Couple Attending FuneralAttending a funeral is sad, of course, but it can also be quite awkward, especially if you've been fortunate enough not to have to attended many in the past. Just like every person is different in life, he or she will be different in death, each one having a unique funeral. In most cases, you want to take your cues from the family of the deceased, but there are some solid do's and don'ts to keep in mind as well.

Do Pay Attention to How You Dress

While most families would agree they want people to show up even if they don't have the right clothes, you should make an effort to dress conservatively. Wear a nice dress, a suit or other conservative pieces of clothing. In most cases, you should stick to dark colors. However, sometimes the family will request that attendees wear the deceased's favorite color. In this case, you can wear something lighter, but it should still be a conservative cut.

Don't Stay Glued to Your Electronics

Using your phone during a funeral is highly disrespectful. If possible, turn it off completely. If you must keep it on, keep it on silent or vibration only. Avoid using social media or answering calls or texts during the funeral. If you absolutely must take a phone call, excuse yourself as quietly as possible and exit the room to do so.

Do Show Emotion

Emotion doesn't necessarily have to be sad. Of course, you will be sad, but if the person reading the eulogy makes a joke, it is okay to laugh. Just don't overdo it. If you are unsure of how much emotion to show, look to the family for cues. If they are laughing and smiling, you should too. If they aren't, it is best to keep your emotion to yourself.

Don't Gossip

This seems like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people decide to gossip about the deceased or his or her friends or family at the funeral service. If someone tries to talk to you and begins gossiping, politely excuse yourself from the conversation. If you absolutely must say something, do it after the services. However, you shouldn't have a reason to say anything unless it is positive.

Do Be on Time

Of course, unexpected events such as traffic do happen, but do your best to show up on time. In fact, try to show up to the funeral 10 to 30 minutes early to allow you time to find a seat, especially if you suspect there will be a lot of people in attendance. If you do arrive late, enter as quietly as possible and as far into the back of the room as possible to avoid causing any disturbance during the eulogy.

Don't Ask Disturbing Questions

In most cases, the cause of death is common knowledge, so there is no need for you to ask for any more details than what you already know. If the cause of death is not common knowledge, the family may be keeping it that way for a reason. Respect their privacy and show your respects. Chances are the information will make its way down the line as time goes on, so don't try to satisfy your morbid curiosity during the funeral.

It may seem like silly advice, but it really is necessary to go. Funerals are awkward and uncomfortable, but there is nothing worse than an empty room while the deceased's loved ones are trying to grieve. It is likely to make them feel like nobody cares. No matter how awkward you feel about attending such an event, swallow your awkwardness, get dressed up and pay your respects. An hour or two of feeling uncomfortable is worth it to make the people you love feel as if they are cared for.

Category: Funeral

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