Funeral Etiquette

Our Families Say:
Dear Paul and Staff - I just would like to thank you for your kindness that you gave to my husband John, during these sad times of losing both of his parents. The professionalism that you showed was outstanding but most of all your compassion and caring meant so much to us all.
Blessings & Prayers, Nancy & John Napoleon

Paul and Staff - Your compassion helped us deal with our loss, and your professionalism was unsurpassed in helping us plan his wake and service. It truly was a celebration of David's life.
Diane Blakley

Paul and Staff - Thank you for all you did to make sure Harold was laid to rest with lots of love and dignity. I appreciate your kind, courteous and professional service.
Love, Dolores Leonard

Dear Paul and Staff - Thank you!! Thank you!! For the manner in which you handled Tony's funeral. We were very pleased. God bless you!!
Love
Anne Greco & son Tony

Dear Paul and Staff - Jeff's passing was as much a shock for you, as for our family. Your kind, caring ways; your gentle guidance through those first few days after his death and ultimately through the calling hours and funeral - you never failed to be there when we needed you and continue to do so now. Our community is extremely fortunate to have you here to respond and assist families at such difficult times.
Joanne Fredenberg and Family

Dear Paul,
Words cannot express how grateful my sister and I are for all you did for our father, Thomas Turck's, funeral. You and your staff were always professional, courteous and attentive to all of our requests. From the time that Joanne and I sat with you to discuss and finalize the details for the funeral, through the burial, you could not have made it easier for us, and your attention to detail was excellent. Our father would have appreciated all the military detail, including the Army insignia on the hearse and the presenting of the three flags at the cemetery.
Joanne and I both thank you!

Dear Paul & Staff - We cannot begin to express our gratitude to you for all you did to make the passing of Mom easier for us to get through. Every aspect was perfect, from making the arrangements, to making mom beautiful, to decorating with mom's things, the funeral and graveside. We will never forget your kindness and compassion during a very difficult time in our lives.
Cindy and John Belsito

Dear Paul and Staff - There are not enough words to thank you all. You are very special to me and I will never forget and will always be grateful to all of you.
Very Truly Yours
Kathy Napierkowski

Dear Paul & Staff - I wanted to thank you for all your help with my father, Howard Fox's funeral. We were so pleased with how everything was handled by you and your staff. Paul, I know that my niece really appreciated your guidance when she did the readings in church.
Sincerely
Evelyn Hopp

Dear Paul & Staff - Thank you for your compassion, kindness and professionalism during our time of loss and sorrow. We appreciate everything you did for our family.
Sincerely
Troy & Scott Ashdown and family

Dear Paul and Staff - When you took our choices and put them into action (I am an OCD perfectionist) I could not have orchestrated the whole process better if I had directed it myself. You went above and beyond. It was phenomenal. I mean phenomenal!!!

"Personally, I think you have really answered your true calling in life, to help us deal with the death of a loved one."
Sincerely, Terry Vinning

Dear Paul and Staff - Kind, gentle, efficient, professional this is what you are. Sincere thanks for all that was done for Ella and our family.
In Sorrow, Paul Panesa

Do I need to be invited to a funeral or can anyone go?

Anyone can go. A funeral service is open to anyone, unless the family requests that it is a private ceremony.

Do I have to wear black?

No, wearing colorful clothing is no longer inappropriate for relatives and friends. Most people choose formal clothes like a suit, and men normally wear a tie.

Can children go to a funeral?

Yes, but toddlers and babies can be disruptive, especially if it’s a long service. You can take older children if they want to go. It’s a good idea to prepare them beforehand so they know what to expect.

Who travels with the funeral procession?

When the funeral ceremony and the burial are both held within the local area, it is appropriate for friends and relatives to accompany the family to the cemetery.

How can I help?

You can offer friendship and someone to talk to at a time when they need it most. There is often the assumption that family grief is private and that you may be intruding. But many people live far away from their family and would appreciate your help with practical things like preparing a meal or taking children to school.

What should I say?

No matter what your means of expressing your sympathy, it is important to clearly identify yourself to the family. In addition to expressing sympathy it is appropriate, if desired, to relate to family members your fond memories of the deceased. In some cases family members may simply want you to be a good listener to their expressions of grief or memories of the deceased. In most circumstances it is not appropriate to inquire as to the cause of death. When in person, sympathy should be expressed by clasping hands, an embrace, or a simple statement of condolence like: “My sympathy to you,” “It was good to know John,” “John was a fine person and friend. He will be missed,” “My sympathy to you and your mother.”

Do I send flowers or gifts?

It is completely up to you and depends on the closeness of your relationship with the family or the deceased. You can send flowers to the funeral home prior to the funeral, or to the family residence at any time. Florists know what is appropriate to send in the funeral context. Gifts in memory of the deceased are often made, particularly when the family has requested gifts in lieu of flowers. The family is notified of the gifts by personal note from the charity or other organization. Even if you don’t make a gift, a note or card to the deceased’s family expressing your thoughts of the deceased is a welcome gesture, especially if you weren’t able to attend the funeral.

How can I help my friend?

One of the best ways you can help your friend is to allow them to feel what they want to feel. They may feel anger, guilt or fear. Let them talk these feelings through with you — don’t try to stop them because you think they are irrational.

What happens at the cemetery?

The casket is normally placed beside the grave, prior to when all the mourners gather at the gravesite. People then gather around the casket to listen to the rites of burial given by the clergy. Following the clergy's remarks, family members may place a flower on the casket. In many cases the funeral director will provide flowers for each mourner. They should follow the family in placing flowers.

Do I approach the casket? If so, what do I do?

The decision of whether or not to approach the casket is a very individual one. It is not required or considered rude if you decide against it. Many people find that viewing the deceased helps you to accept the loss and move on. If you decide to approach the casket, use that time to say your good-byes and pay your respects. Keep in mind that there are often long lines to follow and everyone deserves their moment with the deceased.

What do I do when I arrive at the service?

When you arrive, quietly take a seat if the service is being held in a church or chapel. The first few rows are usually reserved for the immediate family and the casket bearers. There may be an opportunity during the service for you to share some words about the deceased. If the ceremony is being held at the interment site, seating is usually only available for the immediate family.

How often should I stay in touch?

Remember that grief doesn't go away in a few short weeks. Even one year may not be long enough to adjust to changes in your life. So, a friend who calls in 3, 6, or 12 months time may be one of the few who still asks how things are going. Special days like birthdays or Christmas may be just the time to pick up the phone and say, "I was thinking of you today."

 

 

 

Simpson-Gaus Funeral Home
Serving Families Since 1953
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outdoor service
As a convenience to family members and friends who are arriving from out of town, we’ve compiled a list of some of the lodging and other options near the funeral home.