Mourning behaviour

The loss of a close person is one of the most difficult moments in one's life. It sometimes occurs as a result of an accident and sometimes we watch our family member, friend or co-worker die by battling a long and exhausting illness for months. Regardless of the manner of death, the people who were closest to the deceased need support, help and compassion precisely at this time. Since we are all different, we deal with emotions we experience within the period of mourning in different ways. That is why appropriate behaviour is important, so as not to inflict additional pain. As soon as the person leaves us, a close family member is to notify the relatives and others that were close to the deceased. One should bear in mind that the sad news is left to the person who is able to do it without much emotional effort. If the death has caused too much stress in the family of the deceased, the news about the unfortunate event can be communicated by a close friend. Sudden death is the reason to communicate the news with much greater consideration especially when it comes to pregnant women and the elderly.

The same person is capable of arranging the funeral and other details such as religious events or commemoration service. Tradition requires that death notifications and other obituaries are posted in the daily newspaper a day or two prior to the event, and it is appropriate to place an obituary outside the home and at other appropriate places close to the home or workplace of the deceased.


The full name and surname of the deceased needs to be stated in the obituary, with all the titles, and if the deceased was known by a nickname, then it should also be added. For the misses the current surname is stated and the maiden surname is stated below. The occupation or honorary title of the deceased can be added under the name. This is followed by the date of birth and death and the time and place of burial and religious ceremony (if there will be one). In case the funeral has already been held because the family or the deceased has requested that during their lifetime, the final farewell is to be held only with the closest loved ones, that are also to be mentioned.

In the obituary, the family is stated in the signature in the following order:

  • husband or wife
  • children by age, and grandchildren and their spouses
  • parents and parents of the spouse
  • brothers and sisters and their spouses
  • nieces and nephews from both families
  • aunts and uncles

After the family is stated, people who have been particularly close to or dear to the deceased, can also be mentioned. In case it was about a common-law union, the partner will be stated by his or her own name, and in the case of engagement, the name of the bridegroom or bride will be stated. The names of the ones whom the person divorced are usually not mentioned.

The obituary can also feature other information that is important to the family of the deceased such as the account of a charitable organisation that collects contributions instead of flowers or requests for quiet compassion, or the request for non-disturbance. Regardless of our views, decency mandates that we respect such requests. If there are no such notifications, it is a common practice to bring a wreath or some other suitable flowers to the funeral.

After the death, the family will often thank those who have helped them in difficult times by publishing a special Thank You Note in the daily newspapers. Thank You Notes may contain names of institutions, associations or names of persons who were with the person while they were alive, but also a general acknowledgement to everyone who came to the funeral or expressed their condolences.

Through us, you can arrange a publication in the daily newspapers. For all information, please read INFORMATION IN THE NEWSPAPERS you can find on our web site.


Condolences are expressed to the family and/or people who were personally close to the deceased by pying a visit, by means of a phone call or a telegram. Condolences are received at home – relatives and the closest friends arrive first, while others have to wait a day or two before they visit. Visitors do not stay for a long time, but express condolences and discreetly withdraw.

It is also possible to express condolences immediately before or after the funeral ceremony. We will shake the hands of the family members while expressing condolences and say a few appropriate words. People who were particularly close can also exchange a few kisses on the cheek.


The appropriate colour of the clothes for the funeral is black or dark grey. Women can wear hats while men should wear a black tie and a white shirt. The suit should be dark.

The funeral procession accompanies the casket on foot from the mortuary to the burial place according to the following arrangement:

  • the family is at the forefront
  • men stand on the right side and women stand on the left side
  • other attendants of the funeral stand behind the family.

In the case of religious ceremonies, the priest or some other person from the religious community will say a few words about the deceased, and a family member or a close friend as well as a professional speaker can also address the gathering and remind us, in his or her own personal way, of the person that we are saying goodbye to.

We offer the writing and reading of farewell speeches. For further information, please read


The family is gathered around the grave in order of importance regarding family ties with the deceased. After the priest blesses the casket for the last time and bows down over the grave, the family members approach the grave one by one and scatter a small, appropriate piece of the soil taken near the grave, or a flower or petals, into the grave. After they have done so, the other mourners do the same.


After the funeral, the family and close friends can gather in the home of the deceased, at a restaurant or at some other place in order to remind themselves of the mutual closeness, and to comfort each other in such painful moments. Nowadays, it is a common practice for a family to organise a catering at home since it reduces the pressure on them and it reduces unnecessary stress and work for the family members.

The POKOP funeral agency will organise a reception at a restaurant or catering, as well as everything else that is necessary for a post-funeral reception.


In urban areas, black clothes are worn less and less as an expression of mourning, but it is still common in rural areas. However, despite this change in tradition, it is not appropriate to attend big celebrations or organise them a month after the funeral of a close family member out of respect for the deceased.