I Hate Funerals: Dealing With the Guilt and Proper Etiquette for Missing a Funeral

Funerals are a natural part of life, but they are never an easy experience to go through. As much as we want to honor and pay respects to our loved ones who have passed away, the truth is that attending a funeral can be overwhelming and emotionally exhausting. Not to mention, the COVID-19 pandemic has added an extra layer of difficulty to these already challenging times. If you are someone who doesn’t want to attend a funeral during COVID, or if you have missed a funeral for any reason, it’s natural to feel conflicted. In this blog post, we’ll explore your options and help you navigate through any guilt or unease you may feel about missing a funeral.

The Importance of Funerals

Funerals serve as an essential means of closure. They offer us the chance to say goodbye to our loved ones, to find solace in mourning with others, and to celebrate the life of the person who has passed away. Funerals are a way to commemorate and honor the individual who has died, to acknowledge the impact they had on those around them, and also to say goodbye. They can be a powerful source of emotional support and comfort for loved ones left behind.

Is It Normal to Not Like Funerals?

It’s essential to understand that feeling upset or uncomfortable at a funeral is completely normal. Not everyone is the same, and not everyone processes their emotions in the same way. Some people may feel overwhelmed, sad, or numb during a funeral, while others might find it comforting to be surrounded by family and friends. If you don’t enjoy attending funerals or feel uneasy, it doesn’t make you a bad person. Don’t let those feelings prevent you from supporting others, though. There are ways to cope with funeral-related stress, which we’ll discuss further in this post.

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Reasons You May Want to Skip a Funeral

There are times when attending a funeral may not be possible. Maybe you live far away and can’t travel, perhaps you have unavoidable work commitments, or you are unable to attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever the reason, if you cannot attend a funeral, it is important to still find a way to honor the deceased and support those who loved them. Here are some reasons why you may not want to attend a funeral:

COVID-19 Concerns

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way we live our everyday lives, including how we attend funerals. If you have concerns about your health or safety, or if you are worried about the possibility of spreading the virus to others, it is perfectly acceptable to skip a funeral.

Work Commitments

Sometimes, work can take priority, even during times of grief. If attending a funeral would cause significant problems with your work schedule, it is understandable to miss the funeral and find other ways to pay your respects.

Emotional Stress

If you are coping with intense feelings of grief, anxiety, or depression, attending a funeral can be overwhelming. It’s important to prioritize your mental health and well-being. If the thought of attending a funeral triggers your emotions and causes severe stress, it’s okay to take a step back.

Not Knowing the Deceased

If you’ve never met the person who has passed away, it can be challenging to attend their funeral. You may feel out of place and uncomfortable. However, it’s important to remember that the funeral is not just about the deceased. It’s also an opportunity to support and comfort those who were close to them.

The Guilt of Missing a Funeral

If you can’t attend a funeral due to any of the reasons mentioned above, it’s perfectly normal to feel guilt or regret. You may worry that you aren’t showing your respect or honoring the deceased properly. However, it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and everyone deals with the loss of a loved one differently. If you’re struggling with feelings of guilt, here are some things you can do to ease your mind.

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Find Alternative Ways to Show Support

If you can’t attend a funeral, try to find other ways to honor the deceased and support their family. You can send a card or flowers, make a donation to a charity in the deceased’s name, or make a phone call to the family. These small gestures can mean a lot to grieving family members.

Talk It Out

If you’re feeling guilty about missing a funeral, talk to someone about it. This could be a close friend, family member, or therapist. Sharing your feelings can help you process your emotions and gain some perspective on the situation.

Remember the Deceased in Your Own Way

You don’t have to attend a funeral to remember and honor someone who has passed away. Create a personal memorial at home or take a moment to reflect on memories with the deceased. You can also make a donation or volunteer in their honor.

Proper Etiquette for Missing a Funeral

If you can’t attend a funeral, it’s important to communicate your absence to the family. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Send a Condolence Card

Sending a thoughtful message or sympathy card can provide comfort to those who are grieving. Make sure to include your contact information and condolences.

Express Your Regrets

If you’re unable to attend a funeral, express your regrets in a sincere message to the family. Let them know that your thoughts are with them during this difficult time and that you will be there for them in any way you can.

Make a Donation

If you’re unable to attend a funeral, consider making a donation to a charity in the deceased’s name. It’s a thoughtful way to honor their life and provide support to a cause they cared about.

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Bible Verses on Not Attending Funerals

The Bible often has messages of comfort and guidance during times of loss. If you’re struggling with the idea of attending a funeral, here are a few Bible verses that may offer guidance:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die.”

Romans 14:8

“If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

John 14:1-3

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”


Funerals are a natural part of life, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to handle. If you can’t attend a funeral, it’s important to find other ways to honor and support the family of the deceased. It’s okay to feel guilt or regret, but remember that there are alternative ways to show your respects and still be there for your loved ones. Whatever your reasons for missing a funeral, it’s important to prioritize your own physical and emotional well-being. By doing so, you can find peace and closure in your own way.