I went to a funeral on Saturday. I didn't know the deceased well but her husband was a friend of my father's, and I had some personal association with him as well. I have fond childhood memories of G. handing out rare coins to us kids as prizes at community functions, and I later wrote a school paper on his experiences as a soldier in WWII.
I don't really remember his wife, but I attended the funeral out of respect for G, and to honor the life of his wife, who had clearly been a good person. Apparently respect and honor were about the last things many of the other attendees were feeling. I was absolutely horrified to find that many in attendance considered the funeral a combination fashion show and gabfest.
I wore a simple black sweater, black pants, black flats, and no makeup. There is a reason we traditionally wear black, or at least dark colors, to a funeral, and that we do not dress and make ourselves up as though we are out on the town. Dressing in a subdued manner places the focus, rightly, on the deceased and on his or her family. A funeral is about honoring the departed and supporting their loved ones as they try to cope with the loss.
But quite a few women at this funeral were wearing hot pink or red sweaters. 3 and 4-inch spiked heels were not uncommon. More skin was visible than was appropriate for the season, let alone the setting. Copious amounts of makeup, and elaborately styled hair was prevalent. People (again, mostly women) were behaving as ostentatiously as if they were at a dance club.
I understand that people often see distant relatives or community members they have lost touch with at a funeral. It is understandable that folks would want to reconnect. But as I sat quietly and observed these creatures as they chatted, I saw no sign on their faces of any awareness of where they were. They were enjoying themselves immensely, not mourning or grieving. They were discussing irrelevant topics, not talking about what the deceased had meant to them. And they were leaping up and flinging themselves across the room to share jovial belly-laughs with each new person who entered. Flirting was clearly going on as well.
I'm not a big fan of humans in general, and this experience has sunk my opinion of them further. I am utterly disgusted at these people's dress and behaviour.
Do we have NO respect left in our culture? Not the slightest iota of consideration for others? Is absolutely everything to be focused on the Self and what it wants wants wants wants wants?
Additional notes: This was NOT about people "celebrating the life of the deceased" as one person has suggested. I would stake my life on the fact that nary a passing thought crossed these creeps' minds about celebrating anything other than their own egos.
Nor was it about "what the deceased would have wanted". The family members were all dressed in dark colors, in the front few rows of chairs, and behaving appropriately. The people who were acting like they were at a dance club were largely congregated in a central path between two large groupings of chairs and at the sides of the room, until they were finally herded into seats so the service could begin (it took quite a while for them to sit down and shut up, and the service started 10 minutes late).
This was not just a few people, either. Probably half of the 200 or so folks in attendance were behaving raucously, and a fifth or a quarter were dressed inappropriately. And it wasn't just young people who didn't know better; there were quite a few culprits well into middle age. My family was seated at the front of the second group of chairs, so I had ample opportunity to observe the revelers, to hear what they were talking about, and to be nearly choked to death by the perfume.