Yesterday’s F-Minus cartoon showed people standing in line to file past a casket. A woman is giving a dirty look to a younger guy next to her who has a yo-yo dangling from his finger. The kid says, “Well, when is a good time for yo-yo?”
Let’s be clear: A funeral is not a good time for yo-yo, paddle ball, hackey sack, cell phones, iTunes, Blackberries, and any toy or technology that will distract from the proceedings. Funerals and memorial services are a time to be fully present. Here are a few funeral etiquette tips:
While some funerals may have a lighter tone than others, family members are hurting and need the loving attention of their community. Those who come to offer their support need to turn off electronic devices and focus on honoring the memory of the deceased and expressing their condolences to the surviving family.
We all know modes of dress have gotten more revealing, and I’m all for wearing creative clothing in the right settings. Funerals and memorial services are a time to dress modestly. Just as you don’t want to draw attention away from the bride and groom at a wedding, all eyes should stay on the deceased and his or her family at a funeral… not a niece in a micro-mini skirt showing a bare midriff.
If attendees are asked to share memories of the deceased in open comments, stick to positive memories and stories. It’s no time to air old grievances or dirty laundry.
And just like the bride and groom get to leave first at the end of the ceremony, stand and wait as the casket is wheeled out and the family exits before leaving. It’s good if you can attend the reception and speak directly to the mourners after the ceremony to offer your support. If you need to go off to other activities, it’s a nice gesture to send a condolence card with mention of what you thought of the service – only good comments, please!
Have to also mention today’s Close To Home which features another arrival at the Pearly Gates – a golfer who looks a bit fried. St. Peter says, “We sent you THREE warning lightning bolts to get off the course, but you kept playing! We finally just got fed up and nailed you.” Pay attention to those signs of nature!