Author Topic: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!  (Read 63704 times)

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Mrs. Eclipse

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2007, 12:19:46 PM »
Sorry for bumping an old post, but I just have to say that I cannot believe how insensitive some people are when it comes to someone else's death. Have they no compassion at all for their loved ones??

I was shocked when I returned to work after my mother died and received this piece of 'advice' from the male PE teacher: "Be strong." Yeah, I was planning not to be; in fact, I was thinking of shattering into pieces a la the guy who got zapped by the wires in Cube, you idiot!

Also, another teacher came up and said to me, "Did you enjoy your week-long holiday?" HOLIDAY? I had to arrange a funeral (luckily I had tons of help), pacify my mother's little dog and work out how to live by myself in a house built for six people. You freaking try it! HOLIDAY! I still can't believe she said that.

What a frustrating thing for them to say  >:(

I remember the movie 'Chicken Run' at the beginning, when Ginger is talking to Babs

Babs: Hello, Ginger!  Back from holiday?
Ginger: I wasn't on holiday, Babs, I was in solitary confinement
Babs: Oh, it's nice to get a bit of time to yourself, isn't it?

 ::)
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ccnumber4

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2007, 12:31:19 PM »
I rarely comment but I felt compelled to on this post. 

When my son died I was holding him in my arms, when the moniters read zero to everything the doctor on duty came in, listened to his heart, said "Finally, he's gone"  I almost died right there.  I started yelling and crying "how dare you say finally, Sweet monkey fritters! do you mean?"  I was so upset I almost needed a shot to calm down. 

That's heartless :'(

Mom2Brett, I know this is an old thread, but wanted to tell you how sorry I am!  What a horrible thing to say.  I hope that he at least apologized to you when confronted. 

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2007, 01:04:59 PM »
Since this thread has gone from “bad ways to deliver bad news” to “inconsiderate jerks after the loss of a loved one,” I’ll throw in my story about when my grandmother died in 2000.

A bit of background: I’m an only child.  My dad died in 1995. His only sibling, a sister, had died a few years earlier.  She had two sons, who at the time of this story, lived many, many miles away from me, my mom, and our mutual grandmother (my father’s mother, hence my mom’s MIL).

In the years between my dad and grandma’s death, my mother had taken over the “care” of my grandmother, who was in a nursing home. She had power of attorney, took care of her money, was consulted on medical issues, visited her as much as possible … basically being a very good DIL.

I lived 70 miles away and was “second in command” regarding my grandmother, seeing as I was the next closest in terms of relationship and distance.  So, one night I get “the phone call” (not really a surprise, grandma was 100 and comatose, but still), go in to work the next day and inform my boss.  My boss is very sympathetic, and basically tells me to take care only of what is absolutely necessary, work-wise, and then get the heck out of here and down to Milwaukee to take care of everything. Remember, between just me and my non-driving, 76-year-old mom we need to inform the rest of the family, plan the funeral, and clean out her room at the nursing home. Guess who would be doing most of the work? Me, and I didn’t mind.

I send out an email to my coworkers which states: Due to a family situation, I will be out of the office starting at noon today and will be unavailable until DATE, with no access to email. Please contact COWORKER at PHONE for assistance.  Thank you.

Phone rings. It’s a really demanding coworker (Jeanine) who had been using me to do at least 1/3 of her job on a regular basis.

Jeanine: I got your email about your family vacation …

Me: It says “family situation.” My grandmother died last night.

Jeanine: Oh. [pauses, begins to whine] But you haven’t finished that article for me!  Can’t you do it before you leave for the funeral?

Me: I’m leaving today for Milwaukee. I have to plan the funeral. COWORKER can …

Jeanine: [interrupting and whining] So, um, if it’s your grandma, why can’t one of her kids plan the funeral?

Me: Because all of her kids are dead.
[Here I was hoping that would make her realize that meant that I’ve already lost at least one parent, and might evoke something besides self-absorption in her. FAIL!]

Jeanine: [whining] Isn’t there anyone else?  I really need that article …

Me: No, Jeanine, there isn’t. I’m the only grandkid in the area and besides planning the funeral I need to call the rest of the family, pick out something for her to be buried in, and clean out her room at the nursing home.

Jeanine: [whi – oh, you know] This is just really inconvenient for me.

Me: You are so NOT my main concern right now!

Jeanine: [sighing] Well, I guess I’ll just call COWORKER.

Me: [hangs up]

The end.




amaiaisabella

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2007, 01:13:40 PM »
Since this thread has gone from “bad ways to deliver bad news” to “inconsiderate jerks after the loss of a loved one,” I’ll throw in my story about when my grandmother died in 2000.

A bit of background: I’m an only child.  My dad died in 1995. His only sibling, a sister, had died a few years earlier.  She had two sons, who at the time of this story, lived many, many miles away from me, my mom, and our mutual grandmother (my father’s mother, hence my mom’s MIL).

In the years between my dad and grandma’s death, my mother had taken over the “care” of my grandmother, who was in a nursing home. She had power of attorney, took care of her money, was consulted on medical issues, visited her as much as possible … basically being a very good DIL.

I lived 70 miles away and was “second in command” regarding my grandmother, seeing as I was the next closest in terms of relationship and distance.  So, one night I get “the phone call” (not really a surprise, grandma was 100 and comatose, but still), go in to work the next day and inform my boss.  My boss is very sympathetic, and basically tells me to take care only of what is absolutely necessary, work-wise, and then get the heck out of here and down to Milwaukee to take care of everything. Remember, between just me and my non-driving, 76-year-old mom we need to inform the rest of the family, plan the funeral, and clean out her room at the nursing home. Guess who would be doing most of the work? Me, and I didn’t mind.

I send out an email to my coworkers which states: Due to a family situation, I will be out of the office starting at noon today and will be unavailable until DATE, with no access to email. Please contact COWORKER at PHONE for assistance.  Thank you.

Phone rings. It’s a really demanding coworker (Jeanine) who had been using me to do at least 1/3 of her job on a regular basis.

Jeanine: I got your email about your family vacation …

Me: It says “family situation.” My grandmother died last night.

Jeanine: Oh. [pauses, begins to whine] But you haven’t finished that article for me!  Can’t you do it before you leave for the funeral?

Me: I’m leaving today for Milwaukee. I have to plan the funeral. COWORKER can …

Jeanine: [interrupting and whining] So, um, if it’s your grandma, why can’t one of her kids plan the funeral?

Me: Because all of her kids are dead.
[Here I was hoping that would make her realize that meant that I’ve already lost at least one parent, and might evoke something besides self-absorption in her. FAIL!]

Jeanine: [whining] Isn’t there anyone else?  I really need that article …

Me: No, Jeanine, there isn’t. I’m the only grandkid in the area and besides planning the funeral I need to call the rest of the family, pick out something for her to be buried in, and clean out her room at the nursing home.

Jeanine: [whi – oh, you know] This is just really inconvenient for me.

Me: You are so NOT my main concern right now!

Jeanine: [sighing] Well, I guess I’ll just call COWORKER.

Me: [hangs up]

The end.





Calling for clue-by-four... does anyone here have a clue-by-four? Thank you.

hjaye

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2007, 02:36:31 PM »
My first wife's father was terminally ill living in Tuscon Arizona.  He wanted to go back to New England and die there, he wanted to see the ocean again before he died.  My wife was going to drive to Rhode Island to see him before he died.  She had already left when her mother called.  Her father did not make it, he died in Arizona.

My wife called me a few hours later, she was in Tennessee.  I had to tell her it was too late, he was gone.  As I was talking to her the call waiting beeped, I told her to hold on it might be her sister (Her youngest sister was with her dad).  It was her mother.  She told me she was so sorry, she had made a mistake, he was not dead, he was just to sick to travel to Rhode Island so he was still in Arizona.  She just got mixed up (My wife and her mother did not have a very good relationship).  I just told her thanks for the update.  I got back on the phone with my wife and told her it was her mother on the phone, she got mixed up, her father was not dead, but he was not going to make it to Rhode Island.  She drove back to Dallas, and then went on to Arizona.  She did get to see him before he died, but as much as she disliked her mother before, that was the straw that broke the camels back.

Midge

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2007, 05:32:57 PM »





[/quote]

Quote: Calling for clue-by-four... does anyone here have a clue-by-four? Thank you.

It was so bizarre!  I kept waiting for her to twig to the fact that this was an unhappy, hectic time for me and just say "I'm sorry for your loss," or "I'm sorry to hear that," however insincere it might have been.  But no, she goes from misunderstanding the email, to basically asking a favor, to whining about how my family situation REALLY STINKS FOR HER even as I'm laying out how difficult this is for me.

Even if it was a case of "Oh, my grandma died, we weren't close, she was old, I just have to go to the funeral in a few days ..." Guess what?  Still trumps your fraggin' article that my more-than-capable co-worker can take care of for you, hag!

Ondine

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2007, 12:26:47 AM »
A guy I had dated for awhile lost his brother in 2002. It was pretty shocking to me, but not unexpected by the family, as his brother had been dealing with terminal illness for a year.
Anyway, I was visiting some of my friends at lunch at the high school I used to attend (I was in first year university at the time, and my friends were a year behind me in school). One of my good friends had cut the obituary out of the paper and brought it for me, since he knew I didn't have the obit - we had talked about this online, so I knew that he was bringing it for me.

Now, I had never met my ex's brother, but I knew my ex's parents, and he and I had been friends for four years at that point. The minute I saw the pic of his brother, I burst into tears - I still to this day cannot picture the pain they went through, but I can definitely understand how hard it is. One friend at the table looked at me and said "I don't see why you are crying - it's not like you knew him anyway."

The kicker? This guy lost a friend to suicide in 2001, and spent a year crying on everyone's shoulders, and grieving while everyone was very sympathetic. Our friends were not impressed with his comment, and he's very lucky that I am a non-violent person, because that was the most heartless thing someone in the exact situation could have said to anyone.

Seraphia

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2007, 12:47:50 AM »
My poor (10 year old) brother got traumatized by being on the opposite end of one of those conversations.

Mom and I are driving home from somewhere. Mom's cell rings, and she picks up since it's my bro.

A few moments of unmemorable conversation, and Mom suddenly bursts into tears while driving. Cue freaked out Seraphia in the seat going: "Uh...Mom...? Mom...you need to pull over Mom. Mom?" She finally pulled over, and I switched her seats and drove home. She explained that one of her old HS friends, Gail, had died suddenly and obviously unexpectedly. When we got home, she called Gail's house to find out what had happened.

Turns out it was not Gail who had died, as my poor  brother had relayed. It was Gail's MOM.

I took him aside afterward, and quietly mentioned that people dying was better discussed in person, rather than while someone was driving. He agreed.
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Mrs. Eclipse

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2007, 12:23:07 PM »
Jeanine: [whi – oh, you know] This is just really inconvenient for me.

"Well, you know, it ain't a walk in the park for me, either."
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retreadbride

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2007, 07:07:04 PM »
The county coroner did that when my first husband died.

Husband was at work. The coroner came to the house. No uniform, no marked car. He did not tell me who he was. Just asked if I was Retreadbride, husband's wife. I said yes. He said, "Well, I just came from his (place of employment). He's had a major heart attack and he's dead."

Just like that. Those words.

My 11-year-old stepdaughter was standing right next to me. If the (!@#$) had just told me who he was, I could have sent her inside the house first.

I know it's against all the rules of etiquette but I hope something horrible happens to that man.


RoseRose

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2007, 01:49:01 AM »
After my mom died (I was in 6th grade at the time), I missed a day or two of band (in 6th grade, band was before elementary school started in the mornings).  My teacher asked me where I had been, and I muttered something along the lines of having been to my mother's funeral... the memory really isn't that clear, but I do remember this- she said, "That's not a good enough excuse!".  Being an 11 year old who had just lost her mother, I wasn't coherent enough to tell anyone, and in fact, didn't for years.



fluffy

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2007, 03:12:03 PM »
This thread is getting me down; I thought jerks like that were one in a million. Apparently sheer lack of sympathy and compassion is a bit more common than I thought!

If it helps you feel better, I have a nice story...

I was doing a 6 week study abroad program and I was flying back in to a city that is about a 5 hour drive from us. My Dad was supposed to be in that city for the weekend doing meetings, so he was going to pick me up at the airport, I was going to hang out at the hotel for an afternoon and then we were going to drive back home together.

Unfortunately, my Nana died that weekend.  :(

My Dad cancelled his meetings, because he had a lot to deal with (funeral arrangements, etc). But, he drove all night to pick me up at the airport that morning when my plane got in. He told me that he couldn't in good conscience tell me that I wasn't getting a ride home because my Nana had died, so please take the bus. He was so tired from pulling an all-nighter to come and get me that I ended up driving for most of the trip back.  :P

On the other side of the fence, my mother told us about my step-grandfather dying in a mass email. An email that included my sister's inlaws and a whole bunch of other people who were only marginally related (at best) to my step-grandfather. She laid out all of the horrible details in said emails (including the fact that he had committed suicide). As soon as I got the email, I called my sisters to tell them over the phone. I couldn't stand the idea of them finding out via an email. They were both extremely grateful. I still don't understand why my mom didn't call me.

NsWife

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2007, 09:23:28 PM »
I rarely comment but I felt compelled to on this post. 

When my son died I was holding him in my arms, when the moniters read zero to everything the doctor on duty came in, listened to his heart, said "Finally, he's gone"  I almost died right there.  I started yelling and crying "how dare you say finally, Sweet monkey fritters! do you mean?"  I was so upset I almost needed a shot to calm down. 

That's heartless :'(



This is why I'm becoming a nurse. I would have been helping out with your son, disconnecting the tubes and trying to hold your hand. The doc would have said that. I'd have smiled at you, smoothed your hair, and slapped the living p*ss out of him.

Auntie V you are absolutely perfect!  I love the image this post created in my mind!  Brava!

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2007, 11:36:25 PM »
I rarely comment but I felt compelled to on this post. 

When my son died I was holding him in my arms, when the moniters read zero to everything the doctor on duty came in, listened to his heart, said "Finally, he's gone"  I almost died right there.  I started yelling and crying "how dare you say finally, Sweet monkey fritters! do you mean?"  I was so upset I almost needed a shot to calm down. 

That's heartless :'(

Oh my god...

I am so sorry... how horrible...

This mad eme start crying, that is just....

Oh...

Bobbie Fleckman

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2007, 05:53:39 PM »
{{{{{Mom2Brett}}}}}

That's so awful!  I cannot even imagine how that must have made you feel, or what would possess a doctor to say something so crass to a grieving mother. I am so sorry that happened to you.    :'(