Knowing what to say at a funeral is really tricky, and a lot of people do end up saying things that they don't realise could be offensive or upsetting.
Here are a list of things that you should definitely not say at a funeral - and why:
Even if you have experienced a similar loss yourself, you should never tell someone you know how they feel. This is because you don't know how they feel!
Even if you have both experienced something similar, you never know exactly how they feel or how they are coping with it, compared to how you felt when it happened to you.
This over-used saying is one of the most insensitive things to say at a funeral. The family and friends of the deceased are unlikely to think that this did happen for a reason or was 'part of God's plan', especially if it was a sudden or unexpected death.
When a friend loses someone who was heavily dependent on them, it may seem to you like a burden was lifted. However to them, they are almost definitely going to want that special person in their life even if that does make their life more difficult. So saying that their life is easier now means nothing to them and will likely only upset them.
A common saying when someone passes away is 'they are in a better place'. This can actually be quite offensive or hurtful to some.
To their loved ones, the thought that the deceased is better off without them can be upsetting. They may also have different beliefs of what happens after death. So it's probably best to say something different when you offer your sympathies.
Whilst this one may seem innocent, it can actually be a bit pointless to say. When someone is grieving, they are unlikely to message people asking for help as they don't want to burden anyone. Therefore, you trying to show your support isn't actually going to support them.
To show you really care, you can support your friend in other ways. This could be anything from sending them a care package to cooking them a meal.
Saying 'life must go on' after someone has experienced a loss is incredibly insensitive. For them, their life will not continue to go on in the same way, and they are likely to experience grief for many years.
It is important to understand the importance of the death in their life, rather than sweeping it under the rug.
Perhaps the worst thing to ask at a funeral is who the deceased left money to. This is extremely insensitive, and is likely to just annoy them.
Not only is it none of your business to know, but it makes it seem like their death is all about money, which it isn't.
Even if you believe this, the loved ones of the person who has passed away aren't going to! They will believe 'the best' is having that person with them.
Saying that you couldn't cope with losing someone close to you is not helpful. This will simply remind them that other people still have their loved ones whilst they don't, which could be upsetting for them.
Although many people do find love after their partner passes away, this will not be something they are thinking about at the funeral and is incredibly insensitive.
Likewise, if someone's child has unfortunately passed away, it is not helpful or respectful to say 'you will have another child'. Instead show your sympathy for the loss of the child they did have.
We hope you have found this blog useful! Be sure to check out our other blogs.