- Jun 2003
- Jun 2004 Archive
My grandfather died two years ago, and I just have to share
the horrible thing my aunt did. She lived closest to him, and saw him more than
the rest of us, but he loved all of his 6 children and 13 grandchildren just the
same. He died unexpectedly in his sleep one night. My aunt called my dad that
morning and said that she was afraid their father was dead. My dad went to his
house and sure enough, he was. It sent the family into shock. He was in his 80's
but had no serious health problems. Nobody expected him to go like that.
One thing to know about my grandfather was that he was his own
bank, for almost 20 years. He saved every penny of his money that didn't go to
his meager living expenses. We all knew that he had a lot of money put up, and
he made no secret of it.
About a month or so after his funeral, she gave everyone $250
which she said was their fair share after the funeral was paid for and the
remainder of his insurance money had been divvied up. But about a week later,
she installed brand new garage doors, started remodeling part of her house,
bought all sorts of new stuff.. it was painfully obvious to us all that she blew
all of the money my grandfather had saved up over all the years instead of
sharing it with her siblings. Not only that, but she and her sons went into his
house after he died and picked over his belongings like a bunch of buzzards and
then, after they'd gotten what they wanted, my aunt called the rest of the
family to come down and "Pick out something of Daddy's to remember him
by." When they got there, almost everything was gone, his guns, knives,
things he had already promised to other people before he died. Everyone in the
family feels sorry for this woman, what a selfish lying piece of work. There is
a special place in hell for her.
This story happened quite a few years ago, but it still ticks
me off every time I think about it. On the way to the cemetery to bury my
grandmother (my dad's mother), the funeral procession had to take a freeway to
get there. Granted the line was long as my dad's family is rather large
and my grandmother was well loved by all, but the nerve of the SUV driver who
cut IN BACK of the hearse. My family was about two or three cars behind,
but I could very well see that this person had cut in front of my aunt and her
family so did the big burly police escort who was leading the procession.
The officer pulled up next to the driver and told him to move
as he had cut into a funeral procession line. I was thinking how could he
not see what he had done???? But after seeing the officer talking to him,
I decided to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.
However, what boiled my blood was the fact that the creep
stayed in line behind the hearse, and the second escort had to come up from the
end of the VERY long line to SCREAM at the driver. When I say scream, I
mean scream. I could hear the officer yelling at the guy from a few cars
back with the roar of the freeway traffic and the windows rolled up. It
was only then that the driver quickly exited.
How rude????? To this day it saddens me to think that
some people don't have enough tack as to know NOT to join a funeral procession
of a stranger.
However, we did happen to pass a few member of the highway
clean up crew who took off their hats and held their over their hearts as we
My grandfather died in August of 2001. My family and I
were vacationing in Florida at the time and rushed back to our home state to
prepare for the funeral. My grandfather was a dignified, wonderful man,
and despite the fact of a short-notice funeral (he died Friday night/Saturday
morning and the funeral was after work on Monday), it was a packed house.
As my cousin and I were standing in the family line near the
casket, a middle aged gentleman approached us with an elderly woman in a
wheelchair. He looked at us as said, "I'm just going to go ahead and
leave Mom here. I've got a showing in a little bit, but I'll be back in
about 2 hours." To add insult to injury, he plants his mother in the
front row of the funeral home, the row reserved to family. My cousin and I
were absolutely horrified and a little amused by the man who was using our
grandfather's funeral as a baby-sitting service, and we started a bet about
whether she actually knew Grandpa or not. It was probably just a
convenient funeral for her son.
I don't remember who got the job of wheeling the lady to a
more appropriate seat, but I remember looking out to find her during my eulogy -
she was staring off into space . . . completely oblivious to everything! I
don't know when she got picked up, but she was gone by the time things wrapped
It was a hard funeral. Grandpa's death was unexpected
and quite tragic. I had jet-lag, under extreme stress from writing and
giving the eulogy, and the visitation had been a comedy of errors. I
tripped over the hem of my too-long suit pants (not enough time to have them
properly tailored) and nearly knocked over the casket and Grandpa's corpse
onto the floor. Then to top it all off, the funeral ended with a
fist-fight in the parking lot of the funeral home. Relatives of my aunt -
she married my mom's brother - started in a screaming match and ended almost
I grew up surrounded by my mother's family: sweet, sane,
loving people whom I can't imagine life without. My father's family, on the
other hand, are a cast of eccentrics. Holiday phone calls regale us with
lawsuits, divorces, shotgun wedding, psychosis, hit men, affairs, restraining
orders -- you name it, one of them has done it. Heading up this motley crew was
my grandmother Nan, the epitome of a British middle-class snob, who had never
quite let go of her conviction that my mother stole her youngest away and forced
him to live in America. This 50-year bout of favoritism caused enough of a rift
with the remaining children that when I moved to England at 20, there was no
real effort to meet up between me and the extended family -- the occasional call
or visit, but I might as well not be living in the country.
Nan died soon after I relocated to London, and my father
called me to let me know that he would be flying over and to ask that I
accompany him to Nan's funeral. I had absolutely no problem with this, and was
happy to be there for my father, who had endured years of subtle guilt trips
from his mother and was thus very conflicted about her death -- and truth be
told, I kind of enjoy the insane gossip that swirls around the British family,
and some of the family members are really lovely. So I packed my funeral
clothes, booked leave, and traveled to Middle England.
The English relatives are fine in short bursts, and I had a
nice time catching up with cousins and meeting their kids. My father and I
stayed in Nan's flat, where the entire family would meet to drive to the
funeral. The next morning, we set up the tables and then got dressed to go to
the crematorium. My father suddenly decided that I should be wearing nylons (I'd
not brought any, as I had a long black skirt and only my ankles could be seen,
but thinking back on it, always wearing nylons was one of Nan's class-related
obsessions), and so when my cousin Colin (seven years my senior) offered to
drive me to a local superstore to pick some up, I agreed. Time was short, but my
aunt assured me the trip would be quick, and Colin knew his way around.
Colin works as a manager in a supermarket chain, and so he
said he'd bring me to that one. But he didn't bring me to the closest one -- he
brought me to the one HE used to manage, about 25 minutes from Nan's flat. He
then proceeds to lead me around the entire supermarket, marching about five feet
in front of me and speaking very loudly -- a supermarket he'd supposedly managed
for years, and he can't find the hosiery aisle?! Hmmm. I was also irked at how
ridiculous we must look -- short, bellowing and balding him charging around the
store at top speed, followed closely by Amazonian me in full makeup and high
heels. At ten in the morning on a Saturday, this is not a typical sight. He also
calls out gaily to people stocking the shelves as we sail past, all "Lovely
to see you, we're in a terrible hurry, can't stop, looking for stockings!"
Occasionally he also asks after a woman named Louise. I'm a little ticked that
he keeps hollering about my nylons, but am focused on the time, so don't want to
slow things up by arguing.
Finally, I secure the nylons and we head for the till. Colin
directs me to a specific cashier, waits just long enough for the young woman
ringing up my purchase to remark on my accent, then starts chattering at her.
"Had to get stockings at the last minute, totally forgot them until she
woke up at the flat this morning, " he smiles indulgently at me. I twitch a
little -- I am an adult, Colin, I can actually deal with my own transactions,
thanks. Then this: "We're off to a funeral this morning -- my
grandmother." Uh, just YOUR grandmother?! And that's when I finally clocked
what the hell was going on, because Nan? NOT Colin's grandmother by blood at
all. MY grandmother, yes, but why on earth would he say "my
grandmother" rather than "our grandmother"?
Well, because Colin, the little creep, was trying to pass me
off as his bloody new American girlfriend, that's why. This teller, who turns
out to be the elusive Louise, is a girl he'd been dating while working at that
supermarket, and they'd broken up messily. And so, apparently upon seeing me the
morning of OUR GRANDMOTHER'S FUNERAL, he'd decided that this was a perfect
opportunity to drag his attractive young foreign cousin out to the middle of
nowhere to create the illusion that we were involved. (Which is so, so gross, I
cannot even tell you -- the man's been my father's nephew from the age of four,
so... Blood schmud, buddy.)
I'm absolutely disgusted by this realization, but am also
dependent upon Colin for a ride back to the flat, so restrain myself from
beating him to a pulp in the parking lot. I bite my tongue and just keep
mentioning the time. But Colin seems to be feeling pretty good about the sham
relationship scam, so the next thing I know, he's pulled into a car dealership
and is asking me to come in and see the car he wants to purchase. I point out
that everyone is waiting for us at home; he says it won't take a moment. As I
have no particular desire to be displayed like a show pony AGAIN, I vote to stay
in the car. He shrugs, and skitters off to the showroom -- during the fifteen
minutes he's gone, I see him pointing me (or the car, but I'm suspicious at this
stage) out to multiple men in the dealership. Ugh!
When we finally got back to the flat, my father was almost
incoherent. We'd been gone for more than an hour, on a trip that was supposed to
take about twenty minutes all told, and only just made it in time to the
funeral. Colin skipped out early from the funeral lunch, which was probably for
the best, as I felt like killing him for being so awful. My father luckily realized
that the situation was NOT my fault, and when I told him all about the
circumstances when we drove back to London, he was able to laugh and point out
that episodes like this were EXACTLY why our side of the family should be happy
we're too far away to get involved in this madness!
When my husband committed suicide at the age of 35 it was a
horrific event for the entire family. Trying to get through the funeral was
difficult enough, but afterwards it turned into a fiasco. I was the last to
leave the room at the end of the service and before I could even make it out to
the lobby, my husband's two sisters-in-law were grabbing floral arrangements by
the armful and running to their cars with them. The casket wasn't even in
the hearse and these women were raiding the chapel! All I could do was stand
watching in shock, unable to believe the entire scene. I'd have let them
take any of the flowers/plants they wanted, but to simply grab them and run was so
Dear Jeanne, the site is fantastic! I have been reading
the "Funeral" section in recent days, following the death of my
mother, to ensure I myself don't commit any faux pas. But then again,
based on the behavior of certain elements of my family, I don't think I could do
anything to top them!
I have to say that on my mother's side, there are certain
"family" members that have outdone themselves in selfish,
self-centered and ignorant behavior.
Let's go back in time--one of my mother's brothers died
suddenly about 25 years ago. The trouble begins with his son (whom I will
call Drama Queen--you'll find out why in a moment), plus some cousins
and other "relatives."
My uncle's home was essentially ransacked by a number of
these individuals, and many of his possessions disappeared. The ring that
had long been on his finger, was now on that of Drama Queen. This person
told me his father wanted him to have it, and I figured that made sense.
Only later did I hear what had happened at the house, so his wearing the ring
that was on his dead father's finger so short a time ago made me wonder.
At the viewing, a woman whose lineage to my uncle is still
unknown seemed to be in charge of everything. This is a person whom I have
never had much liking for (Loudmouth is good name for her, as she quite often
spoke her mind in that tone of voice).
A little back ground on Loudmouth: She has a son who is
an idiot and has been allowed to remain so through his now-adult life. He
has never really gotten any help or assistance (the whole family just made
excuses for his behavior and never disciplined him, even as he got older), as
Loudmouth generally cares nothing at all for anyone but herself, as far as
I could see.
I just found it strange to see her in charge of it all, and
actually dressed well (something she never did). It made me very
suspicious, and then I put two and two together after what I heard had happened.
Well, the funeral came and went, and my uncle's son turned
into Drama Queen. Now, DQ is a cousin who I looked up to growing up.
He was only a few years older, and we mostly got along. But as I grew
older I began to see what kind of person he was--self-absorbed, always needy and
more than willing to make a scene if he thought it would get him what he wanted.
DQ cried his eyes out at the funeral--okay, I understood, this
was his father. But apparently many of the family felt his water works
show was a bit much. I found out how much later on.
Some years later, my grandmother, my mother's mother passed
away. I was unable to attend the funeral, but I got the recap from mom.
Apparently, DQ had sleazed off grandmother for years, even after he got married
and got a job. Every time he visited, he'd gush all over her, hugging her,
and basically kissing up in the hopes of getting more money.
DQ let loose with the water show again! Suffice to say
his performance was panned by nearly all.
I have been reminded of these things, based on what has just
occurred. My mother died late on a recent night. The very next day,
my sister (who cared for mom right up until the end in heroic fashion) got a
phone call from a certain cousin, the eldest son of another of our uncles.
Now bear in mind: this is a man who is very close to
retirement age, has varied talents and has been a man of means all his life.
That, however has not stopped him, his brother and two sisters from sleazing off
THEIR mom and dad all their lives.
This fellow, who has not seen my mother in 30 years, offers
his condolences then launches into a long-winded spiel about how wonderful mom
was (that at least was true) and made a number of sideways comments about coming
up to "visit." Translation: he and his wife wanted to stay
at mom's house and live off us, paying for nothing but their airfare up.
My sister politely but firmly told him where to get off.
If he wanted to come up, fine, but he can see about his own living accommodations
and meals! The nerve!
I approach my mother's funeral, knowing that she will get a
dignified and proper send-off, one she richly deserves. I however also
approach it with some dread, knowing these people and what well could occur if
they decide to show up. I hope I won't have to provide you with an
Hi, After reading the submission to "funeral
etiquette" regarding the story of the sisters who got the giggles, I was
reminded of my own similar story. I hope that when I describe the
circumstances, however, that I will be consigned merely to etiquette purgatory,
rather than hell!
I had a lovely great-aunt, "Aunt Effie". Even
during her lifetime, my aunts referred to her as "Saint Aunt Effie",
as she was the embodiment of kindness itself. Aunt Effie never forgot a
birthday, and always had homemade pies for me, knit blankets for new babies in
the family, tomatoes from her garden for any and all who wanted some, etc. She
did not have much money, as she lived on a fixed income, but always had
Christmas gifts for the kids. She was my grandma's only sister, (they also
had three brothers), and I was almost as close to her as I am to my grandma,
which is, to say, extremely close. I used to go visit her, drive her to
the store or appointments, or wherever she needed to go, as she did not drive
and I lived closest to her. Aunt Effie had three grown children, and many
grandchildren and step-grandchildren, and a passel of nieces, nephews, great-nieces
and nephews, etc., all of whom loved this wonderful woman to the ends of the
earth. Even her grandsons' ex-girlfriends kept in touch with her; that is
the kind of impact she had on people.
In 1998, she became ill. Prior to this, she had been
relatively healthy for a fine lady of 92 years, so her death was somewhat of a
surprise, although not a total shock. We were all devastated.
(She died on her daughter's birthday.) One of the people hardest hit was
my son, "Eli", who was then 12. Aunt Effie had been his Scrabble
buddy, as she had the patience of a saint for children and loved to play the
game with him, and the two of them also shared inside jokes, etc. His
great-grand aunt was the first person close to him to die, and he took it very
hard. Eli had never been to a funeral before, but decided he'd go to this
one, as he was getting old enough to do so, and because he wanted to say goodbye
to this person who had meant so much to him. I was saddened that my then
one-year-old, "Seth", would not have the same opportunity to get to
know and spend time with Aunt Effie. Aunt Effie and that side of the
family is Protestant, while "my" side is Catholic. We had been
to other Protestant funerals, etc., and while there are differences, they are
usually not glaring. (This becomes important later.)
So, we get to the funeral home and file past the casket.
Her grandchildren had placed a Scrabble board inside the casket, and had placed
the Scrabble tiles on there to read, "We love you Grandma". It
was a highly personal, poignant, and apropos touch, as she was
"famous" for loving to play Scrabble, so there was not a dry eye.
Eli began to cry inconsolably when he saw that, but we sat down in the last row,
and I got him calmed down. So, the minister begins the service.
He announces, "This is a reading from the book of Dorcas". Now,
"Dorcas" is called by another name in the Catholic Bible, so we were
not familiar with it, nor prepared, to hear this. You see, "Dorkus"
was my 12-year-old's insult of choice at the time, and the two are homonyms.
So, Eli and I looked at each other and started to giggle. The
minister could not seem to stop saying "Dorcas", and every time he did
so, we laughed harder, until we were literally racked with stifled guffaws.
I think people tend to laugh harder when it is a) inappropriate; b) there
has been so much stress and sadness, and, C) are trying to stifle it.
Her grandkids were sitting right in front, and they did not turn to look, so I
presume, (can only hope), that we were successful in suppressing the sound of
our disrespectful laughter. If they did notice anything, I hope they
thought we were crying. My husband was afraid to look at us, for fear he
would start laughing, as well. I was absolutely horrified that I was
laughing when I felt so bad inside, and that I was not being a good example to
my pre-teen. However, knowing Aunt Effie, and how she lived her
life, I am pretty sure that she would have appreciated the laughter far more
than the tears, and that, had she been physically present, she would have been
cracking up right along with us. I hope that there is a lot of
laughter amid the tears at my own funeral some day.
My BF's mother's family came from a small village and were very
tight knit. Several years ago one of the brother's, G, became ill at Christmas.
He was divorced with one daughter N who was old enough to live outside the home
and who didn't get on particularly well with his SO. While he was ill in the
hospital there was quite a lot of nonsense carrying on between these two and
there were many tales told by the family members who were with him on rotation.
Unexpectedly G died despite the belief that he was recovering. G was a very
popular, outgoing man with many friends and beloved by all his family. He had
become very wealthy through his work and wise choices but this never affected
his manners or his personality. On the day of the funeral the tiny local church
was packed to the rafters with crowds standing outside. Daughter N was being
escorted by her eldest uncle, G's brother to her seat in the first pew. He was
comforting her as he walked with her when she turned to him and said, "I'm
a very rich little girl now, aren't I!". The horror got everything, SO got
nothing as there was no will.
I forgot my beloved great-grandmother’s birthday, and sent
her a card as soon as I remembered. The day after I dropped the card in the
mail, (about a week after she’d turned 92) she died—unexpectedly, as her
health had always been quite good for a person of her age. As soon as I heard
the news, I went to the home she’d shared with her daughter and son-in-law to
help with wake and funereal arrangements.
The day after I arrived, my aunt walked into the house, pale
as a sheet, and looking like she wanted to either throw up or hit someone—or
both. She walked over to me, holding the card I’d sent the day before my
great-grandmother died, and had by now completely forgotten, and said to me,
“What. The. Hell. Is. This?”
I’d written on the envelope, in a cheery script surrounded
by hearts, “Better late than never!”
15 years ago, my grandmother, who had reared my sisters and
me, passed away after a long illness. My youngest (unmarried) sister,
"Rita," had a four-year-old son at that time (she was still a teenager
when he was born). "Stu" had been very close to our grandmother
and we all anticipated that her death would be difficult for him. I've
always been of the opinion that very young children really don't belong at
ceremonial events such as weddings, graduations and funerals--no matter how
well-behaved otherwise, a bored kid will nearly always be disruptive, and at a
truly solemn occasion like a funeral, it's not only disruptive but can be
wrenching for grieving family members.
Well, Rita decided that Stu really needed to attend Grandma's
visitation. She had explained to him that Grandma had died and was now in
heaven with Jesus. No problem there, as it's what we actually believe; but
of course at the funeral home where Grandma's body lay in the open casket, the
first words out of Stu's mouth were, "If Grandma's in heaven, why is she
still here?" Tell me how to explain that to a four-year-old.
But it gets better.
Our family isn't terribly large, and this was the first death
of a close family member that most of us had experienced. My grandfather
was understandably devastated; my aunt was grief-stricken; my mother (who in
herself is a whole raft of etiquette stories just waiting to be told) was
wailing; and my nephew was CLIMBING ON THE CASKET!!!! He kept saying
things like "I want to see Grandma," "I want to kiss
Grandma," "I want to talk to Grandma," and Rita was doing NOTHING
to stop him from all but pulling the casket over!!! My other sister,
"Hilda," finally took him very firmly by the hand and made him sit
down next to her. Hilda was having problems of her own dealing with all
this, because she and Grandma had been very, very close but had had a recent
falling out, and I don't think it had ever been fully resolved. So Hilda
was probably more upset than any of us. I wanted desperately to spank Stu
and throttle Rita, but my DH kept me from doing anything truly stupid.
Toward the end of the evening, Stu asked Hilda, "When is
Grandma coming home?" Hilda gave Rita a look that could have withered
plants and told Stu, "She's never coming home. She's dead. Your
mother should have made that clear." That shut him up and I think
Rita was really angry, but in all fairness, his behavior had just made the whole
thing worse, and she shouldn't have brought him to the visitation. Word to
parents of young kids!!!!
The final straw came as we were preparing to leave. My
grandfather went to the casket and stood there over the body of his dear wife of
nearly 50 years, talking with her--and my idiot sister marched her son up to the
casket so he could climb up and see Grandma one last time, interrupting my
grandfather's very important moment with his late wife! What a selfish
individual. Fortunately, she and Stu have both grown up considerably since
The worst display of greed that I’ve ever seen occurred
after the death of my best friend, “Jacob“. He was a young and fairly
healthy man, so even though he’d been sick off and on for about two months no
one thought it could be that serious, but he was finally diagnosed with diabetes
(which was later found to be incorrect) and was treated for that disease. After
a frightening relapse he was put back into the hospital, where I went to visit
him…I’m glad that I was able to see him then, because he died the very next
day. I got a call from one of his friends at about 8:00AM saying that he’d
died, which was so shocking and unexpected that it took a while for it to sink
By 10:00AM another of his closest friends, “Mary”, called
me in tears, asking what she should do about Jacob’s sister, “Sleazy“…I
could hear the heartbreak in Mary’s voice as she said ‘They’re in his
HOUSE…’ As it turns out, Sleazy and her husband got into Jacob’s house and
was taking whatever they wanted before his body was even cold! They even had
Mary bring Jacob’s car over, presumably to sell it or keep it for themselves.
I found out later that Jacob had very generously named both his sister and me as
beneficiaries on his insurance policies at work; we would each be getting a
large sum of money due to the selfless love of this wonderful person, so when
Jacob’s sister called me and asked if I could contribute to his funeral I put
my anger aside and was eager to help and was glad that I would be financially
able to help. All they asked was that I buy the headstone; he’d been my best
friend since high school and I was glad to do anything for Jacob and the great
times we’d shared. The funeral home called a few days later and told me the
price for the headstone and said they’d just put my part of the expenses in
with the rest…this made me leery, but I didn’t know enough about funerals to
be truly concerned at this point. The funeral was lovely. It was held in a small
church overflowing with friends and relatives who’d been touched by Jacob’s
kindness. After a very nice service, Jacob was laid to rest in a beautiful
all-white coffin, in a plot next to his beloved Granny, which would‘ve made
him very happy.
A few days after the service, the funeral home called me and
wanted me to come down to settle the bill, as they had the insurance checks and
couldn’t get paid until I signed some paperwork. Surprise, surprise, I was
expected to pay for the WHOLE funeral! Sleazy called me at the funeral home and
made up some story about her part of the money being tied up in court and it
would be months before she’d get any of it and if I’d please pay this
she’d pay me back. Excuse me? What about all of the insurance money? I nearly
walked out of the place, leaving all the money Jacob had left me just so his
sister would finally have to do something for her brother, but I relented
because Jacob was my closest friend and honestly, I was happy to do it for him.
If they’d simply asked I wouldn’t have hesitated to do this for Jacob, but I
don’t like being manipulated by greedy vultures. Needless to say, it’s been
several years and I’ve never heard from Sleazy again.
When my father-in-law died, my husband's ex-wife appeared at
the grave site with a baggie full of cookies and proceeded to place them on top
of his casket, in the flower arrangement. She told everyone that "Papa
always said he wanted to be buried with my turtle cookies." Whether he had
ever really said this is unclear; but his children knew he had disliked this
woman for years, and probably wouldn't have appreciated the offering.
A few years, my mother was in the hospital with terminal
cancer. Because of the progression of the cancer, we knew she could go at any
time. So, my dad, brother and I had our cell phones on all the time - plus, my
dad got call waiting at home in case the hospital called when he was on the
I had moved, but returned to my hometown every weekend so I
could be near my mom during that time. While I was resting at my dad's, the
phone rang. Since he wasn't home, I answered it. On the other end was a
co-worker of one of my mother's friends. My parents had met her a couple of
times and she wanted to call and see how my dad was doing, which was a sweet
thing to do.
However, the other line started beeping. Thinking it might be
the hospital or my dad, I informed her I had to answer the other line for that
reason. In most instances, I wouldn't do this, but considering the situation, I
thought it was important. Was she ok with it? Noooo. She began to berate me how
rude I was being and that young people today didn't have any good phone
etiquette. She told me she took time out of her day to call my dad and yelled
that I should listen to what she had to say. By the time she was finished
talking, the other line stopped beeping and I missed the call.
Thankfully, it wasn't the hospital, but her gall provided me
and my dad with a couple of laughs during a difficult time. He asked me why I
didn't just hang up on her - but I think I was in such a shock at being yelled
at by this complete stranger.
I was the youngest child in my family, and the least rich.
I could not afford to visit my mother during her last days and it grieves me,
but she didn't know me anymore. My siblings only would visit our parents
when they went to their town on business, as it was paid for.
After Mom died, one sibling called me and ranted, as if
our father would bury Mom in a pauper's grave, and even hung up on Dad during
this time. The other sibling called the cops on Dad shortly before
Mother's death (from out of state), as if Dad had been abusing her. This
frightened her. I have worked in healthcare for years and know what
care is. Dad had nurses coming in to take care of Mom: they would
have reported any abuse. It was hard to have to deal with all this as well
Dad pulled off the funeral that Mom would have loved. He
really did it up right for that sort of event.
She had a mass at her church. I was in a lot of contact
with a nice guy at the funeral home, sort of being the contact with the family,
as things were sort of dicey that way. Like, I had to choose the flowers
that went to the church service - so, of course, I chose both siblings'
arrangements in order to quell fights. There was no genuine contact either
me or Dad had with the sibs. Dad wanted to ride to the cemetery in
our rental car and I had that negotiated by my spouse so nobody would get upset.
It was all so very touchy.
At the funeral luncheon (as is the custom in Michigan) there
were many kind relatives and friends. Sitting at the family table close to
Dad and my sibling, latter said, oh, I won't ever have to go to this
neighborhood again. Dad and us didn't go to the burial as he wanted to go
home and rest. He told us to clear out the house and that he didn't want
any others to do it. I got the jewelry that my parents wanted me to have.
As soon as we were going through the house, sibling who didn't want to
return to that neighborhood called and its family shot out to the house in 5
minutes. It was sort of funny, when I heard the sib was coming over I told
the spouse to grab bags of jewelry and take them to the rental car.
A lot of hidden money was found in the house and the sibs think it belongs to
them. Well, duh, it's Dad's money. I got a note in the baggage that
my suitcase had been searched. Glad to not be arrested as a jewel thief.
The aftermath is that our father sent copies of all of our
mother's bank accounts to all us kids. I have not heard from my siblings
in almost a year. One is very mad and the other stole some money from an
account that had my name on it. Sometimes trash is trash, and you need to
take it out.
Sometimes these things bring out the worst of people.
My husband's grandmother passed this past week. After
reading the obituary I almost fell over. My husband's father's name was listed,
his second wife's name was listed, all of my husband's siblings and his name/names
were listed, and the great-grandchildren's names were listed.
Where's my beef? Well, she was my grandmother too!! I felt they should
have at least said, "Mr. & Mrs. (Husband's Name)". I wasn't
acknowledged at all. His siblings are single or else I'd be just as
shocked if their spouses were left out. Left out, but my memories of
this wonderful woman will overcome the continued snubbing of the rest of those
Hello! I recently stumbled upon this website, and decided to
share my funeral horror. A few years back, when I was
sixteen, a very close friend of mine died. He had just gotten his drivers
license, when a truck forced him of the road, and into- what else but a funeral
home! We were all devastated, and I didn't think I
could make the funeral. but I did. And guess where it was held? The very same
funeral home he crashed into! And if that isn't enough, one of his mothers
friends calls out loudly, " WELL AT LEAST HE WAS HERE BEFOREHAND TO CHECK
IT OUT!" upon which the whole room went silent in shock, and the poor
mother burst out in a fit of tears.
I’ve heard the stories were family members get greedy when a
loved one dies. I’ve even experienced it, to a small extent. But I never once
imagined that I would have to deal with it from someone who has never met the
deceased- before the deceased had even passed away.
In the week between my grandfather’s stroke and his death,
my father in law would call my husband on a nightly basis. Every night, like
clock work, he’d ask what my family was planning on doing with my
grandfather’s cars. Over the next few calls, my husband learned that my father
in law wanted to buy one of them- and he thought, that since I’m married to
his son, that my family would give him a deal on one of the cars.
My husband, who adored my grandfather, could only put up with
so much of this. The night that my grandfather passed away, FIL called three
times, and left three voice mail messages on my husband’s phone, each time
saying that he really needed to talk to my husband, that he had talked to my MIL
(they’re divorced). My husband, giving him the benefit of the doubt, thinking
that maybe he wanted to offer his condolences, called him back that night.
Instead of offering his condolences, he point blank asked if my husband had
asked my mother (my grandfather’s ONLY daughter) what they planned on doing
with the cars. My husband has more tact that I do (because I would have said
something that can’t be repeated in polite company)- my husband told him that
the cars were staying in the family, and that he would not discuss this with him
Hi there, I wholeheartedly agree with the story
submitter who said siblings aren't recognized as bereaved, particularly young
ones. When my 11 year old sister "Katlyn" died shockingly and
unexpectedly, my brother and I (in our late teens and early 20's, respectively)
were sternly lectured by several on how hard this is going to be for
my parents. We were treated to persistent and very specific tips on how we
could make it easier for them (even ideas like cleaning were mentioned).
My own Grammy ran this by us! We were too shocked/upset by the situation
in general and so just sat there.
So many other people were wonderful and caring to us during
this time, though, and it upsets me to think about those one-sided conversations
- so let me submit other insensitive examples:
1. Two people asked me "What's wrong??" -- one of
them at Kaitlyn's funeral and one of them at the house afterwards.
Note that I wasn't actually crying or anything, just not smiling I guess.
To the second person who begged "WHAT'S WRONG??" I was
like, OH YOU KNOW, just the whole my only sister up and died in the fifth
2. At my parent's house after the funeral, an aunt pulled me
aside and asked me "WHEN" my parents were going to get around to
clearing out Kaitlyn's (obviously Barbie-filled and Harry Potter-clad) bedroom.
She made a lemon face then said, and I quote, "They can't leave it like
that forever, it's just not healthy." I nastily told her that they've
had a busy few days, what with our little Kaitlyn going to the
hospital/dying/needing a memorial and funeral. I shocked her back and
can't claim I was sorry to see the look on her face.
3. A week later (well, at least she waited a whole week), my
boyfriend's grandmother told me she was sorry about my sister AND THEN SIMPLY
ASKED, "ARE YOU 'OVER IT' NOW?" Needless to say there is no
getting "over it."
I'm still angry about the sibling-related assumptions, but at
least I made most of the other insensitive witches shut up. I know this
might make me not very nice, but it's incredible that people can be so
hurtful. I have to admit that as the after-funeral gathering proceeded I
was glad to gather my bearings and wield my newfound bluntness. Granted
one of the people who did the whole "WHAT'S WRONG??" thing is a Slow
cousin, but the others are all people who should and probably do know better.
Dear Miss. Jeanne,
I really enjoy your site and I've spent many hours reading
about all the faux pas others' have been witness to. Allow me to share the
incident that occurred at the wake/funeral for my late father fifteen years ago.
My Dad passed away less than a month after being diagnosed with Leukemia. Things
had happened very quickly for us, and my mom, who was the School Committee
representative from our ward, decided shortly after Dad's diagnosis not to run
The wake and the funeral for Dad was well attended with many
neighbors, friends and family members. People were kind, gracious and supportive
to our entire family, with the exception of one person, whom I'll call Mrs. J.G.
Mrs. J.G. was a neighborhood busybody with political aspirations; so when my Mom
decided to not run for re-election to the School Committee, Mrs. J.G. took out
her nomination papers and announced her intention to run for Mom's seat. There's
no problem with that, after all it's a free country and how democracy works.
However, You do NOT ever go to the incumbent's husband's funeral and handout
your campaign literature and actively campaign. This is precisely what Mrs. J.G.
did. She circulated about the room, introducing herself and handing out her
campaign flyers, which she had in her suit jacket pocket. We were horrified, but
said nothing to her. Needless to say, when election time came, I took great
delight in not voting for her. Evidently our neighbors did too as she was
soundly defeated in the election by a very large margin.
Sadly this wasn't her only tacky deed - later the same summer
we hosted a very large outdoor party for the company we worked for and due to
the fact we only had one bathroom, decided to rent a port a john for the event.
It was placed in our driveway, close to the house, away from the street She
promptly called the ward alderman to complain about the port-a-potty.
My brother died recently, and I was shocked to say the least
over some of the comments and actions of people around me. After checking
out this website, I can see it's pretty common. Anyway, there were 2
episodes that really stood out as worthy of mention. The first occurred
at the funeral home during the viewing. Because of my brother's sweet
personality and our large extended family, a lot of people, young and old from
all walks of life, came to the visitation. My parents were overloaded, so
I took on the task of greeting people and thanking them for coming. I
didn't know everyone, but I made an effort to speak to everyone. Towards
the end of the long night, a lady came in. I did not know her, but I
greeted her and thanked her for coming. I asked her how she knew
"Scott". She said that she had not known him, but that her son
had worked at our family business a number of years ago and she wanted to pay
her respects. We chatted and I moved on.
About 30 minutes later, I saw her talking to my mom. My
mom had a dazed and horrified look on her face, so I went over to see what was
up. Turns out, the lady's son killed himself 5 years ago, and she had a
picture of him that she was showing my mom while she sobbed and moaned and
cried. She shoved the picture in my face and said, Don't you remember him?
I said, Well, I think he worked at the business before I did, so I never had the
chance to meet him. She turned to my mom, still bawling and yelled,
"Let me tell you, you never get over it!" She was really crying
now and kind of making a scene. I didn't know what to do! Finally,
she ran out of the room. It was so sad and strange.
The other thing happened to my husband at work. He
missed almost 2 weeks of work when Scott died, and a customer asked him where he
had been. He told the customer the whole sad story, and the customer said,
"Well, look on the bright side. Your wife's inheritance just
doubled." My husband was so shocked, he didn't say anything!
My mother unexpectedly passed away a few weeks ago and while
my siblings and I are still mourning her, we are also still in awe of how
ridiculous certain family members could act. Where should I begin?
First of all, we had certain family members who flew in from
out of town and I am grateful they came to pay their respects. However, what I
didn't appreciate was when they decided to take photographs not just of my
mother laying in her casket but of themselves posing with her flowers as though
it was some sort of family reunion. For the sake of peace and not forming a riot
at the funeral, I did not say anything. Trust me I was 2 seconds away from
kicking them all out. Certain guests who have known my mother for years
and years opted to donate some monetary funds for funeral costs, seeing how only
myself and siblings put up all monies and everyone knows funerals are pretty
expensive. Well the "donated" money was apparently given to one of the
family members who flew in (mind you they did not help with any of the costs of
the funeral) and to this day neither myself nor my siblings have seen this
money. Unbelievable, that someone would try to make a profit in a funeral
especially when they know we are saving money for a headstone. On top of
all this, peoples' cell phones kept ringing and to put the icing on the cake my
mother's mother decides to take a nap right there in the funeral home. If she
was so tired she could've asked to be taken home for a nap. To say the
least, the majority of the time there I spent it with my immediate family and
friends all who know how to pay their respects. I miss my mother terribly,
but at the same time I know she is happy she does not have to deal with the
fakeness and ridiculousness of her out of town relatives. This is the reason why
I do not even keep in touch with them.
This is a short lesson in etiquette but I believe noteworthy.
As someone who had lost a child in my seventh month of pregnancy, my heart went
out to some close friends who just recently went through the same thing. Last
night at the funeral as we waited in the long line to give our condolences to
Keith and Jane, who stood in agony next to the tiny casket we noticed a couple
on their way out, but they brought something else too. Their no more than
six month old baby in a pumpkin seat. Are you kidding me? I have to
say that seeing other babies is probably the hardest thing to endure after a
loss like that, and you’ve got to be a special kind of tacky to try and pull
this off. Had this been immediate family I may have found it barely excusable,
but this was a softball buddy Keith’s. I was talking to the Jane’s
sister later and she said she had noticed it too and that the couple
didn’t even leave the baby with someone when they went to talk to the grieving
parents. There are a few times in life when if you cant get a babysitter
you shouldn’t show up. This was one of those times! Tacky, Tacky, Tacky.
I'm sorry but I have to disagree.
Bringing a baby to a visitation for a deceased infant is no more tacky or rude
than someone bringing their husband to the funeral/visitation of someone's dead
husband. Or a wife to the funeral of someone's deceased wife....mother to
the funeral of someone's mother, etc......
A few months ago my sister literally dropped dead while standing
at her kitchen sink. Her husband, our parents, and I all were in a state
of shock while we worked to make plans for her funeral.
Many relatives and people from our family’s past came to
offer their sympathy and support. My great aunt Susan, however, decided
that this occasion (like all others) really was all about HER. She called
my mother, her niece, on the morning of the funeral, and instead of saying one
kind word or hinting of even a little sympathy, announced that she would not be
attending the funeral as my sister never really had done anything to endear
herself to her, so she didn’t see the point in it. My mother was
too numb to respond, and simply mumbled something like, “Oh, ok. I need
to go.” before hanging up and breaking down in tears.
I just heard from another relative that Susan is miffed
at my family now because of how “spaced out and rude” my mother acted
towards her during that conversation. All I can hope is that this woman
never knows the heartbreak of losing a child nor ever has to contend with
someone so self-centered, insensitive and heartless while she is in mourning.
This is one of those times when the person who made the faux
pas actually tells the story. And luckily, I didn't offend or upset anyone --
but I was certainly embarrassed.
My boyfriend's uncle (his mom's brother) passed away unexpectedly
in a car crash. My boyfriend and I drove his mother and his sister (she was
about 14) to the funeral, which was held about 4 hours away from their home. His
mom was truly devastated -- and the three of us younger folks were trying to
lighten the mood some, per his mom's stated wishes.
So as we're driving, while we're telling stories of a
lighthearted nature, his sister wants me to tell their mom about this Tex Ritter
song she had sang for me before. The first line to the song says "There was
blood on the saddle". Well, obviously I wasn't thinking about the song (or
thinking at all, really). What came out of my mouth was "There was blood on
I cover my mouth as soon as it came out -- horrified -- and am
just waiting for his mom to burst into tears. But astonishingly, she takes it as
a good omen. Apparently her brother had a very sick and twisted sense of humor.
She felt that it was his spirit trying to make her laugh, using me as the
channel. It didn't seem funny to me, although I'm sure the absolutely horrified
expression on my face could have been priceless. What's spooky is... when this
happened, we were passing very close to the location of his accident -- same
freeway, same mile marker.
Yes, the song actually exists. Here's a link.
Maybe this will make some of the other people who have posted
to your site feel better about their own bad etiquette.
Sincerely, Still Embarrassed (4 years later)
In 1999 my dear mother died and I went to California to be
with my sister and to help with all that goes with a death. My mom and my sister
and I were very close and it was naturally a very sad time. We were at my
mother's house and the neighbors were coming by with food and condolences - most
were kind and the respect and affection was very supportive and heartwarming.
Neither my sister nor myself had ever wanted children and our mom was aware of
that and totally OK with our decisions - she NEVER expressed to us - or anyone
else - anything but support for the choices we made in our lives. A neighbor
whom I did not know and had never met came up to me and the first words out of
her mouth were: "It's too bad your sister or you never gave your mother any
grandchildren." I was so floored by the insensitivity of such a remark I
was speechless, and it still makes me angry to think what an idiotic comment
that was to make to someone grieving over the death of her mother!
My much-beloved husband died in July of 2004.
From my dead husband's bedside, I was taken, hysterical, to the hospital's
psychiatric ward. I was kept there all that weekend, while my MIL arranged the
memorial service in our small hometown, 300 miles north, for 2 PM on
Monday. Monday morning, the doctor was delayed in signing my discharge papers.
My little brother and I got into my car and violated every speed limit law in an
effort to be there on time. We kept everyone advised of where we were and how
fast we were going via cell phone. Our last call, at about 1:55 PM, said we were
about 15 miles away. When we arrived, at about 2:15, our sister met me at the
door. My MIL had them start the service anyway, on time!!! I was
forced to walk into my own husband's memorial 15 minutes late, discovering that
the door I'd been led to opened onto the front of the sanctuary, forcing me to
walk in up front, right in front of everybody! It appeared as if I'd cared so
little about her son that I couldn't be bothered to show up on time to his
memorial service! Now, making me look bad is my MIL's hobby, but I'm
shocked that the minister let her get away with it!
I had an estranged aunt (who I'll call F) who died
under very bad circumstances about 10 years ago when I was about nine
years old. Because of the nature of her death, it left the family in absolute
chaos. Aunt F had gotten wrapped up in a life of prostitution
and drugs, and had managed to either steal or borrow something from just
about everyone in the family. Now, the sisters, along with their mourning,
started to clamor over just about everything that she owned trying to get their
stuff back!! One aunt, whom I'll call J, came to Grandma's house one day while I
was helping her clean out Aunt F's room. I came across a handbag that
Aunt F borrowed from me when I was a little girl, and I commented to Grandma
that I didn't expect that F had held on to it, since Grandma had given
it to me so long ago. Aunt J rushed over and picked the bag up, saying
that it was cute and that she should have it because it was her sister's.
When I protested and told that it was in fact mine, not F's, Grandma sided with
her, even though the bag was mine!! Aunt J proceeded to take my bag, and
everything else that she liked from Aunt F's belongings. To add insult to
injury, she showed up at the funeral carrying the bag. To make matters
worse, now all the stuff she clawed for is collecting dust in her garage, including
that silly little bag.
My little brother died recently. He was only 23 years old. Ten
years ago when my mother divorced my father, she pretty much divorced us kids
too. Some very bad things had been done by my mother and her siblings to us. My
brother was young then. It hurt him very deeply. He had spent a few years
wanting very much to die. His request to me was that six members of mother's
family be nowhere near his dead body. I promised my beloved little brother this
never even for a moment thinking that I wouldn't be long gone before he was.
When he did die he had just for the last few months been sort of in contact with
our mother. He hated her, yet he loved her too. He was trying to change things.
He had a girlfriend that he loved deeply, and mother hated without even having
met but once though. So this made matters worse with them.
His death came. My father, myself and my other brother put our
pains over mother aside to allow her to be involved in the funeral plans and
choosing of things. We thought it would be what he would want. We were all for
making peace. She had to make one promise though, which she did. Those six would
not come. Any other could. Just not those six. Two tried to come to the funeral
home during visitation. (Many others that never even knew my brother so weren't
on his list did and were let in.) We chased them off. (My family did.) It looked
liked things were going to go ok after that. Then the funeral itself came. My
father was supposed to be first vehicle in the procession. Somehow she had
talked the funeral home into moving her and her parents up to his place. I guess
we looked like the bad guys for chasing off her family. So they did what she
wanted. It was really upsetting. I mean heck we were even the ones paying these
people for the funeral, not her. At the cemetery there were four chairs set up
for family. My father, myself , my other brother, and my deceased brother's
girlfriend is whom we thought should be there. (She was his fiancée and three
months pregnant with his baby.) In those chairs were my mother, (maybe I could
have let her sit in one if she had not gone against her promises.) In two others
were her parents. Grandparents that all of us hardly knew and hadn't seen in ten
years. Actually, her father and step mother. Her father had even abandoned her
for all the years mother was with us because he dumped his own family for his
new wife's family. Behind my mother standing was one of her sisters. A horrible
woman that had tormented my brother without mercy. She of course was on his list
to not have there. A big argument broke out. My family was devastated that she
would ruin this tribute to my brother by dishonoring him so much. Strangers of
the family that knew my brother from work or such didn't understand of course. I
guess we looked like the villains for tossing out his mother and her family.
(Actually we only asked the one to leave.) He ended up not getting the proper
send off he deserved. I feel extreme guilt. Yet I kept my promise to him. I
guess I wonder , which is the bad etiquette? Them or me?
I'm not really sure this incident at my Dad's memorial was a
faux-pas, but it might have looked like one at the time. My Dad was an
absolute sweetheart with many friends and former students in the community, and
when he passed away the memorial service we had for him was packed with people.
It was a warm day in July, and back at my mother's house before we left for the
chapel, my brother and husband had taken off their suit jackets to cool off.
When we got ready to leave, they put their jackets back on, hoping the chapel
would be air-conditioned.
During the minister's eulogy, my brother, who was sitting next
to my husband, felt something in his jacket pocket he couldn't identify.
He reached in and pulled out some car keys he didn't recognize. He
and my husband looked at each other and realized it was my husband's car keys -
back at the house, they had mistakenly put on each other's suit jackets.
They both began to laugh, and my sister and mother and I, realizing what had
happened, began to giggle through our tears as well. So there the five of
us were, all in the front row, giggling away. I'm sure the people behind
us thought we were crazy, but my Dad, who was blessed with a wonderful sense of
humor, would have been laughing right along with us. I cherish the memory
of that sad but silly moment to this day.
Several years ago my grandmother (my father's mother) died. My
parents, my brother, and I traveled to her home for the funeral. Afterwards, the
four of us, my father's brother, his wife, and my father's sister, all met at my
grandmother's apartment to discuss what would happen to her belongings. It seems
that my grandmother did not have a will, she just wrote specific items she would
like people to have. On the paper, she asked that $1000 be left aside for my
brother to be given to him when he graduated from college (the same amount of
money had been given to me when I graduated from college a few years before). My
mother said that all she wanted was a Hummel box that grandmother had left me,
the $1000 for my brother, and an antique ruby ring that my mother had given to
my grandmother several years earlier (my mother was planning on giving the ring
to me). She said that my aunt should have the rest of grandmother's money since
she was the one who stayed and took care of her for so long. And also, since my
aunt was getting married in a few months, my mother thought that she and her fiancé
could use the money. Later, my aunt took my mother aside and said that she
wanted to keep the ruby ring for herself since her fiancé couldn't afford to
buy her a ring (keep in mind that my aunt and her now husband were in their
early 40's at this time). My mother was upset that my aunt would take this ring
since it was never hers to begin with, but my mother being a lady, didn't want
to make a scene. Also, I had completely lost it at the funeral and had actually
had to leave, so and my mother was worried about me and was in no mood to start
something. My aunt said she would send the $1000 for my brother. My brother
never saw that money. My mother tried calling my aunt about the money, but my
aunt never returned her phone calls, despite the fact that my parents attended
her wedding and bought her a very nice wedding gift.
My grandmother was never well off. Her husband left her many
years before, and she always had to scrimp and save to provide for three
children. It took a lot for her to save $1000 for my brother and me, but she was
always so proud of us. It a shame that my aunt was so greedy for a $1000, that
she not only went against her own mother last wishes, she also cheated her own
My story is a little bit long, so bear with me. It all starts
when my beloved great-grandmother, Maude, died at the age of 95 a few years ago.
A little background, my great grandfather died in the 1950's and Maude
remarried a fellow widower, Fred, in the 1970s. Fred had three children
from his first wife. They were married for ten years before he died in the
1980's. Ok, so when all of my grieving family is at the funeral home, two women
most of us didn't know show up. They are talking to a few people. They were
quite obvious since they were both like they were dressed for a day at the
beach. (T-Shirts, shorts flip flops) I ask my great aunt Sharon, Maude's
daughter, who they were. They are the daughter and granddaughter of Fred, the
second husband. Fred's daughter was in her 40's when he married Maude in the
70's, so we are talking about two women in their 60's and 30's. Their presence
made everyone uncomfortable.
After the burial, Fred's daughter had the nerve
to inquire about their "inheritance!" Excuse me, you are not related
to Maude, nor have you spoken to her in about 20 years. You are not entitled to
anything. I spoke with Sharon the following Christmas. Apparently Fred's
daughter had a lawyer contact her demanding to see a will, just to make sure
this evil witch did in fact get something. The witch held up Maude's estate for
months with her bull and her greed, all hoping to get a dime from her onetime
step mother. The nerve!
Hi well about 3 years ago my stepfather's grandmother passed
on. He was terribly upset so I went with him and my mother to the viewing and to
the burial. My stepfathers family isn't how should I say this they aren't
the most tasteful people in this world. Okay the truth is they are down right
rednecks from West Virginia with no class. Well the grandmother's daughter
decided to save money and provide there own music for the viewing. That's fine
but what's not fine is how they did it. The woman's daughter comes
into the funeral home dressed in a tight black velvet dress that showed her bra,
she wore blue eye shadow, with black spiked heels, to top it off she is heavy
set and could hardly walk in her shoes with out stumbling. She brings in a boom
box and turns the music on she cranks it all the way up. The next thing
his my stepfathers sister Tina goes to the funeral and is so upset she actually
tries to climb into the coffin. I'm not lying she tried to climb in it. Next is
Christopher, Tina's son. He goes to the funeral in a bright red t-shirt and
talks constantly during the viewing making the people who were actually grieving
cry even harder. Next is TJ. He is my stepfather's brother's girlfriend's son.
He makes jokes about her being dead in front of the women's children.
My mother's family had always seemed to be a really close and
supportive group of people. Then they were hit by a series of deaths fairly
close together, so some of this might be attributed to stress. First my mother's
oldest full brother died of cancer; two years later, her other full brother died
of a sudden heart attack and then her father died year before last. It is his
funeral I write of now (although the others had some interesting stories as
I have to explain here that Papaw had a goodly number of
children. In addition to my mother and her two full brothers, there are two
children from his first wife and two from his third wife; seven total. The
youngest two had been left the house as it had originally been their mother's.
Aunt A and Uncle T had freely offered the house to my mother to stay in while
she was there for the funeral and reading of the will, as there are not many
hotels in that area of Mississippi. Right away there was an objection from Uncle
C, the eldest son, who was executor. He wanted the house sealed and left until
after the will was read and the estate cleared. Everyone else just ignored him
and helped my parents move their luggage in.
The funeral itself went fairly well, other than snide comments
directed towards my parents or my brother about the amount of "drugs"
my mother takes. My mother is severely disabled, rapidly declining, and on some
really heavy medication to control the disease. She actually takes less than
what the doctor has prescribed, but it still seems like a lot to those who don't
care to understand.
The real trouble occurred well after the funeral at the
reading of the will. Immediately there was a lot of fussing over the amount of
money that had been left my mother, despite the fact that the others had been
left property and stocks that were equal to or more valuable that what my mother
Then my mother's niece (who is a nurse and should know better)
started screaming at my mother about how she's a bad addict because she watches
the clock so closely and asks Dad constantly if it's time for her medication.
She then starts screaming at everyone that my mother is a money grubbing b***h
and shouldn't be receiving anything at all and makes some really random but very
harsh statements about my mother's integrity. She then runs out of the house and
finds my brother (who had excused himself because he dislikes discussing wills)
and proceeds to sob on his shoulder about how people are so mean to her. He had
no clue about how she had just treated our mother.
Uncle C then tells my mother that she has 24 hours to clear
out of the house or he was going to have the police remove her (Aunt A and Uncle
T weren't there so they didn't know about this). He then proceeds to tell her
that he has inventoried the house and if anything is missing, he will have her
arrested. My mother started into a mental melt down. Dad got into a yelling
match with Uncle C because he has upset Mom and she has never done anything to
deserve it. Uncle C yelled back that if they don't clear out by morning, he'll
have them both arrested for trespassing and slammed out the door. The last of
the family, not knowing what happened or what to do, filter out.
The next morning, everything is packed to leave because Mom
doesn't want to cause anymore upset but before any escape can be made, Uncle C
shows up to do a "walk-through" and make sure everything is in order.
My family made an exit while he is busy inspecting but Dad turned the wrong way
out of the driveway and no body realized it until he had driven for 15 minutes
in the wrong direction. So he turned around. Obviously, we had to pass by the
And what was the scene? Uncle C had backed his truck up to the
front door and was unloading the house as fast as he could.
Mom talked to Aunt A and Uncle T later. Neither of them knew
Uncle C had ordered my parents to leave. They weren't happy with him throwing
Mom out of what was basically their house by then. They also noted that some
things had disappeared, so Mom told them about Uncle C's "moving day."
We never have located the missing items but we don't communicate with Uncle C
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007