Attending a funeral can be an act of courage, and it's certainly one of strength in most cases. Funerals are intense events even when you were not very close to the deceased person. Emotions can run high, and they can easily remind you of your own mortality.
You may also fret over where you are supposed to sit at a funeral, but take comfort in the fact that where you sit is not important in comparison to attending a funeral. Simply showing up and being there for the bereaved are the most important things, but here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind when you're looking for a place to sit at a funeral.
Do Defer to Close Family Members and the Elderly at a Graveside Service
For memorial services held by the planned gravesite, folding chairs or other types of chairs are typically set up close to the where the person will be buried. There will be limited room at a graveside service, though, so you should always let the elderly or those who are differently abled grab a seat first. Parents with young children may also need a seat to better manage their kids.
After that, defer to those who were closest to the deceased person. If there are still empty chairs after all people who were closest to the lost loved one or otherwise in need have taken a seat, you should feel free to sit down for the graveside service.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help if You Need It
If you have mobility issues, you should make sure that those who are planning the funeral know about your needs. They will want to be sure that all attendees can not only have a place to sit at the funeral, but also feel comfortable with the arrangements. If you let them know prior to the funeral itself, they can more easily accommodate your needs.
Although you don't have to worry about finding a place to sit at most indoor funerals, outdoor services may require you to stand for a certain length of time. If in doubt, reach out and ask for confirmation about where you should sit. You are likely to be reassured that you can sit wherever you want, but it can set your mind at ease.
Don't Sit in the First Rows Unless You Were Very Close to the Person
Only family members usually sit in the first few rows at a funeral. You'll find that very close friends are often welcome in these rows, too, but only choose a seat in the first few rows if family members have let you know that the lost loved one considered you to be a best friend. Beyond reserving those first few rows, simply choose to sit wherever you want.
Ultimately, mourners will remember the fact that you came and were there for them in their time of need, but they aren't likely to remember where you sit. So take a deep breath and sit wherever feels right to you. For more information, consider contacting a funeral home like Elmwood Meunier Funeral Home.