struggling to find the right words to offer the grieving family. While often said with the best of intentions, such sentiments can seem insensitive and downright rude. Be wary of saying things such as the family's loved one is in a better place or that the family's grief will lessen in the weeks ahead. Likewise, saying that you know what the family is going through isn't appropriate, given that you can't read the family's mind. It's better to keep your interactions to relaying your sympathy and sharing a happy or poignant memory of the person who has passed away.
For more information about attending a funeral, contact a company like Brinsfield-Echols Funeral Home.Share