After the funeral

The Wake
A Wake is often held after a funeral, enabling the mourners to get together for refreshments. The venue may be the family home, a hotel, public house or restaurant, or similar meeting place.

Many people don’t plan to go to the wake after a funeral, but do in fact end up going as close family ask them to. If you really don’t have the time to go to the wake then make it clear to the family that you would have liked to attend but you have to return to work etc. If you only have limited time you would attend the funeral, not choose to attend the wake instead.

There might be a book available for messages at the wake. If there is do write in it, the family will want to recall that you were there.


What do I say to the family?
No one ever really knows what to say to the close family of the person who has died. It can be even more difficult when the death was not expected, as everyone is stunned and shocked. Just be honest and remember that a hug can say more than many words. Offer your sympathy with sincerity and keep your words simple and heartfelt.

Try not to say 'I know how you feel’, this isn't helpful. References to others you have lost and other funerals you have been to won't help either..

  • Avoid laughing loudly or talking on your mobile phone, taking pictures on your phone or texting
  • Do not leave your phone on so that it rings during the ceremony
  • Do not eat or drink during the funeral ceremony
  • Funerals usually contain some humour so you don’t need to be stony faced at all. It’s an opportunity to remember the person fondly.