There are no words to express the outrage and sheer astonishment I’m feeling right now. My husband’s gradfather died two days ago, and his viewing and funeral were handled by what has to be the most incompetent, insensitive and downright awful funeral director EVER.
There was a private, one hour viewing of the body for the family on Friday night, and then the casket was closed while Gammaw and the children (all eight of them!) received visitors. The trouble began then, when the funeral home didn’t bother to place all the flowers in the room ahead of time. During the entire visitation, which is supposed to be a time for friends and family to gather, offer condolences, and pay their respects, the funeral director was bustling in and out of the room arranging flower stands and potted plants. Also, the darn fool didn’t know how to drape the pall over the casket. He made such a mess of it that the grieving widow finally showed him how to do it.
Today it just got worse. The eldest son drove by the church cemetery 2 hours before the funeral and was astonished to see that the vault was not in place and the tent over the grave hadn’t been set up. When we arrived at the church for the funeral, the people from the funeral home were just arriving to put the vault and tent in place. The earth mover was still parked just down the hill from the grave, and the pile of dirt, which Gammaw had specifically asked be covered, was in plain view. All of this activity could be seen by everyone as they walked up to the church (although fortunately we couldn’t hear it). At the burial, there was supposed to be a rose for each of the fourteen grandchildren to place on the casket. They weren’t provided; I don’t know why, as it had all been arranged beforehand.
The worst thing of all, though, happened last night at the viewing. In the few minutes before the casket was to be closed, hubby’s grandmother managed to find a few moments alone at her husband’s side. She was gazing down, talking quietly, saying her last goodbyes to the man who had been her husband of 31 years, who adopted her 3 daughters and raised them as his own, and who had been the cornerstone of her world for time out of mind. The rest of us were giving her a little space, letting her say what she needed to say, when the WWFD came bustling up to her, interrupted her, and started asking questions. My husband was absolutely livid, but by the time he saw what was happening it was too late to stop the insensitive clod.
These so called professionals were supposed to make this experience easier for my husband’s family. Instead, they were insensitive, incompetent, and generally a source of stress for a family who is greiving the loss of their patriarch. None of the requests made by the family were unreasonable or even unusual, but somehow the funeral home managed to either screw it up or wait until the last minute about almost everything. It was appalling.
Disclaimer: I know this ain’t much of a rant, but I’m too tired and sad to muster up anything else. He was my husband’s Granddaddy but he always treated me like I belonged to him. He was a great man, and one of these days I’m going to have to pit the Lou Gehrig’s disease that took him. That’s no way to die.