How To Interact With A Grieving Family At A Funeral

February 23, 2023 5:51 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Visiting a family after a loved one dies can be difficult. You may not know what to say, or how to act. Thankfully, there are many ways to support a grieving family at a funeral. By following these simple tips, you can help ease their burden.


One of the most important things you can do at a funeral is to be a good listener. People who are grieving often feel isolated, and it can help to have someone in their life they can talk to about the loss. Be a good listener by listening carefully, without interrupting or judging their responses. Let them talk about their loved one and avoid making light of the situation or putting blame on anyone else.

Offer Support

Grieving is a process that can take a long time, and the grieving person will have their own unique way of coping. So avoid telling them what they “should” be doing or how they “should” be feeling, explains Marjorie Rentz, supervisor of bereavement services at Goldstein Family Grief Center in San Francisco. If the family is struggling to make it through their daily lives, offer practical help by running errands or cooking meals. This will let them know that you are still there for them, even though it may take some time to do so.

Be Prepared

When interacting with a grieving family, prepare to speak less and listen more. This can help you connect with the grieving person and offer comfort. Avoid statements like, “They’re in a better place now” or, “It was just a cliche.” These may be meant well but they can make a bereaved person feel that their feelings of loss are being dismissed. It’s also important to let the bereaved know that you are there for them and that they are welcome to cry or talk about their loss if they choose to do so. If they don’t want to, don’t press them and try to keep your words brief.

Be Kind

A simple “I’m thinking of you” message, a phone call or a card sent to their home can mean the world and offer a grieving family some much needed support during this difficult time. It’s not always easy to know how to interact with a grieving family at a funeral, but being kind is often the key to making things just a bit easier for them.

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