Monday, March 4, 2019

When should I not attend a funeral?

Attending a funeral is usually a thoughtful gesture; however, in some specific and possibly unusual situations, it might be better to consider an alternative way of offering condolences.

Do not attend a funeral if you feel that your presence will in any way be offensive to family members or have a negative effect. Perhaps previous relationships or partnerships might play a role in your decision-making.

Do not attend a funeral if the service details provided a note that the ceremony is private or for family only. The deceased’s obituary, as well as shared information via social media, usually indicates this. You may also contact the service provider such as the funeral home, church, or cemetery for additional details.

Do not attend a funeral if the service location is simply geographically, logistically, or feasibly impossible to get to. Consider sending a meaningful floral offering, note, or letter that expresses your sympathy and desire to be there in person.

Do not attend a funeral if you feel as though the situation might be too emotionally challenging for you. Everyone goes through difficult times and funerals can take an emotional toll on individuals. Waiting to express your sympathies when it is a better time for you is acceptable. Sending a letter to friends or family members of the deceased is a lasting and memorable gesture. 

The important thing to remember is that friends and families appreciate just about any effort made to celebrate and remember their loved one, be it a phone call, letter, or other act of sympathy.


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