Tuesday, January 31, 2012
When co-workers or casual acquaintances lose loved ones, you may not be sure about whether you should attend the gatherings surrounding the death and how you should conduct yourself when attending. One way to determine whether you should even go to the gathering is to ask yourself whether you would expect to see the co-worker or acquaintance who just lost someone at a service if you lost your mother. If you would, then you should go to the gathering celebrating his/her loved one’s life or mourning his/her loss.
If you do go to such a gathering, then you should put some effort into getting ready to show respect for the family. You should probably sign the guest book and wait in line to express your condolences. It is usually best to stick to sincere apologies for his/her loss or celebrations of things that the deceased was enjoyed. You should also avoid asking too many questions about the death. If you weren’t particularly close to the family, your appearance at the gathering should suffice in place of attending the funeral. One last suggestion is to be sure that your phone is turned off out of respect.
See Judy Hevrdejs, Funerals 101: How to Respectfully Pay Your Respects, Chicago Tribune, Jan. 31, 2012.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.