A family friend's wife died and they were very poor. I'm planning to call him soon, but I'm still hesitant about asking for visitation or memorial service.

The only reason I think it could be rude/inconsiderate is because I think he's too poor to have either of those. It could be the government handling it and I don't know what happens in those situations.

I really don't want to cause him more stress during this time. So I wonder if there's a way to ask about the funeral without hurting their feelings.

His religion is Christian, but as far as I know, he didn't attend a church.


1 Answer 1


There are a couple of ways that are traditional in the United States for letting the community know of someone’s passing and any potential ceremonies. They are:

  1. Obituaries. These are listings in a local newspaper, and usually contain ceremonial information for public attendees, if applicable. Usually these are submitted by a funeral manager, but can be submitted by next of kin.
  2. A funeral manager will collect the contact information for relatives and close friends and mail written information to those people directly.

If however, you suspect there may not be a funeral manager due to the expense involved, here is how you ask about any potential ceremony:

How can I pay my respects?


How can I pay my respects to [name of deceased]?

In the United States this is a phrase in common use for such a situation as yours. It enquirers into what arrangements, if any, without presuming a level of ceremony.

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