Funeral Etiquette

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_subgirrl, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    I have a funeral to go to tomorrow. Never having been to one before, I have no idea how they work. Am I supposed to bring flowers or something?
     
  2. nudeyorker

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    No you are not required to bring anything. Attending the funeral and paying your respects are enough. However if this is a close friend or family member sending or bringing a gift of food to the family is a custom (for Jewish people) Otherwise sending a condolence card by post is more than satisfactory.
    My condolences to you and your friend or family.

    Etiquette: proper funeral etiquette
     
    #2 nudeyorker, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  3. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    Thanks :smile:. My mum said that too, but I feel better with a second opinion.

    And thank you for the condolences :smile:. It was my best friend's brother, so while I'm not affected directly, I feel a lot of pain for HER loss and that of her family. Whether I took flowers to the funeral or not, I was always intending to send her some flowers or do something special for her on a personal level to acknowledge her personal loss and grief, rather than the loss of the family as a whole (if that makes any sense).

    Oh, and thank you for the link. Will go and read it now.
     
    #3 B_subgirrl, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  4. helgaleena

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    If it's food, don't bring it to the funeral home; bring it to the home of the bereaved person. Flowers can be delivered either to the funeral home or you can bring them to the grave site if you are going there as well. But they are optional.

    Good link.
     
  5. Hoss

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    I see you're in Australia which may have different rules and procedures. Here we usually have a florist send flowers or floral arrangements to a funeral parlor, cemetery or church (or a combination of places).

    There are also people that don't want flowers & would prefer that money be sent in memory of the deceased.

    Just showing up is a big help if there is a gathering later a food item can help, actually the deceased persons family might appreciate food even if there isn't a formal gathering. Between visitors dropping by to pay respects and the emotional numbness that a death can bring, having prepared food can help ease the stress at the time of loss.

    A lot depends upon how close you were to the deceased & your relationship to the family.
     
  6. B_Lightkeeper

    B_Lightkeeper New Member

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    Flowers are nice, although they too die unless you want to get a potted plant or something like that.

    If the person was an animal lover, a donation to an animal shelter in their name would be ideal.

    Or a donation to a local library, school or orphanage.
     
  7. petite

    petite New Member

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    I'm sorry to hear that. My condolences.

    In the American south it's also customary to bring food for the bereaved, casseroles, pies, salads, and stuff like that, but as Helgaleena says, it's usually brought to their home, but not always. We attended a wake at a church and people brought food there, but the deceased's family no longer lived where the wake was being held, so I suppose there was no other place to bring the food since most of the family was staying at the homes of old friends for the wake.
     
  8. nudeyorker

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    Then with that in mind, by attending the funeral and giving your support to your friend by attending is enough. You could send her flowers and I would suggest taking her out to lunch or dinner in a week or two if she feels up to going out socially.
     
  9. B_stu.kay823

    B_stu.kay823 New Member

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    I'm sure your friend would be glad just to have you there. NudeYorker is bang on the money.
     
  10. bigbull29

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    When my grandfather died when I was 13, all the neighbors brought tons of the food to the house (we had so much food that we didn't know where to put it). Some of them didn't know us that well.

    Nowadays in American small towns, neighbors still give lots of food to the mourning family, but I think to a lesser degree, as there is less sense of community and "neighborliness."
     
  11. mexdude

    mexdude New Member

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    If u can bring cookies for the coffee, but like others said, just go there for your friend
     
  12. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    Thank you for all the input :smile:.

    Until now I didn't have any real guidelines to follow. Not only have I never been to a funeral before, my friend's family isn't terribly traditional either, so there are no straight forward rules to follow. None of them are particularly religious, although most of them are somewhat spiritual. They also have a habit of dealing with grief using humour or an exterior of normality. In addition, while I am very close to my friend, her family and I know each other largely through what my friend has said to each of us. So at any given moment I'm not sure how they'd prefer me to behave. But yet I want to be respectful.

    I asked my friend if there was any specific request regarding flowers, but apparently there isn't. She hasn't yet mentioned there being a wake.

    I like the idea of a living plant over flowers. I believe she would also appreciate the idea that the plant is living because he will live on in her heart . And I like the idea of taking her out to lunch or dinner. I feel as though there are so many people higher than her on the grief totem pole that she really needs someone to acknowledge her loss and let her know that she is important too.

    I think I will also send a condolences card to the family as a whole.

    Thanks again everyone :smile:.
     
  13. nicenycdick

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    If your friend is Catholic (and this may apply to Anglican, as well), sending a mass card is a nice, religious gesture. Flowers sent through a funeral home to the wake always works, and if there is a reception at a home or if the family is Jewish and Sitting Shivah, then food is appreciated. A Sympathy Card sent to the family at home is another alternative. Otherwise, your attendance is enough...being there for your friend is the best you could possibly do.

    Oh...and dress conservatively, of course...black or dark colors are preferred.
     
  14. Snozzle

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    If you visit your friend before the funeral, by all means take food, but since many others will do the same it's a good idea to make it something that will keep (eg fruitcake, not lettuce sandwiches).

    In NZ, and I guess Oz, it's usual for those who are doing more than just "paying their respects" (friends of the bereaved) to go somewhere for some food and drink afterwards. (Sometimes only the immediate family go to the graveside or crematorium and come back to the "reception" afterwards.) This is usually catered or well provided for, so if you take food it may go to waste, but again, if you take something long-lasting, it may not.

    Flowers are appreciated at any time.

    NudeYorker's point about doing something for your friend later is excellent. Sometimes the crowds come in and go out like a spring tide, and you'll be more appreciated later.

    Whatever you do from the heart, even if it's a bit awkward, will be appreciated.
     
  15. rbkwp

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    All very spot on with information
    All i can add to the above is while attending a Funeral yesterday you may find these days a lot of emphasis is put on 'A Celebration of the life' of the deceased.
    This happened yesterday,and the brother-in-law was 72 years old
    soooooo..age is no barier re such .. its what the family wanted. as Aus is similar to NZ, i geuss it could be likewise over there these days
    A few of us were in Shorts yesterday, not so much traditional Suit & Tie
    Condolences to the bereaved & all the Best for the day, i am a believer in the celebration of life, in death.
    enz

    as the hurse drove from the Home his Dog was there in the last 1/2 an hour, and the music was Willie Nelsons, ' on the road again'
     
  16. mexdude

    mexdude New Member

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    Once when my cousins and i where talking with my aunt, i told her that im tired of the average funeral where everybody is crying and silent, and her funeral will be a huge party with mariachi, food and booze, and my cousins agreed
     
  17. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    I've always said I wanted something similar. And I suspect this one will be a strange mix of this and the sadness.
     
  18. eurotop40

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    What we do in Switzerland is that the mourning family invites the attending persons to lunch after the ceremony. If this is the case you should go because this is a sort of relief for the relatives that are not just left alone after the funeral.
     
  19. Riven650

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    Hi subgirrl,
    I hope the ceremony goes smoothly today. You're a great girl and I know your friend will really appreciate your support.
    Riven x
     
  20. lpsg17

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    When my brother passed away suddenly my friends bought a very nice flowering tree, it is a nice remembrance.
     
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