Funeral Etiquette: Offering Expressions Of Condolences To The Bereaved

When a friend or acquaintance passes on or faces a death in their family, offering your help can make a huge difference. However, you may not always know exactly what may be acceptable, making you hesitant to offer your support. This article provides a guide on what is proper etiquette when sending sympathy cards, flowers, memorial gifts and other symbols of caring so you can be more confident when offering your expressions of condolences, knowing that your gestures are both appropriate and welcome.

Memorial gifts

A memorial gift is an appropriate way to honor the memory of the deceased by contributing to something they were passionate about. Personalizing your gift to the deceased is always in good taste. For instance, you may choose to contribute to a charity funding medical research for the disease that claimed their life.

If the family has designate a specific organization or charity where memorial gifts should directed, you can mention your gift in a sympathy note and include the family's name and address to the charity, though you should probably omit the monetary amount donated.

Sympathy notes

A personal sympathy note to the family is always appropriate, even if you were just an acquaintance of the deceased. Such a note can give you a gracious chance to share your personal and fond memories of the deceased while offering encouragement and condolences to the family.

Try to make your expressions of sympathy sincere, short and adoring, as the note will probably offer great consolation to the family later on after the funeral when they grapple with the loneliness and sadness that often comes with a death in the family. Your expressions of affection for the deceased will serve to remind the family that they have support and love during that difficult time.

Flowers and other gifts

The soft fragrance and beauty of a floral tribute can offer great comfort to the bereaved. It is always kind to send flowers to the funeral home prior to the funeral services or to the residence after the funeral, unless the family specifically asked for donations in lieu of flowers in the obituary.

Finally, you can bring other gifts while visiting the bereaved at their residence, including food and drinks to feed visiting guests. Offering your time can also be tremendously important, as the bereaved will probably need all the help they can get with their hosting duties. Volunteer to run errands, babysit, cook, vacuum the house and so forth to help ease the family's strain as they mourn the loss of their loved one.