Having attended two funerals in the past week, I feel like I learned a lot of life lessons. And seeing as I'm not really the type to dwell on sad stuff, these life lessons aren't gonna be all that helpful to most people. Really, I just feel the need to cover a few basic rules for funeral behavior. My older brothers, through their funeral antics, enlightened me to all the things that someone can do wrong at a memorial service. And if you think I'm making any of this stuff up, then I've got some tragic news for you. So let's get started.
Rule# 1 - Don't do impressions of the deceased to the grieving family... or if you're asked to speak at the gravesite service.
It is never acceptable to make fun of someone who just died. It is especially unacceptable to mock their voice and hand gestures at the funeral. Your main hint should have been the person next to you (a.k.a. me) whispering "Too soon."
Rule# 2 - Don't hug someone who is crying if you don't know them personally.
I actually witnessed my older brother walk up and hug a random woman and then break from the embrace and say, "It's nice to meet you." That look that she gave him was not because of her grief. It was from sheer surprise. And if this is a way you're gonna try to pick up women, it goes in two rulebooks.
Rule# 3 - When people introduce themselves to you, it is not polite to point at the open casket and say, "This guy is my brother-in-law." (with emphasis on the first two words) It is both shocking and weird.
In fact, as a general rule, maybe you shouldn't refer to a body as "this guy." It's a little tacky. I'm actually assuming that if my older brothers are at my funeral, they'll probably give my body bro hugs and high fives.
Rule# 4 - Don't say anything about "putting the 'fun' back in funeral."
It was never in there to begin with. Your suggestion of a slip-n-slide to get the casket down the aisle of the church didn't go over too well with the widow.
Rule# 5 - If you work for a company called "Graves Excavating" then please don't wear your company jacket to the burial. It creeps people out.
I guess this rule is kinda specific to the employees of that company in Missouri. But if your clothing has any kind of writing on it, maybe have a proofreader take a look before you put it on.
Rule# 6 - Don't try breaking the tension at the gravesite by breaking wind at the gravesite.
No explanation here. It should have been common sense.
Again, let me emphasize that all of these things happened for real. I'm not embellishing as I sometimes do. And I'm not making anything up. If you need to go back and read the rules again with that perspective, maybe you'll understand a little better why I hope to outlive all of my older brothers.