What is the proper etiquette at a viewing from one family member to another?


Forums User
11 years, 4 months ago

Hi, My Mother recently passed away. I have a close FAMILY member (niece) that DID come to the viewing but felt that she did not need to console or approach me (her Aunt) during the viewing (as we are family members that see each other regularly). Is this proper etiquette from one family member to another? This family member argues the point that she shouldn’t have to approach me and that her just being their is a sign of her support. I, however, disagree. WHAT IS THE PROPER ETIQUETTE FROM ONE FAMILY MEMBER TO ANOTHER? Please answer! Thank you!

Jennifer Lane
11 years, 2 months ago

First, I am very sorry for the recent loss of your Mother. I understand that this is a difficult time for you, and I am also saddened that your niece did not approach you at the viewing.

As for etiquette, I think this is just more about basic caring and compassion within the family when a loved one passes. Unfortunately, our own families can be difficult throughout the funeral process, and it can bring out the worst in us. Should your niece have approached you and/or hugged you? I would say yes – that is just how you show someone you love that you care about them and are supportive of them. Why your niece chose not to approach you, I do not know. Her point about just being there is a sign of support is basically true, but it applies more to friends and other people not as close to you than it does your immediate family.

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