Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => The Ehell Guide to Never Behaving Badly => Topic started by: FoxPaws on February 23, 2011, 06:00:37 PM

Title: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: FoxPaws on February 23, 2011, 06:00:37 PM
The other thread for this seems to be specific to a particular event, so I thought I'd start a new one that was more general. Mods, if this is inappropriate, please delete.

For the Bereaved:
- No matter how tempting it is, resist the urge to use the funeral, obituary, or eulogy to air the deceased’s dirty laundry, settle old scores, or have the last word. Even if you are absolutely in the right on all counts, you'll still end up looking petty and mean spirited.

- Remember that shock, grief, and exhaustion have a huge impact on perceptions and emotions. Be generous with the benefit of the doubt until the situation has settled somewhat and you can be objective.

- Allow other members of the deceased’s family and friends to grieve in their own way without judgment. Work, exercise, humor, and even socializing are coping mechanisms just as valid as crying and praying. If going into the office, or out for a round of drinks, or hitting the gym gives someone the strength they need to remain functional, it's not for anyone else to decide or comment on whether it's proper or not.

For Those Supporting and/or Consoling the Bereaved:
- Keep expressions of condolence brief – "I'm so sorry for your loss,” is perfect. Trying to say more than that is usually what lands people in eHell.

- Please consider making a charitable donation in lieu of flowers if the family requests it. Plants and flowers have to be dealt with and/or disposed of after the funeral – if the loved ones are from out of town, have allergies or health issues, or just don't have green thumbs, giving them something else that has to be taken care of can be more burdensome than comforting.

- Sending or bringing food is a time honored tradition, but please make sure that it is welcome before doing so. Be especially aware of any dietary needs or restrictions, such as vegetarian or keeping kosher. Again, if most of the family is only in town for the funeral, it may be more of a hindrance than a help to have mountains of food to deal with before they can leave.

- Don't bother the family with mundane details if you can help it. Call the funeral home or house of worship for directions, service times, dress code, or any other information you might need. If you are coming from out of town, make sure those numbers are programmed into your phone.

Edited to fix grammatical glitches.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: camlan on February 23, 2011, 10:11:49 PM

- Remember that shock, grief, and exhaustion have a huge impact on perceptions and emotions. Be generous with the benefit of the doubt until the situation has settled somewhat and you can be objective.


This goes for those supporting the bereaved, as well. People suffering from a loss are usually doing the best they can. Catty comments about the choice of coffin, or the hymns sung at the funeral, or what the widow is wearing are just mean.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Anyanka on February 23, 2011, 10:49:14 PM
Funerals should celebrate the person. laughter can be approriate even in the funeral service.

Use the terms that the family use. Our family hates the terms " lost" and "taken from us". Others may prefer them to "died".


eta
No matter how devote your beliefs, exclaiming if the deceased/family of the deceased had been a better X, then they would not have died/suffered so much.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Tia on March 09, 2011, 01:37:46 PM
Very nice list. I love that you mentioned grieving in your own way. it seems each passing I see there is always one who needs to "escape" all together until the stress has passed, and that poor soul always gets the blunt end of the criticism making it much worse than just a loss.

I would add that you not assume religion and keep your own "prayers" and such free from conversation unless it is clearly a particular denomination.

Past funeral etiquette, I like to wait a few weeks to offer gifts or a visit. Often people who loose experience a huge burst of support and food and then the dust settles and they are left alone by the end of the week. I like to be present as a gateway into a new normalcy without that person.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Mopsy428 on March 14, 2011, 08:35:27 PM
Some of these are corollaries to what others have said:

-Do not say to the mourners, "Well, if [deceased] hadn't done X, Y, or Z, (s)he would be alive". While that may be true, the mourners do not want to hear it, and it really serves no purpose.

-Do not say, "It was for the best" because at the moment, the mourners are probably thinking that it either wasn't for the best and/or it would have been "best" if the deceased had not become sick/had an accident.

-Please do not tell the grieving that it should be easier to "get over" an older person's death.

-Please do not tell parents who have just lost an infant that they can "have more children". It is their CHILD, not a computer. You can't replace a child.

-Cell phone use: TURN THEM OFF for calling hours or at the funeral. If you do not know how to use your cell phone, please keep it at home until you know how.

-Do not berate someone for taking all of their bereavement time allocated to him/her.

-Please be mindful of the rules of religious services. Do not talk during the service; take your child outside or to the "cry room" if (s)he is misbehaving, etc., etc.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Reader on March 17, 2011, 11:54:52 AM
Can I add the following?

Please do not attend the funeral if you do not have a good history with the bereaved at all.

I was 16 when my mother passed.  At my mother's funeral a girl that had bullied me heavily through out middle school and into high school to a lesser degree, decided to attend and act like she was my good friend.  I never said anything to her, mainly because I think I was still in shock from my mom passing.  But I also remember being very angry with her for showing up and wondering what she was doing there, which interrupted me during my time of grieving.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Mopsy428 on March 29, 2011, 09:55:11 PM
Another thing: when someone you know has lost someone, do not immediately ask about how X relative is doing and completely ignore their feelings.

I'm saying the above badly, but here are a couple of examples:

When my maternal grandmother died, I had teachers who would say, "I heard about your grandmother! How is your mother doing? Is she OK?" Some teachers would completely forget to ask me how I was doing. I thought this was really odd. I mean, yes, ask about my mother; I don't mind that, but I did actually have a relationship with my grandmother and am sad, too.

When my paternal grandfather died, I had the same thing from people, except it wasn't just limited to teachers. I finally said to one person, "Dad's doing as well as can be expected. I am doing OK, too, considering I was the one who called 911 when he had his heart attack."  :-\
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Bellantara on March 29, 2011, 10:03:48 PM
Please do not lean on the deceased's casket, on his folded flag, while talking to other people.  >:( :o >:(  Goes double if you're a relative by marriage who's been out of the family for 30+ years. (Why yes, this did happen at my grandfather's funeral. I was too stunned to say anything.)
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: SamiHami on March 31, 2011, 07:23:04 AM
Oh, and in the case of a suicide, don't run around at the funeral saying "I knew he would do it.  I knew it!"
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: FoxPaws on March 31, 2011, 08:40:10 AM
Oh, and in the case of a suicide, don't run around at the funeral saying "I knew he would do it.  I knew it!"
- And don't press for details that the family has not volunteered, such as how it was done, who found the body, whether there was a note, etc. It is beyond cruel to ask people to recount the worst experience of their lives just to satisfy someone else's morbid curiosity. This is true of any death, whether suicide, accident, or illness. If the family isn't sharing, consider the subject closed.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Anyanka on March 31, 2011, 11:12:48 PM
Oh, and in the case of a suicide, don't run around at the funeral saying "I knew he would do it.  I knew it!"
- And don't press for details that the family has not volunteered, such as how it was done, who found the body, whether there was a note, etc. It is beyond cruel to ask people to recount the worst experience of their lives just to satisfy someone else's morbid curiosity. This is true of any death, whether suicide, accident, or illness. If the family isn't sharing, consider the subject closed.

Pod to the power of infinity. That's just tacky beyond belief...
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: cabbagegirl28 on April 02, 2011, 01:27:37 AM
Oh, and in the case of a suicide, don't run around at the funeral saying "I knew he would do it.  I knew it!"
- And don't press for details that the family has not volunteered, such as how it was done, who found the body, whether there was a note, etc. It is beyond cruel to ask people to recount the worst experience of their lives just to satisfy someone else's morbid curiosity. This is true of any death, whether suicide, accident, or illness. If the family isn't sharing, consider the subject closed.

Pod to the power of infinity. That's just tacky beyond belief...

So much pod. In the case of suicide, they might be blaming themselves for the death, especially if that person found the body. Not cool to do that.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: violinp on April 03, 2011, 07:28:34 PM
Re consoling the bereaved: Don't come up to them and hug them, especially if you've only met the person once before and don't know about their space issues. This happened to me when Grandma died. Her action was meant well, but it freaked me out.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Black Delphinium on April 03, 2011, 07:50:50 PM
-Unless there is a truly pressing reason(jury duty, medical emergency, funeral phobia, etc) don't skip the service and just come by for the food.

-Respect a person's wishes of whether or not they want to touch/kiss/look at the deceased. Forcing anyone(especially little kids) past their comfort zone is not nice.

-Respect that some people seriously do have funeral/death phobias and they might not be able to be there when the time comes for the funeral.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: DCZinger on April 03, 2011, 08:34:53 PM
Please tend to any children you bring to the funeral.   That means keeping an eye on them so they are not running around the visitation area, and are not dismantling some of the flower arrangements.    If you do not think your children can behave....DON'T BRING THEM!     

If you are going to have a conversation, please do it where your back is not to the deceased.    There is plenty of room to sit and catch up....right in front of the casket is not the place.

Try not to discuss how good the deceased looks, or how the deceased doesn't look like he/she did when they were alive.

If you are planning a funeral with siblings....remember that it isn't all about you and what you did or didn't do for your deceased parent.   All of your siblings lost a parent...respect each other's view and honor your parent's wishes by planning it civilly and without rancor.

Don't ask your surviving parent what she/he is going to do with the leftover insurance money.   Anything that happens to be left over belongs to your surviving parent...and is theirs to do with as they see fit.    Just be thankful that your parent had a policy that covered the final arrangements and didn't stick you with the bill. 

Ditto about moving in with your surviving parent or asking for any of the deceased possessions.   If Mom (or Dad ) wants you to have Dad's (or Mom's car, jewelry, money, house, etc.) they will let you know in good time if at all. 
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Danismom on April 07, 2011, 09:29:54 PM
If you are decently close to the bereaved, don't say "call me if you need anything".  The truth is, most people in intense grief have no idea what they might need.  Instead, offer kindly to take care of specific things for them (Would it help if I took care of the snow clearing this week?  I know you have a lot to deal with. )
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: girlysprite on June 03, 2011, 06:34:15 AM
Some specific ideas, based on my own personal experiences (the death of my sister) and stories I heard (from my mother who is a pastor):

The after funeral time (coffee, cake, you know) is often overwhelming for the main grievers. Especially when younger people died, a lot of people show up, all of them want to offer condolences and talk. So here a few pointers for that specific time:

1: After the funeral/service there is often a chance to offer condolences to the bereaved. if you want to say something that takes longer then about 2 sentences, wait for another time. This is for multiple reasons: First of all, more people are bound to want to express their condolences. Two: The family is often still in a haze and a lot of people is just overwhelming. Chances are they won't process your story.
2: If you want to do something nice for them, offer to get them something to eat or drink. With people lining up to offer condolences, the bereaved sometimes just don't get a chance to look after themselves. I knew when I was in that position, I was intercepted every time I wanted to walk towards the coffee table. I'm forver grateful to my friend who offered to fetch something for me.
3: A lot of people don't really know what to say, and start making promises that they'll call them, offer a lunch date, etcetera. If you make such promises, act upon them. You have no idea how many people say that they will call, and are never heard from again.


General etiquette around dead people:
1: Don't ask how someone died. if the family wants to share, they will do it without being asked to.
2: When someone has committed suicide, don't try lines like 'It was his/her own choice', 'He/she is in a better place now', etc. You get the gist. Not only doesn't it lift any of the grief, but a lot of people realize that suicide isn't always a person's own conscious choice. Sometimes people die during a attack of psychosis, or something similar. Sometimes people are not themselves when they commit suicide. Hinting at that it might be better like this, or the person wanted it, is making it very much worse, because it might not be true.
3: If you want to do something that will be appreciated, write and call after the funeral has passed, and in the weeks, months and years after. It is nice that when life seems to take its course again, to receive a little reminder that people have not forgoten about the dead person, and haven't forgotten the (often invisible) grief of those close to that person.
4: When offering help, make sure you do it in a time that the person is not occupied with other things - make sure they have some time to process it. Try to offer tangible help. Not like 'when you need me, call me'. While this is nice, it is rarely acted upon. A few things that might work to offer: Offer to do groceries, cook, bring food, or help with other household tasks. Offer to come over to just listen, or look at pictures, read stories.
5: Don't avoid the topic of the deceased. People often want to share stories and talk about their grief. Don't beandip.
6: When a bereaved cries, offer a shoulder, some tissues....but don't try to soothe it or make the crying stop. Don't try to make the bereaved 'feel better'. Just let them cry for as long as they need to.


Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Hollanda on June 03, 2011, 06:45:51 AM
If you are decently close to the bereaved, don't say "call me if you need anything".  The truth is, most people in intense grief have no idea what they might need.  Instead, offer kindly to take care of specific things for them (Would it help if I took care of the snow clearing this week?  I know you have a lot to deal with. )

ITA. This is especially important at funerals, when emotions are running high and the bereaced may well still be such a state of shock that they won't know what they need, and even when they do, they may feel ultra awkward asking anyone for a favour. 

Also, it is awkward when you know someone is grieving, and it may be difficult to know what precisely to say to them. But please, for the love of Deity, don't assume that the grieving person wants their own space all the time, just because you are uncomfortable (either at the funeral or afterwards!). A polite "Hi, I am so sorry to hear about your loss" will usually be enough, along with a sympathy card if you know the bereaved person well enough.

On the other hand, forcing your own life stories to the bereaved person is not cool either. I have actually heard a "friend" of mine say, at a funeral, "Oh, you poor thing...last year my Uncle died, and I don't know how we got over it. He died suddenly, of heart failure, you see, he was fine one minute and then...boom! You never know when your time is up, do you?"  :o I stared at my rude but well meaning "friend", whilst my bereaved friend shook her head, said "I suppose you don't, now if you'll just excuse me one moment..." and walked away. I don't think I could have done that!!! I know she was well-intended,and her mouth ran away with her in the heat of the moment...but you know when you get that voice in your head saying "SHUT UP! DON'T SPEAK ANY MORE!", you really ought to listen to it!  ::)
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: violinp on May 16, 2012, 10:56:58 PM
Dear certain people at a funeral tonight:

I understand everyone grieves in different ways. However, gossiping about other people's romantic lives and discussing a ballgame play - by - play in a not - very quiet voice, and laughing about said topics, even when the other people started quieting down for the service, is not ever appropriate in the room where the bereaved are greeting other attendees of the funeral and the service is being held. Other people want to be left alone with their thoughts and preparing themselves mentally for the funeral, and don't want to have interruptions like that. If you must have that conversation, take it to another room. I hope the family of the deceased were too involved in accepting sympathy and saying goodbye to their loved one to notice your rudeness.

Note to Self: You are not a horrible, evil person for not greeting the bereaved in the sanctuary because you don't want to see the dead body. That is a perfectly normal reaction, and no one judges you. Stop beating yourself up.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Anyanka on May 17, 2012, 10:48:04 PM
If you are planning the funeral for your step-parent, please make sure his/her biological children are in a position to attend, especially when they live abroad.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on May 21, 2012, 02:11:21 PM
An add on to the "everyone grieves in their own way": If someone loses their spouse after years of illness, then meets someone else within a year of their late spouse's death, don't judge.  You don't know what they and their late spouse might have talked about before he/she passed.   And finding someone else so soon does not mean anything about the relationship.

One of my aunts passed away last year, and from what I learned from my other aunts, they'd been together since they were 18, and she was 54 when she passed.   And he loved her a great deal, devoted all the free time he had outside of work to taking care of her.  About 4 months later, he went on a cruise and met someone else and by November, they were dating.   Interestingly, she bears quite a resemblance to my late aunt.  I haven't met her in person, but I friended her on FB and she seems nice and the two look very happy together and I'm happy for him. :)
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: kitty_ev on June 04, 2012, 08:05:50 PM
From being on the receiving end of a comment of this nature, don't assume someone's faith is helping them when they're grieving. It may be true for a lot of people, but it's not the case for many as well. The death of someone can shake someone's faith to the core and assumptions like this might not help them.

Food gifts can be exceedingly helpful during bereavements- particularly those that can be frozen and reheated later. When my brother-in-law died suddenly, the neighbours and parishioners of my in-laws (both vicars) very kindly brought around several cottage pies. They were a real help in a very stressful, upsetting situation.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: portabella on July 16, 2012, 04:58:51 PM
Don’t use the funeral as an opportunity to see/talk to an old flame (whether s/he is single or not).

Don’t use the funeral as the opportunity to chastise another family member – about anything.

I know of cases where both of the above have happened.  Incredible.  Just boggles the mind.   ::)
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: turnip on July 16, 2012, 05:12:51 PM
Funerals should celebrate the person. laughter can be appropriate even in the funeral service.


I'd be cautious declaring that funerals 'should' be anything.   For some they are celebrations of a loved one.   For some they are times of deep sadness over a loss that will never stop hurting.  The feelings of a mourner should be respected, and no one should ever be criticized for being too joyous(*) or too sad.

( *Assuming, of course, the joy isn't because 'finally that old (b) is dead!" )
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on July 17, 2012, 02:34:51 AM
Don't assume that the way you would organise any part of the proceedings is the right way or the only way, or that doing any part of it differently is tacky or weird. Where I come from, the gathering after the funeral is catered by the family and the family's friends; going to an hotel or having outside caterers is viewed as vulgar and unfeeling, implying that no member of the family cares enough to do it. (OK, slight exaggeration, but only slight.) Where my DH comes from, the gathering is done outside the home and with external catering, because anything else is viewed as trying to do it on the cheap, which is - you've got it - vulgar and unfeeling.

The family has organised it the way they want to, which is nobody's business but theirs. 
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 17, 2012, 07:31:04 AM
For my father's side of the family, to try and make all the food for everyone would be seen as nuts and trying to do too much.  There were at least 100 people at my Grandmother's wake, same with Grandpa's.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on July 17, 2012, 08:07:44 AM
For my father's side of the family, to try and make all the food for everyone would be seen as nuts and trying to do too much.  There were at least 100 people at my Grandmother's wake, same with Grandpa's.

Yup, we had that. Neighbours brought food because we knew that we were looking at that sort of number. We didn't have to ask: standard practice was for people to call and say 'I was thinking of bringing X, unless you would rather have Y?'  I rest my case: family does things the way that works for family. The morning of the funeral there were three women I had never seen before in the kitchen, setting up a filled roll production line. I don't think I ever did discover who they were. Maybe we had Funeral Ninjas?

Actually, another point: in my culture, you call at the house between the death and the funeral, offer your condolences, stay an hour, drink a cup of tea, and so on. That's probably where the Funeral Ninjas put together the food plans. In my DH's culture, the time between the death and the funeral is for immediate family only, i.e. not even cousins, and you don't intrude. He sees the way we do it as so stressful, having to cope with all those people. I see the way they do it as cold and disengaged. But really, all these structures are just that: they're structures to help people cope. We shouldn't judge just because somebody copes differently.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: snowdragon on July 17, 2012, 11:41:20 AM
Do not come to someone's loved one's funeral and hand your kid off to the family. Just because I am single with no kids does not mean I am available at my father's funeral to babysit your kid - You might have been his friend, but I am his daughter, I helped care for him and I lived with him...you not so much, you kids did not even know him.  No it's not our job to find him something to eat or  take her outside to play or spend the wake or funeral breakfast running after them. You need to take the time to deal with them yourself. this time more than ever.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: exitzero on July 17, 2012, 11:48:20 AM
Please do not lean on the deceased's casket, on his folded flag, while talking to other people.  >:( :o >:(  Goes double if you're a relative by marriage who's been out of the family for 30+ years. (Why yes, this did happen at my grandfather's funeral. I was too stunned to say anything.)

Or lean on the casket to answer your cell phone. Yeah, that happened.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: The Ricker on July 17, 2012, 12:51:59 PM
If you've lost a spouse, and have progressed through the five stages of grief in record time, don't ask potential new mates if they are free for dinner the evening of the funeral.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: snowdragon on July 17, 2012, 01:06:11 PM
Please do not lean on the deceased's casket, on his folded flag, while talking to other people.  >:( :o >:(  Goes double if you're a relative by marriage who's been out of the family for 30+ years. (Why yes, this did happen at my grandfather's funeral. I was too stunned to say anything.)

Or lean on the casket to answer your cell phone. Yeah, that happened.

or place anything in the casket without the express permission of the family.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: The Ricker on July 17, 2012, 04:48:10 PM
When the bereaved thank you for coming, don't blurt "My pleasure!"
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: violinp on July 17, 2012, 06:57:15 PM
When the bereaved thank you for coming, don't blurt "My pleasure!"

Oh dear.  :o
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: FoxPaws on July 18, 2012, 02:29:01 PM
When the bereaved thank you for coming, don't blurt "My pleasure!"
I could easily forgive this, simply because it would be a "blurt" - an automatic response to a familiar social cue. I would also probably get a laugh out of it, but I've got a weird sense of humor.  ;D

(But, I would be mortified if I were the one to say it. :-[ )
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Snowy Owl on July 20, 2012, 01:58:56 PM
When the bereaved thank you for coming, don't blurt "My pleasure!"
I could easily forgive this, simply because it would be a "blurt" - an automatic response to a familiar social cue. I would also probably get a laugh out of it, but I've got a weird sense of humor.  ;D

(But, I would be mortified if I were the one to say it. :-[ )

I'd agree this is probably an automatic and instinctive response rather than something chosen, rather on a par with me, after my grandmother's funeral thanking the undertaker and saying "we'll definitely use your services again."

Funerals can be an awkward situation for everyone and one can sometimes respond on almost automatic pilot. 
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: magician5 on March 19, 2013, 09:33:46 PM
It took you a while to figure out what to say to me at my mother's viewing. Take a little while longer and decide that maybe, after all, you shouldn't tell me about this friend of yours sells real estate and would be an excellent choice to help sell my mother's house. Particularly, don't give me your friend's card.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: violinp on March 19, 2013, 09:35:38 PM
It took you a while to figure out what to say to me at my mother's viewing. Take a little while longer and decide that maybe, after all, you shouldn't tell me about this friend of yours sells real estate and would be an excellent choice to help sell my mother's house. Particularly, don't give me your friend's card.

Oh...dear. There's a time and a place, but that is not it.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: katycoo on March 19, 2013, 09:48:35 PM
Please do not attend the funeral if you do not have a good history with the bereaved at all.

I feel that this should be revised.  If I was very close to the deceased, but had a poor history with the bereaved, I would certainly attend.  I would, however limit my interactions with the bereaved.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: MrTango on March 21, 2013, 10:24:35 AM
Please do not attend the funeral if you do not have a good history with the bereaved at all.

I feel that this should be revised.  If I was very close to the deceased, but had a poor history with the bereaved, I would certainly attend.  I would, however limit my interactions with the bereaved.

Agreed.  I once attended the funeral of someone I absolutely despised.  I just needed to know that he was really dead.

I arrived just before the service started, sat in the back row of the church, and as soon as the service ended, I walked out to my car and left without speaking with anyone.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: FoxPaws on March 22, 2013, 06:53:20 PM
- Not exactly etiquette, but...if you expect that there is likely to be trouble or tension from a particular person or persons, please let your funeral director know. They are trained to handle these situations and can do so quietly, discreetly, and with no one else being the wiser.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: kareng57 on March 22, 2013, 11:03:08 PM
Please do not attend the funeral if you do not have a good history with the bereaved at all.

I feel that this should be revised.  If I was very close to the deceased, but had a poor history with the bereaved, I would certainly attend.  I would, however limit my interactions with the bereaved.

Agreed.  I once attended the funeral of someone I absolutely despised.  I just needed to know that he was really dead.

I arrived just before the service started, sat in the back row of the church, and as soon as the service ended, I walked out to my car and left without speaking with anyone.


Very inappropriate, IMO.  That's not what funerals/memorial services are for.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: katycoo on March 23, 2013, 01:00:40 AM
Please do not attend the funeral if you do not have a good history with the bereaved at all.

I feel that this should be revised.  If I was very close to the deceased, but had a poor history with the bereaved, I would certainly attend.  I would, however limit my interactions with the bereaved.

Agreed.  I once attended the funeral of someone I absolutely despised.  I just needed to know that he was really dead.

I arrived just before the service started, sat in the back row of the church, and as soon as the service ended, I walked out to my car and left without speaking with anyone.


Very inappropriate, IMO.  That's not what funerals/memorial services are for.

Yes...MrTango's post wasn't what I had in mind.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: Tea Drinker on March 23, 2013, 11:04:59 AM
Please do not attend the funeral if you do not have a good history with the bereaved at all.

I feel that this should be revised.  If I was very close to the deceased, but had a poor history with the bereaved, I would certainly attend.  I would, however limit my interactions with the bereaved.

Agreed.  I once attended the funeral of someone I absolutely despised.  I just needed to know that he was really dead.

I arrived just before the service started, sat in the back row of the church, and as soon as the service ended, I walked out to my car and left without speaking with anyone.


Very inappropriate, IMO.  That's not what funerals/memorial services are for.

I'd say that's inappropriate only if the mourners will be aware of the other attendee's motivations. If, say, the deceased and the person who despised them had worked together, but kept their disagreements private, it would be okay, because the family would think either "who's that?" or "oh, right, one of his co-workers." That would also apply if the deceased was a local/community leader (say, a teacher or religious leader) who had mistreated someone, and the person who never talked about their grievance publicly, because again, sitting quietly in back isn't making a fuss.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: scotcat60 on March 24, 2013, 06:14:07 AM
Make sure you attend the right funeral. I once slipped into a back pew at a crematorium, thinking it was a friend's service, and it wasn't. I got out fast, but it's probably gone down in that family's history, "Who was that strange woman at Grandad's funeral? She left, and we never saw her again"
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: FoxPaws on March 30, 2014, 08:19:54 PM
- Refrain from posting condolences on others' social media sites unless the page owner has acknowledged the death first. They may not have been able to inform everyone they wanted to tell in person yet and you could cause problems by posting, "So sorry to hear about Aunt Lily," when not everyone in their world knows Aunt Lily has died. When in doubt, use private/direct messaging.
Title: Re: Funerals and Mourning
Post by: mime on March 31, 2014, 05:50:55 PM
When at the funeral or visitation, don't get into one-upping the ex-wife/best friend/whoever about how much closer you were to the deceased. You may have been his sister and had a very special relationship, but don't diminish someone else's relationship and therefore their own grief over the loss. And you may be wrong about being so close!

If you want to offer help, consider offering it through a "second-ring" of bereaved attendees. At my grandfather's funeral, my grandmother just needed consolation and the presence of loved ones. As PPs have said, it is just too overwhelming to think of what they could possibly need in the weeks to come. My mom and uncle also had a lot to deal with. Having my grandmother's friends come to me and ask what they could do for her in the days to come was, IMO, a great choice. Of course I was also grieving, but nothing even close to what my grandmother was experiencing. I still had the presence of mind to remember the offers, to know who was genuine, and to call on them later with specific needs for my grandmother.