When you are grieving a loss, attending the funeral service can help you find closure. It’s a chance to say your final goodbyes while also expressing your sympathy to loved ones of the deceased. In the journey of grief, it’s helpful to have this time to grieve together with others. But what happens when you have to miss the funeral service?
Attending a funeral service, especially for someone close to you, should be a priority on your calendar. Less important plans can be cancelled or postponed. But whatever your priorities may be, sometimes things just happen. Whether you are sick, too far away or cannot travel due to military service, you may not be able to make it to the funeral service in person. If this happens, there are still ways to show the grieving family you support them. Here are five thoughtful things to consider if you have to miss the funeral.
Send a kind note.
Sending a note expressing your sympathy, and regret that you could not be there, is an appropriate gesture if you have to miss the funeral. It lets grieving loved ones know you are thinking of them.
In your note, briefly explain your reason for missing the service if you feel comfortable doing so, but try to keep it brief. You want the focus of the note to be on its recipient, not you and your schedule. Don’t feel the need to send a beautiful or expensive card, either. Heartfelt words on a piece of paper can mean more than a pricey sympathy card.
Make a donation.
Making a donation in the deceased’s name is a beautiful way to honor his or her memory. It’s also a way to show the grieving family that you are thinking of them, even though you had to miss the funeral. Most charitable organizations will notify the grieving next of kin with a card noting your donation. Try to choose a charity that represents the deceased’s values and interests.
Click here for more information about making a charitable donation in someone’s memory.
Sign the virtual guest book.
Many funeral homes offer an online guest book along with the deceased’s obituary. A quick internet search is usually enough to determine whether this is the case. Writing a brief note, similar to what you might send in a sympathy card, is an immediate (and cost-free) way to offer comfort and honor the deceased’s memory.
Express your sympathy and regret that you had to miss the funeral, but try to keep the message positive. Perhaps share a beloved memory of the deceased that would bring comfort to grieving family or friends. Keep in mind, however, that an online guest book is public and is not the place to share personal information or embarrassing stories. The grieving family will be able to view your message, but so will everyone else who visits the page.
Arrange to bring a meal.
For many years, bringing a meal or other items has been a popular option for showing your support during a difficult time. To offer a meal, send a quick text that is kind, but direct. Don’t ask, “Do you need anything?” Instead, say “I would like to bring you a meal. Would this date be convenient for you?”
Keep in mind any food allergies or preferences. If you don’t know, it is OK to ask, but try to keep your inquiry brief via text or a quick email.
Send a care package or gift card.
Consider sending a gift card or care package to let the grieving party know you are thinking of them if you have to miss the funeral. The items in a care package can range from practical (toiletries or basic food items) to impractical (candles or a favorite treat).
A gift card is another great way to accomplish this. Purchase a gift card from the grieving person’s local grocery store, or a favorite restaurant so they can order a meal to go. It’s not the monetary value of what you choose to send that is important – it’s the idea that you are thinking of them during this time and want to make their life easier, even in a small way.
Bevis Funeral Home is committed to providing an environment that prioritizes the safety and well-being of our families. That’s why we are pleased to offer families in our care high-quality, live-streamed funeral services for their friends and family who cannot attend due to distance, illness, military service or travel limitations. To learn more about our live streaming services, speak with one of our funeral directors at 850.385.2193.