If you have a co-worker who has passed away, and an invitation to attend the funeral has been extended to their co-workers, here are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind.
#1 Find Out The Funeral Attire
When your work gets the invitation to the funeral, make sure that you inquire about the dress code. Although the traditional funeral color is black, what you should actually wear can very a lot. In some cultures, such as Hindu and Asian cultures, mourners are supposed to wear white.
What you wear could depend on how formal the funeral is as well. A funeral at a church may require more formal attire, whereas a celebration of life may embrace a theme of something that the deceased really enjoyed, such as baseball or the tropics, and the family may want people to dress up a certain way that they see as honoring the deceased life.
What to wear to a funeral can be tricky, which is why it is best to ask what you should wear in advance.
#2 Sit In The Middle Or Back
As a co-worker, you are most likely not considered a close friend and you are definitely not family, which is why you should not sit near the front of the funeral or celebration. Instead, leave the front seats for those who had the closest relationships with the deceased.
Instead, sit in the middle or the back of the area. If there are not a lot of people, sit up closer to the front, and if there are lots of guests, sit further to the back of the funeral. You don't want to be the awkward person sitting in the back when everyone else is in the first four rows; use your discretion but try to keep the nearest seats open for family and close friends.
#3 Offering Your Condolences
After the funeral, you should offer your condolences to the family of the deceased. Don't crowd them or rush your condolences. Let them know that you are sorry for their loss at the end of the funeral. If the setting is right, share a memory of your co-worker. If the setting is not right, write a letter that shares a few memories of your co-worker or what your co-worker meant to you. This can be nice for the family as they can read the memories when they have time and are ready to, without being overwhelmed with stories on the day of the funeral.
Finally, you don't have to stay too long at the reception. Stay as long as you feel comfortable and then gracefully make your exit without drawing a lot of attention to yourself. For more information, talk to a professional like Danks-Hinski Funeral Home.