How to Politely Decline Houseguests during A Funeral?
Funerals are a time of high emotion and deep sorrow. People become sensitive and emotional when someone in the family passed away. It is a time to grieve and also to remember the good memories. This is also a time for the family to be close together to grieve for the loss and to comfort each other. In connection with the family’s privacy, there are restrictions that should be considered. From the type of funeral flowers to the flower arrangement by a professional florist to the design of the funeral venue to the program on funerals, you may have specific choices. Moreover, houseguests can be declined, too, if you want. Here are ways to politely decline houseguests during funerals:
Announce the burial as private and family-only.
Friends and acquaintances may have interest in attending the funerals and burial. Some of them are probably planning to come to the funeral to pay their last respect and to convey their condolences. If you don’t want too many people in the funeral, announcing it as private and family-only will restrict them from coming. It will also be your simple and polite way to decline houseguests during a funeral, just in case some of them want to stay throughout the burial period.
Let your family members know that you don’t have enough room to accommodate them.
If your parents and siblings, or if your parents-in-law plan to stay for long for the whole period of burial, let them know that you appreciate the thoughtfulness but you do not have enough room in your home to accommodate them. Also, it is best to give them recommendations for the best hotels in town where they can stay. You can be polite as you explain the situation to them before they even travel to your place or to the funeral home. Let them know beforehand that you can’t handle house guests because of the important matters you have to attend to.
Suggest the nearest hotels or inns where they can stay comfortably well.
Provide them with a list of the nearest hotels where they can stay while the funeral lasts for a few days. It is either you tell them personally or announce it publicly. It will be easier for them to plan if they know which hotels to stay at. You may also list the rates for checking in at the hotels to allow them to go within their budget.
Tell them the truth and be honest.
There is no reason to keep it to yourself when you can be honest and tell them the truth. People will appreciate your honesty and for saying it earlier rather than declining them later when they arrive. This is a stressful time not only for the relatives who want to attend the funeral but also to you to host them in your home. Your family and relatives would never want to add more reasons for you to be stressed and troubled during the sad event.
There are several things that you can do if you want your family or relatives and friends to attend the funerals but not encourage them to stay in your house.
- Make the funeral open for viewing but the internment for family only. This will prevent them from planning a weeklong stay at your place to attend the entire event.
- Invite them on the last day of the funeral or on the internment date only so that they don’t need to stay at your house longer.
- Don’t make any announcement. Let people call you and ask for the details. This is your best time to decline houseguests politely or choose a few that you want to invite in the funeral or interment.
- Announce the death of a loved one publicly after the funeral and interment is over. This way, people no longer need to come to your house or attend the funeral. You may want to include the location or address of the cemetery or columbarium, in case they want to visit the grave.
- Restrict attendance instead. A funeral service or memorial service is a time that allows people to pay their last respect to the deceased person. If you think having too many people in the funerals will only cause tension and complication to the sorrowful situation, it is best to restrict attendance instead. Invite only a few people at the funerals and interment to control the event. If some friends, relatives, and co-workers want to convey their condolences, you may also ask them out on lunch or dinner after the interment. Expect that other people will get hurt but always remember that you don’t owe them the explanation.
As they say, the funeral or memorial service is not about you and the people who want to come to visit the wake or view the coffin. This is the time to focus on the deceased person, especially about the life he or she had lived. This is the time to let people know how the person touched the lives of other people. On the other hand, this is not the time to host houseguests, especially when you are personally grieving and you are emotionally saddened by the death of a loved one. You don’t really have to open your house for them to stay during a funeral and you can politely decline them by saying the right words and by being true to them. You can say no honestly because your home is your sanctuary and you deserve to keep it that way especially during this time of sorrow.