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Funerary etiquette

Show your support

Funerals are a very difficult time. You want to show your sympathy and support the family, but sometimes it can be difficult to express your feelings appropriately. Here are some tips to help you.

Start by visiting the family at the funeral home. You will not take them by surprise because this is where they expect to receive the condolences of friends and colleagues of the deceased. It is not important to stay long, what matters is showing the bereaved family that they are not alone. Your presence, warm gestures and words of comfort help a lot.

The way to express your sympathies varies a lot and it can include a handshake, hugging, or offering words of comfort such as:

  • “I am sorry.”
  • “Marie was a very good friend, I will miss her.”
  • “Please accept my condolences.”
  • “I’m happy to have known Marie.”
  • “Let me know if I can do anything to help you.”
  • Or simply, share a memory.

Sometimes it is not possible to attend the visitation. Here are other ways to show your sympathy and support:

  • Email
  • Food for the family
  • Flowers
  • Commemorative gifts
  • Mass cards
  • Phone calls

There are many ways to show people that you are there for them in this difficult time. Mourning is a personal journey, but the grieving person appreciates knowing that someone is thinking about them. Simple gestures of love and affection help a lot.