Knowing What to Say at a Funeral

By: Anderson Funeral Home
Monday, October 3, 2016

Knowing What to Say at a Funeral

Having the right words can be a challenge under the best of circumstances, but knowing what to say at a funeral can leave us all struggling at one time or another. You want to share words that will comfort others without adding to the grief they may already be feeling. The key may be in following the lead of the one with whom you are speaking.

Finding the Right Words to Say at a Funeral

  • Watch for the lead of the person to whom you are speaking. Everyone handles the loss of a loved one differently. Seeing how the person is talking with other guests may be the best way to find your own words to share.
  • Keep it short and simple. The funeral and the reception following the funeral may not be the best time to recount a long story about the deceased. The family members will be greeting many people, so keep your words simple and direct.
  • Empathy is okay but remember that everyone is different when it comes to dealing with grief and loss. That means that even if you have had a similar loss with similar circumstances, the other person’s experience and emotions will still be unique. Keep your words directed at the feelings of the other person and you will do better with finding the right words to say at a funeral.
  • Make an offer of help or support, and be as specific as possible. Follow up the offer with a written note or card with a reminder of the offer. Include your contact information so that the family members can get in touch. Make the offer something you know that you can do and that you know that is needed.
  • Just remind the loved ones that they are loved. Share your care and concern for their well-being. Let them know that you will keep them in your thoughts (and prayers if your religion is a shared belief). A simple “We love you and are thinking of you” can sometimes be the best words you can say at a funeral.

Knowing what not to say at a funeral can be as important as finding the right words to share. Too often, our search for ways to help the healing process can instead cause more grief or anger.

Avoid saying “I know how you feel.” You can never know for certain what another person is feeling even if you have walked the same path. Because we are all unique, each person will respond and feel differently.

If you are not sure about what to say at a funeral, then you may be better off offering a smile and a nod and keeping the words to yourself. The best way to find the right words is to follow the lead of the grieving.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the letters you see in the image.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Keeping in Touch with Family Members After a Funeral

Keeping in Touch with Family Members After a Funeral Keeping in touch with family can be difficult even in ordinary times, but especially after family connections have been severed by a death. Peo...

Funeral Etiquette – Tips for the Reception

Funeral Etiquette – Tips for the Reception It is important for many people to understand what behavior is expected at a funeral reception. Different cultures and different communities may have pra...

The History of a Traditional Irish Wake

The History of a Traditional Irish Wake The traditional Irish Wake has a long history. Although some areas still practice the traditional wake, many are now replacing it with a time of visitation....

What to Expect from a Funeral Home

What to Expect from a Funeral Home The funeral home has become the normal location for visitation, wakes, and even funeral services. The funeral home industry is regulated and that makes it a litt...

Memorial Service Traditions From Around The World

Memorial Service Traditions From Around The World Learning more about memorial service traditions from around the world can help us to understand how others view death. Although the practices may ...

What are the Benefits of Preplanning a Funeral?

What are the Benefits of Preplanning a Funeral? Funerals can be difficult for everyone, especially family members – and emotions often run high during these trying times. Loved ones want to be hea...

Funeral Pre-Planning for the Care of Your Pet

Funeral Pre-Planning for the Care of Your Pet For many people, a favorite pet is just as important as a family member as the people are. But when you die, what happens to your pet after the funera...

Pre-Arranging a Funeral? Guidelines and Best Practices

Pre-Arranging a Funeral? Guidelines and Best Practices Investing the time for pre-arranging a funeral can offer your family comfort after you have gone and ensure that your own desires are met. Th...

How to Write a Sympathy Letter

How to Write a Sympathy Letter It can be tough finding the right words to convey your own feelings to someone who has experienced a death in the family. Taking the time to write a sympathy le...

What is an End of Life Plan?

What is an End of Life Plan? Many things can happen as one ages. It is important that you have an end of life plan in place for how you want things to be handled, not only for your peace of mind a...