≡ Menu

I Have A Real Estate Deal To Die For!

When my brother died 10 years ago, many of his childhood friends came for the pre-funeral visitation. Friend One married a real estate agent, who immediately upon meeting me asked whether I owned or rented, then proceeded to deliver a sales pitch. Friend Two, who had long had a crush on my sister, started hitting on her. When he met her boyfriend he tried to start a fight with him over her. Friend Three and his mother were there hoping to lure my sister into marriage and motherhood.  When that didn’t work, they turned to me and asked, “What about you? How old are you?”, and speculated on my childbearing capacity. By then Friend One and Friend Two were fighting and had been kicked out of the funeral home. Friend Four approached us later with a request for a recently-purchased and expensive belonging of my brother’s “to remember him by.” He also asked for the receipt.

P.S. – My brother was a good, decent person, in spite of his friends. He was simply too accepting of people with questionable behavior.

When I told my boss I needed time off for my brother’s funeral, he asked if I had “made the whole thing up” so I could get time off from work. Then a friend asked: “Well, how do you think I feel? One day my brother is going to die.” This is all true, I swear! 0729-11


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ginger August 10, 2011, 2:38 pm

    OP – I’m sorry for your loss. Your brother’s “friends” and your boss and coworker are horrible people. I hope you find another job with an awesome boss 🙂

    @MidoriBird – I agree – just because the relative is not a parent or sibling doesn’t mean that the person wasn’t close to that relative. When I was a freshman in HS, my biology teacher told us that only the death of a parent or grandparent would be an acceptable excuse in her class. She said we would make up numerous aunts and uncles in order to get out of doing work. That was such a horrible thing to say! Some of the students may be raised by an aunt or uncle or maybe close to one. For a teacher to assume that an aunt or uncle isn’t important is horrible. This teacher has a reputation for being mean and no one liked her anyway.

    Reading about how horrible some bosses are makes me very grateful for my boss:

    When my grandmother died, I had to go to FL two days before Easter break (I’m a teacher). My boss and staff were beyond helpful and didn’t bat an eyelash at me leaving right before a vacation…esp for FL! We have rules that you can’t take a day off near a vacation in order to extend it, but they knew I didn’t do things like this. I didn’t have to produce any paperwork to “prove” my grandmother passed away.

    One of my coworkers lost her husband in the middle of the school year. The husband’s birthday was later in the year and even though this coworker had no more days left to take off, my boss told her to take the day, she wouldn’t be docked for it. This is why I work very hard for my boss and do right by her since she has done right by other people.

  • Alyssa August 10, 2011, 3:50 pm

    Sorry for you loss..I’ve lost alot of family members so far in my life..I have lost my uncle…Both my grandpa’s died before i was born.The first died of a heart attack when he was in World War 2.Idk what happend to the other one….I have also lost a Hamster and A Gerbil that were also like family..:(

  • Aje August 10, 2011, 11:43 pm

    Someone once told me ‘when you loose a parent, you loose your past. When you look a child, you loose the future- when you loose a sibling, you loose the past, present and the future.” Totally true- your sibling helps you to remember your childhoods, is there in the present when you need them and onward to the future. It would be hard to say one loss is harder than another, but I know I would be heartbroken if my brother died. I’m so sorry for your loss

  • travestine August 11, 2011, 4:50 pm

    @Aje – thank you – you put that so much better than I ever have. Even though it’s been 10 yrs (just this month) since the loss of my second brother, I still miss not being able to call him up and talk over old times, especially since my parents divorced when we were young and my mother has also passed. He was all I had left of my original family, since my father is immersed in my step family (who I love, but they don’t share my early memories, or our complicated relationship with my father). You’re an orphan if you lose both your parents, but what are you if you lose all your siblings?

    OP – despite your brother’s awful friends, I sincerely hope you have a good relationship with your other siblings and you cherish your time together. As for your boss? Pah – what a sad, nasty soul he must be. Your co-worker doesn’t deserve comment.

  • Em Leigh August 13, 2011, 7:48 pm

    My brother told me to not be sad at my grandfather’s funeral because he was old and had lived long enough.

  • C August 14, 2011, 10:49 am


    Sounds like we had the same teacher! My uncle passed away and I went to classes the next day and let all of my teachers know that I would be missing school the following Monday for the wake and funeral. Once of my teachers responded, “do you think I’m stupid?! You’re LYING. And NOBODY goes to the funeral of JUST their uncle!”

    I went home crying and told my mom what happened. My mother was in law enforcement for more than 15 years and is not the soft, June Cleaver type. Think more Rambo with big breasts. She marched up to the school and ripped that teacher a new one, along with delivering a lesson in Native American culture (we are EXTREMELY close to our extended families; I am not insinuating that other races cannot be so, but it is a consistent part of traditional Native American culture that your aunts and uncles are almost like extra sets of parents.) I’m still amazed, years later, that she could keep herself from punching the teacher, considering that my uncle was mom’s brother.

  • Maryann August 16, 2011, 6:43 am

    To the OP, I’m sorry for your loss and for the horror the selfish put you through. Nothing compounds grief quite like ruthless insensitivity.

    Funerals bring out the very worst in some people. When my great-grandmother died, the nearest relatives – her son (who was one of three siblings) and daughter-in-law – cleaned out her house. Literally had an estate sale immediately and kept every penny, plus everything they wanted, they stole and kept.

    One of the things that was stolen by the daughter-in-law was Great-Grandma’s wedding ring. Off her body. In the coffin. At the funeral. And she put it on. Right in front of my grandma, the younger of two biological daughters, who had been promised this ring while sitting in her mother’s lap as a little girl. (Her sister agreed that this ring was to be hers.) Grandma was in too much grief, and perhaps too flabbergasted, to stop this.

    Being the only daughter of Grandma’s only daughter, I knew that ring should one day be mine. So after Grandma passed away, Mom and I managed to finally get it back… sans diamond. We wanted it for truly sentimental reasons, so it wasn’t a horrible loss, but when I think of it I’m still rendered speechless with fury.

  • Enna August 16, 2011, 10:46 am

    @ Elf – thanks for that, thankfully I’ve never had to book time of work for a funneral before, I’m also British so policy might be a bit different.

  • James August 17, 2011, 8:20 am

    Death either brings out the best in people, or the worst in people. I’ve been very lucky that whenever I’ve lost someone dear to me, I’ve found myself surrounded with kindness.

    Whenever I’ve been bereaved my employers have basically told me to take as long a time off as I need to. It’s no coincidence that I’ve been very loyal to my employers since. It stands to reason; if you treat me with respect & compassion & trust me to act maturely I’ll repay that in kind; but treat people with distrust and suspicion then they’ll repay that in kind also.