Attending a funeral with your family can occasionally be a stressful experience -- you're determined to convey your sympathy to the grieving family, but you must also ensure your children behave properly and don't get frightened by their new surroundings. Although nothing compares to the process of actually visiting the funeral home and meeting others, it's important to prepare for the event by providing going over some etiquette tips. Here are five simple ways that all your family members can ensure they're on the best behavior.
1. Don't Jeopardize People's Time
This rule is arguably more valuable for parents than children; many parents flock to a close family member of the person who has passed away and cling like glue. Although it's important to share a supportive message of sympathy, you shouldn't spend more than a few minutes doing so. This etiquette rule is especially important when you're in line at a visitation, as dozens of other people are patiently waiting behind you.
2. Sign The Guest Book Properly
Contrary to popular belief, the guest book displayed at a funeral home isn't a place for you to share your message of sympathy. It's simply to provide the family with a record of the names and addresses of the people who attended the event so that the family can send cards of thanks in the weeks that follow. Taking several minutes -- and several lines of the book -- to write a message explaining that you're sorry for the family's loss might seem commendable, but it's better to share your words in writing by sending a card to the family's home.
3. Turn Off Your Phone
Although it's common sense to turn off your cellphone when you attend a funeral, it seems impossible to visit a funeral home without hearing someone's phone ring. Whether you're attending a visitation or a funeral service, turn off the phone or leave it in your car. It's not enough to set the phone to vibrate -- this noise can still be disturbing in a quiet room.
4. Talk Less, Listen More
When you're in the company of members of the grieving family, it's proper etiquette to express that you're sorry for the family's loss, share a pleasant memory about the person who has passed and ask if there's something you can do to help. Don't flood the family with commentary; listen to see if there's anything anyone needs or wants to share.
5. Be Mindful Of The Family's Wishes
Don't carry your own agenda to the funeral home. Always read the funeral notice to determine if the family wants flowers or would rather you make a donation to a healthcare organization. if the family has opted for a traditional event, don't dress as though you're attending a memorial service backyard barbecue.
For more information, you might consider contacting a funeral home like Fluehr Funeral Home.