I am not a mean girl; I just have a lot of feel­ings.

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - Tales from the Crypt

For­get walls. If tomb­stones could talk they would no doubt share the sor­did (mor­bid?) tales of the in­creas­ingly in­ap­pro­pri­ate way we hon­our our dearly de­parted. I will ad­mit I have not been to many fu­ner­als but the few I’ve at­tended al­ways left me re­coil­ing in hor­ror and cast­ing the ul­ti­mate side-eye at the lack of tact and bla­tantly dis­re­spect­ful foibles. Maybe I am be­ing too hard on the of­fend­ers. Af­ter all, com­mon sense has al­ways been the ul­ti­mate oxy­moron. But then “when you know bet­ter, you do bet­ter.” So here now are a few guide­lines that could spare you the anger of dis­grun­tled spir­its.

It’s a wake, not a blocko.

I am sure you are all there to of­fer sup­port to the griev­ing fam­ily. But keep in mind it’s a time of mourn­ing, not As­sou Square time. But try telling that to the hordes that de­scend like a swarm of fruit flies on de­cay­ing man­goes on the be­reaved fam­ily. This is prob­a­bly why the go-to move nowa­days is fam­i­lies ask­ing to mourn in pri­vate. No­body wants to deal with an im­promptu ver­sion of Marc­hand Day at their house. But there is no ac­count­ing for good taste. If this par­tic­u­lar fam­ily is cool with host­ing a post-fu­neral street jam . . .

It’s not cool to loot the dearly de­parted’s closet.

Some­one has died, re­mem­ber. Prob­a­bly some­one you grew up with, a trea­sured fam­ily mem­ber, a beloved neigh­bour. I know that in the depths of your de­spair the heart aches for a me­mento or keep­sake to keep this spe­cial some­one for­ever alive in your mem­ory. Let me as­sure you: pack­ing five plates of food for you and your fam­ily is not the way to go. I am al­most cer­tain no one wants to be re­mem­bered by a plate of ground pro­vi­sions, rice, stewed chicken and some grated cab­bage and car­rot. Equally as dé­classé is tak­ing cloth­ing, pho­tos or kitchen uten­sils from the de­ceased’s for­mer home. Es­pe­cially if the items still be­long to the living.

This day is not about you.

I once went to a wake where I of­fered my ser­vices in pass­ing out hors d’oeu­vres to vis­i­tors. One woman asked if she might have ap­ple juice in­stead of what I was of­fer­ing. An­other asked if I knew where the re­mote was be­cause it was time for her to catch her daily view­ing of the Bold and Beau­ti­ful. Re­ally? You say­ing you can’t miss an­other in­stall­ment of Brooke shag­ging ev­ery avail­able For­rester man— then head­ing back to Ridge?

You never knew the dead per­son, so why are you here?

A run­ning joke started twenty years ago about the Kevin Ba­con al­go­rithm. Three col­lege friends re­al­ized the ac­tor had seem­ingly been in ev­ery­thing, or was con­nected to some Hol­ly­wood ac­tor in less than six de­grees of sep­a­ra­tion. This con­cept should not be ap­pli­ca­ble to fu­ner­als. Just be­cause the per­son is your for­mer boyfriend’s cousin’s sis­ter’s mother-in-law’s grand­fa­ther doesn’t mean your pres­ence is ap­pro­pri­ate. That’s just awk­ward.

Telebit­u­ar­ies are the devil.

Hon­estly, lis­ten­ing to the regular obit­u­ary on the ra­dio was al­ready grat­ing on the nerves. It served more as a where-arethey-now seg­ment rather than just shar­ing the rel­e­vant de­tails. With the ad­vent of telebit­u­ar­ies, we as a peo­ple have of­fi­cially lost the plot. Where do I begin? The seg­ments are so long that the strains of our mu­si­cal de­ity Ce­line Dion have to be re­peated mul­ti­ple times. Ma­maaa, you gave life to meeeee . . . Do we re­ally need to know that some­one is study­ing in Botswana to be a chem­i­cal en­gi­neer and has al­ready ac­cepted a job of­fer in Dubai? And why would you have any­one ti­tled “child mother”? Then again, that same per­son had a list of child­hood friends who were all an­nounced by their “bet­ter knowns”. Be­cause why would I just call you Donna when Por­potte is so much more charm­ing? But the one that sticks in my craw has to be life in pic­tures. See num­ber three on this list. It is not about you! So why are there pho­tos of Ti Bwoy’s brother cool­ing out with pad­nas? Or Ma Tin Tin’s grand­daugh­ter at grad­u­a­tion? Where are the dead peo­ple?

This telebu­taries thing has be­come so in that folks now view them while tak­ing morn­ing cof­fee. Still the dead­li­est sin of them all has to be . . .

The Grave­yard Selfie.

Just no words. I mean, why? Selfie-tak­ing is al­ready one of the more nar­cis­sis­tic prac­tices on the planet. Com­bine it with the dearly de­parted and the whole thing is macabre. Again, is this re­ally the me­mento you want? There is some­thing in­cred­i­bly disin­gen­u­ous about a photo of you cap­tioned “I can’t be­lieve you’re gone,” as you gaze se­duc­tively at the cam­era, mouth-pouted, try­ing to cap­ture per­fect light (on your bet­ter side, of course). That’s tread­ing on tacky Kar­dashian ter­ri­tory. It must take mule go­nads to go up to a grief­stricken fam­ily mem­ber and re­quest they par­tic­i­pate with you in some selfie ac­tion. But the real ball break­ers are ones who go for the full-on photo spread; I mean, re­plete with props. What could be more epic than you pos­ing up-close on a tomb­stone?

Squad! #RIP #Gonetoosoon #Out­fitofthe­day #Pic­ture­ofthedy #Miss­ingyou #FreeLu­cious #Em­pire

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