Post # 1
Hi Ladies, I need etiquette advice. My very dear friend’s father passed away. Not sure what I should send – flowers or a gift basket? I feel like flowers are traditional, but with so many people coming in and out of the house, maybe a gift basket with snacks would be useful? Also, Catholic bees – I plan on getting a mass card. Do I bring it with me to the wake or send it to the home? Thank you for your help!
Post # 3
I would definitely say food. That’ll be the most practical and the most appreciated, I’m sure. I wouldn’t get her anything that is supposed to be kept, because who wants to keep something from such a sad time?
Post # 4
Has the funeral been planned yet and are you asking whether or not to send something directly to her or for the funeral?
I’d personally send her some flowers. Gift baskets are nice, but many people send them and most go to waste (unless there’s a large crowd at the home, but people feel funny opening them up…if fruit is in them, they may get rotten before being used.
You take the Mass card to the viewing. There’s usually a place to place them once you sign the guest book.
I’ve sent this to the home with the last few deaths, and everyone has loved them.
Post # 5
I would definitely send food. When my dad passed we were so thankful of the food people brought us. We (me, sister, mom) were zombies days after he passed so it was very much appreciated. As for the card, there should be someone collecting cards at the viewing. I don’t know if I would bring it to the wake. If you’re in doubt I would just mail it
Post # 6
Honestly, the best thing anyone ever did for my family after we lost someone was bring us a huge box of neccessity items. Lots of people brought food and tons sent flowers, but this group of 3 or 4 women went in together and brought us things like toliet paper, paper towels, dish soap, detergent, milk, bread, eggs, juice, disposable cups/plates/silverware, etc. It was unexpected but soooooooo great! With everything that was going on between making arrangments, having visitors, and just plain grieving, no one had to worry about getting themselves together enough to tackle running to the grocery store!
As far as the mass card, I’m not Catholic so I can’t help you there.
Post # 7
@ItWasntMe: The plans aren’t set yet, but services will be over the next couple days. I will definitely go to teh wake. If I send a basket, it will be to her mom’s house, since the family will be congregating there and my friend will be there for the next few days. I get what you are saying about opening a basket seeming weird, but it feels more practical? I don’t know, I haven’t had much experience with this.
Post # 8
When my friend’s father passed away there were a ton of people at his house the days surrounding the wake and funeral, so I made a breakfast basket. I bought a big box of assorted bagels, cream cheeses, jams, lox, and assorted coffees and fruit. It was a big hit, but I know it kind of depends on the type of scenario. I just knew they had out of towners they were trying to entertain while dealing with the loss.
As far as a mass card, you can bring it with you to the funeral home or send it prior, there really isn’t a particular etiquette that I have observed. I come from a big Catholic family and when my grandmother passed lots of people sent them to the home along with flowers while others brought them in person and left them with the guest book. The family collects everything, or it is transferred on behalf of the deceased to the cemetery. There will usually be a reading done by a Chaplain.
Post # 9
If you’re going to visit them at home, maybe take a tray of food with you? Sandwiches (or things to make them,like rolls,lunchmeat,cheeses), small hoagies, pan of lasagna, a few cakes or something that is already made. Those kinds of things are more appreciated (I think) than a fruit or snack basket…but do what you’re most comfortable doing. The family will appreciate anything at this time.
Post # 10
In the last few years when we had family members pass away, I appreciated the food people sent the most. I also liked when people sent live potted plants (rather than just flower arrangements). We still have all of the live plants people sent us, from as far back as ten years ago, and we still remember who sent us every single one.
Post # 11
Thank you ladies, I appreciate the advice!
Post # 12
I would definitely second the food gift basket concept. *Especially* if there are multiple generations running around (read: kids who will want to eat).
The most recent basket I sent was through one of the organic grocery delivery services, at the suggestion of a friend. It was really well received and leaned more towards grocery items, not just sweets or fruit. Things like coffee, tea, juice, veggies, crackers, cheese and fruit. Another bonus is that a lot of vegetables have much longer shelf lives and can help people prolong grocery shopping and other things that take time and efforts they may not have for awhile.
I like the suggestion of the breakfast basket a lot!
Post # 13
I think you should give them a homemade hot meal, like lasagna or something else they could heat up and keeps for a few days. When my step father passed away, we were so grateful to those who brought us meals because none of us had it in us to cook anything.
Post # 14
I think the gift basket is a fabulous idea. That really would have come in handy when my Father-In-Law passed last June.
Also, if you want to send flowers, maybe send a potted plant instead? My Future In-Laws co-workers did this at his memorial and DH’s grandma loved them and took them home.
Post # 15
@DeathByDesign: Thats a good idea. I did that for my friend who’s sister died a few years ago. That way they can just pop it in the oven.
I also got get her a big fuzzy blanket, it seemed silly, but she really appreciated it.