Q: What should I say to the grieving family at a funeral service?

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- Ramona Sousa

Transcript

Good question. What to say, what’s most appropriate at a funeral. I think it’s probably not so much what you say, but who you are and what you bring to that moment.

I think that sometimes it’s better to say less and to listen more. I really don’t think that you have any answers that can fix anything. Everyone’s experience of death is really their own. So, so many things are about the moment. And I think that the best thing that you can offer someone isn’t the cleverness of your words, as much as it is your presence.

I would encourage people to try not to make it about yourself, because it’s very easy to start talking about how you are experiencing your loss, but instead asking leading questions, “How are you doing? What can I do to help?”

There’s a lot to be said for physically being present, and being with someone, and being in the same room and the same space as someone speaks volumes. You don’t need to fill the air with too, too many words. But stories are always good. Happy stories are always welcome.

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