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Questions Not To Ask At Funerals!

Nov 17, 2007
I've attended more than my share of funerals and memorial services over the last couple of years. As a result, I've compiled a list of questions that I've overheard and which I don't think are appropriate for such solemn occasions. Here's the list in no particular order:

.01 "Can I have his bass boat? I'll pay you for it of course, but I'm sure Steve would have wanted me to have it at a very reasonable price. After all, we've been friends for all these years." This question to the widow of a fishing buddy of mine is not altogether a heartless attempt to get a good buy on a boat. After all, the departed had recently installed a new depth finder and sonar equipment! Better still, dear old Steve's memory would be fishing along side us when we hit the crappie beds in the spring.

As any true fishermen know, wives do not really appreciate the boat in which her dear departed husband spent so many hours relaxing. She just sees it as something that took him away from her so often. This is the time to make a deal on the boat!

.02 "He looks so life like and peaceful." No Way! Dead folks I've seen in caskets at funerals I've attended did not look life-like!. I'm not trying to be insensitive, but the fact is that's not them in the box! It's just a shell and if I was lying there with all kinds of people looking down on me, I would really be insulted if they thought that was how I appeared while I was living!

.03 "How are you holding up?" How is the bereaved supposed to answer? "I feel wonderful? I thought the miserable s.o.b. would never die! Life is great!" Most of us simply would answer as I have, "I'm getting along. Tomorrow will be better!" This is one of the more stupid questions that is asked of the bereaved at almost every funeral and memorial service as a show of compassion. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm guilty of this one and probably will ask it again.

.04 "Who gets to keep the ashes?" As weird as this question sounds, it popped up not long ago at a memorial service I attended. The recently departed hadn't left instructions as to the disposal of his remains after the cremation. Legally, of course, the ashes would have gone to the wife. In this case she didn't want them because she was going to Hawaii to mourn alone. The thought of him sitting on the mantle piece back home while she caught a few rays, would have even further dampened the grieving process. She gave them to his daughter who asked the age old question, "What am I going to do with them?"

.05 "Are you going to be dating soon?" I actually heard this one at a memorial service of a young man who had died suddenly in a car crash. The widow was understandably distraught and fainted as the thoughtless clod who asked the question looked around as if to say, "Was it something I said?"

.06 "How exactly did he die?" Juicy details are always asked for at funerals. Maybe it's just the ghoul in us that makes us so tactless in the midst of grieving. There are always those who get turned on talking about death and dying. There's one at every funeral.

The situation is similar to the looky loos you see stopping on the side of the road near a serious automobile accident hoping to see a decapitated corpse, giving them a tidbit of news for anyone who will listen.

.07 "Did he have life insurance?" This one is a winner! Once again the morbid curiosity of man comes shining through a difficult situation. Usually this is asked of a widow. I wish I could hear a reply such as this," Yes he did; quite a lot in fact. He wasn't much good at anything while he was alive, but he was smart enough to have enough insurance to keep paying his insurance premiums. That money will keep me living on the beach in luxury for the rest of my life!" That would be a great response wouldn't it?

As Sally Field once said, "Death is just part of living Forrest."
About the Author
Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at:
http://www.redfishbob.com
http://www.bluemarlinbob.com
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