What Not To Say
Try not to give comments that minimize the loss, such as "It's probably for the best, because he was suffering too much," or "I've been in your shoes myself." These will not provide comfort to the bereaved. Instead, do not be afraid to express your feelings of sympathy, as they are comforting to the bereaved.
Wait for the family to discuss the cause of death. Do not bring it up yourself.
Keep The Line Moving
Visitations can be very emotional, especially when speaking with the family of the deceased. If there is a line to speak with the bereaved and view the casket, be conscious of keeping the line moving. With covid restrictions, it is especially important to be mindful of the amount of time spent with family members. Be courteous by practicing social distancing and limit your time to allow others who are waiting to pay their respects due to the lower occupancy restrictions.
Mobile Phone Use
Smart phones should be turned off or silenced completely during the service. Checking your phone is noticeable and is a distraction to those who are trying to pay their respects. If you must return a message or receive a call, exit the service quietly.
Allowing a child to attend a memorial or funeral service can help them say goodbye to a friend or loved one. It is important to not force a child to go, but instead encourage them to share in this tribute with the rest of the family. Before attending, help prepare them by explaining what they might see at the service. If you are not immediate family, it is appropriate to bring children to a visitation, keeping in mind that it is also appropriate to limit the amount of time they are there.
This can be a very draining time for a family. The gift of food is a kind gesture that the family will deeply appreciate and help alleviate the stress of funeral planning and mourning.
Remembering children in the family is a thoughtful gesture, as this is often a difficult time for them as well. A small gift like a stuffed animal or a book is best.
Time is precious. Helping with household tasks ease the family's burden. Caring for pets, driving children to school, running errands, or helping around the house are wonderful ways to help the family.