I recently attended both a wake and a funeral for a very decorated NYPD police detective. He was my fiance’s uncle and had a sudden heart attack while riding his bike. My 3 complaints are about 1. The Mourners 2. The Gawkers Outside Of Church and 3. The Cemetery Workers.
Wake takes place for the standard 2 hours. There are many police in uniform, there to pay their respects while on duty a short drive away. We get there about 30 minutes after starting and there is an extremely slow-moving line outside the door. I had never seen such a thing. When we get near the inside, I see why. More than half the people on this line are monopolizing the widow and her children in trivial conversation while their turn to hug and greet the family. All are aware of the line that has now grown almost 50 yards long. Instead of respectfully offering their condolences and support, and then sitting down (like every other wake I have attended), these disrespectful morons are crowding around the coffin while chatting about summer plans and grandkids. Meanwhile, the line is growing longer and longer. The widow, gracious as always, tries to be polite while still in shock and the obvious need to sit down during her grief.
At the church the next day, a few marked cars are blocking roads off and a gentleman is playing the bagpipes on the front steps. Again, very heavily attended by law enforcement personnel. The service was beautiful. Outside the church however, neighborhood residents are crowding around the barricades gawking and listening the bagpipes. People were even staring out their apartment windows. What did they think it was? Free entertainment??
The cemetery: We are escorted to a very prominent cemetery nearby (think celebrities and $$$$). About 20 feet from the graveside, we all notice 5 workers sitting on a bulldozer drinking sodas and snapping gum, staring at us. Yep, sitting on the bulldozer. They were obviously in a hurry to get their days work done. Absolutely horrible. I was furious on the family’s behalf and shot them many dirty looks. Is this what common courtesy has come to? 0612-09