When a friend, family member or acquaintance dies, your first reaction may be to help, but you may not be sure of what to say or do. It is natural to feel this way.
As we are a melting pot, things to consider are, what customs, religious, or ethnic personal preferences that the bereaved family may have.
What You Can Do
Expression of sympathy
Sometimes we are at a loss for words. Be respectful and listen attentively, and offer your own words of condolences. Simply saying "I'm sorry for your loss" is usually enough.
Black is not always the dress code
In some cases, families choose to wear color for a funeral; you can learn the wishes of the family by asking questions. Sometimes the family may have a favorite color, or wishes from the person who has passed away, not to wear black.
"It is the thought that counts", it does not matter if its flowers, donations to charity or a small note, please provide signed card so the family knows what gift was given, as well as by whom.
Sign the register book
Include not only your name, but your relationship to the deceased: co-worker, gym buddy, or casual acquaintance from a group. This helps family place who you are.
Keep in touch
Grieving does not end with a funeral, as though it may be difficult or awkward to do so, an occasional hello is nice to hear, and will help with the healing process.
What You Shouldn't You Do
Don't feel that you have to stay long
If you make a visit during calling hours there's no reason your stay has to be a lengthy one. Even if it is a short duration, your presence is what matters.
Don't be afraid to share stories and laugh
Remembering loved ones fondly can mean sharing a funny story or two, just be mindful of the time and place. There is no reason you should not talk about the deceased in a happy, positive tone.
Don't feel you have to approach an open casket
Do what is comfortable to you
What should I do with my cell phone
Turn it off or silence the ringer. Cell phones become a distraction and far too many times we see people checking their cell phones. This time is about the bereaved family.
Offer to help
Remember to continue to offer support to the bereaved. Let your grieving relatives and friends know that your support did not end with the funeral.
If you have any questions, please call us at (904) 781-4314.