It is important to remember proper funeral etiquette because good manners make a world of difference to someone who is grieving. Unfortunately, funeral directors share that there are instances where fights have erupted in front of the casket while toppling over the funeral flowers. Please do your best to refrain from disorderly conduct because a funeral is already a difficult time for the bereaved family members.
Whether you are attending the loss of a close family member or a best friend, or you are showing support for someone you know who has lost their loved one, you have to make sure that you are respectful at all times. It is more crucial than ever to be caring and considerate during this heartbreaking moment. Don’t add to the stress but show your genuine sympathies, instead. To help you be on your best behavior, here’s a refreshing read on what NOT to do when you’re attending a funeral.
Do Not Overlook the Registry
Most funerals have a registry or a guest book by the entrance, which most people overlook and bypass. If you see it, please do sign it with all the pertinent details like your name, contact, number address, and brief sympathy note. The registry is there for a good reason because it helps the grieving family members recall who came. In their cloud of grief, they may forget who was there as a guest. By signing the registry, you are helping them refresh their memory. If the family chose to send thank you cards, your entries would be most beneficial.
Do Not Be Late
There is no such thing as fashionably late at a funeral. Please come in ten minutes before the designated start time. A funeral is a solemn event, and you don’t want to disrupt the proceedings like the funeral songs, poems, or eulogies by making a late grand entrance. Apart from being a massive sign of disrespect, it is also a big distraction to the officiants and other guests. Be mindful of the clock and do come on time. This moment is your last time to say goodbye to the deceased, so do it with much respect.
Do Not Dress For a Party
A funeral is not the beach, not the club, and definitely not a rave party. Do not come in skimpy attire that flaunts your body. It is best to dress appropriately for the solemn occasion. Save the skin-tight clothes for another day and do taper down on the bling. Do not dress down like a slob either. Pick something tasteful and respectful. Clothes, after all, are a form of non-verbal communication. You want your classy clothes to say you are one in spirit with the bereaved family.
Do Not Forget To Turn Off That Mobile Phone
There is nothing more annoying than a ringing, chiming, or buzzing mobile device. Do everyone a favor and turn it off before the funeral proceedings start. Funeral services are generally quiet, so if your phone does make a peep, all eyes will turn on you! It is distracting and disrespectful to allow your phone to make a peep. These noises steal attention away from the deceased. If you cannot afford to turn it off, put it on silent mode without any vibrations.
Do Not Stay Glued to Your Phone Screen
There are many other moments for you to text, chat, surf the net, or look at your social media apps. Unless you’re a doctor, it is highly likely that this message is not life or death. Your text message can wait until after all the ceremonies are over. Surfing the net and checking your social media are also not priorities. Remember that you are there to honor your dearly departed loved one for the last time. It is best to give them your whole, undivided attention because this is your last chance to do it.
Do Not Make a Scene
Crying is a release that is crucial to everyone’s mental health. It is okay to cry. However, it is never okay to rant, rave, shout, and make a scene. You don’t want to make the other mourners feel uncomfortable. If you see someone you dislike during the funeral, it is time to put a reign on those feelings. The purpose of your presence is to mourn a loved one — reserve whatever confrontation outside on a different occasion.
Do Not Allow a Child (or Even an Adult) to Make Excessive Noises
Unless you are a direct family member, you have to ask yourself if it is prudent to bring your noisy toddler in the throes of terrible twos to a funeral. Use your good judgment. Some children are unable to handle grief, so it is natural for them to be upset. When you believe your child cannot handle it, leave him or her home. If you do bring a child and he or she begins bawling, quietly step outside until he or she calms down. In the same token, people cannot tolerate a noisy adult. Sometimes, a quick and gentle reminder to be quiet is enough to get a handle on things. Do it in hushed tones because you also don’t want to make too much noise.
Do Not Put Your Foot In Your Mouth
Think before you speak and analyze everything before letting it come out of your mouth, especially in a funeral where emotions are high, and the atmosphere is already tense. Don’t pry, your curiosity, and refrain from blatantly asking a grieving family member about the cause of death. It is also a horror of horrors if you utter something stupid that will cause more grief. Refrain from callous words like: “You’ll get over it” or “I know how you feel!” If you decide to share an anecdote about the deceased, choose your words and do so in a proper context. You don’t want to cause further pain or embarrassment to some else, especially a close family member.
Do Not Draw Attention to Yourself
A funeral is not about you, so do your best not to draw attention to yourself. Don’t speak in loud tones, belly laugh out loud, or cry too noisily. Do not engage in disruptive behavior because this is a sign of disrespect. If you’re finding it hard to get a handle on your emotions because you feel attached to the deceased, it is perfectly okay to step out until you can compose yourself.
Do Not Be Careless with Your Phone Pics
Is a selfie in front of a casket really necessary? Funerals have the power to bring family members who have not seen each other for long periods. However, instead of mindlessly taking selfies, wait for a tasteful moment to take that snap. A funeral may be a moment that you want to preserve in pictures, but wait for the right time to show that you are sensitive and considerate towards everyone.
It may seem like a long litany of “don’ts”, but you do need to remember these so uncompromising situations will not embarrass you. There are still more things that you can do in funerals like send flowers, give a mass card, offer hugs, phone a friend, give food, be a shoulder to cry on, and more. The important thing is DO take the time to attend the funeral to show your support for the bereaved family members. Sincere, genuine, caring, and thoughtful measures are always deeply appreciated by hearts in turmoil. Be their angel on earth who carries them through the difficult times! Someday, someone will return the favor and do the same for you.