Creepy Cathy

This is too weird, but still, I don’t think it belongs in the pit. Here goes. My father passed away late Wednesday night after 78 years on this earth. It was a long illness but nobody knew how quick the end would come. He was lucid and happy as his family surrounded him at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday with 5 of his 6 grand children there, all three grand children, his only son, and his loving wife of 53 years. He was resigned and unafraid as he passed into the world to come at 11:00 that night.

That’s the background.

After a brutal day yesterday and another this morning the family was receiving visitors at the funeral home tonight. A late arrival was his dental hygenist. She came in crying. She was wearing an inappropriately short skirt, IMHO and a blouse too tight by two sizes. She introduced herself to me, that would be me the only son, and proceeded to tell me how much she loved him. She proceeded to the casket, where she cried, then went to visit my mother, the widow. They cried together, then the hygenist, Cathy, went to sit on the couch nearest the casket.

She appeared so distraught that subsequent visitors approached her first. At several points she returned to the casket to kneel and pray, and on at least one approach she actually leaned into the casket to kiss my father. She cried on her way out, sobbing with both my mother and me before leaving, only to promise that she would return tomorrow for the service.

I had the task of driving my mother home and we discussed creepy Cathy. We were both put off by her behavior.

Does anybody have a similarly inappropriate story or how the hell do you deal with somebody like this without a restraining order?

Also, I miss my Dad. I thought I was an independent 51 year old, but all of a sudden, I have a million things I want to ask him about. Sorry for the long ramble, I never lost a father before.

Is it possible that her ethnic heritage is one in which one is supposed to behave that way? In my MIL’s culture, for example, if you don’t carry on, weep loudly and with abandon, it is presumed that you really didn’t care very much for the deceased. At the gravesite, a widow always has to seek to leap into the grave, needing to be restrained from doing so by her friends and relatives. IMHO it’s creepy, but it’s their way.

That said, one would think that a person would somehow notice that this is NOT the way the actual family is behaving, and modify one’s own behavior accordingly.

Perhaps she was secretly in love with him (unrequited, presumably). Or she’s a nut case.

As to how to handle the service, now that you know what she’s like, maybe some trusted and assertive person could be alerted beforehand and delegated to gently lead her away if she starts up again.

My sincere condolences on your loss.


She appeared to be a genric bleached blond Caucasian in bad clothes. Past that, I’ll have my SIL keep an eye on her tomorrow. My mother will be grieveing enough and will not compete.

And thank you, I miss that curmudgeon so much.

My MIL’s background is eastern European. So, yeah, a blonde could definitely be of a “coffin-jumper” heritage. Or, to put it kindly, she may be unstable in some way.

I remember feeling devastated when my mother died. She had cardiac problems, and we knew there was a possiblity she might not make it after the surgery, but no matter how prepared you think you are, the loved one is still gone. This sounds very trite and Hallmark-ish, but the day will come when you will be able to think about him without as sharp a pain, feeling not just sadness that he died, but also joy that he lived.

There’s nothing quite like losing a dad, brownie. Celebrate his life and mourn his death as only you, his only son, can do. You’ll carry a part of him with you for the rest of your life.



Things went well today. Nobody tried to leap into the grave so it was all good. Actually, the minister gave the best eulogy I ever heard and it was just the way he would have wanted to me remembered.

My condolences on your loss, brownie55. When my Aunt Karen (father’s sister) died, one of my dad’s colleagues attended the visitation at the funeral home (what some people would call a “wake”, except that we Czechs don’t celebrate that ritual the way some other ethnicities famously do). Tom (who’s of Sicilian extraction, for what it’s worth) only knew Aunt Karen casually, but he was crying as he knelt by her casket for the viewing. This surprised me, but at least his mourning was dignified, even if perhaps a bit “forced”.

Just to clarify:

Did you mean to say “5 of his 6 great-grandchildren”, since the rest of the list is in ascending order by generation?

When my dad passed there was a big snow snorm the night before the funeral and so many of the people who would have come couldn’t make it. So I have no creepy Cathy stories.

I am sorry to hear of your loss. Sending supporting thoughts your way.

I am sorry for your troubles, brownie55. :frowning:

To echo others, my condolences brownie55. I too have lost a parent, and it stings.

But having said that, geez. You’re mad that someone said how much they loved your father and cried at his funeral? What do you think a funeral is for, anyway? It sounds like you’re the one with the problem to me.

As for her short skirt and tight shirt, two guesses why your dad had HER clean his teeth, when he could’ve paid anyone to do it. (Go watch season one of “Six Feet Under” for a good illustration of how children never know all there is to know about their parents.) Some people just are what they are, and she might like dressing that way. Then again, maybe she had to go somewhere, and wouldn’t have time to change. One should not speak ill of the dead, but I don’t think one should speak ill of one who takes time out of her life to HONOR the dead.

My condolences on your loss Brownie55.

Nah, you’re never independent from a parent. My father died in 1998, and though the pain has subsided, I have never “gotten used to it.” I too have a million things I want to ask him. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

You should rejoice. Your loss and your questions tie you very firmly into the human race. The pain is wrenching, but it reminds me how sweet and awesome life is. I think of how much courage my father had, fighting his final illness with strength and dignity.

In the days after his funeral, I walked around in a stunned fog. I do remember, though, how kind everyone was, and how much they remembered him with joy and gladness. I could only be so lucky!

I once remarked to a very spirtual friend how much I missed my father. She said “Oh, you’ll see him again.” I was touched by that. I wonder if it’s true. I don’t hold out much hope, but boy I would like to.

I’m so sorry for your loss, brownie55. :frowning: I wish you and your family all the best in this difficult time.

I think you’re being way too harsh here. The behavior described in the OP is odd and apparently creepy enough for several people to have commented on it.

I don’t know what the woman was thinking. Did you even really know her, and do you know how well your dad really knew her? I can’t even think of my dental hygienist’s name – I can’t imagine she’d come to my funeral.

Just from reading the OP, I’d conjecture that Cathy’s relationship with your dad was not solely focussed on dental hygeine, but perhaps other aspects of his physical and perhaps emotional wellbeing as well.

That being said, I’m sorry to hear your dad has passed away. It’s always hard to lose a parent…it means that we as kids have to take up the reigns as the ‘old fart custodians’. And there’s always stuff we forgot to ask, but ne’er mind…we too will muddle along as well as they did.

Best wishes **brownie. **

I did indeed mean great-grandchildren.

My condolences on your loss,brownie55. (hug)