Funerals are times of great emotion, whether that is rejoicing and celebrating a person’s life, or mourning their passing.
When you are asked to attend one, although you may feel very uncomfortable for a variety of reasons, it is important to go, but remember that funerals do come with their own rules of behaviour that may be very different to the way you live your life.
Down through the years customs and social standard change, or you may be attending the funeral of someone from another faith and be at a loss how to behave. Joseph A Hey & Son funeral directors have years of experience in this area and have put together a short guide so that you don’t make any embarrassing mistakes or offend anyone close to the deceased.
To Do’s For the Funeral
- Make an offer to help
It can be a very confusing time for those grieving and they make not have thought of everything. Be specific in your request to help – such as “Would you like me to drive anyone to the cemetery?” or “Shall I bring over some food?” This can help direct their thoughts and they will be glad of any assistance that you can give at the time.
- Keep it simple
If you don’t know what to say, then just keep it brief. Let the family know that you are there and that you care. If you feel like saying anything further then share a positive story about the deceased. However, don’t prattle on just for the sake of it or out of nerves and keep your story appropriate (i.e. this is probably not the time to share that the deceased danced naked around a lamppost at your birthday). Be respectful to the family.
- Put your phone away
Most of us are stuck to our smartphones in a variety of situations but at a funeral it is absolutely imperative that you switch off. This is a time to reflect. If you absolutely can’t switch it off, then put in on silent and only check it in the bathroom or somewhere very discreet. It is very disrespectful to do otherwise.
- Share happy memories
You may not know the family very well, or even the individual but a funeral is a reflection on their life. So share a happy memory or bring a photo and raise a toast with the deceased other friends. It is a time of grief but you can also foster bonds in sharing memories of their life.
- Be late – it should go without saying. Show up in plenty of time and greet the mourners.
- Don’t overdress – you don’t have to wear black but do wear something that won’t make you stand out. If the family have stated their preference then follow that.
- Don’t text or check in on social media – it’s neither the place nor the time.
Experienced Funeral Directors