Who Should Attend a Funeral Service?

Posted on July 27, 2020 by Conner-Bowman Funeral Home under funeral home
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Many people wonder who should actually attend a funeral service in Roanoke, VA for a wide variety of reasons that may surprise you. Funeral services are designed to pay honor, offer tribute, and pay respect to people who have died. They are also designed to provide the deceased’s family with consolation and support in their loss.

funeral service in Roanoke, VA

That makes the question of who should attend a funeral service complicated sometimes for many different reasons.

One of those reasons may be a marital separation or divorce that was anything but amicable. Should the family notify the ex-spouse of their loved one’s death? Should the ex-spouse (especially if they were the ones who made the separation or divorce acrimonious) be allowed to come to the funeral service if they want to?

If there is any concern at all that an ex-spouse will make a scene and disrespect the loss and memory of a loved one, the family would probably be wise not to notify the ex-spouse, if they don’t live nearby, of their loved one’s death.

If a contentious ex-spouse lives close by, the family should assume they know about the death of their loved one and politely ask the ex-spouse to not attend the funeral service. It’s a good idea to let the funeral director know so that appropriate measures are in place to make sure the ex-spouse isn’t allowed into the service.

However, if two people who were married and later separated or divorce amicably, there is no reason why the ex-spouse – or the deceased’s family – have an qualms about attending the funeral service.

Another complicating factor that can play into who should attend a funeral service is rifts in families or friendships.

If the deceased and a longtime close friend had a rift in their relationship that was so bad that they literally stopped speaking to or seeing each other, the friend who survives may want to come to the funeral service, but may worry about whether it will upset the family or about whether it’s even appropriate.

If a friend is in this situation and unsure what to do, they should get in touch with the deceased’s family as soon as they find out about their friend’s death. They should let the family know that they want to honor the deceased’s memory and they would like to attend the funeral service.

The final decision should be up to the deceased’s family, even if they don’t know all of the backstory behind the rift. If they feel like it would be disruptive or disrespectful, then the friend should accept their decision and find another way to pay tribute to their deceased friend.

Family rifts are often much more difficult to navigate and negotiate when a loved one dies, especially if the rift occurred between immediate family members. The rift may have occurred between a parent and a child, one of whom has died. The rift may be between siblings, and either one sibling has died or a parent has died.

funeral service in Roanoke, VA

Although each family’s situation is different, the guiding principle is that if the family member’s presence at the funeral will be disruptive and will present the possibility that the funeral service will turn into a spectacle that will dishonored the deceased loved one’s memory, then the family member involved in the rift should not attend the funeral.

Again, the funeral director should be apprised of the situation and they will take adequate measures to ensure that the funeral service is not marred by a family disagreement or a family estrangement.

For additional information about who should attend a funeral service in Roanoke, VA, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lynch Conner-Bowman Funeral Home can assist you.

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