This is one of those ‘glass half full, glass half empty” discussions.
Over the last year, at least one friend of mine has died every month, some months there were 3. We can embark on a discussion of incredible loss, at the same time as celebrating extraordinary friendships from across the globe.
Obviously attending all the funerals was impossible, both from a time and expense point of view, not to mention, the unfortunate host of the event will never actually know that you were in attendance.
Celebrations of life being for the living who remain, not the deceased.
Which brings me to the point of this BLOG.
As a student of human behaviour, in all it’s bizarre incarnations, one which disturbs me the most is people who go to funerals for all the wrong reasons, often claiming a level of friendship with the deceased which lives only in their imaginations, as in some cases, they were absolutely despised by the deceased, or virtually unknown.
Some are there because they genuinely cared about the host, others, morbid curiosity, some because frankly they have little else to do, others to be seen and heard, and let everyone know they are there, some to network, some to seek a new husband, others to consume vast quantities of free food and drink, and surreptitiously, they think, take more home for later. Some by necessity, for societal or family reasons. Then, we reach the most sad reason of all, which is those seeking human companionship, as they have successfully alienated everyone who ever befriended them. At the funeral of one prominent businessman and inveterate host, several attendees who are no longer invited anywhere due to their profound unpleasantness were there, proclaiming their closeness to the deceased. Obviously he was in no position to proclaim the exact opposite.
Then there are the serious social climbers, strutting around introducing themselves to those they deem to be important, posing for photographs to let the world know of their perceived importance. One ruthless social climber appeared wearing a large hat, strutting around waving in order to be seen. So inappropriate, so incredibly vulgar. At the same funeral, one equally grotesquely inappropriate man sat in the front row, preening, speaking loudly, turning around and waving at people in attendance to let the world see his popularity. Once the service was over, he rushed to introduce himself to the attending celebrities, speaking loudly to ensure those present witnessed his conversation. It was frankly embarrassing.
There was a clique of old, badly dressed women in attendance, sitting on the sidelines, commenting non stop throughout the service on the various guests in attendance, then afterwards, devouring the drink and food as if they had not eaten in months. Gate crashers???
To say some of the behaviour I have seen is disgraceful, is an understatement. It is a sign of complete and utter disrespect to those grieving.
Seeking a husband or to improve one’s social standing at a funeral is despicable.
Some celebrations of a life well lived are truly that, a party, a celebration, others are morbid and depressing.
These days more and more people plan their own funerals and receptions to hopefully eliminate these shameless actions, but unfortunately there are no guarantees to ensure respectful behaviour. Do we have to consider putting gate-keepers at funeral receptions to ensure that only the invited guests are in attendance??
This has been a year of incredible loss, but at the same time one of celebration.
I have been amazingly fortunate to be friends with some extraordinary people who are, unfortunately, no longer with us.
Thank you all for being my friend, and a huge part of my life. You will be severely missed.