General Question

hearkat's avatar

Wake etiquette?

Asked by hearkat (22785points) September 7th, 2007 from iPhone

I suppose I am fortunate in having no experience in this area, but I am unsure what is expected. The deceased is the parent of a former teammate of my son’s. The boys are teenagers, were never really friends, and we parents shared casual chit-chat as well as carpooling to games on occasion. The wake is at the funeral home tonight, and my son and I want to pay our respects.

Is it customary to bring a sympathy card, or are those primarily for those who can’t attend? How long is one expected to stay? What else should my son and I know prior to attending?

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3 Answers

Jill_E's avatar

First, let me offer consondelences.

It is the presence of being there to support the family. They will be very appreciative and they will be touched.

I don’t think sympathy card don’t need to be brought. I would suggest perhaps can mail it. That is a good question though.

You may want to decide beforehand if you want to be up close or at a distance from the deceased.

Bring tissues in case and offer big hugs to your son or anyone who may need it.

sjg102379's avatar

You should probably know prior to attending that usually at wakes the body is present and the casket is often open (depending on the manner of death). Approaching the casket is optional, though most people will. If you’ve never been to a wake before, that can be most unexpected.

gailcalled's avatar

My experience is that the open casket can be very distressing, particularly to your son. The family is very upset, of course, and you and your son can simply pass thru the line, greet them, offer your respectful condolences, sign the register book and quietly leave.

You are not obligated to view the open casket, and the place will probably be crowded, and certainly not conducive to chatting even if you had been close friends. The family will be happy to see your name in the book when they read it later, and the cards or contributions should also be made later.

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