Funerals are dreadful things that everyone has to be prepared for, but there is no way to actually prepare yourself for them. Death hits us like a headbutt from a train, it turns our lives upside down, there is nothing in the world that can ever prepare you for death.
Attending a funeral or hosting it has got to be one of the most difficult things that you will ever do in your life. These are sad and traumatic experiences that leave a big hole in your heart, no matter if you are friends or family, you must prepare accordingly.
There are many of us that don’t attend funerals that regularly and when that happens we become out of touch with certain protocols and traditions. We all want to help, helping people through these tough times isn’t just a necessity, it is also a good deed that all of us must perform. With that being said, there is a common misconception about giving money at Funerals. Should You Give Money At A Funeral?
Well, that is a very complicated question with different answers. It is all about perspective but it is inappropriate to give money at a funeral. With that being said, what about the people that want to help those people in difficult times? If a family is having economical problems and they also have to arrange a funeral, how should we help them out? Let’s discuss this in detail!
People give money at Birthday Events, Weddings, and even Bachelor Parties but giving money at a Funeral just feels inappropriate. Although if you think that money can actually make someone’s life better and ease their problems then you should not hold back. You still have to proceed with this decision accordingly as just giving out money will be disrespectful.
Here are some interesting methods that will actually help out people in need.
Offering A Gift Voucher Instead Of Money
If we take a close look at gift vouchers, they are still money, people just have a different perspective about them. Offering a gift voucher to the family of the departed will go a very long way, even more than you have anticipated. With a gift voucher, they can get almost anything, from clothing to basic necessities.
Gift vouchers can be used in all the stores, you just have to get the appropriate ones. The value of these gift vouchers does not matter as long as you have a good intention of helping out others. Gift vouchers are still bought with money and are actually money, so there is no need to feel weird that you won’t be helping out the family of the departed.
There are other ways that you can help out too, helping out with rent, school fees and groceries are some good examples.
Helping Out In Difficult Times
Helping out families in their difficult times can never go wrong and a funeral is one of the best times to help them out. Funerals are traumatizing and stressful, but they are also financially problematic. There are a lot of things to take care of, from funeral arrangements to getting a casket, and in these economical times, you need to be prepared for the worst.
Let’s say that the departed was the sole breadwinner of the house, what happens after their death? There could be siblings that are not willing to work or just can’t work at the moment, how are families going to meet ends? In situations like these, friends and family members of the deceased can always help out. You don’t actually have to give money right away, you can transfer the money to them at an appropriate time.
Creating a fund for the family of the departed is not a problem, as long as everyone chips in, there should be nothing to worry about.
Funeral cards are a great help here, you can share the details of how you plan to help out the family of the departed in them. Funerals are expensive, and even the least amount of money can make a lot of difference. The best approach to follow here is to give money before the funeral takes place, you can get in touch with a family member and then discuss the whole process with them.
There will also be occurrences when the family actually asks for financial help, in this scenario, don’t hesitate to help them out!
Give The Money To Charity Or A Cause
Sometimes giving money at a funeral might seem strange and inappropriate, and this will disappoint you surely. You still want to have that warm, fuzzy feeling of helping out others, but what can you do? The simple answer to this problem is that you can always give money to charity or a rightful cause that you believe in. Now the hard question awaits, what kind of organizations should you donate the money to?
You can either go with an organization of your own choice or make things even better, choose an organization that represents the interests/hobbies of the departed. Sometimes the departed leaves a will that expresses their wishes to be followed after death.
If there are no specific instructions then you can make the decision yourself. If the departed loved to help out the poor and the homeless, then you can donate your money to a homeless shelter. If they loved pets then you can donate the money to an animal care center/animal rescue center. Knowing that your hard-earned money is being spent on the interests of the departed will make you feel good and will also provide peace to the soul of the deceased.
Once you have donated the money, you can let the family know about your kind deed. A sympathy card is one of the best ways to express your grief and support at the same time.
How To Offer Money Respectfully
If you have decided to give money at a funeral and the family really needs it then you should do it with due respect. The first thing that you need to do is get in contact with a family representative or a family member of the departed, then get their bank account information.
Once you have made the money transfer, let the family know in a loving manner. You can use sympathy cards to let them know that you have made the transfer, this will surely bring them comfort in their time of sadness. Sometimes a bank transfer is not possible, what should you do then?
You can write them a check or just place the money in an envelope, whatever option works best for you. There are also going to be instances when the family will announce that they are in need of donations. This kind of announcement will be made by the funeral director at the funeral or a representative of the family. Once it is certain, you can make the donations directly to them.
How Much Money Is Appropriate?
This is an excellent question but the answer varies from person to person. You can give the money according to your heart’s content or you can take things easy. I would say that you should help out according to your own financial situation if you can give more then certainly give more.
There is no “Fixed” amount of money that should be given at a funeral, everyone gives it according to their own wishes/budget. If you still want the exact details then an amount of $20 would be the minimum, you can increase it from there.
You should also know about the appropriate time to give money at a funeral. If you have heard about the news then giving money two weeks after the death is appropriate. This gives enough time to you to plan out and ample time for the family of the departed to get their expenses in order.
Considerations Of Other Cultures
Needless to say, there are many cultures all around us, each of them so rich with its own traditions. What should you do if you are attending the funeral of a friend of a different religion/culture? How should you prepare for that scenario?
The first thing that you should do in this type of situation is to get in touch with a family representative. Get all the necessary information from them and then start your preparations. Chances are that you would even have to dress differently for the funeral, doing so will be most appropriate and even show others how considerate you are.
Some cultures may not accept money at a funeral, there are many alternatives for that. You can get flowers, sympathy cards, or even arrange food for them. Everything will help, just make sure that you have the right information.
What Are The Best Sympathy Gifts For Those Grieving A Loss?
When money is no longer accepted at a funeral or it doesn’t seem appropriate, what kind of gifts should be given instead? You must show your care and sympathy to those that are grieving a loss but what are some of the best ideas that you should go with? Look here!
Flowers are the universal language for love, care, empathy, and sympathy. Flowers are given on all sorts of occasions, they are given when you have to express your love for someone and they are given to someone when they are grieving the loss of someone. I would say that there is no better gift to give other than flowers.
Each flower has its own different smell, different personality, and effect if you might say. Flowers have the power to make us feel relaxed and loved. If you have chosen to give flowers at a funeral, you must do your research before. In many cultures and religions, flowers are not accepted, which is why you must be careful.
Let’s take the example of a catholic church, you cannot send flowers there, but you can send them to a funeral home. Although if you are planning on taking a bouquet with you to the afflicted family’s home, that would be appropriate. Just figure out what kind of flower will have the most symbolic meaning.
No matter what kind of event you are attending or hosting, food is always going to be there. Since food is always appreciated, it is one of the best gifts to give at a funeral. If you are planning on arranging meals for the grieving family then make sure that you bring the food in disposable containers or boxes, so they don’t have to worry about giving the cutlery back.
Choosing the type of food shouldn’t be difficult either, you can either go with finger food or anything else. You can get in touch with a family representative to ask what kind of food they would like.
Sympathy cards are the most meaningful options to go for, and you can tailor each one of them according to your wishes/intentions. Remember, you have to choose these cards carefully because they will be kept as a memento by the family of the departed.
Since it is very difficult to write on a sympathy card, we have compiled some of the best ways you can draft one. Check them out and even you might be inspired to write one yourself!
Who can forget about memorial gifts? There is a wide variety of memorial gifts that you can choose from online and traditional shops. You can go with a gift that resonates with the personality of the deceased, something they loved the most.
These gifts can range from religious statues to comfort blankets, take your pick! Jewelry is also a really good memorial gift to go with.
Funeral Donations no matter how small or big they are will always help out a family that is going through a devastating loss. Your one idea of charity can be the light in the darkness for many, and that is why you should act with the utmost care.
Sometimes money will be appropriate to give at a funeral and sometimes you would have to resort to other comforting ideas. As long as your gift is accepted and has meaning, nothing else will matter. We hope that now you have a clear idea about funeral donations.