While many people remain stoic while attending a funeral, others will display varying degrees of grief. Although you have no obligation to do so, it's a nice gesture to try to comfort visitors to the funeral home who are struggling with their grief. It's important to display some tact in doing so — telling the person to stop crying or that things are all right will come off as insensitive, even if that's not your intention. Here are some useful methods that you can put into practice to help comfort those around you.
Acknowledge The Void
People who are grieving will often do so because they're sad, but also because they think that others don't understand what they're going through — which makes them feel alone. If you're talking to someone in a high state of grief, a gentle comment such as, "This must be a really hard time for you, and I'm sorry for that," can show that you see the predicament that the person is in. Feeling "seen" can help the person reduce his or her grief. Try to tailor your comment, if possible, to what you know about the person's relationship with the deceased. For example, you could comment that the person will be missed during future golf games, if the grieving person and the deceased frequently golfed together.
Give Appropriate Physical Contact
People who are experiencing grief will often be feeling vulnerable, which means that they may not want you to wrap them in a bear hug in an effort to provide comfort. That said, it's often appropriate to provide some degree of physical contact. A squeeze on the arm or a supporting hand on the upper back can feel good. You can gauge how the person responds; if he or she moves closer, then a huge can be appropriate. However, if the person recoils slightly, you should abstain from further physical contact.
Suggest A Change Of Scene
For some people, the entire scene at the funeral can feel overwhelming, which makes it impossible to provide much solace. If you're attempting to give some comfort to a funeral attendee and it's not working, you can gently suggest a change of scene. Simply say, "Why don't we step outside for a minute?" This can often be helpful. The fresh air can help the person relax, and just seeing the beauty of the gardens around the funeral home can often be enough to help some of the grief melt away.