What Should I Send? And Other Funeral Etiquette Tips

February 22, 2023

When someone dies, knowing how to show your support can be difficult.

Often the loved ones’ family is probably feeling shocked, sad, overwhelmed, angry – or any combination of emotions and inversely, you want to do something to help alieve their pain and stress. Trust us when we say that it is normal to feel unsure about what specifically to do, and depending on the situation, some forms of condolences might be better fitting than others. It’s also important to be mindful that each family and person can be different, so things that we might consider thoughtful or helpful might not be regarded as the same for them. However, we would encourage you to do something over not taking action or expressing your feelings.

At Greenlawn Funeral Home, families often ask us what is appropriate to send to a grieving family after a loss.

While every family is different, we have seen several expressions of sympathy that families found touching.

Contributions to Charity

Sometimes, the deceased’s family will request donations to an organization close to their loved one’s heart. Whether because they helped others with similar medical or social conditions or it was a cause they deeply cared about. The family will normally include this information in their loved one’s online obituary. If we are serving the family, you can contact us to inquire about the family’s wishes for donations and to get information about where to send contributions. It is also acceptable if you still want to send flowers in addition to donating.

Photographs & Mementos

Sometimes, the best way to support the family is to let them know how much their loved one meant to you. Families often appreciate hearing stories or anecdotes about their loved one that they may not have heard before. Sharing photographs, stories, or meaningful items at the memorial service or visitation is a lovely way to empathize with the family while at the same time celebrating the life of the person who died.

Flowers & Plants

Floral arrangements are a traditional and well-known way to honor someone who has died and to share your condolences with the family. At Greenlawn, we can assist you in choosing the right arrangement. You can have arrangements sent directly to us at the funeral home, and we will ensure that they are placed for the family during the visitation or memorial service. We can also assist you in having flowers delivered to their home after the service as the family moves into the days following the burial or cremation. Plants and flowers can be a wonderful way to let the family know they are an ongoing part of your thoughts.

Meal Delivery Services & Gift Cards

As you can imagine, the days leading up to and immediately after a funeral are filled with difficult decisions, emotional moments, and sleepless nights. Take one daily task off your friend or family member’s plate by covering a meal for them through a meal delivery service or a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Or you could do it as they did in days gone by and drop off a casserole for them to put in their freezer.

Cards & Letters

The Greenlawn team often hears that some of the most special gifts families receive are cards or letters from others who cared about their loved one. Even if writing is not your strength, simply sharing a memory about that person can provide comfort to the family by showing the impact their loved one had on your life and others. Letting the family know how important their loved one was to you is a very special way to show your sympathy.

No matter what you choose, we are always glad to help and provide guidance on expressing your sympathy.

Please contact one of our expert staff members for further assistance.

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