“Lord Take Me Noooooow!” 9 Things You Should Never Do, Say Or Wear At A Funeral

March 21, 2013  |  
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Funerals are already difficult things for all to attend, especially the family or close friends of the deceased. But nothing makes thing worse (and stays as a negative memory for years to come) then when someone comes to the funeral and acts a damn fool. Whether they’re singing a song for the dead and CAN’T actually sing, telling a crude story as they recount what they consider a positive memory, or offering the worst words of support ever, you should do your best to be a positive yet QUIET support when you go to a funeral. Whatever you do though, just don’t get caught doing the following:

Inviting Secret Lovers And Family Members Nobody Knew About

One of my co-workers told a story not too long ago about the funeral of her aunt, and the rage every family member at the funeral went through when her late aunt’s husband brought his secret children to her homegoing. While he would go on to say that her aunt knew about the children, it didn’t please anybody else that they weren’t aware that the children (now grown) were going to be coming to say goodbye, and meeting the family for the first time. There’s a time and place for everything…

Any secret babies, mistresses–whatever you have, shouldn’t be debuted to the world during such a sad time. Family should be together during times of loss, but if folks didn’t even know they had extra cousins and nieces and grandbabies, and they came through infidelity, you might want to find another time to spill the beans about them.

Making Things About You And Wanting To Be Seen As Important

Don’t be the person who has a fit about not being able to be in the family limo if you’re not part of the immediate family of the deceased, and folks don’t have enough room for extra people to sit. With that said, also, please don’t be the person who walks into the funeral home and has another fit about where you’re going to sit. At the funeral of my brother, I watched as my uncle and his family knocked my sister and I to another pew, away from our mother and father and other siblings, because he just wanted everyone to know that he was the head of our family (because of age). We were heated, and he was behaving like someone made him MC of the funeral. If for one day, all eyes aren’t on you, it won’t kil…uh, make that, it won’t hurt you.

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Trying To Sing, Rap Or Do Poems When No One Asked You To…

We miss Robert.” Or what about the woman who sang “Seven Days” for her boyfriend? That’s what always comes to mind when I think about the idea of people jumping up to the microphone at funeral ceremonies and saying they want to sing a song for the deceased, recite a poem, or show off their new rhyme. SIT DOWN. You see the coffin, right? This is not Showtime At The Apollo or American Idol, and when you’re in a moment of grief, the last thing you want is for folks to get up on the podium and start howling in the mic because they just really want you to hear their rendition of “His Eye Is On The Sparrow.” Your enthusiasm would be more appreciated on a different day…

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Vowing Revenge

Don’t laugh. People do this. And when they do, your eyes will move to the side as mine did when a guy dressed in a shirt that is spray-painted with your family member’s image on it jumps up to the microphone to condemn their killer and vow to get back at them. Especially when said guy is not family, or even a close friend, but some random that your family member knew in like high school. While it’s appreciated that one would care so much, throwing idle threats, usually very angry ones, is not what people are trying to hear in that moment.

Taking Pictures

I don’t know who started this trend, but if you’re not press at the funeral of someone whose name has been in the news, you shouldn’t be bringing your digital camera to someone’s funeral to take pictures DURING the funeral or burial, trying to be an amateur photographer. I’ve seen people take pictures of the body, of the casket, of the casket going in the ground, of family members in pure agony during the burial and more. What exactly does one do with such photos after the fact??? Are you supposed to look at them later and go “Oh yeaaaaaaah, I remember that day. That was a good day”? That’s so creepy to me.

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Dress Like You’re Going To A Party

And where are you going in a bodycon dress with your booty and breasts all out? Same disdain goes for the guy dressed like they’re going to chill in somebody’s basement. If you’re not going to dress like you have sense, at the least, keep your colors calm. But going back to the “making things about you” statement above, being half dressed, over dressed, or terribly dressed in a distracting way comes off like an attempt to grab attention (see Jaheim in his bright purple Joker-ish Zoot suit at Whitney Houston’s funeral for an example…)

Not Choosing Your Words Wisely

When trying to comfort one going through grief, we know it’s a struggle. What can you say to provide comfort? It’s best to just give your condolences, maybe a hug, some food, and let someone know that if they need you, you will be available (but don’t promise that and never pick up the phone…). However, some people say things that make people even more sad, or uncomfortable, or distressed about the deceased, their religion and more. That includes looking a parent in the eye and saying it was in God’s plan (it probably was, but that’s not all that comforting, and you should come to such a conclusion on your own), asking for “juicy” details about what happened if the family hasn’t been forthcoming about it, asking about money and all kinds of awkward things. Stick to the script.

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Get Your Kids

When you’re in an emotional state grieving over a friend or family member, the last thing you want to do when you go to a funeral home or church is try to listen intently only to hear or see somebody’s child act like they’re at the playground. Running around into people, knocking things over, laughing and talking loudly. Do the deceased family a favor (and all those who attend the service) and get them a book, some snacks and tell them to chill out. When you’re emotionally drained, the last thing you will say when a child is acting a fool is “It’s okay baby, gon’ head and sit down.” Rather, it might sound a bit more explicit…

Speaking About Inappropriate Times

If you do decide to get on the microphone and speak about the deceased, keep it straightforward, lighthearted, and appropriate. Don’t get up there and talk about the times you smoked weed together, macked on women, did something illegal, got into fights or something ratchet. We know everybody has their own memories and stories to share, but some stories are better left kept to yourself. Once again, there’s a time and place for what? Everything. Choose wisely.

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