Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Got Etiquette?

I decided today might be a good day to brush up on my funeral etiquette. Don’t worry- There are sites dedicated to this!

Can you imagine, sitting at home and thinking –“I wonder how I am supposed to act at Uncle Larry’s funeral tomorrow?”….. Maybe someone could give me a few pointers. I think I’ll take a look at the internet, because all advice on the internet is true and right. (The following tips come from a REAL website – they cover lots of topics from A to Z! literally….)

Rule 1: Don’t be silent; be sure to at least say something. (GREAT, I knew being a Chatty Cathy was the way to go! – I am going to make a list on the eight hour drive in, of things to talk about so I am not silent. I am quite sure bringing up all my medical ailments would be a good starting point- there is bound to be some people there that can relate and offer advice!)

Rule 2: Don’t upset the family by being ignorant or clumsy. (I’ll be sure NOT to trip and fall into the open casket and I will not ask when the party starts! – these tips are amazing!)

Rule 3: Visit the grieving family immediately. (Excellent news. Half of my family is all ready descending, I’ll bring up the rear by being fashionably late)

Rule 4: 15 minutes is a good length of time to express your Sympathy. (Eight hour car ride, perfect for me to write down what I plan to say, rehearse and have my husband time it’s length – OMG, 15 minutes!!)

Rule 5: Take over the tea making from those stricken with grief. ( Now, we are talking- Don’t be clumsy, chit chat and make the tea – an excellent mix of duties for a novice)

Rule 6: Just be there for the warm embraces and kisses if the grieving family member needs that. (OK, some of my family members are attractive, but honestly, I’m not going to be a kissing and hug dummy without some kind of payment.)

Rule 7: Sometimes words are not necessary, just be there. (Now we’re talking – or NOT, I can stand there and plan my outfits for the rest of the week in my head , and then we can awkwardly look at each other in silence)

Rule 8: A closed funeral is not open to the public, however it would be appropriate to call or email. (That is the kind of harassment I’m in favor of anyway – anonymous)

Rule 9: Before bringing food to the family, check first to see what others are bringing. (Hey, uh, Joe, I was wondering, what kind of food you got going on over there? You got some pasta, pastries? Great… Well I got some day old donuts here and I think I’ll bring them on over, if you don’t think anyone else is bringing that?)

Rule 10: Take a scarf with you in case it is a custom to cover your head. (Done! I plan on having a bad hair day anyway.)

Rule 11: Do not send a wreath to the family’s home. (CRAP! – Do you think it is too late to call UPS? I thought the wreath would look nice on their front door….)

Rule 12: Placing flowers on the casket is reserved for family members. (Earl, keep the Daisies in your pocket)

Rule 13: When sending flowers, be sure to send them in a self-contained water vessel, as family members will not want to be tied down to such mundane tasks. (Joe! Got another box of long-stemmed roses, here – we’re outta vases – grab something to put them in, NOT THAT!!!)

Rule 14: Stick with pastel colored flowers. ( Wasn’t Buddy’s funeral pretty? He always looked good in pink……)

Rule 15: One should not refuse to be a pallbearer except in the case of illness or absence. (Sure, I’ll be a pallbearer – I didn’t think it meant I had to show up!!!!)

Rule 16: Bad behavior from children would be in poor taste. (Just at funerals though, right?? – I wonder what they think of openly beating the children into good behavior?)

Rule 17: Tell children the body is only a vehicle. (Good advice. I’m hoping they don’t bring pennies)

Rule 18: Tell children if they want, they may touch the body. (Now come on!! I cannot fit a wipie container in my funeral purse!)

Rule 19: Tell children what is left after cremation looks like ashes from a fire. (Excellent, my kids are going to love this little explanation. And when we get home, do you guys want to have a camp-out and cook S’mores?)

Rule 20: Encourage, Explain, but never Force (Still speaking of the children, I take it. Darn it, I’m going to have to be on my best behavior!)

Well I’m all set now. Got my rules. Feeling pretty well-etiquette-ed, and you?

1 comment:

Deb said...

OH MY! I just LOVE this. I laughed. I'm still giggling. oh boy. haha!

(I am intelligent usually, and think of excellent things to comment. I am just... haha!)