There are etiquette rules every funeral guest should follow, and there’s the protocol for the departed’s immediate family, the people who plan the service and see the details through alongside the funeral director. But rightfully or not, what happens before a viewing is often treated as taboo. So we asked Caleb Wilde, a sixth-generation funeral director at Wilde Funeral Home in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania, and author of Confessions of a Funeral Director: How the Business of Death Saved My Life, to share his professional opinions on the matter. Here’s what he says often isn’t discussed, but should be.
10Grief is intoxicating.
“When you lose somebody, your mind is in a state of ‘grief brain’ that’s kind of like being drunk,” says Wilde. “We would never want to make important decisions when we’re drunk — it’s the same when someone dies and we are presented with choosing a funeral. It’s too easy to make rash financial decisions when we’re grieving.”