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.