12 Funeral Etiquette Tips Everyone Should Know
You might wear black to the service, but there’s so much more you could be doing to comfort the bereaved.
Don’t feel obligated to attend the burial
Following the service, a processional of cars will typically drive to a cemetery for the burial. The site of internment will be announced at the funeral, and although everyone in attendance is welcome to attend, it is typically a smaller, more private ceremony. You shouldn’t feel obligated to go if you feel awkward or uncomfortable, but “it’s a nice thing to do if you have the time,” Cunningham says.
Support the family
Above all, patience will go a long way when comforting the grieving family. Avoid even hinting that they’ll “move on” or that “time will heal,” since not only is it not very kind, but “closure is not an admirable aim,” Cunningham says. “We don’t get over loss; we just get on with our lives in the face of it.” Instead, show your support by inviting them to participate in activities that will help them feel less sad or lonely. If you’re worried that a friend is stuck in an unhealthy grief cycle, help them find professional guidance or connect them with groups that offer community support. For more funeral etiquette tips, learn the best things you can say to comfort someone who’s grieving.