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How to Say the Right Thing at a Funeral

Published: July 6, 2021

First, take a deep breath and relax. We all worry that we’ll say the wrong thing.

Second, know that you don’t have to be eloquent. While we wish it were so, you can’t make everything all better with a few words.

Here are a few simple ideas to keep in mind to be sure you say the right thing when attending a funeral.

Don’t underestimate the power of your presence.

It’s important. Just being there says more than you can know.

Keep your words simple.

“I’m sorry for your loss” may be all that is needed.

Share your story.

If you have a brief anecdote about how you interacted with the deceased, share it. Knowing how her sister lit up her workplace may just be the most comforting thing a mourner can hear. 

Use the deceased person’s name.

“Mary always made me laugh.” “John had the longest drive, too bad it wasn’t always straight.” “We always knew when Big Bad Byron was in the plant, everyone was on their toes.” “Nobody made better chocolate chip cookies than your mother.”

Avoid using common platitudes.

Resist the temptation to tell the bereaved how they must feel -- “grateful that he is in a better place,” “relieved that his suffering is over,” “grateful for a long life,” etc.

We don’t know how that wife, husband, mother, son, or daughter actually feels. Just say you’re sorry for their loss.

Let them tell you how they feel and accept it with a nod or hug.

Don’t forget about listening. 

Listen to understand, not just to hear. Listen to show you care, not to judge. Listen with love, even when you’ve heard the story before.

www.dewhirstfuneral.com

Dewhirst Boles Funeral Home and Cremation Service has been serving families in Methuen, MA and surrounding areas since 1949. They specialize in providing unique tributes, ceremonies and celebrations of life, and their primary mission is to care for families before, during and after a loss has occurred.
 

Making Lasting Memories.

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The caring and experienced professionals at Dewhirst Boles Funeral Home and Cremation Service are here to support you through this difficult time. We offer a range of personalized services to suit your family’s wishes and requirements.The caring and experienced professionals at Dewhirst Boles Funeral Home and Cremation Service are here to support you through this difficult time. We offer a range of personalized services to suit your family’s wishes and requirements.The caring and experienced professionals at Dewhirst Boles Funeral Home and Cremation Service are here to support you through this difficult time. We offer a range of personalized services to suit your family’s wishes and requirements.

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Contact Us

Dewhirst Boles Funeral Home and Cremation Service
|
80 Broadway
| Methuen, MA 01844
|
Tel: 1-978-687-1333
| Fax: 1-978-686-4965

|

| Directions

You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.

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