It is very difficult to say something to a grieving family at a funeral. Usually, people find it the most difficult parts of attending a funeral. The grieving family wants to hear many different things like I’m sorry for your loss,” and “is there anything I can do to help?” These comments can make a grieving person feel a little better even if it’s only for a moment. Apart from these lines, there are many other thoughts, feelings, and observations that the people express while attending the funeral. These things are better not to be said at a funeral. Here, we have compiled a list of 10 things that you should not say at a funeral.
He Looks Better Now
There is no one on this earth who looks “great” or “beautiful” or “wonderful” when they’re dead. So, never say to the loved ones of a dead person that he looks better now or any other words like fabulous, at peace, well-rested, young, etc. It seems like saying that the person looks much better while he’s dead than that when he was alive (especially in the case where they suffered for a long time, like with a long illness, before their death). So, do not try to pretend. We all know that a dead person does not look better that way.
You Look Terrible!
Well! At first, you told me that the dead person in the coffin looks “fabulous” and you are telling me that I look terrible? Thank you so much for this! I don’t understand that why you want me to look good as I have lost someone whom I loved a lot and who was very dear to me. So, there is no need of telling me that how terrible I look. I know that my hair’s a mess, my makeup is running, I’ve been crying for days so I know that in this condition I will not look good. That’s the last thing that’s running in my mind right now; I could not care about my appearance. You can keep your opinions to yourself!
How Are You Fixed Financially?
Do not ask the rude questions like; are you going to be able to make it all by yourself? Do you think you will be able to stay in your house? Do you think you will need to go back to work? Did he/she have any life insurance policy? Have you ever asked about someone’s financial status at a dinner party, I know you have not! So, why to ask this question at a funeral? Someone has died does not means that you have got a license to ask stupid, prying, and nonsensical questions.
I Told Him Smoking Would Be The Death Of Him
Is the Monday-morning quarterbacking going to bring the dead back? It ain’t going to bring the person back! Yes, you must have told the deceased that smoking/drinking/eating unhealthily would kill his health. Almost everyone who cared about the person must have said these words but obviously, he didn’t listen to your instructions, because look where he is. This is too obvious to have to remind people not to say these words, but unfortunately, this telling off needs to be done by them.
Are You Taking Any Medication?
I don’t understand that why, surprisingly, the people who attend funerals become pill-pushers? It seems like they are working with the pharmaceutical companies to try to acquire them even more business. The person who is in grief can get the medication on their own if they need it or most probably they can ask someone closer to them than you who will suggest the need for medication at a much more appropriate time than at the funeral of the person who they love! This is a very personal matter so do not bring it casually at a funeral.
It Was His Time, Or His Number Was Up
Well, you must have heard: “To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” These lines are said by a preacher at a funeral or you may read in the little prayer card that they hand out to honor the dead, but remember! These lines cannot be used as grieving. So, do not pass these lines to the relatives of the dead person. Moreover, do not say that someone’s number being up – You will not appreciate someone who is saying this if you’re not a big believer in fate. You can and you should keep these kinds of comments to yourself.
He/She Is In A Better Place Now
This is not an appropriate thing to say at the funeral even if your intentions are not wrong because everyone does not believe in life after death. You have no idea that where the soul of the dead person is resting for eternity and platitudes. So, these lines truly do not make the grieving person feel any better. It cannot improve the situation of a grieving person but it may remind them that how much they miss the deceased soul and how much they wish he could be there for eternity… This may set them off a suicidal depression that can lead to another funeral…. Hence, it could result in an endless, vicious cycle….
Life Goes On
Is not this line self-evident? Of course, everyone knows that life goes on. However, this does not bring any comfort to someone who’s grieving. Most likely, they will start feeling that the life didn’t go on right now, without their loved one to share it with. A Beatles’ song is not required to be quoted to us at a funeral, so it’s a request, don’t sing it.
You Know He’s Going To Hell
There is nothing to laugh. I know a person to whom this was said at a funeral! The father of that person had committed suicide. Everyone at the funeral was being very cautious in what they said to the grieving family, just to sidestep what had happened and why we were all there. Then suddenly a bonehead opened his mouth about suicide being against the will of God and he actually told the grieving family member “you know, your father is going to hell.” He was lucky enough that he I have not heard it at that time otherwise I would have slapped his face. Everyone does not have the same religious views, so keep these views private, especially if you are at a funeral.
I Know Just How You Feel
Never say these lies because even if you have lost a loved one and been through the funeral and the process of grieving, still you cannot figure out that how the other person is feeling. This is another cliché, reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s famous expression, “I feel your pain.” Believe me! this expression only make the person feels better whose saying it but not anyone else. Empathy is not equal to sympathy, and the only thing the grieving person needs right now is your sympathy.