Yea! You’re Dead! Now We Can Par-Tay!

by admin on September 22, 2011

Wow I just got off the phone with my mother and you would not believe the stunt that my cousins are pulling.

My aunt (their mother) passed away from cancer last week. During the course of her illness, my uncle struggled to support their family with little help from their three adult sons. Now that their mother is gone, the youngest son (in his mid 20′s) has decided to throw a fund-raiser after the funeral. This is not to raise money for cancer or to help others. This is so that he can go on a trip.

Over the years this family has been pretty bad with spending and my uncle has gotten the reputation of only calling when he needs money. My mom is a single woman and does not have a big income but she helped him in the past. The rest of the family was so sad about our aunt and pretty much everyone had planned on attending the funeral to say goodbye to her including my mom. When she called to offer sympathy and ask about funeral details (she was planning on making the 10+ hour drive to attend with her boyfriend) she was immediately asked what her boyfriend drives, if they would be able to drive my uncle and the boys to the funeral and if they would be at the fund-raiser. My mom realized what he was planning and that there is no way that she can afford to make the trip. She was also worried that my uncle would start asking her boyfriend for money (he still calls my dad for money even though he and my mom haven’t been together for years) so she called my uncle to send her regrets. He was more concerned that she and her boyfriend weren’t going to be at the fund-raiser!

The worst part of this is that my aunt – their wife and mother – has just died and now they’re using her death as a way to get more money from their family and are using it to party. I’ve made it clear that if I pass away unexpectedly I’d like my family to have a wake but they would have one angry ghost on their hands if they tried to make money off of it! 0706-11

I used to think weddings were the fabulous crucible in which the characters of all those involved were revealed.  No, the ultimate crucible that burns away the facades of civility to reveal what people really are deep in their souls is death that has the potential to leave heirs with any sort of money.  While this story is disgusting, it doesn’t hold a candle to some of the real life greed I’ve been privy to this past year.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

lkb September 22, 2011 at 5:00 am

As one who is coordinating her own mother’s funeral, I am astonished at this family’s nerve.
May God have mercy on them.

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David September 22, 2011 at 6:33 am

Wow, using your mother’s funeral to raise funds for a trip. I think that merits a special tier of ehell all to yourself.

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Green123 September 22, 2011 at 8:00 am

Just when you thought you’d seen it all… I really, really hope that absolutely no-one turns up to their fundraiser.

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Hemi Halliwell September 22, 2011 at 8:41 am

I 100% agree with David- these people need a special place in ehell.

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Amber September 22, 2011 at 8:41 am

Aaaand now I have that fresh, unclean feeling. *shudder*

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Katy September 22, 2011 at 9:05 am

There. Are. No. Words.
I can’t imagine how far my dad would kick my behind if I even suggested using my mother’s death as a fund-raiser. I’m pretty sure I’d need a passport to deal with it.
If there’s any decency in the world this fund-raiser is going to flop spectacularly.

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Aje September 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

Makes me wonder a little more what the aunt was like….

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admin September 22, 2011 at 11:29 am

I don’t think the behavior of greedy children or a widower has anything to do or is in any way a negative reflection of the character of the deceased.

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The Elf September 22, 2011 at 9:30 am

I have no words. Okay, I have three: W. T. F. ?

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Just Laura September 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

Fortunately, I’ve had little experience with funerals in my family, and nearly all of it has been without greed/malice.

Other families, however…

For a while during undergraduate college, I worked at a Mom and Pop flower shop. Mom unexpectedly died one Sunday, leaving a sad Pop and three grown children. The youngest child had been living with Mom and Pop for a few years, helping his aging parents around the house. After the funeral had passed, Youngest Child noticed he couldn’t find any of the baking utensils in the kitchen. He asked Pop about it, and Pop called his other children to see if they remember seeing or moving them when they had visited. Oldest child said, “Oh we took those with us. It’s not like you need them now that Mom’s died.” Pop explained that there were still two active, working men in the house who needed to cook, but this didn’t seem to have an effect.

As an appraiser who has handled estates of all sizes, I’ve seen some pretty nasty relatives. I’ve seen wedding bands “go missing,” I’ve seen one sibling call the cops on another for “potential theft,” and I’ve seen lawyers hired just to make sure Sister didn’t get that $20 vase that Mother always had by her bedside.

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Serenity S September 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

The uncle and sons are horrible. It doesn’t sound like they care about their mother/wife at all . I think your mom should still attend the funeral. Your poor aunt should have at least one person there who actually cared about her. Your mom can just not go to the fundraiser. Being in the same area for the funeral does not obligate her to attend the fundraiser for nephew’s vacation. She does not even owe an explanation to the greedy relatives of why she will not attend the fundraiser.

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badkitty September 22, 2011 at 9:57 am

The good news is that Auntie isn’t alive to see this, and hopefully if she *is* watching she will understand family staying away from her funeral… though the OP doesn’t specifically state that this woman was embarrassed in life by the money-grubbing antics of her spouse and children or if she herself perpetuated it.

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AS September 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

This story strikes me very deep because my mother recently passed away and I could not make it for the funeral as I live half the way across the world. When I called up my father, he said that there were many, MANY, people who had come to visit her for her wake and it was nice to see how much people had loved her. That is the last memory of my mother that my father and I will always cherish.
This story is extremely sad because the woman, who seemed to be a nice person, is not going to have many people come to pay their last respects just because her family is pushing them away by their greed.

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Enna September 22, 2011 at 10:04 am

That is disgusting behvaiour. If he was rasing money for charity to help cancer sufferers or for a cause that was close to his mother’s heart, that would be different. It is amazing how the uncle behaves too. Okay, people will make mistakes with money everyone does that but doing silly things with money and then asking for more money is just not on.

I went to a memorial service a couple of weeks ago and the lady who passed away was involved in setting up a charity, so understandably there was a colleciton for the chairty. Now this lady had helped so many people in her life that it is hardly surprsing there was quite an amount donated. “Donated” being the key word there.

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nannerdoman September 22, 2011 at 11:17 am

Wow. Way to pay tribute to one’s wife or one’s mother.

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Magicdomino September 22, 2011 at 11:29 am

This is much worse than the brides and grooms requsting donations for their honeymoon. At least the trip is related to the wedding, it is an event where gifts are customarily given anyway, and the two people who are the focus of the event benefit. This fund-raiser isn’t even for funeral costs (although that would still be tacky); it’s taking advantage of people who are coming to mourn the aunt.

*sigh* It would probably be too tacky to ask if the trip involves a one-way ticket, wouldn’t it.

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Harley Granny September 22, 2011 at 11:45 am

Wow and just this year I thought I had seen the all time lowest of lows in the funeral world.

In the past year and a half my poor SIL has lost her husband 3/2010 and her son 5/2011. Her DIL just wasn’t “up” to doing anything and “let” my grieving SIL plan the entire Celebration of Life. Thank goodness she did it because it was nicely done. Her DIL picked out one song and she picked “Man of Constant Sorrow.” (I like the song don’t get me wrong but for a funeral?) That’s it…that’s all she contributed to her husband’s service. She also showed up higher than a kite with whatever the “doctor” gave her.
Now 4 months later she’s complaining about how it was handled and how badly she’s now being treated.

I hope she doesn’t see this because she’ll probably steal the idea.

I am sorry for your loss and hope you find a way to properly honor this person.

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Green123 September 22, 2011 at 11:53 am

Magicdomino, as someone who asked friends and relatives for gifts of contributions to our honeymoon in lieu of ‘material’ wedding gifts I am utterly disgusted at the thought that the actions of these people is in any way comparable to ours.

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acr September 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm

wow. Sounds like uncle ended up with the kids he deserved.

Though I don’t agree that the aunt sounds like a “nice lady.” She married one of these gimme pigs and raised the other. I can’t believe she was totally unaware of her husband calling her ex BiL for money.

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Ashley September 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I can’t even handle this. I have literally no words beyond what I have managed to type thus far. OP, I am so sorry you have to deal with family members like this.

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JennJenn68 September 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Completely amoral wretches. Anyone who allows him/herself to be guilted into attending and/or contributing to the “fundraiser” needs a swift kick in the backside. This is a perfect example of a situation in which “‘no’ is a complete sentence”.

Sadly, though, I think this will start happening more and more in a world in which they are removing narcissism from the newest version of the DSM because it’s now so commonplace that it’s no longer considered a disorder.

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Sharon September 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Every day I hear something so crazy that I think to myself, “Well… old girl, you have heard it all! There cannot be anything crazier in this world to hear.”

And then, I come across something like this… I have lived 60 years and every single day there is something new in the land of crazy to observe.

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Noodle September 23, 2011 at 2:00 am

I have never in my life heard of a funeral fund-raiser, especially one not intended to raise money to help defray funeral costs (which I know can be astronomical so, while tacky, would at least make more sense). I hope the relatives don’t play into this.

I agree about funerals bringing out the worst in people. I’ve gotten married and planned both of my parents’ funerals, and on each occasion people sprouted horns and showed their greed. The funerals were both much, much worse than the wedding.

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Lilya September 23, 2011 at 3:30 am

…and I was upset with my cousin for showing up at our grandmother’s funeral in flood pants and complaining about how long it was taking!

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Cat September 24, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Reminds me of my brother who refuses to attend Dad’s funeral because he’d have to give up a day of his vacation to attend. And then told everyone I wouldn’t “let” him attend his own father’s funeral.

He didn’t explain that he wanted me to delay the funeral for over two weeks, until after his vacation ended and he could claim another paid day for his father’s funeral. Dad had put his name on his bank accounts so, as the son, he could pay the bills. He kept all the money for himself. I paid all the funeral expenses though I made half of what my brother made.

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Edhla September 27, 2011 at 11:54 am

My mother missed her father’s funeral, because of the behaviour of her brother and his family. She had nursed her father in his last days, without food or sleep, and she had done everything she could for him, and given her emotional state, did not need to be near those people. My aunt, for example, called her youngest son’s singing teacher from my grandparents’ kitchen asking that he learn something “for the funeral.” My grandfather was still alive at that time and my mother was in there by his bedside while this awful woman was using it as an occasion to show off my cousin (whose talents are mediocre at best.)

At the funeral, a different uncle (a reasonable one) did the eulogy and mentioned my mother, saying that she felt unable to attend and that she had taken on much of my grandfather’s palliative care and that our thoughts should be with her. I appreciated that. What I did NOT appreciate was the wake, where I heard distant cousins and other family snarking about how my mother wasn’t there. Did they care for my grandfather? Nope. But they all had an ignorant opinion on it!

Truly, a death in the family really highlights the worst in people.

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