Life flows like a river. It is full of pleasant surprises, unexpected turns, joyful and sad events. Unfortunately, it has time not only for joy, but for sorrow. People leave this life, and the funeral is the service that allows leading their souls to another world beautifully and solemnly, with all the honors they deserve. Funerals are an inevitable part of our life.
Having learned that someone close to you passed away you should not wait for an invitation. Unless it’s not a private service, then you can assume the public is welcome, and you should definitely go.
It’s such a comfort to the family to see a full church and people who also care and want to show their respects to the deceased. Even if someone was of another faith it is still advisable to visit the funeral.
Ritualistic or informal, funeral usually has its director, or it can be some clergy telling the mourners what to do. But still, if you’re traveling to a funeral you should have a look at a list of some funeral traditions to be ready to anything unexpected. Here is some advice:
- Arrive early, because funeral services are often delayed because of inconvenient reasons, such as no places for parking, or trying to find a proper place to sit.
- Register yourself in the guestbook and specify your relationship to the deceased. It’s important to the family and will give them the picture of the people present at the ceremony.
- Don’t attract the attention of the family before the service starts. Be brief and remember that family members and close friends take the sits toward the front. If you are a co-worker or an acquaintance than you should take a place in the rear.
If your traveling to a funeral by car definitely ask someone to accompany you, support and drive you home if you need it. In case you have to fly to a funeral service, purchasing airfare can be quite costly. Ask your travel agency for a bereavement airfare which is typically available for family members and it can be booked until departure time. For that you will need a death certificate. You’ll also need a death certificate if you plan on bring any memorial ashes on-board a plane. Call the airline and ensure if they have any airfare discount options for those traveling to a funeral.
Sometimes we are overwhelmed with emotions at the service, feel so sorry and want to support the family in grief. Try to control yourself and don’t burst into tears, you’d rather leave the service for a while, and come back when you calm down. Remember, that it’s OK not to know what to say at the funeral. There is no phrase, which will magically make everything all right or better. Just be normal, do not be afraid to keep inconvenient silence. Even a hug is enough to show how sorry you are.
Travelling to a funeral many people can’t make up their mind whether to bring kids or leave with a sitter. Do bring them with you if they are six years old and more. Children won’t be scared, in fact, such an experience is positive for child’s development as a member of a society. They can even play an instrument, read a poem or sing a song at the service.