Funeral Notice In The Gas Station

by admin on October 29, 2012

This happened about 4 years ago when I was working at a small town convenience store/gas station. A regular customer (Scott) came in to buy diesel for his truck. I knew him a little because I went to school with his son so we had a pleasant conversation while his tank was being filled. There are several funeral homes in the neighboring town who sends funeral notices with information such as who died, their family, when the funeral was, etc. We had gotten several that day and I was talking with Scott while I put them up on the notice board when he all of a sudden became very quiet. He looked at the funeral notices for a moment, looking more upset by the second before saying, “Oh, well I guess my mom died. My brother never told me.” He quickly paid for his diesel and drove away very upset. When I looked at the notice it said that his mom had died 3 days ago. Imagine finding out your mom died from a public funeral notice!   1026-12
Sad.  Very sad.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie October 29, 2012 at 6:47 am

That poor guy. Who knows what went on between him and his brother but that still does not mean you do not inform them that their parent passed away because without that parent they would not be here!

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Green123 October 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

This is so terribly sad – that poor man! I do hope he was OK – I would have been so worried about him driving when he was so upset.

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Erin October 29, 2012 at 7:54 am

How terrible! Poor guy!

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Audra October 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

This is terrible; very, very sad. My sister and I have a strained relationship but I cannot imagine not telling her that our father or mother had passed away.

Have you seen Scott since this? I hope he is ok.

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Coralreef October 29, 2012 at 8:04 am

This is heartbreaking. Is a grudge between brothers so important that you don’t tell about the passing of a parent?

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Library Diva October 29, 2012 at 8:52 am

Sometimes I don’t understand family. My fiance’s half-uncle was the “official contact” for his grandfather, we’ll call him Joe. He got the call that Joe was dying and didn’t bother to notify my fiance’s family, who were a 5-minute drive away. Joe died alone because half-uncle couldn’t get over issues from the past (which had little to do with his relationship with my fiance’s dad, and more to do with the fact that my fiance’s dad is the product of an affair Joe had).

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spartiechic October 29, 2012 at 10:41 am

How very sad! My family has been divided over the last decade because of an assumption my aunt made that I called Child Protective Services on her (I did not, but, because I’m a social worker, she assumes that I’m the one that made the call). I often worry that I won’t be notified about my grandmother’s passing when it comes. My father isn’t the most reliable of people, either. The last time my grandmother was in the hospital, no one called me to let me know. I had to find out when my grandmother called to ask me if I could bring her something. This was after she’d been in the hospital for 2 days. My father lives with my grandmother and didn’t even think to call me. It’s one of the reasons that I’m friends with my cousin on Facebook. At least I know he’d post about it if she should pass away.

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violinp October 29, 2012 at 10:43 am

How utterly heartbreaking :’(

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NotCinderell October 29, 2012 at 10:45 am

I am estranged from my sister. I stopped talking to her a few years ago because she is a toxic person and I felt for my own emotional health that I needed to put emotional distance between her and myself. It was not a decision that I made lightly, and it was after years of egregious mistreatment.

I still told her when our grandmother died this summer. It’s common decency.

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just4kicks October 29, 2012 at 11:04 am

I may be in the wrong here, but every family has a “black sheep” that due to things they have done, are no longer considered part of the family. While I agree that is a horrible way of learning your mom has passed, we don’t know the whole story. It could have been the mother’s wish to leave this person out of the loop. Still very sad though.

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Ashley October 29, 2012 at 11:04 am

Wow, and I thought finding out about my grandmother’s death via Facebook was bad. Idk what goes on between Scott and his brother, but his brother should have at least put all that aside to call him about his mother’s death

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PolitePolice October 29, 2012 at 11:10 am

If this story is true, I really feel sad for the guy. I’m just having a bit of a hard time believing it. I could easily picture this in a bigger setting, but small towns are infamous for news flying fast. Scott’s been living his whole life in this small town, his mother was living in a neighboring small town, surely after 3 days somebody in one of those towns would have passed the info on to him?

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Angela October 29, 2012 at 11:36 am

A similar thing happened to my mum when my uncle died. My mum and her brothers aren’t on the best of terms but they send each other Christmas and birthday cards. A few years ago, I saw a post one of my cousins had made on Facebook that said, “RIP Uncle C”. I messaged him and found out what had happened. He had been dead for a week and the funeral was in 2 days time. Not one of my mum’s 5 brothers had bothered to phone her and let her know! I had to phone her to tell her the news, she was very upset.

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Ann October 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

That sure points to some major family dysfunction. The poor guy.

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So Sad October 29, 2012 at 1:27 pm

That is horrible. Absolutely horrible.

I had a very good friend that found out that both his father and his brother had passed away by Facebook posts from extended family. No one bothered to call and tell him directly.

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Beth F October 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

My uncle passed away a few years back. Of the brothers and sisters, is one who has been in and out of jail since the mid 80s. He had been out and clean for a few years before my uncle’s death, but he was not in contact with the family (pretty much cut off because of his jail stints and the turmoil they caused).

I do remember there being a conversation, at the visitation, and during the gathering after the funeral, that there was an attempt to reach the estranged brother, to no avail, but an attempt was made. I think regardless of the relationship or the dynamics of a family, sharing the information (or attempting to do so) of the passing of a family member is something that should be done.

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cndngrl October 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I agree with just4kicks. We don’t know the back story here. My grandmother has completely cut off my Uncle from her life…to the point that she has informed the rest of the family (and even close family friends), that we are not to inform my uncle when she passes.

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Angel October 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

That is just terrible. We don’t know the whole story but I can’t imagine anyone being deliberately left out of the loop when their own mom died. What a shame in any case.

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Michele K. October 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

That is a situation that is more common than you might think.

My mother’s uncle passed away one year at 101 years old and had no kids. All the nieces and nephews knew about it except my mom. She was the “black sheep” and everyone assumed that someone else had told her. She found out about it in her twice annual call with one of her sisters. My aunt acted like it was Mom’s fault for not knowing.

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Cat October 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm

My cousin sent me a Christmas card to let me know our grandmother had died. It wasn’t exactly, “Fa, la, la Granny’s dead” but it was just a quick note written on the blank side of the card. She also mentioned that her daughter had had a baby. Weird.

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Belly October 30, 2012 at 4:24 am

Oh, this is just so sad.
What gets to me is the, “Oh, well I guess my mom died.” In my mind it sounds sad, hurt and resigned to being excluded from the family. Poor guy.

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Maria October 30, 2012 at 4:55 am

This is one of the saddest things I’ve read here :(

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Bibianne October 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm

We live far away from extended family… due to location/job. It takes us 24 to drive. I found out one of my favorite uncles had passed away almost a year after the fact.

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VoteGilligan October 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm

This is so sad. We have a very…interesting family but we have always called when someone was sick or passed away. It is just the proper thing to do.

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Drawberry October 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm

I think regardless of what kind of family dynamics may or may not have been going on in the past, it was clear that this man was upset and hurt at having to find out he was unaware of his mothers death for 3 days too long.

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Elizabeth October 31, 2012 at 9:20 am

It doesn’t seem that Scott was at all connected with his Mom’s care, either before or after she died. At least someone in the family was connected with her.

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VZG October 31, 2012 at 11:17 am

My family is, frankly, a mess. In the case of one uncle, I only met him twice in my life, and I don’t remember either occasion because I wasn’t even two; he was dangerous and unpredictable, at least until his last few years, though he still had problems then.

I’m personally fine with the idea that you can become estranged from family; as you can’t pick them, I don’t think one should be forced to stick to people who are abusive or otherwise create a harmful environment.

But even if you treat them as a stranger or an enemy, there is absolutely NO reason not to inform a family member about another family member’s death, barring a complete inability to contact them. I don’t care if his mother asked for him not to be told; obeying such an order is still cruel and heartless. If such an order was made (it seems unlikely), it was either itself cruel and heartless as well, or an unthinking, emotional plea she wouldn’t have asked for if she were in her right mind — because letting part of your family know and not the other bars any other even halfway reasonable possibility.

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Enna November 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

This is very sad – maybe his brother tried telling him but couldn’t get hold of him? We don’t know the circumstances – if the mother died on her own it might have been a day or two before anyone knew. It is still very sad.

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Josh April 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I’m kind of late to the game here, but I know personally I speak with my own mother and father on a daily basis. Both of my brothers as well. My grandmother once a week or so. My point is perhaps people should stay connected with their loved ones. I think sometimes people get so wrapped up in themselves and their daily lives that they sometimes forget what is truly important in life. It only takes a few minutes of your day to find out how everything is going. You then will never have to worry about something like this happening to you.

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