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Tips to Following the Proper Funeral Etiquette

Dealing with the death of a loved one can be one of the most difficult times a person can face. It is important to let family and friends of the deceased know you are there for them and are also mourning the loss of their loved one. Following the proper funeral etiquette can be extremely important during this trying time. However, it can be very confusing for some of us to know exactly how to act or what to say. Here are a few tips to remember when trying to follow the proper funeral etiquette.

What You Should Do

When you find out about the death:

  • Acknowledge it in a way that feels the most appropriate. You could simply call and let the family know you are thinking of them. It depends on your relationship with those involved on  how you want to react. Remember trying to comfort the friends and family is most important.

  • If you are close friend, you may feel it is best to visit them and offer your condolences. However, if you are not as close or live further away, you could easily send them a card or flowers to offer your condolences.

  • If you are someone who feels as if they must do something, talk with the family and see where they may need help. You could cook, clean or watch their children. Anything you feel comfortable doing and they are comfortable with accepting is fine.

During the funeral:

  • Only visit the funeral home at the designated time.

  • You should arrive a little early. Being late to a funeral can be seen as rude or disrespectful.

  • Leave your cell phones at home or in the car. If you have to have your phone with you, leave it on silent or turn it off until you leave the funeral.

  • It is appropriate to cry, but if you are unable to control yourself or become too loud, you may want to step out and excuse yourself.

  • You should refrain from taking any photos or videos of the funeral.

  • If you think your kids are too young to handle the funeral or will be too rowdy for the funeral, it may be best to leave them at home with a sitter.

  • If the family wishes to hold a private funeral, please respect their wishes.
    After the funeral:

  • If you are unable to attend the funeral, you should offer your condolences the next time you see the loved one’s of the deceased. It does not matter how much time has or has not passed. Simply let you know you are thinking about them and sympathize with them.

  • Just because the funeral is over does not mean the grieving is over. Please remember the family even after the funeral and check up on them as often as you can. They will continue to grieve and may need comfort and support for weeks and months after the funeral.

  • Never try to rush family and friends through their grief. It may take some time for some, but it is a process they need to get through. Remember everyone grieves differently. Your best option is to simply be there for them and offer them comfort and support as they need it.

What Should You Say and Not Say


  • Be a good listener to the bereaved and always respond appropriately. Letting them know that you are there for them is the best thing you can do for them right now.

  • Always speak honestly and from the heart.

  • Do not be afraid to call the deceased by their name.

  • Do not shy away from sharing any good times, happy moments or memories of the deceased with the loved ones. In the weeks and months after the funeral the loved ones will cling to the good times the deceased had and how much they affected the lives of others.

  • If you feel uncomfortable talking to the loved ones, you can keep it simple. Let them know you feel for them and will be there for them if they need anything.


  • Never try to downplay the death of their loved one or say it was for the best.

  • Never tell them it is time to get over the loss of their loved one.

  • Never put a specific time frame on the grieving process of the bereaved.

  • Do not share any of your experiences with death, especially avoid this during the funeral.

It can be a difficult time losing someone you care about. Everyone will be emotional and stressed during this time. Most of us will be unsure of what to say or do, but we do know that we do not want to add to the grief of the loved ones by saying or doing anything inappropriate. Hopefully, following some of these tips will get everyone through the process of grieving and make things a little easier for everyone involved.

Information shared by Mobi Medical Supply.

Written By

He is the head of Sales and Customer Relations. Bio, Has been in the DME (Durable Medical Equipment) and Long Term Care Sales industry for over 20 years. Brought his experience and expertise to Mobi Medical in 2014 as VP of Sales and Customer relations.

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