A frequently asked funeral question we’ve heard is, “What should I say?” You want to support the people who are mourning, but you may feel uncomfortable because you know they’ll be feeling strong emotions – and you may be as well.
The most important thing to remember is that there is no one right thing to say or do at a funeral, just like there is no one right way to grieve for someone who has died.
You can never go wrong by saying, “I’m sorry for your loss.” You could also share a special memory or story about the person. It’s not your job to fix the situation or make the person feel better – sometimes a hug is exactly what’s needed to show the person that you care. Or you can ask the person how they’re doing and let them do the talking.
Whether or not you have a chance to speak directly to the family, signing the guest book is another way to show your support and express your condolences. Be sure to add a brief note about how you know the person, in case you don’t know all of the family members who will be looking at the book later on.
When you are the one in mourning, you may wonder what to say to other people at the funeral – especially if they make comments that feel inappropriate or even hurtful. Try to be as gracious as you can, because they’re probably doing their best in an uncomfortable situation. Keep these conversations short and postpone visits with certain people until you’re feeling stronger.
If you’re wondering what to say at a funeral, just focus on bringing your love and support. Don’t get too caught up in putting together the “perfect words” – there are none.