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Not Sure How I Feel...

March 19th, 2013 at 07:54 pm

I am in a quandary. Well, not a major mix up by any means, but I am really not sure how I feel about what happened this evening.

My husband is retired from the public library. A coworker who was also retired died suddenly and we attended the funeral visitation tonight.

There was a large turnout and I'm glad for that because I think it is reassuring when people take the time to comfort the family.

The funeral home had an area that was in the center of the place that was not walled off and it was like a refreshment stand. I'm sure the price of that was included in the price...we priced funerals a few years ago when dh's mom was dying...and this place was pretty expensive.

I guess what I'm confused about is the fact the grandkids were acting like it was a party...screaming, laughing, hitting each other and carrying on, all next to those of us in line to pay our respects.

Granted, I didn't expect them to be crying and in a state of deep mourning, but everything they said or did was about "them." I wasn't trying to eavesdrop...it was just right there in the open.

Maybe I don't understand how society has changed. When I was a child, I was expected, at a funeral visitation, to be respectful of the deceased as well as those who were saddened. I know life goes on, but why in the world would a funeral home set up a refreshment bar, and television out in the open while those who waited could witness this? I live in a fairly conservative Midwestern city.

Any thoughts?

9 Responses to “Not Sure How I Feel...”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    As a mom with two girls who would never behave this way in a restaurant, movie theater, mall, hospital, doctor's office, library, bank, or school, I'm just as irritated by this type of behavior. Unfortunately, I don't think some parents realize that they are in charge of their child's behavior and it reflects on them.

    A tv, at a funeral home? Really? The refreshments are not as big of deal because family can often be there for long periods of time.

  2. snafu Says:

    You didn't mention age of grandchildren; teens are so ego centered and self absorbed I doubt they are aware of the solemness of the death of their grandparent. Their parents were likely busy with visitors who had come to express respects and were not even aware of their DKs behaviour.

    I'm surprised by the TV but finger foods and small snacks are typical in some funeral visitations. It's a way for ladies of the congregation to show respect and do something tangible to help the family.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I wonder if they had much relationship with the grandparent. I wonder if they have any clue what death means. I wonder if they have any empathy for their parent(s) who lost their own. I wonder.... Gosh!

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I don't think it's unusual for a funeral home to provide refreshments. As others have said, some people must be there for a long time.

    Although the children were no doubt irritating (and a lot depends on their age, too) I think it is often the case that cousins and such who haven't seen each other for a while get excited about being together and the funeral morphs into a family reunion. I am thinking of some funerals in my spread-out family where the children may have been viewed as disrespectful, but they were actually just really happy to see each other.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    Having rambuctious children, I'd probably a bit more understanding. Though they certainly know how to behave in certain situations, they have never been to a funeral. I also presume that they did not know the deceased very well, and there was the "excitement of extended family" element. I could not imagine my children acting like that at any of their own great grandparent's funerals as I think they would feel very somber and understand that we would be very somber. (Though my kids are 8 & 10; I am not sure they would understand if they were 2 & 4). But if it was someone they did not know very well...

    (I notice both CB and I have boys? My boys can be like caged animals, their energy level is off the charts. I've commented in the blogs before that I would literally get comments one day apart that I had the most well behaved children ever, and the next day someone would tell me my kid was a wild animal and I Was a horrible mom - always observed by a mother with no sons. Wildness is usually triggered by getting little sleep, a change in routine, and/or the trigger of another child - not blaming the other child, but there are just some kids that they kind of feed off of each other with the wild energy. So I Can see all those factors with a funeral).

    I'd still *tsk tsk* the parents. I'd maybe give them a pass that they were off somewhere grieving and tending to business. But, as much as I would be more understanding of the behavior, I'd also want to intervene and stop it if I Were the parent.

  6. PNW Mom Says:

    I think the food was fine, but a tv? Really? To me, that is just tacky. I think the parents should have stepped in and stopped some of it. I wonder how old the kids were? If they were tweens or teenagers, they definately should know better. In my opinion, small children do not belong at a funeral.

  7. ThriftoRama Says:

    I agree with MM. I also have sons, and I get a lot of "speeches" from other moms about how rambunctious they are. This usually comes from the child-free, or those with timid little girls who cling to their legs or quietly flip through books. Sometimes, the parents are doing the best they can. If you get a quiet child who listens, don't think it's because of something you have done-- it's because you've hit the lottery!

    I have never seen food or TV in a funeral home, though, and I am from a small town in the Midwest. It is long days for the family. With the death of my dad and grandparents, we were at or near the funeral home for up to 10 hours each day for a day or two for all the viewings and receptions, and spent a lot of time running out to grab snacks and such. No tv though there was a small coffee room where people could gather to talk.

  8. M E 2 Says:



    A 2 and/or 4 year old wouldn't belong at a funeral unless it was one/both of their parents. @@

  9. rob62521 Says:

    Thanks for the responses...there wasn't really food, just a drink bar with gourmet coffee, tea, and soda. I could see finger foods.

    The parents didn't seem to be concerned and let the kids do as they pleased. There were kids who were probably 8 or 9 up to teenagers.

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