Post # 1
My BM’s 10 week old nephew passed away this weekend.
She lives out of province, her brother & SIL live about an hour from me, I’ve never met them or her parents. She is coming in for the funeral, I’m picking her up Saturday and driving her back to the airport (I offered to pick her up tomorrow but her brother has arranged for someone from the church to get her and their parents)
What I’m wondering is – should I go to the public visitation tomorrow night? Funeral Thursday morning? Would my presence be awkward? I want to be there to support her, but I also don’t want to be intrusive.
Post # 3
OMG that is just terrible 🙁 I have chills, I’m so sorry for their loss.
I would go to the visitation to support your friend, or better yet, ask what she thinks. She would know if the grieving couple are particularly private or not.
Again, I’m so, so sorry for their loss. How awful, I just can’t even imagine.
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
I think that I would just go to the visitation, unless she specifically asked me to go to the funeral as well.
I’m so sorry for their loss, that’s so sad!
Post # 5
- Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall
When my mom died and I planned her wake/funeral, there were people I had no idea who they were at both the visitation and funeral. I don’t think people mind when strangers show up, especially if they are supporting a different grieving family member. It might be a little different with infants, though, since there aren’t so many of the deceased’s coworkers/friends, it might be a more intimate affair.
I would recommend visitation over funeral though. Visitation you get to walk around, talk to her, hug her, etc. At the funeral it will be mostly people just sitting listening to the sermon.
Post # 6
@MsGinkgo: I would just go to the visitation. This is tragic.
Post # 7
I would go to the visitation. In my experiance, the funeral is a smaller group. What a horrible, sad thing to deal with.
Post # 8
@MsGinkgo: oh man. That is just heart breaking!
Go to whatever works best for you. Your presence will not be awkward. I think it’s really nice that you want to go for her. Everyone will be giving the parents and grandparents tons if support but I know if my nephew passed away I would be devistated and need support too.
Post # 9
@DaneLady: @sugarpea: @MrsConnolly2bee: @MrsTVLover: I’ve just realized that I can’t go to the visitation. I have another commitment tomorrow night that I completely forgot about and can’t get out of. It is tragic, and so completely unfair that this family has to go through this.
Post # 10
@MsGinkgo: When we had my brothers visitation and memorial I honestly did not even know half the people there. Most were older and friends of my parents who I’m assuming have never even met my brother. That said, it was really nice that there were so many people there, just showing support, even if I didn’t know them.
Post # 11
I would go to the visitation. For the 7 family funerals I have attended, no one has ever questioned someone’s motives for visiting.
Post # 12
I would go to the visitation. Since you since have posted that you can’t attend the visitation, you should attend the funeral. A friend showed up to my mom’s funeral and I did not know she was coming. I only got to hug her and talk to her for a minute, but it meant so much to me that she came. Your friend will appreciate that you are there to support her.
Post # 13
My personal experience is that you go to both, the visitation and the funeral. If you don’t know the deceased you’re going to support your friend. Since you can’t go to the visitation, definitely attend the funeral (and wake if they’re having one – they may not. Here, wakes are a huge party to celebrate the life. When my cousin died at 17 there was no wake. It was too tragic and sudden. Her life has been celebrated since with a huge party, but it was so raw and devastating at the time of her death everything was a very, very somber affair. I would think the death of an infant would be even worse.)
I have, unfortunately, lost a lot of people in my life. And there is always someone who shows up unexpectedly at the funeral or visitation. It’s never a burden or awkward and its always made me feel so loved and weirdly blessed. Blessed in the sense that these people, who didn’t know my loved one, has taken the time to come to be there for me. Let’s face it, no one really wants to go to a funeral or visitation. I know there’s a million other places they’d rather be. It’s always very touching. And in a bunch of cases its the one thing that really stands out for me besides the grief, even years later.
Post # 14
Hi @MsGinkgo: Just read your UPDATE, but still thought I comment
As you know, I am a bit of an Etiquette Snob… lol, so here is my take.
My Rule of Thumb that is you are in any way close to someone who is grieving… such as a Family Member or Friend (vs just an “acquaintance”) then you go to the Funeral as a sign of suppport / respect.
So in this case where the deceased child is the nephew of your MOH (and we therefore know / assume she is a very near & dear friend) the right thing to do would be to attend the Funeral…
IF for some reason you couldn’t get to the Funeral… then the correct thing to do is to go to the Visitation.
And if neither of those is possible, then to as a bare minimum send a Card or some other message of Sympathy (ie a lot of Death Announcements now have a on-line Book of Condolences)
In the case where you aren’t that close (ie that Aquaintance example I gave earlier… such as a Work Colleague) then the right thing to do is express your Sympathies in person “So sorry to hear about the passing of your Mother”.. or express them in writing (Card or On-Line)
The rule of thumb is, the more you know someone the more need there is a bigger action…
Spoken Words – Written Words – Attendance
Hope this helps,
Post # 15
NOTE – Re Both (Visitation & Funeral)
Both is of course the ultimate expression of compassion… in many cases the Funeral Service itself is proceeded by a brief period of Visitation prior to the service. So that, could count as “both” vs say going to an Evening Visitation, and then a Daytime Funeral a day or two afterwards.
You would of course in most cases find out such details in the Obits column of the local Newspaper for where the death occured.
Post # 16
@MsGinkgo: My aunt had friends and co-workers no one else knew attend my grandfather’s funeral. It wasn’t awkward at all. I know it meant a lot to my aunt that they attended. Because you can’t go to the visitation, I would just go to the funeral. You can stay for the ceremony, stay as long as you are comfortable, and then say goodbye. I think people appreciate the support.