There’s this misconception that you’re only allowed to say nice things about people after they die. All of the bad things they’ve done over the course of their time on the Earth suddenly evaporate, and they become these untouchable saints.
It’s conveniently forgotten that all of the people they’ve wronged are still here.
By now you should know that funerals are for the living: the expensive casket, the dove tribute, the song selections, and let’s not forget the eulogy that lasts far longer than it should.
You feel you deserve a round of applause (or at the very least, a cookie) because you did it. You showed up and endured the forced kind words and manufactured sympathy, blended with a barrage of stories and insincere anecdotes.
All of a sudden, you find yourself wondering “Did we know the same person? Am I at the right funeral?”
The truth is—some people were assholes, and dying didn’t change that. It’s alright to not be filled with sorrow. It’s alright to still be angry.
Here are two very easy things you CAN do:
- Keep your mouth shut and vent to your therapist instead – While it’s okay for you to feel the way you do, it’s not okay to minimize that person’s life in the eyes of the people that truly cared for them.
- Skip the service and send a card- People can tell if your actions aren’t genuine, and chances are, you aren’t doing the family any favors by being there. Sending a card is a way to show you acknowledge their loss, while remaining true to yourself
Just because they were terrible, doesn’t mean you have to be. There’s not much advice I have as to how to get past these feelings, but this, I do know: more pain never makes anything better.
If it’s any consolation you can’t convince me that everyone gets to ride up on the golden elevator when their time comes.
Somebody has to take the slide.