Open Thread

by epi on November 29, 2011

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This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam November 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm

A co-worker’s grandparent has passed away. My supervisor asked this co-worker to let her know about the arrangements (we have taken up a collection to send flowers). My supervisor was getting nervous about sending them because the co-worker still hasn’t told her the arrangements (the co-worker has been at work the past 2 days). This co-worker happened to mention the name of the funeral home yesterday, so I was able to tell my supervisor and we saw the grandparent’s services listed on the funeral home website. We are going to send the flowers but we feel like she may not be telling us the services herself b/c she does not want anyone to come (she has that type of personality). Am I obligated to go to the services now that I know from the website or is contributing to flowers and sending a card enough?


Country Girl November 29, 2011 at 7:47 pm

No, you are not obligated to go to the services. Flowers and card were a lovely gesture. It seems to me, due to her lack of response to questions regarding the matter, that this coworker may like to mourn a bit more privately. Unless you personally knew this coworker’s grandparent or thought the coworker would like to have your support by attending the funeral, then I would forgo the funeral and just let the flowers and card relay your regrets.


Jody November 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Your coworker may just be trying to get through a difficult time, and not realize that she’s shutting people out. Contributing to flowers and sending a card are certainly nice gestures. Maybe you can go to the visitation (wake); if your co-worker seems like she still doesn’t want you there, you don’t have to stay through a long service. You can stay long enough to express your sympathy without feeling like you’re imposing your presence on your co-workers.


Pam November 29, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Thanks for the input, everyone. I have a follow up question! The wake services have been posted and are very near to where I live. If I decide to go I am nervous about one thing: my co-worker’s husband is very unfriendly as are her parents. I attended this co-worker’s wedding and anytime I have met her mother or her husband when they have stopped by at work they are quite cold. I will give my co-worker a hug but how do I handle her husband and parents? Wakes always make me so nervous!


Winifred Rosenburg November 29, 2011 at 11:28 pm

You can initiate a handshake with the husband. If the parents are significantly older than you, you can allow them to initiate contact and if they don’t just say a few brief words of condolence and nod your head a little before moving on.


Pam November 30, 2011 at 2:07 am

Thanks so much for the help, everyone. I’ve decided to leave it at the card and contribution toward flowers.


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