Death and funerals are hard, and suffice to say, most people struggle with knowing how to act and what to say to the friends and family who have just lost someone dear. That said, you can probably cross these 15 behaviors straight off your list of possible responses.
#15. Pop pop would have approved.
“We had a snowball fight outside the parlor of my pop pops funeral…
Pop pop would have approved. The non-family mourners seemed horrified.”
#14. Check with your lawyer.
“I witnessed the estranged drunk and druggie daughter of a family friend come screaming into the visitation looking for her brothers because she had found out she was never written into the will. It was a hell of a scene.
::EDITS:: I had to actually ask because people brought up good points.
This was in Missouri, Missouri *is* an affirmative disinheriting state. The will according to brother #1 said she was actively excluded from the official will and entitled to no portion of the estate, named her ex husband a portion of the home sale (Brother #2 bought his father out and kept it), and the remaining estate to both of her sons. The daughter was allowed personal effects (hence the police escort when getting them, probably to ensure she didn’t try and swipe anything else.). His mother had hand written an unofficial one to be read to her children.
Also: Ash had every chance to get clean between 16/18 and 27. Both parents were more than willing and able to pay for treatment. She actively chose not to, as well as actively chose not to seek treatment for whatever was going on in her life that caused her to turn to drugs as a way to cope. She wasn’t even going to come to the funeral until she checked with the lawyer *the day of* and flipped shit.”
#13. Trying to “quietly” open a can.
Someone trying to “quietly” open a can while they were doing the closing prayer.
EDIT: Thank you kind people for the gold and silver!
#12. It’s the little things.
“Maybe isn’t as over the top as most of these comments, but I’m one of the Marines that has to go present the flag to the next of kin when a service member dies. It’s usually old Vietnam and Korea Vets, but sometimes it’s a desert storm or recent war vet and the mother is there receiving the flag instead of a son or daughter. Point is I’ve probably been to 45 funerals in the past year.
It’s striking how often someone’s phone goes off during the service. It seems nearly every other or every third service someones ring tone start playing. There’s been a few times where someone will get up from their seat and answer the phone to.”
#11. A legally blind woman trying to physically fight.
“Picture if you will, two elderly women in a funeral squaring up as people are still crying from the ceremony.
At the lunch after my grandpa’s funeral, his daughter from a previous marriage “Dee” who no one had seen in years showed up. Dee had been writing bad checks all the way to the state prison and had definitely had some unresolved beef with my family when she got out. The last time my mom saw her was when was 11 and Dee left her infant daughter for my mom to babysit and never came back, Fast forward to the funeral, Dee is acting like it’s a family reunion but no one is having it since she’s basically screwed everyone in the room in one way or another. My grandpa’s last girlfriend, a legally blind woman tried to physically fight her until others stepped in.
Edit: gave my crazy half aunt a pseudonym for clarity
Edit 2: the baby left with my mom at age 11 was not me, but that would be an amazing plot twist! Dee had said she was just having a night out and actually decided to run off to San Francisco (this was the early 70s) and left her baby. When Dee didn’t come back, my mom called her mom, got ahold of a relative that took care of the baby until Dee could be reached. Sorry I don’t have a lot of details after that but the baby grew up and she actually arrived at the funeral with Dee and I hear the apple didn’t fall far from the tree,
Edit 3: I had forgotten this part somehow. After the funeral, Dee tried to steal the car willed to grandpa’s blind boo but my family thought ahead and a couple of my uncles waited around the house until Dee came for the car, they came outside and apparently she was scared off. Blind boo got the car in the end and wrecked it immediately. I can’t make this shit up.”
#10. Putting on a show.
“The mother of the deceased putting on a (terribly acted and meth-fueled) show about how much she loved and missed her daughter. Shortly thereafter she was convicted of the daughter’s murder.”
#9. Who does that at a funeral?
“A relative of my husband died.
There was a gathering at her house after the funeral, hosted by her husband. It was mostly family of my husband, but there were a few friends. There was catered food and drink and people were just general socializing and telling nice stories about the deceased.
About two hours in, a man and woman in their mid-20’s show up. They are acquaintances of the widower. They walk around the house a bit, grab a drink and then disappear.
I was asked to get some more drinks from the garage, which was off the kitchen. I opened the door and stepped into the garage.
There was the young couple, leaning against a car and engaging is some pretty vigorous sexual relations.
Another family member who was standing in the kitchen saw what I saw. I backed out of the garage because I was fairly embarrassed. I mean, who does that at a funeral?
I guess the other relative told the widower because the next thing I know there is shouting from the garage and the widower is telling these two people in no uncertain terms that they needed to leave.
Apparently, not only were they having sex in the garage, but they were doing lines of coke off the hood of the car.
Only a few people who were at the gathering found out what happened, thank goodness.”
#8. Spilled a lot of alcohol in the casket.
“At an open casket wake, a friend of the deceased attempted to give her a drink of single malt whiskey. She ended up being forcibly removed as she wouldn’t stop and spilled a lot of the alcohol in the casket. It was as horrible and inappropriate as it was heartbreaking – for everyone.”
#7. Drama queen antics.
“My cousin’s funeral – he was 27 years old and killed in a single car crash after he hit a slippery patch on the road and smashed into a concrete wall.
At his funeral, all of his brothers, sisters, and parents sat on the front row at his graveside service. Then, lo and behold, my cousin’s ex-girlfriend of over a year shows up and immediately inserts herself on to the front row next to his sisters. And proceeds to scream cry, scream wail, and throw herself on the ground periodically throughout the service. All of the family just gave her awkward stares, with no one wanted to address her inappropriate behavior. I had never seen that type of attention demanding drama queen antics before…or since…
**EDIT: just wanted to throw this in ~ this was a funeral with military honors (Air Force), and they did the gun salute at the gravesite. I don’t remember how many times they fire, but at each gunshot, she would literally shriek and collapse into the arms of either of the sisters standing next to her. I do recall at the very end, the youngest sister was sick of that shit and just let her fall on the ground. And it was raining heavily and rather muddy.”
#6. Giggles throughout.
“Only somewhat inappropriate, but certainly the funniest thing…
It was a funeral for an uncle I was very distantly related to, and (this is happening in Greece, in the summer), the church is very full and incredibly hot, you can smell the sweat, there’s incense, the air isn’t circulating, and the priest is just going on and on – I don’t think I can describe how grim the situation was. Not totally unexpectedly therefore, just as the priest is getting to something particularly emotional, a man, an old colleague standing near the back, faints – he’s completely out. Now, this guy was very tall and rather broad, so not only was it a miracle that he didn’t take out the two tiny old ladies right in front of him, he was also really difficult to carry outside to get some air!
Somebody has the brilliant idea that the pallbearers (those people who carry the casket) should carry him, since they’ve practiced it and are reasonably strong. So everybody squeezes a bit tighter (nobody wants to leave the church, things just got interesting) to let them through. They pick him up, three on one side and three on the other, i.e. more or less as they would the casket, and start carrying him towards the door. Suddenly, this guy wakes up, turns his head several times, grasps what’s going on and who’s carrying him faster than anybody can respond, and immediately starts yelling “I’M ALIVE! I’M ALIVE! I’M ALIVEEEEEE!” At which point, one of the pallbearers laughs so hard that he drops what was thankfully a leg, and the others struggle to put him down in what is now a church absolutely exploding with laughter. The whole situation went on for a good fifteen minutes in which this guy walked outside and the priest tried to resume the service, but there absolutely continued to be giggles throughout – I, being a teenager at the time, also couldn’t possibly hold it back every time I thought of this guy yelling he’s alive!
Nobody was even particularly upset because the uncle we were burying was always laughing and joking around, so it somehow felt appropriate that we had a great laugh at his funeral.
edit: My first award! Thanks so much, glad to put some laughter into this thread :)”
#5. An absolute scene.
“A narcisstic family member arrived late (after everyone else was at the graveside for the burial, and probably lurking behind a tomb to pick the perfect time after the priest had just started talking), wearing an enormous hat and sunglasses and low cut gown like she was attending the Golden Globes red carpet or something, and loudly making an absolute scene of how devasted she was, daaaaaarlings and just generally making it all about her.”
#4. Misplaced him?!
“The funeral home putting a random guy in my grandfathers casket, suit, glasses, and wedding band…while then admitting that they had misplaced my grandfather was fairly inappropriate for a funeral.”
#3. Everyone was grabbing things.
“When my dads mom passed away, there were a lot of people there, he comes from a family of 11, (10 now as his sister passed away a while ago), so there were a lot of nieces, nephews and cousins. It was an open casket, I was around 12-13, but everyone was grabbing things from her/off her from the casket, all the aunts grabbing things for their kids who don’t even know her/remember who she is/way too young. The ONLY thing my dad has a keepsake of his mother is a little rose pin that she wore in the home she was in before she passed. It’s unfortunate and makes me feel very sad for my dad.”
#2. Time to shine.
“Oh fuck. My time to shine. Former mortuary industry worker.
The worst is hard to call because I’ve seen a lot. Some honourable mentions:
-A rando walking on off the street and proceeding to help herself to coffee and ODing in our bathroom. Didn’t die. Did get narcan’d.
-A couple fooling around in the urn/casket showroom during the viewing.
-An angry old woman storming out of the bathroom with a fistful of tampons, screaming about how inappropriate we were for keeping them in there, because “THERE ARE CHILDREN HERE!!” She threw them at the funeral director’s face. They were kept in a cabinet, in a small basket, well hidden from public view. She was definitely rifiling around to have found them. We were no longer allowed to keep our sanitary products in the restrooms after this.
-A grief stricken mother tipping her son’s casket while wailing and trying to climb inside. Less inappropriate than it was terribly sad.
-Caught a junkie relative digging deep into the pockets of the deceased looking for, the family and is assumed, money.
-A woman pulling down her child’s pants and letting it shit in a potted plant.
-The funeral home owner’s horrible dog sashaying up to the front and taking a giant liquid shit in front of the casket and horrified guests in the middle of the service.
-The same dog biting someone at another service.
-Tons of brawls. Lots of drinking. Biker funerals were INSANE. The women were meaner than hell and fighting one another constantly. The dudes were awesome though. Super respectful, cleaned the place up perfectly, and even hauled their trash away. Most of which was bags of beer cans and liquor bottles. I loved biker funerals.
I have some, SO many. But I’ll stop here.”
#1. Poo Poopy Doo.
Not super inappropriate, but my grandfather was always a trickster. He had a great sense of humor. He had this little song he would sing to me, my siblings, and my little cousins where he would just repeat the words “poo poopy doo” over and over. At his funeral, my aunt was telling stories about him and in the middle of her telling a story, my 6 year old cousin screamed “POO POOPY DOO” in front of 50 people. Needless to say it lightened the mood a little bit and made everyone a little happier remembering him in a good way.
Edit: for people asking, it’s not the Betty Boop song 🙂
Seriously, what is wrong with people?