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Life is Unfair
Everyone Struggles
Let's Not Make That An Excuse

July 17, 2010

The Parody of Funeral

A few years back, I got a call at home from an ex-colleague informing me about another colleague’s father passing away.  Just a few days back, I had spoken to him when he called me up asking about my blood type.  I was not sure what to do and took the cell phone in my hand.  I was thinking of calling him up but then it struck me what was I going to say to him?

I was at loss of words on what I should say to him?  I finally decided against calling him up and planned to pay a visit to his house with the help of common colleagues.  That did not happen and I was not able to offer my condolences to him (given that we were working in different locations) and I was not sure what I was going to say to him even if we did met or spoke.

This holds true even for today, where I don’t know how to react to the news of passing away of people I know.  Most of the times, I have just kept quite; just made my presence felt and offered support when required.  My problem is that I cannot fake sympathy or tell someone that it happens when the pain of the death of someone close passing away always brings sorrow and cannot be smoothened with words.  All I can do is offer support so that they can get back to their lives.

What amuses me though that an event like a funeral can also end up a place full of mockery!!

I remember this one time, when a family had lost their bread winner and they were going with the process of “Antim Sanskar” (The final rituals followed), when a man to whom the deceased owed money started telling others about it.  By evening the deceased’s family came to know about it and the man even approached them the next day.  I can understand the man worried about getting his money back but couldn’t he have waited for a few days before giving another shock to the family.  Dealing with death itself can be hard at times and to hear such things on the same day can be brutal.

The strangest thing happened when my aunt passed away.  The feast for the Theravi (the thirteenth day after the funeral) was served and I ended up sharing a table with a bunch of strangers.  The food was served and everybody began eating when an old villager complained about the salt in the food.  I was amused by his reaction.  I stared at him for a minute or two which he noticed.  Later his neighbor told him about the relation that I shared with the one who passed away.

Had it been any another occasion, I would not have mind them at all but it happened on a time when a funeral had taken place and that they were having a feast because of it.  I guess it did not help him to know that someone belonging to the deceased family heard it.  I do wonder if following such a tradition is worth it.  Where the people invited sometimes have scant regard for the nature of the event.

Around a year back, I attended a funeral of an elderly.  This time round I observed a few interacting and taking updates from each other.  This of course did not happen in front of the deceased family but then there was a laughter which was loud enough that everyone heard it.  Have people forget their manners on how to behave?

I wonder if a Do’s and Don’t list should be issued so that such people know how to behave at funerals.  Have seen people who made their presence felt not to offer their condolences but because they “had to” due to the societal obligations.

"Unless one is a victim,
they never know what the other goes through"

P.S.:  This post had been lying in the cold storage for more than a year.  I wrote it, discarded it and then it came back to haunt me, time and again.  So I decided to exorcize it by posting it.

On a different note, Shas has awarded me with the Blogger Buddy Award.  Thanks buddy :)


V Rakesh said...

I dread funerals! I shudder at the very thought of going to a funeral! Perhaps because I feel extremely stuck! I mourn in private, almost always!

Sadly, death is a way of life! But I cannot understand how people can be disrespectful at the time of loss, when the least one can do is show some respect!

Grayquill said...

You said a lot in that post. What to do or say - always a tough one. I remember telling someone I was sorry for their loss and the response was don't be sorry, I am glad he's gone. Yikes! That is what makes it hard we do not know what the realtionship was or how big the loss is or is it even a loss? Hmmmm...Usually we know have some idea if the loss is significant to the person. But our words will not make it better but can easily make it worse. I think the person needs to know you are there for them, that they are not alone, that they are loved.

The Survivor said...

@ Grayquill

I missed that part of how people tell they are "sorry" for their loss and to be frank I don't understand why one has to say that. It kind of creates a fake pity and doesn't do any good.

Completely agree with you, that they need to be shown that one is there for them.

Adisha said...

Yeah, passing away is hard enough without people teling you " they understand you pain " which is highly impossible in my view...

As for the manners of people, I guess it just goes to prove, nothing and no one can stop another's life. People are just self involved.

I guess the best thing is to just go, show ur support and exit at the earliest to avoid any controversy.

Winnie the poohi said...

I have faced one too many funerals in my life. *sigh* dont wanna comment on it.

The Survivor said...

@ Rakesh

I agree

@ Adisha


The Survivor said...

@ Winnie

That's okay.