Many of us are unsure about the exact words that might bring encouragement to a family who is grieving or how to interact and respond to their feeling of sorrow. Below are a few etiquette suggestions that may help in both a funeral or visitation setting.
unspoken etiquette rules
What Should I Say?
- Offer an expression of sympathy.
Sometimes we are at a loss for words when encountering something as final as death. Simply saying "I'm sorry for your loss" is usually enough. Be respectful and listen attentively when spoken to, and offer your own words of condolence.
What Should I Wear?
- Find out the dress code.
These days almost anything goes, but only when you know it's the right thing. In fact, sometimes the deceased has specified the dress code; 'no black' is a common request. If you can't learn the wishes of the family, then dress conservatively, and avoid bright colors.
What Should I Give?
- Give a gift.
It doesn't matter if it is flowers, a donation to a charity or a commitment of service to the family at a later date; as always, "it's the thought that counts." Make sure to provide the family with a signed card, so they know what gift was given, and by whom.
What Should I Do?
- Sign the register book.
Include not only your name, but your relationship to the deceased: co-worker, gym buddy, or casual acquaintance from the golf club. This helps family place who you are in future.
What Happens After the Funeral?
- Keep in touch.
It's sometimes awkward for you to do so, but for most people the grieving doesn't end with a funeral.
We are Here to Help
Perhaps you've got special concerns about an upcoming funeral or memorial service? We're here to provide the answers you're looking for. Call us at (509) 470-6702.