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How To Know If You Should Attend A Funeral

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    Attending a funeral or memorial service allows you to remember the deceased person while also demonstrating your support for the members of the deceased person's family who are still living. If you have been invited to the service and you have the feeling that you would like to attend, then it is recommended that you do attend the service. Even if you didn't know the person who passed away, but you have a relationship with the bereaved — even if it's only a casual relationship — attending the funeral can help the bereaved feel cared for and supported, even if you didn't know the person who passed away. It is appropriate to bring a friend with you to a funeral or memorial service if you are uncomfortable going by yourself; on the whole, the more people that show up to a funeral or memorial service, the more supported the family will feel.

    You should not go to the funeral or memorial service if it is intended only for the deceased's family members or if you believe that your presence would make the grieving person feel awkward. Because of the nature of your relationship to the deceased person or their family, it may be inappropriate for you to make an effort to attend the event given the logistical challenges that may arise in trying to get there. This could prevent you from going.

    If you're having trouble deciding whether or not you should go to a funeral or memorial service for a loved one, you might find it helpful to consider how you'll feel about the situation in one year. Do you think you'll ever get over the fact that you skipped the service? Or do you foresee yourself coming to the conclusion that skipping the service was the best decision you could have made? Check out our extensive list of Melbourne Funeral Services to help you arrange a funeral for your loved one.

    Funeral FAQs

    How long does the executor have to distribute the estate? Generally, an executor has 12 months from the date of death to distribute the estate. This is known as 'the executor's year'.

    Once a bank has been notified of a death it will freeze that account. This means that no one – including a person who holds Power of Attorney – can withdraw the money from that account.

    After your death (and not before), the beneficiary can claim the money by going to the bank with a death certificate and identification. Your beneficiary designation form will be on file at the bank, so the bank will know that it has legal authority to hand over the funds.

    The general starting point in cases of jointly held bank accounts is that on the death of one of the account holders, the “principle of survivorship” applies so that the account balance passes in its entirety to the surviving joint account holder. This principle of survivorship is entrenched in Australian common law.

    If you need to close a bank account of someone who has died, and probate is required to do so, then the bank won't release the money until they have the grant of probate. Once the bank has all the necessary documents, typically, they will release the funds within two weeks.

    What Is A Funeral?

    A funeral service is a solemn gathering at which friends and loved ones of the deceased gather to express their condolences and bid farewell. An actual burial is typically part of a funeral, in contrast to the wake or viewing that comes before it. When we lose a loved one, it is inevitable that we will go through a period of our lives that is both emotionally taxing and challenging. By publicly acknowledging the passing of a loved one in the context of a solemn ceremony, funerals facilitate the process of coming to terms with the loss of that person. A funeral is also a time to celebrate the life of the person who has passed away and whom you all knew.

    People frequently talk about the cherished memories they have of a deceased loved one, and in doing so, they assist one another in discovering meaning in the mysteries of life and death. In this way, friends and family members are able to support one another during a trying and often emotionally confusing period of time. A funeral is typically very helpful for the family in terms of facilitating a healthy grieving process after a death in the family. They find it comforting and it makes it easier for them to say goodbye when they see how much their loved one meant to other people.

    When And Where Do Funerals Take Place?

    It is possible to hold a funeral at the deceased person's family home, at a funeral home, or even at a place of worship like a church. After a person has passed away, the actual funeral service will typically take place anywhere from a few days to about a week later, on average. The timing will be partially determined by the preferences of the family, such as how long it will take to convene dispersed members of the family for the funeral.

    What Is A Viewing?

    A viewing is an informal get-together of friends and family at which attendees can pay their respects to the deceased after they have been prepared for viewing by a mortician, an urn containing cremated remains, or a collection of memorial photographs. In contrast to a funeral, an open viewing is typically conducted in a more relaxed setting. During a viewing, mourners have the opportunity to express their sorrow, console one another, and farewell on a more personal level all at the same time. This is regarded as a significant occasion for paying respect to the family, making it a very important event overall.

    Over the course of its existence, the viewing has been known by a variety of different names. You'll be familiar with the term "calling hours" if you belong to a certain generation. Some call it a visitation. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals provides professional burial services in Melbourne. We understand that the death of a loved one is a difficult time, and our team is here to help you through every step of the process.

    The funeral home or the family home are both appropriate locations for viewings of the deceased. They take place in the time leading up to the funeral, typically the day before but occasionally on the same day. It is likely that the body or some kind of memorial to the deceased person will be displayed so that mourners can pay their respects to whoever has passed away. The guests are free to come and go as they please, with some staying for several hours while others only dropping by for a few minutes at a time. A great number of people who knew the deceased well believe that the viewing held the evening before a funeral is the most appropriate time for them to pay their respects to the bereaved by showing up, expressing their condolences, and then departing.

    The Do's And Don'ts Of Funeral Etiquette

    Even though there is no such thing as the "correct" thing to say to someone who has recently lost a member of their family, a close friend, or a significant other, there is funeral etiquette in general that you should follow. When feelings are already running high, having a firm grasp on the fundamentals can help you avoid making an embarrassing mistake. Here at Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals, we provide religious and traditional funeral services.

    Do: Dress More Conservatively

    When attending a funeral, one should exercise restraint. You don't go to a funeral with the intention of drawing attention to yourself or being the centre of attention. You should go to the funeral instead to listen, learn, and comfort the members of the family who are grieving.

    Avoid wearing or accessorising yourself with anything that might be distracting or flashy. Stick to darker colours, but don't feel like you have to wear all black at all times. In addition to this, you need to make sure that everything is tucked in, neatly arranged, and combed. If the funeral is for a different culture, you should enquire about the appropriate colours to wear.

    Don't: Be Late

    You should try to arrive at the funeral you are attending at least ten minutes before the scheduled start time. You have the option of arriving half an hour early in order to secure a seat if you anticipate that there will be a lot of people there.

    In the event that you are going to be late, it is best to enter the venue through a side aisle and proceed to sit in the back row. If there is a procession at this funeral, you should wait outside until it is over before entering the funeral home. If you come in through the back a little bit late, most people won't pay much attention to you because they will be preoccupied with other things.

    Do: Act Normal

    If you are like the vast majority of people, you will be at a loss for words when confronted by someone who has recently lost a loved one. This is not a problem. There is no single phrase or set of words that can make everything better or help you convey how sorry you are for everything that has happened.

    Acting normally will prevent you from becoming frozen and stumbling over the words you want to say. If you see that they are going to be stuck talking to people for a while, bring them a snack and some water. It is also a nice gesture to express sympathy by sending a card or flowers to the place of employment or residence of the deceased family member. Send these things as soon as possible rather than waiting until later.

    Don't: Sit Anywhere You Like

    If you are like the vast majority of people, you will be at a loss for words when confronted by someone who has recently lost a loved one. This is not a problem. There is no single phrase or set of words that can make everything better or help you convey how sorry you are for everything that has happened.

    Acting normally will prevent you from becoming frozen and stumbling over the words you want to say. If you see that they are going to be stuck talking to people for a while, bring them a snack and some water. It is also a nice gesture to express sympathy by sending a card or flowers to the place of employment or residence of the deceased family member. Send these things as soon as possible rather than waiting until later.

    Do: Bring Kids

    It is recommended that infants be left with a babysitter, but it is acceptable to bring children who are at least six years old to the funeral. They frequently serve as a source of happiness and levity for the members of the family.

    Don't be concerned that they will become depressed or anxious as a result of this. If your child had a close relationship with the person who passed away, it's possible that they will want to take part in the funeral in some capacity. They are able to recite poetry, speak, and sing. All that is required of you is to ensure that they will have something to do during the entirety of the ceremony, or else be ready to take them out into the lobby.

    Don't: Put The Funeral On Social Media

    Before the ceremony, turn your phone's volume down to silent. Even better, just keep it in your wallet or another pocket. If you are not a member of the deceased person's immediate family and have not discussed the funeral with other members of the family, it is extremely inappropriate to post photos or videos of the funeral on social media such as Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.

    Regarding taking photographs, you are not permitted to do so while the actual ceremony is taking place. When you get away from the mourners, it is acceptable for you to take a few pictures, however. It is also acceptable to arrange a group photograph with members of your family or friends whom you do not typically see, provided that they are cool with the idea.

    Do: Laugh

    Since funerals are for the living, there is no ironclad rule that states such events have to be solemn occasions. It's possible that the funeral will have a more upbeat tone if the person who passed away was the life of the party and enjoyed having a good time. It is appropriate to laugh along with another person when they tell a joke.

    A simple laugh can help everyone in the room relax and break the tension that has been building up. However, try not to go overboard with the fake laughter. When a loved one dies, the last thing you want to worry about is arranging their funeral. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a professional and compassionate Melbourne Orthodox Funeral Services that takes care of all the arrangements for you.

    Don't: Shy Away From Religious Aspects

    Perhaps you don't put much stock in religion, but the person who passed away and their family did. If that is the case, then the ceremony will most likely have a stronger emphasis on the spiritual side of things. If that is the case, participation is not required of you at all. If they ask you to stand, bow your head quietly, and pray for the individual, all you need to do is comply with their request by standing and bowing your head quietly. There is no one who will notice if you are praying or not, and you will still be able to take part in whatever is going on.

    Don't: Overindulge

    Be careful not to overindulge if the family is providing food and drink. It is highly recommended that you consume something to eat before attending the service. The last thing you want to do is be known as the person who constantly hovers around the food.

    If they serve alcohol, you should make an effort to keep yourself mostly sober by limiting your consumption to one or two drinks at most. It is simple to consume too much alcohol and behave in an embarrassing manner as a result. Switch to a tonic water with lime or even a coke with a lemon or lime wedge in it if you're feeling the effects of pressure. When a loved one dies, the last thing you want to worry about is arranging their funeral. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a professional and compassionate Melbourne Orthodox Funeral Services that takes care of all the arrangements for you.

    Do: Follow Up With The Family

    The most difficult aspect of losing someone is returning home after the funeral and any memorial services that were held in their honour. Therefore, it is important to make it a priority to follow up with the family a few weeks after the funeral service has taken place. Do not be afraid to send a card or flowers so soon after the passing of a loved one.

    What To Do If You Can't Make A Funeral

    You can still show your support even if you are unable to attend the funeral due to one of the reasons listed above. Whether you choose to show your concern for the bereaved family before or after the funeral by performing a kind act for them, it will be clear that you are thinking of them. In need of assistance with the planning of a funeral service? Check out Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals in Melbourne.

    Call The Family

    The quickest and easiest way to show your support is also the most straightforward way. The act of picking up the phone and having a conversation with a person is becoming increasingly significant in today's digital and social media-driven world. Calling the family will let them know that you are thinking about them and will let them know how much you care. Please extend your deepest condolences to the bereaved family and ask if there is anything else you can do for them.

    It is also appropriate for you to let them know at this time that you will not be able to attend the funeral. However, try to condense your explanation into a few sentences. A drawn-out conversation is not appropriate at this time. It's always best to keep things brief and simple.

    Send Flowers

    Flowers are a beautiful and heartfelt way to express sympathy. Flowers are an important part of the rituals and symbolism surrounding funerals in many different cultures. If you are unable to attend the funeral service in person, you can still show your support by sending flowers to the family's home or the funeral service itself.

    It's likely that the flower shop in your neighbourhood offers special arrangements that are designed specifically for funerals. Be sure to send a note of condolence along with the flowers you send, and get them there on time. You also have the option of purchasing a vase of freshly cut flowers from Amazon and having it delivered to the recipient's address. Flowers are regarded as a respectful token in the majority of world cultures, and a gift of flowers is always appreciated. You also have the option to.

    Mail A Sympathy Card

    Send your messages of condolence through the traditional mail. It is always a kind gesture to pick up the phone and call the person, but it is also a kind gesture to send a sympathy card in the mail, such as one of these straightforward and blank sympathy cards. Send a heartfelt card to the family in which it is addressed to express your sympathy to them in this difficult time.

    Your card is sufficient on its own, but in light of the fact that you are unable to be present at the funeral, you may always wish to include some additional items.

    Here are some suggestions for fitting tokens of condolence that you could enclose with your card:

    • Photographs of the family (especially ones with the deceased)
    • Quotes of condolence or devotional content
    • Cards redeemable for takeout or other forms of food delivery, such as those offered by Amazon, DoorDash, Uber Eats, or any other business operating similarly.
    • A contribution to a cause that was important to the person who has passed away.

    Bring The Family Food

    There are other ways that you can show your support, even if you are unable to attend the funeral itself. The consumption of food is among the most effective methods. It is not always possible for the family to concentrate on cooking or the other chores while they are in a state of mourning. These might seem like insignificant details, but taken together, they constitute a significant problem.

    A considerate and thoughtful act would be to make a meal at home for the recipient or to buy them food from their favourite local restaurant. When you deliver your meal, make sure it is in a disposable container or a dish you don't want back—gifting comfort food that can be prepared in a short amount of time provides sustenance in a time of need. Funerals are not an exception to the rule that food brings people together.

    Help With Housework

    After the passing of a loved one, it doesn't take long for the pile of housework to become overwhelming. If you live in the area, you should offer to help. In the days or weeks that follow a funeral, assistance with housework and other errands is frequently appreciated.

    The family of the deceased person will typically spend this time working through their grief. When assistance is required the most, having someone to help with the cleaning and other chores is a huge help. If you are unsure of what to do, ask your family what they require from you. The following are some simple errands that can be taken over:

    • Collect the older children from school.
    • Provide babysitting for older children.
    • Tidy up the house.
    • Do yard work
    • Do some shopping for the family's groceries.

    Make A Care Package

    It is difficult to know what to say or do if you are unable to attend a funeral if you do not live in close proximity to the grieving family. You are unable to perform acts of service such as cleaning or cooking at this time. What else can there possibly be? If you are unable to be there in person to show your support, putting together a care package is a wonderful alternative.

    There are many different things that can be included in a care package for someone who is grieving. Think back to how you felt in that situation if you've ever been through something similar. What was it that you required the most? Think of things that bring you comfort, like a favourite snack or a nice warm blanket. These seemingly insignificant acts of charity can mean the world to the people you care about. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a full range of funeral services to help make this difficult time a little bit easier for you and your family. 

    You can send a pre-made box, such as this sympathy gift box, and have it delivered straight to their door if you don't feel like putting together your own do-it-yourself care package.

    Follow Up After The Funeral.

    Attendance at the funeral is an excellent way to show support for the family. On the other hand, as we've established earlier, this isn't always doable. You can still demonstrate your concern for the family by keeping in touch with them after the funeral. The family's mourning does not end after the funeral service has concluded. This goes on for several weeks, possibly even months.

    The fact that you are still there even though others have moved on demonstrates that they are still in your thoughts. Make it a point to check in with the people you care about every other week, offer assistance whenever you're able, and simply be present for them.


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