If you haven’t seen the movie Elizabethtown you should order it immediately after reading this post. The experience of a Funeral event is what this movie is all about. It hits all three of these “What should I do” questions:
Trust me, this is most possible: “A Condolence Visit?”
If you’re part of the family or a close friend of the deceased, pay a visit to their home to express your sympathy and offer your help.
Before a wake, bring over a platter of something; the family will be hungry afterwards and won’t feel like cooking. Or bring over some Krispy Kreme, they can eat them in the morning before the funeral. You can also offer to help with housework, lawn service, watch the kids while they run some errands or they might just want to get away from everyone. Mostly it seems like the women offer these type of gestures, but there’s no reason that the modern man can’t also lend a hand. You’d be surprised how many men actually prefer to cook or babysit oppose to lawn work.
During your visit, it’s okay to offer your sympathy or share a good memories of the deceased. There’s no need to stay too long; if it seems that you’re being a pest, then drop off what you brought, chat for a few minutes and leave. Of course, if they’re alone and clearly need a listening ear, then stay longer.
If you don’t feel close enough to the family to come to their home, wait until the wake to offer your personal condolences.
Not Hard: “What do I say” at an After Funeral Gathering
Some families host a lunch or dinner at their house after the service. Being at someone’s house allows the environment to be a little softer, than the wake or funeral. Share a laugh and some fun memories as you reminisce about the deceased. Just don’t get drunk and trash them. Unless of course everyone else is, then make sure you get in a few jabs.
Remember: “Don’t forget about them”
The most important thing is – don’t let your consideration for those in mourning be a one day affair. After all the strain of the funeral event is over, the grief and reality really sets.
So don’t forget about them in the weeks and months after the funeral. Stop by or give them a call. Invite them out for social gatherings. They may say no for a while, but they’ll eventually be ready to go back out, and they’ll be grateful that you kept thinking of them.
“Also, last one – I swear.” Call your friend or family member on the anniversary of their loved one’s death. They’ll appreciate that you still remember and continue to acknowledge their loss.