Thursday, January 20, 2011

The one where I rant

 I'm not quite sure how to begin here, but basically, the following post is about funerals. If this is a sensitive subject to you, consider that fair warning.

To start, my first question is what do you call a viewing? I lived in Vermont throughout middle school and that's exactly what it was known as, now living in Virginia, it's always called "family night". That makes some sense to me I guess, since that's exactly what I feel a viewing is. Friends come to pay respect to the family. Key word in that sentence? RESPECT.

Some people just don't have it.

Last night, Kev and I had to make an appearance at a "family night" of a friend's lost grandmother. I've never met her and neither has my husband but we felt it necessary to give our condolences to the family since we are basically neighbors.

When we arrived at the funeral home, I first noticed how many cars were in the parking lot and was expecting a long line of people waiting to hug the family. On the contrary, there were a few people in line and the rest of the folks were just sitting in the pews with their own families, talking amongst themselves.

This is not what I have a problem with. If you plan to come in, say something to the relatives and have a seat to pay your respects or pray, whathaveyou, that's wonderful. You go right ahead and do that. BUT, if you plan to say your condolences and then proceed to sit in the funeral home just to gossip, then go home. I overheard many conversations that didn't seem suitable for the environment but it gets worse. Kids were sitting there playing on their Nintendo DS and parents were talking on their cell phones. My immediate thought was WHAT THE F*CK?! Take it outside. Take everything outside. Your gossip, your cell phone and your kids annoying video game.

Personally,  my siblings and I were brought up that when in church or at a funeral/viewing/family night/bat mitzvah/wedding etc., you clean yourself up, dress appropriately, act appropriately and put your phone on silent. It's common courtesy.

I'm not saying my bro never ripped the occasional trouser burp but sometimes that can't be controlled. It's the way you handle yourself about it, you snicker, hope the people in the pew behind you can't tell, and continue with the service.

So friends, this ends my rant.


30 comments:

Layla said...

I agree with you. But I'm old fashioned about respecting the dead and their family, I guess. I still get very angry at people that don't pull over for a funeral procession. It's just a classy, respectful thing to do.

Jessica said...

I totally agree too! We call it "Visitation" & it should be just that. Visiting with the family & paying your condolences. Not doing things that, like you said, should be done elsewhere. I am 100% with Layla up there. It makes me so mad when people just fly by a procession. Be respectful, people!

megan said...

I hear you! At my step-uncle's funeral my niece and nephew kept complaining about how they wanted to go home. My husband took them outside and had a nice little chat with them and they didnt' say a peep after. I think that's how it needs to be. If your kids can't be respectful, leave them at home.

Tracy-Girl @ Then I Got To Thinking said...

I agree with you... regardless of even what it is... no one should be there talking on the phone, kids running around. It all seems disrespectful to that family!

Hannah said...

I'm scared of dead things so I've never been to a viewing/visiting but I've been to many shivas (a Jewish tradition where the deceased is not there) and respect is a must. Many people mourn in their own ways and with a bunch of yentas around, there is sure to be gossip - but respect is a must.

(It also helps that Shivas happen in a house so its a more comfortable place to comfort the family - not a big empty space that feels isolated or lonely.)

lifewithacrazypup said...

I completely agree with you! I absolutely hate when we're at church on Sundays and see so many teenagers on their phones waiting for the service to be over. It's distracting for everyone else and it's also completely disrespectful.

AMEN SISTER!

Kristin - Mrs. Glasses said...

Gross. Etiquette has just been thrown at the door these days!

Caroline said...

I totally agree. We call it a "visitation" too. And things like this go on all of the time. So sad.

Deepali said...

Personally I don't get funerals, especially really long ones. But I've always been taught to be respectful, regardless of the situation. So when we took our two year old to my husband's great uncle's service, it was my job to make sure my son was as well behaved as possible in a quiet and very echo-ey church. I think we survived though.

Carolyn @ life, love & puppy prints said...

I COMPLETELY agree with you!! People lack such manners!!!

Dancy said...

I've never heard of "family night". Around here we call it a "wake" (dunno why - not like they're gonna wake up). The "funeral" is the service/mass and then there's the burial itself. Again, it might be a difference in where you are in the country. By me, it's kinda considered rude if you just walk in, kneel & pray, speak to the family and then take off. You've always got to stay for about 20min & (quietly) chat with people, etc. It's like a hushed cocktail hour with a quiet murmur.

I completely agree about the decorum thing though. Put your phone on vibrate, if you get a call - walk outside, speak QUIETly. I don't think children should even be there unless they're directly related. Oh man I could tell you horror stories about my ex's family. Yikes!

Neely said...

My cousins constantly are on their phones at family functions!

Tiffany said...

That's so annoying! You're right, incredibly disrespectful.

steph c said...

Agreed. If you can't be disconnected and take time for what, an hour?.. you have issues. My personal feelings are that if you'd rather not be there, I'd rather not have you there. Gah. So annoying.

(That being said, your use of "trouser burp" made me laugh a little tiny bit ;))

Sara Pierce said...

I approve of your rant and totally agree. On a lighter note, I've never heard it called a trouser burp and it made me giggle at work.

Nicole said...

So I've never heard of a trouser burp... what exactly is that??

But I agree. It's a place to pay respect and I think kids today aren't learning that if you allow them to bring a Nintendo DS... What the heck!

lavenderpug said...

aw, that's hard to see people being disrespectful at an event that means so much to the family. i understand how you feel.

Kelsey said...

I totally agree with you and I loathe disrespectful people, I understand completely about your rant.

Anni said...

I understand where you're coming from, but on the other side of the fence, when my grandma died we were at her wake for six hours (lonnnng hours) and I kind of enjoyed that people were willing to bring other things up. She had been sick for over a year, and while we honored her life, it had pretty much consumed us for that whole week. The break was nice.

I think maybe our wake/viewings are different than yours though? In ours, it's often that there's an open hour (or 2 or 3) where you can come talk to the family and view the person if it's an open casket, and then they have a little service at the end. So people sometimes hang out and pass the time because they're waiting for the service to start.

I HATE when people can't get off their phones (or even keep the volume/vibrate on) at funerals or wakes. That's just disrespectful.

Christina said...

We have "viewings" here. Like you, I've seen people on cell phones and generally being disrespectful. It's annoying!

Unrelated to your rant... trouser burp? I <3 you.

mintedlife said...

Ugh, that's so awful. We call them wakes, but that is just so disrespectful.

BigAppleNosh said...

I definitely agree! I feel like it's just common courtesy. Geez louise.

Candace said...

I completely agree with you. In our "visitations" down in Louisiana, that was a common scene. Lots of people hanging around and lots of disrespect.

Maria said...

UNCALLED FOR! Lamers. People are their phones. They just don't know when to quit, do they?

Megan said...

We call them visitations. I agree with you. It's absolutely ridiculous that people think it's okay to talk on cell phones and such at a funeral or visitation. Where is the respect?

Mrs. Adventure said...

You know I love a good rant :+)

I have lived in Texas most of my life and they are called "Viewings" which are held the night before for family and close friends.

I can't even believe they were talking on cell phones, much less had video games... gasp. I'm sure I would have been death staring them down all night - I'm evil like that.

Hugs - Rach

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Wow. Just wow. I haven't attended many funerals and I've only been to one viewing. And maybe the viewing I attended was different because it was for someone who was only 22 when he died. But with as many people as there were, all I heard were people talking about how awesome Jake was and their favorite memories with him. Definitely not gossiping. That's so rude!

vintch said...

We call them "funeral home visitations," and there is, hands down, no sadder place to be in the whole world. I find it beautiful when funerals can be uplifting and more of a celebration of life, but the visitation before is just one of the saddest things...that said, respect is key. I don't think children can always process death or know how to handle it, however, so that might be the case for some of those children who were acting inappropriately. My condolences to your neighbor's family.

Emma9405 said...

I was just at a funeral yesterday. We had the viewing (viewing of the body and visitation with the family) from 9:30-11 and then the service at 11. I was so appalled by the behavior of my husband's cousins' children during the viewing - the younger ones (don't even get me STARTED on the idea that a 5-year-old should even be at a viewing!) were running around and playing, while the older ones were on their phones the entire time. Not a second spent with the family. I just could not believe it. Meanwhile, my husband and his cousins, who are super-tight, sat together and told stories about their Pop. THAT was lovely. But all in all, I think decorum as a whole has just completely disappeared. It's sad to see.

Diana said...

So disrespectful! Barf! Kids these days..... and adults for that matter.

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