How to be Helpful During a Funeral

By: Anderson Funeral Home
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How to be Helpful During a Funeral

It can be tough determining what you can do to help during a funeral. The goal is to be supportive, but unobtrusive. You want to give family members the chance to mourn or heal as needed without getting in their way.

Basic etiquette is still beneficial during such an emotional time. Little things that you do to help can be a big part of reducing the pain or stress a grieving family is experiencing during this challenging time.

Watch the Guest Book

Most people will want to display a book where guests can sign in to show their concern for the grieving family. You can help by keeping an eye on the book and ensuring that guests have access to a pen when they arrive. It is also helpful to make certain that the guest book moves from the visitation to the funeral service itself. Most funeral homes will take care of the transition, but it can help reduce some of the stress on family members if they know you are keeping an eye on the book for them.

Document Gifts

Help keep a record of flowers and other gifts sent to the funeral service. Many family members will want to send a thank you note for the thoughtful gesture. You can help by making a list of names and addresses, if those are included. It may be easiest to take pictures of the tags and the arrangements so that the family members will have a visual reminder to help with writing the thank you cards.

Serve the Family Members

Keep an eye on the family members. You can offer to get the family members drinks or something to eat. The little things can be a big blessing during a funeral.

Bring Handkerchiefs

Facial tissue may be adequate, but giving each family member a cloth handkerchief will be both thoughtful and helpful. You might consider having the family initials embroidered on the handkerchiefs as a gift to the grieving family.

Help with Parking

Offer to help with parking and with the traffic flow after the funeral service. This can be especially beneficial if there will be a funeral procession to the burial site. Be sure that you reserve parking for family or for the handicapped close to the funeral service location, but always keep in mind that friends and acquaintances are also coping with the loss.

Help with Seating

Offer to help with the seating before the funeral service. Most funeral homes will have a director who can usher people into the room, but it can be helpful to have someone who can help with the seating arrangements.

Finding a way to help during a funeral service does not have to be a challenge. Look for a need and then find a way to meet that need. Basic etiquette tips can be a great place to start when looking for the right way to help. Always think of the family and make sure that the actions you are taking will help reduce the pain instead of causing additional stress. Even little ways of helping can make a big difference during a funeral service.

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