Attending a funeral is often difficult because many people tend to get quite awkward. Many people are often confused about what to say to someone attending a funeral. Have you ever felt awkward as you stood at a funeral, not knowing what to say? If that’s the case, know that you aren’t alone in this. People often find it difficult to approach someone who is in mourning, mainly because they are confused about where to begin or what to say.
They are often quite cautious and don’t want to say anything that might offend them or something that would probably make the situation even more painful for the affected. Many people get really uncomfortable because they don’t know what to say at a funeral.
They want to show their respect to the family and share their condolences, but they simply don’t have the words to say. You might want to offer comforting words and may want to say something comforting, but it might be difficult for you to find the right words.
Difficulty in Speaking
This is why you need to know the proper etiquette when attending a funeral. Many people who are rarely at a loss for words often find themselves absolutely quiet because they don’t know what to say at a funeral. The bigger issue is not just that people don’t know what to say, but the fact that they are scared that their words might end up hurting someone.
So, what to say to someone attending a funeral? How do you make sure that your words don’t hurt? Oftentimes, you might find yourself feeling quite nervous while attending a funeral because you don’t know how the family might react. Before you attend the funeral, you might want to think about certain things that you can say.
It also depends on the kind of relationship that you have with the family and the person who died. Many people aren’t able to come up with spur of the moment words, and this is a problem because it can affect their ability to say the right things. If you don’t know what to say, it’s best to stay quiet.
Whether you were extremely close to the departed or the mourners, or if you are only just attending the funeral, it’s recommended that you focus on the words you are going to use, as that can have a profound impact. If you want to play it safe, it might be a wise idea to focus on some simple and kind words that can be reassuring to the family.
Things to Say at a Funeral
There are several things that you can say at a family funeral. Here are a few:
If you are an extended family member or were very close to the departed, you have to start by expressing your love for the departed and show respect to their family. On top of that, you might want to offer some words of support to the family. “He/she was a good person, and I loved them very much. They were kind and had a great view of life. I just want you guys to know that I am here for you if you need anything. I love you all.” This is a simple example because it’s carefully worded.
If you were incredibly close to the deceased, you might want to start by saying that the departed was like a “family member to you, and their death affects you deeply.” Of course, if you are comparing yourself to a sibling, you need to make sure that you do not offend the actual siblings of the deceased. It’s a simple way of showing the bond you had with them.
One of the simplest things that you can say is that their presence will be greatly missed. This conveys how much you appreciated their presence in your life, and how much you are going to miss them. Family members usually like to hear stories about the departed and how the deceased was able to make a difference in the lives of others. You can then follow what you have said with a small memory or an experience that you have had with the deceased.
For people who have a lot of difficulty in these situations, you might want to consider bringing a photo of the deceased with you to the funeral. Then, you can simply share the photo with the people at the funeral, and share a story behind that photo. You might be surprised, but this is a gesture of love and will be very well-received.
Sometimes, it might just be a wise idea to be absolutely honest. You can just tell them that you are at a total loss of what to say, but you feel incredibly sorry. People understand this, and you need to empathize with them.
While most people are often wondering about what to say to someone attending a funeral, there are also things you need to avoid. There are certain words and statements that you should absolutely never say at a funeral.
For instance, it’s a given that you must never say anything negative at the funeral. This is definitely not the time for you to start gossiping, nor should you try to gain any attention toward yourself.
If you have difficulty in staying quiet, you might want to consider putting a filter on your mouth. More importantly, you need to avoid making light of a person’s death. Many people often get uncomfortable at a funeral and end up making random jokes.
There are some people who do this, but it’s something that you should strongly avoid at all costs. It just makes you seem incredibly insensitive. Here are just a few examples of things that you should never say.
Never start by saying that the deceased is in a better place because that’s something that actually throws shade at the family members. It’s not a wise thing to say; it’s recommended that you only empathize with the family members.
Don’t say things like “this too shall pass,” or “you will start feeling better soon.” It shows that you are incredibly insensitive and just here to waste time. More importantly, never try to compare the feelings of their loss to the one that you suffered. For instance, don’t start by telling about the death of an uncle or a relative a few years ago, and how you managed to get through it.
How to Maintain Neutral Behavior
The ideal thing to do when you go to a funeral is to practice a few things that you can say, and completely avoid negative things. Your aim is to be respectful of their feelings and their emotions, and you must never try to take their pain away.
It’s recommended that you start by offering your condolences, and make yourself available so that they know that you are available in their times of need. Then, try to stay as quiet as possible so that you do not end up saying anything that might be harmful. Share positive things about the deceased as much as possible.