Funeral Etiquette for Teens

This morning Middle Sister told us that one of her friends’ grandfathers had died.  She was, understandably, sad for her friend, since she certainly knows what it’s like to lose a grandfather.  I told her to let me know when the funeral arrangements were made, and that if she (and other friends) wanted a ride to the wake, I’d be happy to help with that.

So here’s the big question:  I’ve met this kid’s parents maybe twice.  Do I go in with the kids to the funeral home, or just wait outside?  Do I go through the whole “condolences and procession past the casket” thing when the only family member I really know is a teenage boy?  (Awkward…)  Or do I go in and just stand in the back and wait for all the kids to be done?  At this point, I’m not sure what my daughter wants, or if she even knows.

In a completely unrelated matter, Middle Sister’s friends all think it’s weird that we say “wake.”  Apparently, here in South Jersey, which is a completely different country than North Jersey, where I grew up, they say “viewing.”  Even if it’s a closed casket.  (So when she texted them with my offer of a ride to the funeral home, they all said “What’s a wake?”)

2 thoughts on “Funeral Etiquette for Teens

  1. If I had any concerns about my teen knowing how to behave, I would go in. If that's not a concern, I think it's fine to wait outside. The mother of my 16 yo's girlfriend just died a few days after the new year. I was really torn about going even though I'd only spoken with her a couple of times and don't know anyone else (except the GF). Combine that with the fact that I had two to homeschool, and I chose not to go. I have a friend who goes to funerals at our church all the time, just to pray for the deceased, even if she didn't know them!

  2. If you're comfortable going in, I think it is always acceptable and appropriate to go in and offer condolences, even if you don't know anyone. "Weep with those who weep."

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