I saw this post on Pinterest and it caught my eye immediately. I thought what a great idea. I’m not saying I would post this sign at a funeral but I do like the idea of talking about what NOT to say. If you are attending a funeral for someone you loved, cared deeply for, or respected, then this set of guidelines is a very good start.
Hugs– now not everyone is a hugger. I am, but I agree big squeezes are uncomfortable on many levels.
Bigger Plans and Better Place– I agree it’s better to not assume that you understand the grieving families belief in bigger plans, and better places. Please, never assume that everyone shares your beliefs in the ever after because they don’t.
At Least– any sentence that starts with these words is not comforting to those grieving. Some examples I’ve heard:
At least he didn’t suffer
At least he didn’t know it was going to go that way
At least you have other children
At least your young, you can remarry
At least he made sure you were taken care of
I could go on and on with the “at least”
The fact is, any sentence that begins with those two words is not helpful. It sounds like some sort of consolation prize.
Then what does one say to a grieving family member at a funeral?
If you aren’t comfortable with hugging try these words;
I’m so sorry for your loss
I’m here if you need me
I’m going to miss ———–
A fond memory is great ……….but not in a family reception line.
Laughter is great too …………but more appropriate at a reception following a service.
Reaching for their hand and giving a warm smile to let them know you have been thinking of them is always welcome.
The most important thing to remember is you should be there to comfort them not make the day uncomfortable.