Gatherings are not mandatory, but oftentimes families are comforted by being surrounded by their family and friends in their time of loss. These gatherings don’t have to be held in a traditional funeral home. They can take place in a private residence, restaurant, hall, legion, winery, outdoor space, etc. Having friends and family around during these difficult times remind the family of the support system that they have for the upcoming days ahead. It also allows those in attendance to express their grief and help remind the family of how significant their loved one was to others.

Sometimes families choose not to have these gatherings, which is a personal preference. It is important to remember that we all grieve differently, and base these decisions on previous experiences or on what a family can emotionally handle at that time. Gatherings don’t have to take place immediately after someone’s passing, but keep in mind that the emotional support will be greatly beneficial for those in attendance.