Hey lovies! I have so many drafts of blogs to finish and post- BUT I had to come on here to address death and wake/funeral etiquette. Because apparently in this day and age of technology and social media many have lost all common sense.
We recently lost a very much loved member of our family. It was one of those expected, unexpected things. And at almost 50, dealing with death, wakes and funerals is no easier than it was in my teens, 20s or 30s.
What I have noticed however is that the way people grieve coupled with techonological access equates to such an unbelievable disrespect and disregard for the dead and their families that it compelled me to write this blog.
Listen, I think that technology has so many advantages and has opened endless possibilities for networking, entrepreneurial success, and solving crimes and just spreading information. I mean, I myself can’t remember life before all this access can’t imagine life without it. Though the idea of disconnecting for a month sounds heavenly.
But in the midst of all these technological gains, we have also suffered many losses – common sense and sensitivity. We have become so desensitized to real live human interactions that we don’t even know how to act when someone passes.
I get that we all grieve and suffer the loss of a loved one differently. Some people may cry uncontrollably for days on end, others may not show any emotion and people may think they are insensitive and yet others may have a need to inundate themselves in work and mundane tasks in an effort to not deal. Everyone grieves differently, but I am going to remind some of you of things NOT to do at a wake or funeral.
This list was compiled as a result of a conversation I had with my family about the things we observed over this past week while making arrangements.
And as you guys know I love lists – it just helps me organize myself. So here goes – things NOT to do at a wake or funeral.
- When a family is grieving and planning for their loved ones services, do NOT impose your thoughts, practices, or opinions into the arrangements of the deceased UNLESS you’re planning on paying for the services. Like who else would know a father or mother better or more, than their own kids. You can’t force your ideals or practices from the past on today. Just, just, be still and offer comfort in silence.
- The wake, especially, is a time to sit in reverence, remember, cry, and support. The receiving line is your time to offer some words of comfort, a hug or a handshake and done. This is NOT the time to ask the family what happened. How did it happen? or to offer words like, “Oh but he was so young.” or “Maybe if he or she had done this or that.” Like really?
- This one is huge! The Biggest! The Most Important! DO NOT TAKE OUT YOUR
PHONES. If you have to make a call, step out. If you have to give someone information about the services. Do NOT Snap or post IG Live videos, do NOT take selfies or group pictures next to the casket or anywhere for that matter. Do NOT, please do NOT video tape people at the wake, who are crying and grieving. Do NOT video tape the funeral mass and please do NOT video tape the lowering of the casket!!! (Someone did at the funeral site and I kept wishing they would drop their phone in the grave. SMH!)
- Common sense folks! I don’t care if you ask the family. Actually don’t even ask the family. These people are in mourning, they are sad and upset, they are probably exhausted from the planning and visits and crying. Just don’t do it. It’s disrespectful to the people who are there honoring a life gone. Not to mention to the deceased.
- This is a funny one and actually happened. LOL. But should be addressed. Make sure if you go up to someone, a family member you haven’t seen in a while, that before you start sobbing on their shoulder they know who you are. AWKWARD!
- And if you’re that person that someone goes up to sobbing uncontrollably and you don’t remember who they are because maybe you haven’t seen them in decades, don’t look around at the crowd with a stunned look on your face and hands out like “Who the hell is this?” Play it off, please and ask questions later.
- And lastly, but I am sure not least, after the services are done and the family has said their goodbyes remember they have been going through the process long before you heard about the person passing, especially if the person had suffered a long illness. So when it’s over the family needs time to sit, pray, cry, remember and be alone. Don’t show up at their house unexpectedly. Don’t get upset if your calls or texts go unreturned. Just let them be. Let them absorb it all. Let them be quiet. Let them be still. Let them mourn.
Watching some of the above, actually occur left me perturbed and kind of sad We can’t even go to a wake and sit in reverence and pray for the deceased and that’s a shame.
Here are some websites on funeral etiquette if you’d like to do further reading: https://www.frazerconsultants.com/2017/11/funeral-etiquette-cell-phone-use-at-funerals/, and www.funeralwise.com/etiquette/. Apparently I am not the only person out there who feels people need a common sense refresher.
We will profoundly miss our Moises. What an honor it has been knowing him and becoming family. He leaves behind a legacy that we all hope to live up to.
Thanks for reading lovies! Remember to like, follow, comment and share! See you soon!