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What are some best practices for people who learn from afar of the passing of an individual (not immediate family) and who want show their respects to the deceased and the surviving family?

If they can choose to attend the funeral only but not the burial, or the burial but not the funeral, or pay a Shiv'ah call, which should take priority?

When is the appropriate time to call by phone?

Is email (or other electronic communication) an appropriate medium to express condolences?

Feel free to add other ideas, such as charity, flowers, etc.

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Really? A commentless downvote? –  Seth J Dec 5 '12 at 18:09
    
What is the funeral if not the burial? –  Avrohom Yitzchok Dec 5 '12 at 19:49
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I feel like this is very much case-dependent. –  Double AA Dec 5 '12 at 20:07
    
@AvrohomYitzchok, many times the funeral is in a funeral home and then the body is driven by car to the cemetery for burial. –  Seth J Dec 5 '12 at 20:09
    
@DoubleAA, I suppose some of it might be (the email question, for example), but I was wondering if anyone discusses these things, or if any rabbis who read the site and have experience in these matters have any insights. –  Seth J Dec 5 '12 at 20:10

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