When attending a funeral to support a close friend who has experienced a loss, it can be difficult to know exactly what you should say, or how you can or should support them. Words fail in these types of situations, and that’s completely natural. It’s easy to become afraid of saying the wrong thing, or not providing support in the correct way. After all, the last thing you want to do is make your friend feel even worse than they already do.
Your presence is already very important for a grieving person. In many cases, words are not even needed. However, if you do find yourself in a situation where you are talking to your friend, here are some tips to help you get a better sense of how you can support them and show proper funeral etiquette in Lake City, FL:
- Express your sympathy: Sure, your friend is going to get sympathy and apologies from many people throughout the day, and they may even get tired of hearing it at some point. But it is still nice and polite to say you are sorry for their loss.
- Be genuine: One of the worst things you can do to a person who is grieving is attempt to minimize their loss, or provide overly simplistic solutions for the grief they’re feeling (or unsolicited advice of any kind, really). Just be real. You don’t need to know what to say—in fact, you might even say you don’t know what to say. Just let them know that you care about them and that you are here to support them in any way you can. This is much more meaningful than attempting to force the interaction in other ways.
- Be okay with silence: If you spend some extended time with your friend at the funeral or shortly after their loss, don’t feel like you need to press them into talking. Sometimes company is all that is required to help a grieving person. Silence can be just as important as words, and often more effective.
- Offer support: Rather than tell a person to reach out if they need anything, offer some form of support to them. Ask them what they need, rather than if they need anything, or offer specific support in the form of chores, meals, watching or transporting their kids, etc. If the person declines any form of support you offer, be respectful of that and don’t press.
- Know what not to say: There are certain things you should never, ever say to a grieving person. Never talk about the death being part of “God’s plan,” or tell them they have other things to be thankful for. Never say the deceased is “in a better place,” or attempt to get your friend to move on any sooner than they are ready for. These can all cause some significant tension and potentially even anger.
For more information about proper etiquette while at a funeral visitation in Lake City, FL, contact ICS Cremation & Funeral Home today.
This post was written by Writer