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Advice on What to Do Before, During and After a Funeral Service

By April Trzyna, Location Manager, Gates, Kingsley & Gates Smith Salsbury Funeral Directors

Knowing what to do before, during and after a funeral service can be difficult, especially if you are personally affected by the loss. While every service is unique, these basic tips can help you determine what to do when someone you know loses a loved one.


Prior to the Service

·         Send a card or sign the online guestbook with a personal note to offer your condolences.

·         Check the obituary, contact the funeral home or visit the funeral home’s web site to confirm the service is open to the public.

·         Honor flower/donation requests. If the family requests a donation to a charitable organization in lieu of flowers, it is important to honor the family’s wishes.

·         Show your support. If you are a close friend of the family, a great way to express sympathy is through actions. Volunteer to pick up their dry cleaning, shop for groceries, deliver meals, or even help with household chores.

During the Service

·         Wear proper funeral attire.

·         Arrive at the funeral home, church, synagogue, temple or chapel at least 15 minutes before the service is expected to begin.

·         Sign the register book so that the family can have a keepsake of everyone who came to pay their respects.

·         Participate in the ceremony. While every service is different, and it is important to follow the lead of the clergy or main speaker, participate in the service as appropriate.

·         Turn on your headlights if you are part of the funeral procession to a graveside ceremony.

After the Service

·         Offer transportation to out of town guests. Many family members and close friends will travel to attend the service.

·         Call or stop by for a visit. Remember to check in with the family several days after the service and again once out-of-town guests return home.

·         Deliver food. Delivering meals helps take the burden off the family, especially if they are hosting out of town guests.

·         Stay connected and proactive. It’s important to come up with creative ways to stay connected because many times the bereaved will not feel like socializing or will not want to ask for help. Instead of asking the family if there is anything they need, do something special for them.

Gates, Kingsley & Gates Smith Salsbury Funeral Directors

Gates, Kingsley & Gates Smith Salsbury Funeral Directors (FD#1016) in Culver City is a proud Dignity Memorial provider. The Dignity Memorial network of more than 1,800 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers is North America’s most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence. For more information call 310.837.7121 or, visit http://www.gateskingsley.com.







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