4 Questions To Ask When Deciding Whether You Should Go To A Funeral

Going to a loved one's funeral can seem like the right thing to do in most situations, but it isn't always a given. The best way to show grief support can be more complicated. If your relationship with the deceased person or people who are close to the person has been strained, you may wonder whether you should attend the memorial service. When in doubt, ask yourself these questions to best determine whether you should go to the funeral.

Can You Be a Source of Comfort for the Bereaved?

The support of family members and friends can be the biggest source of comfort for mourners. If you feel that you can help the bereaved people by simply showing up and expressing your condolences, it's probably a good idea to go to the funeral no matter what underlying drama you may need to ignore.

Will It Be a Financial Burden to You or Others?

No matter how much you may want to be at a funeral, the expense of last-minute plane tickets can make it extremely difficult. Also, if you're already on the fence about going to a funeral, your financial circumstances can be a deciding major factor. Take the time to assess your finances when weighing your options.

Would It Be Just as Effective to Send a Sympathy Gift?

Sometimes it truly is the thought that counts. If you rarely saw the deceased person and aren't very close to the mourners, it may be meaningful to send a sympathy gift and card to the funeral. In fact, it can be just as effective as attending the service in some situations. Your gift doesn't need to be extravagant to express your sympathy and other heartfelt feelings.

How Would You Feel if the Situation Was Reversed?

You may also want to consider whether you would have wanted the deceased person to attend your funeral if the situation were reversed. If the drama between you wasn't so drastic that you wouldn't have wanted the person at your funeral, it's probably a safe bet to make that the person would be happy to have you attend the memorial service.

Finally, keep in mind that there are no blanket rules that dictate whether you should go to a funeral or how to best show grief support. Since your situation is unique, only you can determine whether going to the funeral will best serve you and your fellow mourners. The way you answer these questions can help you sort through the complex thoughts and feelings that are inevitable with loss so you can make the best decision for you.