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4 Things You Shouldn't Do At A Funeral For An Elderly Person

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When someone passes away in their youth, there is understandably an outpouring of love and compassion for the grieving family. However, when someone dies in their old age, sometimes the support is not as clear and pronounced. When you're attending the funeral for an elderly person who has passed away, it's important to avoid making these common mistakes that can make the bereaved family members feel worse.

Stop! Don't Avoid the Friends of the Deceased

Sometimes it can be hard to know what to say to friends of the deceased. After all, they are a bit removed from the inner circle of the family, but their grief can sometimes be extremely intense. If the elderly person has a lot of older friends at the funeral, it can mean a lot to them if you simply extend your condolences and offer a kind word or two.

Stop! Don't Try to Simplify a Long, Complex Life

If you don't know the person well, it can be easy to think of the deceased person as they were when you knew them. You may think of the person as an elderly or frail individual, but keep in mind that they were likely very different for most of their life. People who are attending the funeral may be able to offer a lot of insight into the complex person that has passed away. Don't try to simplify the person's life by stating assumptions based on a small fraction of their life.

Stop! Don't Dismiss Feelings by Saying the Person Lived a Long Life

One should generally avoid stating the obvious at a funeral, but this is a big one. The grieving family members will likely be very hurt if you try to comfort them by explaining that the deceased person lived a long life. That's a common mistake that people make, but don't let it be yours.

Stop! Don't Make Any Jokes About Age

While a funeral is a serious occasion, many people do sneak in jokes that work in eulogies. Oftentimes people laugh while they are socializing with loved ones at a funeral. However, one thing that you should never do is crack a joke about age at an elderly person's funeral. Ageism is something that's very real, and it can be a sore topic for loved ones of someone who is older. Also, older people tend to also have older friends who may be offended at that sort of humor. It's best to steer clear of it.

Finally, keep in mind that some things may be alright with some family that would hurt others. If in doubt, follow the lead of those who are grieving, and try to err on the side of extreme caution when trying to comfort someone at a funeral. For more tips on etiquette, contact a company like Brinsfield-Echols Funeral Home.