Like all social skills "funeral decorum" is often refined through experience, but neither let that be your barometer for attendance, or ever expect that it will truly become "easier"time. One good rule of thumb, be yourself. Don’t set the expectation that you alone will ease a friend’s sorrow, resolve their grief, or say something prophetic. Just by attending you’re showing your support, friendship, and love in a very unique and personal manner. Many people suffer from the "I don’t know what to say" they may say the "wrong" thing or that by simply saying they are "sorry for their loss" that they risk sounding cliché (which is never the case). Others suffer the fear of entering funeral homes (for any reason), let alone viewing the deceased. Still many have the fear of becoming "tongue-tied," forgetting names, or becoming "too" emotional. These are all natural responses, and we’ve all been there, yes, even funeral directors. However, "grief shared is often grief spared," and by giving a friend or family member a little of your greatest gift (time and understanding), goes a long way in curing both their loss, and your discomfort. If you were simply attending for the sake of the deceased, the funeral would hardly be necessary. Go with the understanding that both you and the bereaved stand much to gain, and nothing to lose.

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