A number of years ago, someone from my immediate family passed away. Unfortunately, I did not get to see every person who came to pay their respect. The funeral home was gracious enough to extend their closing time way past 9:00 pm because there were just so many people. There was a long line and some just decided to get out of the line and leave. They figured that they will never get to the front by closing time.
My family members and I were sad to hear that some people left early. Some people lived in the area but many were from out of town and traveled quite a distance to come. The hours were from 5-9 pm. Everyone who came between 5:00 and 7:00, we got to not only greet them, but were able to talk to them for some amount of time. This is only possible when you do not have a line of people waiting. We knew that most people would probably come between 7:00 and 9:00 because many of them are just getting out of work at 5:00. By the time they go home, eat, get ready and travel, we are talking close to 7:00 or after.
Today, I attended a wake for my friend’s father who passed away. The viewing hours were from 2:00 – 4:00 pm and then from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. I definitely wanted to go in the afternoon for two reasons. First of all, I do not like crowds and I knew that many people would be there in the evening because they work during the day. The main reason is that I wanted to make sure that I got to at least see my friend. I did not need to have a long conversation with her, but I wanted her to know that I was there.
I have come to the conclusion that the best time to go to a wake is at the beginning hours when the viewing first starts. This way you are guaranteed to see whomever it is that you want to see. After seeing what took place a number of years ago with my own relative, I do not want the same thing happening to me. What good is going to a wake if you cannot see who you need to see? If you go earlier, you will probably find parking a lot easier too, especially if you have to park in the street. Who wants to walk in high heels so far away from the funeral home?
Whenever I can, I go to a wake before the crowds hit. That means going early. If the viewing is from 2-4pm, I would go around 2:30 like I did today. Hardly anyone was there and I got to visit a little with my friend and her family. The big crowd is going tonight. If the viewing is from 5-9pm, then I will try to be there before 5:30. If at all possible, try to attend wakes early. You do not want to get there only to have to turn around and walk out.