Most individuals have lives filled with work, appointments and other obligations. This can create difficulties when planning funerals, and the reality is that not everyone who loved and admired someone who has passed will be able to attend the funeral. Here are four things you can do if you can’t attend a funeral service.

1. Send a card

It is important to acknowledge the immediate family members of the deceased. However, phone calls after a loss can be difficult to handle, particularly in the days before the funeral, when the phone is likely being used to make other arrangements. If you can’t attend the funeral, write a letter or send a card. Be sure to include a short and personal memory you have of the deceased. You don’t have to go into detail about why you can’t attend, simply express your sympathy and your support.

2. Send a gift

Consider something beyond the traditional offering of flowers that will fade away within days or even live plants that will require care at a time when the immediate family may not be prepared to provide it. Instead, think about creative, personalized choices that will reflect the memories you have of the deceased or what was important to them in life, such as a donation to a charity they supported, a memorial plaque or a framed photo.

3. Prepare a meal

In most cultures, grieving together means eating together. However, in the early days after a loss, it can be difficult for those grieving to focus their thoughts on ensuring that they and their guests are fed. A warm meal can offer some comfort and much needed sustenance during a busy and difficult time.

4. Offer specific assistance

“Let me know if you need anything.” It’s a common and kind thing to say, but what does it really mean? If you wish to offer the immediate family of the deceased help, be specific. Offer to mow the lawn, or watch the kids for an afternoon. It is a lot easier in the midst of grief to simply accept the help than to try to figure out what others can do to help.
For more information about the personalized, compassionate services that Strouf Funeral Home provides to members of the Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee communities during their time of loss, contact us.