When you greet the immediate family members of the person who is being remembered at a funeral, it's your opportunity to convey a message of sympathy and support. Although you might feel tense as you try to find the right words to say, it's important to keep your message brief and heartfelt. The longer you talk, the more risk you have of potentially saying something that seems helpful but actually is not. Many funeral cliches can actually sound insensitive to the family grieving the loss of their loved one, even though you mean well. Here are four things to avoid saying.
"I Know What You're Going Through Right Now."
Even if you've recently lost a loved one yourself, it's not entirely accurate to say that you know what the family is going through. Further, this sentiment can make it appear as though you're trying to put attention on your recent loss because you want the bereaved family to offer sympathy to you – even if that's not your intention. Avoid trying to make comparisons between you and the family.
"At Least He/She Lived A Long Life."
While it's true that dying after a long life is arguably less tragic than dying while young, the reality is that pointing out the age at which the person died provides little in the way of comfort to the family. Even if the person lived until 90, the family members would likely rather that their loved one continued to live, provided that he or she was experiencing a high quality of life.
"This Is A Time For You To Be Strong."
The bereaved family like doesn't want you emphasizing the importance of strength at this challenging time. Each family member has the right to grieve in his or her own way. When you tell people to be strong, it can send a message that you're saying that they should not be emotional, that they should get over the loss quickly or that they should move on. This is not your call to make and can seem insensitive during this time.
"There Is A Reason For Everything."
It's hard for a grieving family to be able to think of a good reason for a loved one to pass away. Even if you're religious and feel that the death is part of a master plan, this is a sentiment that is best for you to keep to yourself.
For more tips on funeral etiquette, contact a company like Elmwood Meunier Funeral Home.Share