What You Should and Shouldn’t Say at a Funeral
Death is a natural part of life, but it can still be a difficult and overwhelming time when someone you know passes away. When you attend a funeral at a cemetery, whether it’s for someone you were close to or simply an acquaintance, chances are there will be people to whom you should express sympathy. Friends and family of the deceased will be in attendance, and though your presence is appreciated, saying a few kind words can be even more meaningful. Keep reading to learn what is appropriate to say at a funeral, and what kinds of things should be avoided.
What to Say
The best words to say at a funeral come from the heart. You can be both sincere and brief, so you don’t have to worry about having a speech prepared. The bereaved have many things on their minds, and just heartfelt sentence or two from you can offer them comfort and support in a difficult time. “I’m sorry for your loss” is an appropriate thing to say to relatives and friends of the departed. It is short, but shows that you are thinking of them. You can also offer support, saying that you are only a phone call away or available at any time that your help might be useful. Putting a hand on someone’s arm or giving someone a hug can also help express your sympathy in a trying time.
What Not to Say
Though it may be difficult to find the right words to say, saying just a few words is far better than saying the wrong thing while you are at the grave side. Try to avoid statements such as, “I know how you feel,” as this makes it about your experience rather than theirs. Platitudes such as “everything happens for a reason” should also be avoided, as chances are the mourners have already thought about why their loved one has died. Also, when expressing faith in an afterlife, be certain the person to whom you are speaking will be receptive to comments such as, “she’s in a better place,” or “heaven has another angel now.”
Inglewood Park Cemetery has been serving families for over 100 years. We offer caring and compassionate interment services for your loved ones. Contact our cemetery in the Los Angeles area at (310) 412-6500 to inquire about gravestone memorials, funeral pre-planning, and more.