Knowing how to present yourself at a funeral can be anxiety-inducing in it of itself. How should you act? What should you wear? For the record, a black suit always suffices.
All of these are pertinent questions. Thankfully, BeGentlemanly.com has the answers:
Standing in a line to pay respects to the bereaved can be difficult. One should keep comments to oneself while waiting, A brief and sincere comment of condolence, such as “I’m sorry for your loss” or “[the name of the deceased] will be terribly missed” to the grieving loved one is enough.
A funeral or viewing may be open casket. Although it is permissible to pay respects to the body of the deceased, offering a prayer if he is religious, for example, doing so in such a circumstance is not required. A gentleman always signs the funeral book, and on the event that the person who died was someone more than an acquaintance, a handwritten on quality paper may be in order.
There’s no reason to try and explain or rationalize the death, a simple acknowledgment is enough. A proper letter of condolence can share a memory of the lost or offer help to the bereaved. The most important aspect of this message is sincerity. It need not be long, but it must express your condolences earnestly to those who are grieving.
Sending flowers can be a difficult question to answer. Oftentimes, the family of the deceased may request a charitable donation in lieu of flowers. If this is not the case, however, a florist will often have predesigned arrangements to choose from that will properly show your sympathy.