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Need help about funeral etiquette please(12 Posts)
My best friend from secondary school sent me a message through facebook the other evening, to tell me her father had passed away.
We were as close as you can be at school, but during our twenties we kind of fell out...not in a definite way, but we took different directions and I think I frustrated her a lot, so we stopped talking.
I sent a long letter apologising, through fb again, after finding her on there last year and asking her to be a 'friend' - no response to the letter but we have very occasionally exchanged brief comments about a photo or somesuch. It still feels awkward.
I replied to her message saying how wonderful her father was, and how sorry I am to hear the news,
she has replied saying she was comforted by my message and wants to use part of it in the tribute.
Of course this would be fine, and I want to reply and say go ahead, but the problem is she also told me the day and location of the funeral, and I'm not sure whether to take this as an invitation or to mention it in any way...help.
I want to do whatever would help her, but I'm not certain whether she would want me there or not.
Any suggestions? Or should I just say I hope it goes well.
How about: 'I'm really glad I was able to help at this difficult time and of course you can use it at your dad's funeral. Is there anything else I can do to make things easier to you, do you want me to come along and hold your hand on the day?'
Do you want to go? Or just feel you should offer but don't really want to?
If you want to go ( and you obviously thought enough of her father to write a letter) - then go.
If you can't go then just let her know you can't make it but will be thinking of them etc......
I think it seems to help the family when people not expected to attend ( the close family) do go to the funeral.
Thankyou WM...that sounds good, but am a bit worried she won't feel able to say no iyswim?
I'll feel awful if she says no, which she will know!!
maybe I could just take some flowers along, or send some via their house. I would be happy to go along, but part of me feels like she is only reaching out to me because she's been thrown by this and isn't her normal self...I don't want to take advantage and take that as meaning she wants to be proper friends again. If that makes sense.
Pancake do you think so?
In that case I will turn up and hang about on the peripheries, with some flowers.
I think I'd go. You obviously wanted to be in touch with her; when you sent her the long letter last year. She should have replied, but didn't. People are odd and sometimes don't seem to face up to things- your long letter, when they should do; to clear the air and move on.
You obviously knew her and her dad in happier times; maybe when he was as young as you are now. From her reaction to your message after he died, you have good memories of him.
She is now at a time of need. It sounds as if she wants you to go. I have friends from the past who I haven't seen for years but in these circumstances I would go.
...although they might not want flowers, her mother is a florist, argh.
I'll reply saying it's fine about the tribute and would it be Ok to come along, or is it close family only etc.
Does that sound alright?
thanks Merle, yes I see what you mean...I guess it doesn't need to imply that our friendship will become ongoing or whatever, but yes I did know him for a while and he was lovely.
So I suppose it is right to go along.
She is not going to be thinking about how to or not to be friends with you etc at the moment. If you want to go - go.
You wrote and showed kindness. She has appreciated that.
She had probably told lots of people the time of the funeral. Some will go - some won't. The family will remember who go and appreciate it but they'll be thinking of other things at the moment.
Funerals aren't really something you are invited to. They're a place to remember and think about the person who has died - to pay your respects to them in the most traditional sense.
If you feel you'd like to go to the funeral - even if you choose not to go to the wake afterwards, go. It's likely there will be a lot of people there all doing the same thing.
And the close family are likely to appreciate everyone making such an effort to say goodbye to their dad.
She wouldn't have told you when and where it was if she didn't want you to go on some level! She could have just said 'at the funeral on Friday' without referencing it fully.
Go. Whatever happens afterwards doesn't really matter does it, you've made the effort and been a good friend and whether that's for reasons of duty rather than care is beside the point. I've been to lots of funerals because it was the 'right' thing to do, even when the relationships involved are difficult. I've never regretted making the effort and no-one has ever asked 'why are you here?'
Ok...that's good. Thankyou, I've been lucky not to have to go through this yet myself so am grateful to you all for talking me through it.
Just struggling now to write a reply as ds2 is shrieking in the background...argh.
I'll do it later,