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“Thank you for coming.  It means so much to me that you came.”

Over the years, I have heard such statements thousands of times.  When coping with the loss of someone loved, people derive tremendous comfort from the presence of those who care about them.

Sometimes there’s a concern over whether it’s appropriate to attend a funeral service. Even if you knew the deceased or know a surviving family member, you might be unsure as to whether the relationship is close enough for you to go to the funeral.  Shaped by over 40 years of experience, my response to this is simple: if you aren’t sure if you should attend the funeral, then go.

I have never had anyone tell me they regretted attending a funeral or felt their presence was unwelcome or unimportant.  Countless times in my career, family members have said to me how much it meant to have people there to share their loss.  Grief shared is grief diminished.

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