It can be difficult to know what to say to the family of the deceased to express your sympathy. To begin, offer your condolences to the family. If you are comfortable, share a memory of the deceased. In this difficult time, sharing the joy of the deceased’s life can help comfort the bereaved. For example, “I was so sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. She was always such a wonderful friend to me.”


When attending a memorial service or funeral, dress in dark and subdued colors, such as dark blues, grays, browns, and black. Be sure to dress simply and conservatively. Men are encouraged to wear a jacket and tie paired with dress shoes, while women should choose either a dress or a suit. Any jewelry should be subtle and traditional. 


When attending a funeral or a service, do your best to be on time. Try to enter the facility as quietly as possible. If there are no ushers present, remember that the first few rows of seats are usually for the immediate family and close friends. Acquaintances should appropriately seat themselves in the middle or towards the rear.


Immediately upon learning of a death, it is appropriate for family and close friends to go to the home of the bereaved to offer sympathy and support. This can be a very overwhelming time for a family. Offering to assist with child care, food preparation, receiving visitors, or service preparations can provide immense comfort during this difficult process.

The funeral home is the best place to visit the family to offer your condolences, as they are prepared for visitors at these services.


Try not to give comments that minimize the loss, such as “It’s probably for the best, because he was suffering too much,” or “I’ve been in your shoes myself.” These will not provide comfort to the bereaved.

Wait for the family to discuss the cause of death. Do not bring it up yourself.


Visitations can be very emotional, especially when speaking with the family of the deceased. If there is a line to speak with the bereaved and view the casket, be conscious of keeping the line moving. After passing through the line, be sure to stand to the side to continue conversation, or allow the family member to continue to greet guests. The family will often be more available to speak following the conclusion of the service.


Smart phones should be turned off or silenced completely during the service. Checking your phone is noticeable and is a distraction to those who are trying to pay their respects. If you must return a message or receive a call, exit the service quietly.


Child upset

When preparing your child for a funeral service, choosing appropriate attire is an important first step. We recommend opting for neutral or solid colors, which are traditionally suitable for such occasions. Above all, it’s essential to ensure your child feels comfortable in what they are wearing.

It’s equally important to take the time to explain the proceedings of the service to your child. A gentle and age-appropriate discussion about what they can expect and the significance of the service can help prepare them emotionally. Discussing acceptable behavior during the service is also crucial, as it helps set respectful and appropriate expectations.

Engaging in activities such as drawing or coloring can be therapeutic for children. Encouraging them to create a picture for the loved one or their family can be a meaningful way for them to express their feelings and contribute to the grieving process.

Having an exit strategy is vital. Be prepared to step out with your child if they become restless or overwhelmed. This ensures their comfort and maintains the solemnity of the service.

Open conversations about their emotions are key to helping children navigate their grief. Allowing them to express their feelings and thoughts can provide valuable insights into their understanding of the service and empathy towards what others might be experiencing.

At Visneski Funeral Home, we understand the needs of families with young children. We provide a dedicated room where your child can play or nap if needed during the service. This space is designed to offer a comforting and safe environment for your child, ensuring that you can attend the service with peace of mind, knowing their needs are catered to.

In every aspect, Visneski Funeral Home is committed to supporting families during these times, providing guidance, comfort, and understanding.

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