When you are going to a viewing of a friend or family member who’s recently passed over, there are a few things you should, and should not do.
1) Don’t say merely “he/she’s in a better place”. Instead say either “they are in heaven” or “they aren’t in pain” (assuming they died of a painful issue.) if you aren’t a believer or you don’t know where the decedent has gone on to, just say “they will be missed.”
2) Do say I’m sorry your lost your dad/mom/sister/cousin/etc, NOT just “I’m sorry for your loss”. And follow it up with “I remember when they did/said….(something funny, sweet,brave,etc)” Try to relate to the bereaved.
3) Don’t hold ON TO the bereaved, They are wobbly enough as it is. If they look wobbly then YOU sit down and ask them to join you.
4) Don’t be a “close talker” (it’s a Seinfeld thing). Keep your head at least two heads away from the one you’re talking to.
5) Do take time to walk around and see the flowers sent. Make a point later on, to let the senders know you saw the flowers they sent and how lovely they were.
I’m sure I will come up with things to not do at a funeral and maybe I’ll post those tomorrow. It’s going to be a long weekend as we go here and yon. I appreciate your continued prayers.
Special Thanks to Kathleen for coming and sitting with me. Thanks to Geri for driving all the way from N.C. to be my “plus 1″ AND for bringing me cake with an extra tub of Geri made icing just for me. Thanks to Jeff for coming along so Geri wouldn’t get lost. Thanks to Lee for coming from Kentucky and Mike for coming from Annapolis and for Daryl for coming from Colorado. I really REALLY hope we end up with a HUGE crowd tomorrow, mom picked catering for 300 people. So if you’re reading this and you weren’t sure, by all means, come on!