Funeral Etiquette

Funeral flowers

Everyone knows that showing good manners at a funeral is important, but not everyone understands what that really entails. The people who have poor funeral etiquette usually don’t intend any harm; they simply don’t realize how their actions can be perceived. We thought it would be a good idea to give a few tips on the proper way to behave at a funeral.

1. Dress appropriately. Some people recommend that people wear black to show mourning, but this tradition is by no means universal. Unless the crowd is going to be very conservative or religious, it’s probably not necessary to wear black unless you want to. With that said, you should dress up for a funeral. For men and women alike, think “business formal” clothes. A suit is a safe choice. If you’re an adult, you should absolutely never wear a T-shirt and jeans to a funeral.

2. Greet the bereaved. The most important thing to remember is that funerals are for the living, not for the deceased. If you are attending a funeral, be sure to speak to the family members of the deceased to express your condolences. Some people aren’t sure how to express themselves, or worry that anything they could say would be insufficient. But funerals are a time for reflection on the life of the deceased, and it’s important to show your sympathy. If the deceased was a family member of yours, and you are hosting the funeral, be sure to thank your guests for attending.

3. Turn off your cell phone. This should go without saying, but it’s not appropriate to take phone calls at a funeral. If you have to be on call for work, you should look into office phone systems that allow you to forward your voicemails to your email address, so that you can check it only after you get back to your computer. That way you can turn off your phone without worrying about missing anything, and you won’t be distracted by voicemails or phone calls.

If you follow these tips, you can create a good impression at the funeral and express your sympathy to the bereaved in an appropriate way.


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Why You Should Think of the Earth

Young tree

For many people who have just lost a loved one, the last thing on their minds is the actual process of having a funeral and burial. Most people are grieving, some are worried about other family members, and some are worried about money. Unless the deceased has left specific instructions regarding what should happen to their body (and most people don’t), it’s hard to know what to do or what they would have wanted.

But it’s always important to remember that funerals and burials are for the living. It can be helpful to think about what you would want, if it happened to you. Many people will say that they would like to do something for the earth. This is sometimes called a “green burial.” Buying an environmentally-friendly coffin is an option that many people should consider. Not only are they good for the earth, but they can be cheaper than most commercially produced coffins.

Some religious ceremonies involve burying the deceased with items that they enjoyed during their life, or that people think they might need in the afterlife. This can be anything from coins to clothing to cosmetics, such as the person’s favorite makeup or best whitening cream.

Getting a coffin that won’t pollute the ground with environmental toxins can be good for the earth. Additionally, it’s good to make sure that you get a kind of wood from a tree that wasn’t deforested. Certain companies also certify their coffins as carbon-neutral.

Or if you want to really commit to a green burial, you won’t need a coffin at all. One trend that’s been growing in popularity in the last few years is to cremate the deceased, then scatter their ashes in a pot of soil. At the burial, family members can then use the soil to plant a new tree. In this way, the spirit of your loved one may live on in the earth, by giving new life to a tree.

If you want to buy an eco-friendly casket, I recommend you check out Nature’s Casket.


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Dealing With Grief-Related Stress

The death of a loved one is one of the hardest things most of us can go through in life, particularly if the death was sudden and unexpected. It’s natural to feel grief after your loved one has passed away, and you absolutely should take some time for yourself to grieve in whatever manner you feel is most appropriate.

With that said, grief can cause a lot of stress. The two are not the same thing. While grief is a normal and healthy response, and some stress is inevitable, there are steps that you can take to reduce your stress following the death of a loved one. Reducing your stress is very different than bottling up your grief. The former is healthy, the latter is not.

So what can you do to reduce grief-related stress?

  1. Eat a healthy diet – When a loved one passes away, it can be tempting to binge on sugary snacks, fast food, or alcohol, particularly if you’re responsible for preparing for the funeral and burial. You should resist this temptation at all costs. You need to be eating a healthy diet during this period, even more than you normally would. A healthy diet of non-starchy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy proteins will make you feel better. It won’t eliminate your grief, of course, but it will help you cope with your stress.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep – This one is particularly tough during stressful periods of your life. Many people find that they can’t sleep when they’re stressed, while others oversleep and become depressed. But it’s important that you go to bed and wake up at your normal time, even if you aren’t feeling tired. If you snore, get yourself some good Anti-Snoring Devices. Having AntiSnoringDevices on hand will help you sleep better and feel more well-rested, which can help with stress.
  3. Meditate – Many people associate meditation with Buddhist monks in a faraway monastery, but meditation doesn’t have to be that way. Science has confirmed that there are benefits to meditation, including sleeping better, more empathy for others, and reduced stress. To meditate, all you have to do is sit in a comfortable but upright position, close your eyes, and try to focus your mind on your breath. When you find your mind wandering (as you inevitably will), just bring your attention back to your breath without getting frustrated. It may take a while before you get the hang of it, but meditation will definitely help you.

These are the best ways that we’ve found of dealing with the stress associated with the death of a loved one. What are your favorite stress management techniques?

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