What to Do When You Can’t Go to a Funeral

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With funerals at funeral homes in Dayton, OH, you may desperately want to attend. The deceased may be an immediate family member. The deceased may be a long-time close friend. The deceased may be someone you love very much.

However, you are in a position where there is absolutely no way you can get to their funeral. What should you do if you find you’re in this position?

The first thing you need to do is to lose the guilt. You can still be there for the bereaved family in ways that not only support them through the funeral process but also support them after the funeral. You may not realize it, but grieving families often need more support after the funeral, than during it.

They are surrounded, during the funeral process, with people who are helping, supporting, and encouraging them. However, as soon as the funeral is over, most of those people disappear back into their own lives and routines, and they can inadvertently forget about the needs of the family that is still grieving. That’s life. But this is where you can help and be there, even if you’re miles away.

The first thing you should do if you can’t go to a funeral is to send a sympathy card to the family. It’s best to either make your own sympathy card or to get a sympathy card that is blank on the inside and write a very short, very personal, very heartfelt note. Mail it the same day you write it. Be sure to put your return address on it and sign your full name so that the bereaved family knows who the card is from.

Even if you live close by, there still may be reasons why you can’t go to the funeral. But you can show your support for the family by making sure they eat. If you bring food, make sure it’s in containers that are disposable or that you don’t need returned. Fix or buy a wide variety of food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Don’t forget about drinks, including water, coffee, and tea.

If some of the food is nonperishable, then pack it in a box. For perishable food, use a disposal Styrofoam cooler that the family can keep. Instead of trying to catch the family at home, simply deliver it to their home (with the recent surge in porch pirates stealing things from front porches, a back porch or patio may be the best place to leave it) and send them a text message to let them know where it is.

Another thing you can do if you can’t attend the funeral is to send a flowering plant to the funeral or to the grieving family’s home. While cut flowers are beautiful and a very thoughtful gesture, the reality is that they die in a very short period of time. A flowering plant, however, can be planted and can thrive as a living tribute to the deceased and a lasting testimony to your thoughtfulness toward the bereaved family.

A final thing that you can do when you can’t attend a funeral in person is to sign the virtual guestbook for the person who died. Be sure to offer your condolences to the grieving family, and share a good memory that you have of or about their loved one.

If you’d like more guidance about funerals at funeral homes in Dayton, OH, our compassionate and experienced staff at Glickler Funeral Home & Cremation Service can help. You can come by our funeral home at 1849 Salem Ave., Dayton, OH 45406, or you can contact us today at (937) 278-4287.

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