What do you say to people at funerals?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by bigMAC28, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. bigMAC28 macrumors member

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    Chicago
    #1
    Today my ex-best friends dad was murdered in my hometown. I haven't talked to him in like 8 years because we went our separate ways.(he got caught up in drugs and the hipster movement, i didn't) What should I say to him and his family when at the funeral this weekend? Im always terrible at these things.
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #2
    Just say that you are sorry for his loss and that you are there for him if he wants to talk.
     
  3. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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  4. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a

    leftywamumonkey

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    #4
    Hipsters have always been around.
     
  5. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

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    #5
    You have to realize there's nothing really that you can say that make a big difference. Just being there is often enough, at this stage - unless they were a friend. Saying you're very sorry for the loss is standard, but acceptable. Offers of help, however well meant, can sound hollow if you weren't close to them.

    The family is likely in shock, and everything is a blur. They will notice your presence and support more than what you say.

    :)
     
  6. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

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    #6
    I say wow, I never thought <insert name here> would die. What s shocker!
     
  7. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #7
    If he was your best friend for a while then remind him of good memories involving his father that you remember from the time when you two were close. One of the best ways to support the family and honor the dead is to remember and talk about the good times you had with them when they were alive. These stories help break the tension and there is something healing about being able to laugh during sad times.
     
  8. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #8
    Want some Vodka or Brandy and Dry?

    The answer is usually yes.
     
  9. twietee macrumors 603

    twietee

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    #9
    It really depends, if you are in line with many other people before/after the funeral to briefly 'shake hands' with with your ex-best friend, I would rather say nothing / minimum and just try to look him in his eyes. But in a situation where one has more time to speak, I would follow mscriv's advise. I don't know how old you are, but given the fact that you two were close friends for a longer time-span, you should know best. But don't start a monologue; and laughing at a funeral is a good thing imho, but never start before you friend does! ;)
     
  10. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #10
    Just don't go. Avoid the entire uncomfortable, awkward situation and do something else instead.
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    Agreed- after 8 years of not speaking, I don't see what good attending this funeral will do for anyone. Sounds like you're just looking for drama- something your "ex-friend" does not need right now.

    If you really feel the need, I would wait a few weeks and give him a call or shoot him an e-mail. Let him come to you after that.
     
  12. bigMAC28 thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Not going to funeral is out of the question. Ive known him for about 15 years and our families are really friends. Thanks for the help guys
     
  13. twietee macrumors 603

    twietee

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    #13
    Given the fact that the father was murdered, I would prepare myself to possibly face a lot, I mean really a lot of hate and anger..but fortunately was never in a situation like that myself.
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    Then, I would say as little as possible.
     
  15. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #15
    See here's the issue. It isn't out of the question at all. Just say you're uncomfortable at funerals and just don't go.

    I don't know why people feel the need to drag themselves through miserable situations because of social conventions.
     
  16. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #16
    He said they parted ways, rather than had a falling out, there's no indicating that there would be conflict, OP correct me if that's the case.

    A lot of people turned up to my mothers funeral, many of them didn't get along with each other, many of them didn't know my mother very well but in an environment like that you set your differences aside, pay your respects and be there for those who need someone to be there for them. That's what I remember most about that day. Losing a parent is tough and unless the OP has some serious issues with drug taking hipsters that he can't set aside I'd hope he could attend in a positive way.

    I've always found it difficult to say "I'm sorry" or variations thereof, but then I realised it just isn't about me, what I find difficult, my baggage or my experience, it's about letting those who are grieving know they're not alone, that the deceased will be remembered. That phrase "I'm sorry" seems so utterly meaningless and hollow but it's just what we've cobbled together as a verbal substitute for something I don't think we can really put into words.

    The state of the friendship is kind of irrelevant, attend, pay your respects, remember his father and if you think you can be of any comfort to those grieving do what you feel you can.
     
  17. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #17
    I usually open with my best dead baby joke and then get hammered on the flask of Jack in my suit pocket.
     
  18. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #18
    Next funeral I'm going to I'm bringing you!


    Ok to the OP, well if you are going that means you liked your friends dad and want to pay your respects. Just say that you are there because he was "a good guy" or "good to you" (or whatever fits) and that you feel sympathy for the family experiencing such a great loss. Just keep it simple and the small talk will flow.
     
  19. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #19
    Be genuine and keep it short, no need to rehearse anything (it will come across as rehearsed). Your presence alone will say plenty to your friend. There's nothing anyone can say right now that will make this better.
     
  20. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

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    Sydney, Australia.
    #20
    Please don't say; "Sorry for your loss". It sounds lazy and insincere to me.
     
  21. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    Oct 9, 2007
    #21
    Google condolence words. You'll find websites from people who are actually interested in giving useful advice. You'll probably find something there that sounds right to you - something you'd feel comfortable saying
     
  22. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #22
    When my grandfather passed away and people would say "I'm so sorry about what's happened...", my automatic reaction was to say "that's okay". It's just what naturally came out of my mouth because that's how I normally respond whem someone apologizes to me. A family member pulled me aside and told me to stop saying that and to instead simply say "Thank you".

    I think you pretty much nailed it. "Sorry" is what we say, but often I don't think if really conveys what we are feeling or what we want to express.
     
  23. RenoG macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Nothing, just give'em a nice solid hug and move on...Your simply being there says enough....
     
  24. annk Administrator

    annk

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    #24
    I think it depends if you mean it, and how you say it. If you really are sorry that they lost a loved one (and it's possible to look at it like that, even in cases where you didn't like the deceased - you can still put yourself in the shoes of those who loved him), and you feel you can say it with sincerity, then I think it often is exactly the right thing to say. And it's enough, if you don't feel comfortable saying anything else.

    Funerals are to help those left behind start the process of going on without the deceased, and I think that even just the presence of people who have been close to them or the deceased during different life phases is usually seen as a gesture of support and comfort. So even if you don't feel it's right to say anything, your presence alone (and something like a clap on the shoulder or whatever is appropriate between the two of you, if the opportunity arises) is enough.

    I think we make too much out of this. No one is comfortable at a funeral. That's the one thing everyone there has in common.
     
  25. Ddyracer macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

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    #25
    Try to cry. Raw emotion moves more than the mouth.
     

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