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Steps to Take When You Are Unable to Make It to the Funeral Home

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When someone you know dies, you should do all that you can to rearrange your schedule so that you can attend the visitation or funeral—or, ideally, both. In some situations, however, you won't be able to visit the funeral home for these events. Perhaps you're away on business or have scheduled a vacation for which you've already paid a deposit. It's not the end of the world if you have a legitimate reason that you can't make it to the funeral home, but there are some steps that you should take to show the grieving family members that your thoughts are with them as they mourn. Here are some things to do.

Let Another Attendee Know Why You Won't Be There

You might be inclined to reach out to one of the family members to explain your absence, but you should think twice about doing so. In the midst of the family's grief, the family members will already be fielding calls, emails, and text messages from people offering their sympathy, and your message will just be one more thing for the family to deal with. Instead, find a close friend who will unquestionably attend the visitation or service at the funeral home. Let this person know that you aren't able to attend and why. When the person offers his or her condolences to the family at the funeral home, he or she can share your message at the same time.

Send a Sympathy Card

You should always take some time to buy a sympathy card, write a thoughtful message, and put the card in the mail for the grieving family. If you act quickly, the card may arrive at the family's home around the time of visitation or funeral, and that can essentially give you an opportunity to convey your sympathy despite not physically being at the funeral home. In your sympathy card, you can use a sentence to reiterate the reason you aren't able to attend the funeral.

Arrange Flower Delivery or a Donation

Another nice way to show the family members that you're thinking of them is to have a flower arrangement sent to the funeral home in time for the visitation or service. The family will find solace in your support, even if you're not physically present. When you read the obituary on the funeral home's website, it may ask for donations to a specific charity in lieu of flowers. If this is the case, arrange a donation in memory of the person who has passed away.

Talk to a funeral home such as Linnemann Funeral Homes for more advice.