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Memorial Etiquette

We’ve put together this section on etiquette to help you do the right thing before, during, and after the memorial.

What to Do

Offer Words of Condolence

Offering comforting words to the family is usually the easiest thing you can do. It's also something the family will appreciate and remember. Offer your condolences in person or share a story or special memory about the deceased. If you can't be there, send a card or share your message using the Memories Forever online memorial tribute page.

Sign the Register

When you sign the register, be sure to list your name and your relationship to the deceased. The register is something the family will have forever and they will appreciate knowing who you are and how you knew their loved one.

Send a Gift to the Family

Appropriate gifts include flowers, a donation to a charity (the family will often have a preferred charity), food, or a service. Please ensure you include a signed card with your gift so the family knows who sent it. However, please take a few minutes to recognize that certain faiths have proscriptions about what should be sent to the bereaved. If you’re unclear, check with a close family relative or friend.

Stay in Touch with the Family

Depending on your relationship with the family, you may choose to stay in touch in person, by telephone, or online. The grieving process can be long and difficult so don’t just walk out of their lives after the memorial. You will serve the family well by letting them know you're there for them during the days, weeks, and months following the death of their loved one.

What to Wear

Historically, people only wore black or somber colors to any service related to a death. Today, it's acceptable to dress in a wider range of colors and clothing styles. In fact, we’ve seen memorials where the family asked everyone to dress in pink or in colorful Hawaiian shirts and shorts. These unique events aside, a good rule of thumb is to dress business casual.

Do you have other questions about memorial etiquette? Contact us to help you get through what can (but doesn’t have to) be a challenging social situation.