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What to say at a funeral?

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Am attending my father in law’s funeral in a few hours. About to take a shower, then get dressed.

Funerals are heartbreaking.

They’re crushing.

They’re sad.

It’s farewell to a life. That’s the worst, whether that life was in its infancy or nearing 100. I’m always down when it comes to thinking of the completion of existence.

With funerals, however, my mood is often accompanied by confusion. I mean, what does one say at a funeral? What words make a difference? What can you utter that brings comfort, warmth, contentment?

Answer: Nothing.

My mother in law and wife met with the rabbi the other day. He said something pretty wise that’s been repeated in these parts the past two days. Namely, no matter what someone says to you when you’re grieving, imagine the words WE MEAN WELL across their forehead in bright lettering.

Because, ultimately, we do mean well.

We’re just uncomfortable.