The mother of my work colleague (Francine) passed away this past weekend after a few weeks in hospital. The funeral is today and I'm faced with the question of whether or not I should attend.

I really don't think it's my place to go to the funeral, but then it's a tough call. Sure, I've known Francine for 9 years, but I don't know any of her family, I certainly never met her mother, and I've never hung out with Francine outside the office. And moreover, the funeral service will be in French and I likely would just be sitting there like a bump on a log.

I don't want to make Francine feel bad -She's a wonderful person and I have nothing but sympathy for anyone who loses a mom – but I also don't want her to feel the need to visit with me when she's probably distracted and dealing with her own emotions. I know that I wouldn't want the entire office at my own mother's funeral (and let's just hope that day is a long way off yet).

I hope that I'm doing the right thing and that the sympathy I offer her when she returns to the office will be enough. What's worse is that I can only assume that, as I continue to work here, I'm going to come across this situation more and more. I guess I'll just have to learn from this experience, however it turns out.

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7 responses »

  1. Hey…for what its worth, I'd do the same thing… could buy a nice sympathy card, and even attend the wake if you wanted to- but i wouldnt go to the service. I dont think you need to and Im sure Francine wouldnt expect you too. ust my 2 cents.

  2. margotinto says:

    Ok, I'm only saying this cuz I know Francine: I think you should go. Sit with other people from work. Give Francine a hug at the funeral, and that will be enough, you don't have to visit with her, she'll have more than enough people she needs to talk to. I've gone to funerals for friends' parents, and they always seemed to appreciate it.

  3. It's too late to hit the wake, but yeah, I'll console her in the office.

  4. Turns out fewer people from work went than originally planned, so I feel less guilty. There were only 3 or 4 in attendance.

  5. margotinto says:

    Interesting. Knowing fewer people had gone would have made me feel more guilty.

  6. That's the difference between you and me, Muggs. You have a heart where I have an icy lump of coal 🙂

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