Decisions You Will Need to Make When Planning a Funeral

After my father passed away suddenly, my mother, siblings and I all struggled with planning his funeral. We were already in a state of shock and sorrow, and then we were overwhelmed with the options and decisions we had to make in regards to the funeral. Luckily for us, we worked with an amazing funeral home and funeral director who helped guide us through the process. I know how hard it is to plan a funeral and how many decisions need to be made. This website was created in order to give families preparing to lay a loved one to rest a guide of sorts that will help them determine what decisions will need to be made and information about those decisions. I extend my sympathies to you if you are in this position and hope my website helps to make things a little bit easier for you.

How To Express Your Sympathy at a Funeral


When you attend a visitation or funeral, you'll have an opportunity to stand in front of the grieving family and offer some words to provide comfort. Although you might feel that your words do little to reduce the family's grief, they can be powerful and provide comfort at a time of need. Even if you're nervous in this moment, try to avoid the temptation to talk excessively; doing so can reduce the impact of your words. Instead, try to gently let the family members know that your thoughts are with them and, if possible, share a pleasant memory of the person who has passed. Here's what you can say.

The Basics

If the funeral home is crowded and your time to greet the family is limited, focus on expressing sentiments of sympathy. The least you should say is that you're sorry for the family's loss and that you're thinking of each family member during this difficult time. Try to avoid sounding robotic as you share these statements; many people will be sharing a similar message, and you don't want your sympathy to get lost in the crowd. For example, instead of saying the cliched "Sorry for your loss," say something such as, "I know this is such a tough time for your family, but please know we're grieving right along beside you."

Personal Anecdotes

Although it's improper to jeopardize the family's time when people are standing behind you waiting to offer their condolences, you can share an anecdote or two if you get face time with a family member at some point. Focus on an anecdote that shows the character of the person who has passed or share a story about something the person taught you. Although visitations and funerals are a time for grieving, you shouldn't feel discouraged from sharing a humorous tale. Obviously, use discretion—although all deaths are upsetting to the person's family, certain occasions, such as the death of a young person, are more somber and are no place for humor.

Offer Some Help

When a family is in grief, it can often find itself consumed by it. You can make a difference not by asking the family if you can do anything to help, but rather by suggesting something that might be of assistance. For example, you could offer to drop some food off at the family's home, take care of household chores such as mowing the lawn, or look after the family's young children for an afternoon.

If you would like to, consider contacting a service such as Parsippany Funeral Home Inc for more information about what you can do to help a grieving family.


10 June 2015