What Blended Families Need to Know About Funerals

Funeral Home Oahu Even if you haven’t been to a funeral service before, you probably know the basics of proper funeral etiquette. Dress formally and conservatively, turn your cell phone off, and listen attentively—these are all basic pointers. But what should you do if you’re part of a blended family? The rules of etiquette can be somewhat blurry in these situations. Every family is different, but you can consider the following factors before you decide what to do.

Consider the relationships.
Some blended families do enjoy harmonious relationships with the family of their ex-spouse. If this applies to you, then it would generally be expected of you to attend the funeral of someone in your ex-spouse’s family and vice versa. If your spouse’s ex is the decedent, then it may be appropriate to attend the funeral service to support the children. Regardless of who has died and what the relationships are, it’s never a good idea to attend a funeral when you’ve been specifically asked not to do so.

Remind yourself of the reason for the gathering.
If you do attend the funeral of someone who passed away in your ex-spouse’s family, or if the ex is attending a funeral for your family, both of you should remind yourselves of the purpose of the gathering. This isn’t the right time to discuss pick-up and drop-off times for the minor children, and it probably isn’t the best time to try to make amends if there has been a rift. Express your condolences briefly and politely, and then give the family some space.

Send your support from a distance.
Even if you feel that the decedent would have wanted you at the funeral service, it’s best to send your support from a distance if the immediate family would prefer that you didn’t attend. It’s appropriate to send a flower arrangement or food basket.

Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Oahu, HI, offers compassionate and respectful guidance to families who face difficult decisions after the loss of a loved one. Our funeral directors work with families of all backgrounds and faiths. Call (808) 239-8811 to discuss funeral planning.

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