Stupid things people say at funerals

This morning, as my big green chariot pulls into the real Hamilton station from the other, uneccesarily constructed Hamilton station, I make a couple of astute observations.

1. Am I the only one who appreciates the irony of having the front train car for the 6:18 numbered as 631?

2. Why is this train making a honking noise?

It’s usual puttering sounds are accompanied by only what I can describe as a fusion from a clown horn (*shudders in fear) and the noise b-level muppets and fraggles would make during a cast ensemble.

I wish I took video footage of it to show you, but then I’d have to pay for this website, and we haven’t been picked up yet by a reality tv star/former celebrity for syndication.

Once the train stops hacking up a lung, I board it and smile.

You’re just going to have to live vicariously through my version of reality.

I’m quite proud of my power of description. It certainly bodes well for me in my line of work, and I’m sure my obscure parallels and references are envied.

It’s definitely appreciated outside of the blogosphere.

Almost 3 years ago, during a very intensive Exective Coaching conference, I was named the “Queen of analogy.”

The conference was in Las Vegas, so I was quite proud to earn that noun in place of “night.”

I digress.

I’m on the train after a one day hiatus.

I was busy attending funeral proceedings for my grandfather, Giuseppe Siino:

That’s my favourite picture of him. This photo represents the traits that he passed onto my own father.



A wee bit stubborn.


He lived to be 91.

Rest in peace.

Funerals are always a reflective time, and when it’s your immediate family you play more of an active role with regards to greeting visitors.

As a word lover, someone who always means what they say, I’m more observant than most when it comes to conversations.

In person, I’d like to think I can present myself in a somewhat more articulate/ eloquent manner than the quality of this blog would have you assume.

Funerals are a sad and awkward time for all involved.

I was thinking about that, and how people will say lots of stupid things during funeral visitations.

Maybe because they don’t know what to say.

Maybe because they are uncomfortable with silence.

Maybe they haven’t evolved much as humans.

Either way, it’s worth documenting.

So, in no particular order, here are some examples of stupid things people have said either to me or someone else at the funeral proceedings.

I’m also going to take the liberty of grading these because it’s my blog and I want to.

“What a tragedy!”

Wrong. Tragedy implies a shock…an unexpected loss of life. Something reminiscent of a Shakespearean play.

The man was almost 92.

Grade: M, for moron.

“What are you gonna do? That’s life!”
Life means the person is present in a physical sense.

None of us are privy to death’s trajectory.

Life and death are not the same, regardless of your belief.

What am I gonna do? I’m going ahead and giving you an S, for stupid.

“We have to stop meeting like this!”

Thanks for reminding me the only time I see you is when there’s…tragedy.

Or death.

The lines are blurred.

Maybe you can come around more often so we can differentiate more between life and death.

No relation to the above comment or, but this person gets a solid O, for oblivious.

This is going to be a very sad time for your grandmother especially because of Christmas.

My grandparents have been in each other’s lives for 71 years.

So much of their lives together.

A lot of people don’t even make it to age 70.

Christmas also affects people poorly who hate the cold, have an aversion to Christmas songs, Atheists, people with pine allergies and of course, those who cannot afford the materialistic forray this season has evolved to.

This person gets a C for Captain Obvious, but recovers nicely because of the cool tie.

We need to get together soon. Let me know when you’re ready.

Thank you for imposing a sanction on a person’s healing process with a fruitless proposition.

Speaking from experience; this person may never, ever feel like they’re ready to do anything.

You shouldn’t make yourself feel better by making an empty offer that validates your own inability to deal with loss.

This person gets a J for being a jerk.

Also could stand for “Just kidding” because hollow offers are like advent calendars missing chocolate.

He is better off now. 

No one wants to hear that the person they’ve held in the highest regard is better off by no longer maintaining a physical presence in their life.

Unless some of us own a reverse Quantum Leap accelerator, we cannot confirm this hunch.

I give this person a Z, for Ziggy.

True story.

There are no set rules to determine what you should or shouldn’t say during a funeral visitation.

If you’re unclear, say nothing at all.

A handshake, hug, head nod…all of that will do.

Just be present for that person.

If you feel like you need to say something, a simple “I’m sorry for your loss” is fairly safe.

Be considerate.

Be kind.

Be a decent human being.


2 thoughts on “Stupid things people say at funerals

Add yours

  1. Someone wise once said ‘death is the price of life’. We could never die, but only because we never were born. Life is a gift, taken too soon from some. Getting to 92 when life expectancy in Canada is 81 is something to be thankful for.

    PS: Everyone is gonna get on your nerves at funerals! It is known XD


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