So many people struggle with how to behave at funerals – they worry about what to say, what to wear, when to leave, what to say…
Funerals are a real downer.
I know it’s a bit facetious to say that but also surely that’s the point. Many other things in life you can motivate yourself to have a good time and get through them but a funeral is always going to be a really rubbish day. Understanding funeral etiquette is important.
There’s no avoiding it so why not embrace it.
So, do you know how to behave at funerals? What do you even say to others you meet on the day? Sure, you can talk about the service and the event and the ‘fitting send-off’ for the deceased. If the person went through a long illness you can talk about how ‘at least they’re at peace now’. But all of this is just awkward small talk because we don’t know what to say.
Talking to the family of the deceased is also difficult. You can mumble your condolences and how sorry you’re for their loss and all of these things may be true. But really you don’t know what to say and you just stumble through something to get it over with.
The point is that it really sucks. It’s really sad the person is gone (assuming you do think it’s sad they’ve passed!) and everyone just needs to be sad for the day at least.
It’s a really shitty day. You should just say that (with or without the profanity). This sucks. It’s rubbish that you’re all here and the deceased is not. Death is the worst. We don’t like talking about it and we definitely don’t want to be around it. And at a funeral it’s the one thing you can’t ignore.
So let it in. Embrace the one thing we all have in common. Allow yourself to be really sad. Have a good cry. What a shit day.
Writer and Consultant living in Brighton