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How to act at a time of death

Brett & Kate McKay write an simple etiquette on how one responds to a death of a family member or friend. Death is always a part of our existence, and it is almost certain that we will experience the death of others before we face our own. As a priest I appreciate how difficult this time can be for mourners and their friends. Alas, I also have experienced more than a few inappropriate moments when people committed some major faux pas that has made the grief experience worse for the people intimately involved.

Click here or on the title of this post to read it for yourself if you want to review how to act in such difficult times.


  1. Excellent article full of really good suggestions. If I might add a couple from personal experience:

    If you're going to the funeral, put a couple of pocket-packs of tissues into a handy pocket or sleeve, and be ready to slip them quietly to anyone who needs them. Chances are very good that many people will not think of this for themselves, having other, more urgent things on their minds.

    Carry cough lozenges, as well. They will soothe the irritation in one's throat and help calm the urge to cough.

    Reactions to death vary from one culture to another, and if you're not sure what's appropriate, don't be afraid to ask! The very act of making an effort is an act of honoring the deceased and his family.

  2. Lady Janus: Excellent advice. I couldn't agree more. Thanks.

    Fr. Tim


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