Saturday, September 13, 2014

Is This Considered Good Funeral Etiquette?

Colour Umbrella
Photo Source

Death and all things surrounding it are never humourous. Except when they are. And this is one of those times.

Ed recently went to a military funeral for a business associate. Even though I worked in the same industry as Ed (for five years), this association was before my time so I didn’t know the person. In turn, I didn’t go to the funeral.

Talk about dodging a bullet.

Turns out that it was raining that day. Raining would be a bit of an understatement. It was pouring cats and dogs and had been for hours. Everything was sopping wet; the ground, trees, and even the air. But nothing was wetter than Ed.

You see, it was a military funeral so it was held outside. In the pouring rain.

Now you’re probably thinking, poor Ed, he didn’t have an umbrella with him. Except he did.

But, according to him, he couldn’t use it because his was too “joyful” and “people should only use sober umbrellas at funerals”.

Is it rude to say that I am laughing so hard right now that I can’t even see the keyboard for all the tears?*

He also said that if anyone shows up at his funeral with a happy faced umbrella he’s kicking them out**.

So there you have it folks, according to Ed, at a funeral, etiquette requires that you look like a drowned rat instead of staying dry and using your “joyful” umbrella.

Are Joyful Umbrellas Considered Bad Funeral Etiquette?

* Even though I did ask a question, no need to answer it if the answer is “Yes”.
** I didn’t have the heart to remind Ed that there was a minor technicality to his statement.

As you know, I take death very seriously and don’t think that it’s a laughing matter, however, since there’s no manual for death, I’m going with it…

39 thoughts on “Is This Considered Good Funeral Etiquette?

  1. Alayne Langford

    I remember my brother walking in late to a funeral and we were speaking to the Father of a young man who died from Cancer and my brother said, Hey How are you? and I had to cover the whole night for that one remark. It took this poor man into a tailspin of emotions because children shouldn’t die before their parents, and so. There is no manual but try to use common sense, or just nod your head politely. 🙂

  2. Amy Lovell

    Hahahaha! Im sure even his recently passed military friend would have okayed the umbrella! Thats just pushing it too far! I totally would have used the umbrella over being soaked!!

  3. Eric SHEWAN


    I have to agree with Ed. Maybe that tells my age. I was also at a funeral a couple of years ago and someones cell phone rang…What a jerk. My cell phone was in my vehicle, out of earshot. Yes…I AM OLD.
    The “SHERIFF”

  4. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I enjoyed reading this, I’ve discovered going to a recent funeral in England that there anything goes these days, so yes the umbrella would have been fine. Though I do agree with the Sheriff, cell phones ringing are a big no no. They can always be put into silent mode if you’re on call or something. I remember being at a military dinner once, which speeches etc, there several phones rang and on my commenting I heard that it was normal for them.

  5. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I’d also like to publicly thank you for your kind words to me yesterday. It happened many years ago but as I said is not forgotten.

  6. Patti Barnes

    I would request that anyone at my funeral carry a joyful umbrella, just in case & I may even define what I mean by joyful! At the funeral for my husbands grandmother there were some distant cousins taking photos so they could show an elderly aunt who was to ill to attend. They were like a bunch of paparazzi – That was weird, even by my standards!
    Patti Barnes recently posted…How to Help Your Child Love MathMy Profile

  7. Rene

    I laughed out loud at this..but I totally agree with Ed. Dependent on the deceased and what they would have appreciated I guess 😉

  8. Nena Sinclair

    Lol, I would have been high and dry under that “Joyful” umbrella! I don’t pull of the whole drowned rat look very well! 🙂

  9. Nancy T

    Despite the standard black to show respect for someone at a funeral being the norm, I request that when it’s my time, everyone wears the brightest colours they can find and celebrates my life the way I live my life – jumping with both feet! 🙂

    As for the umbrella – I would have popped it open. We as a society sometimes worry too much about what other’s think of us.

  10. Elva Roberts

    Let’s mull this one over-use a ‘joyful’ umbrella or become a soggy, sorry bit of humanity with, maybe, getting pneumonia, I think I would opt for an umbrella-By the way, i don’t think they sell ‘joyful’ in my part of the world.

  11. Darlene W

    I too would have used the umbrella. People at the graveside are mourning and a little humour would make standing in the pouring rain a little bit easier to cope with

  12. Brittany

    What an awesome post!!! I love this. I believe that a funeral should be a celebration of life. I want balloons at my funeral. Pink, orange, teal, blue, red, white, black, navy…whatever. I wanna see a rainbow. Especially if it’s raining. Extra points to anyone carrying a bumbrella (you know…an umbrella that’s clear and looks like it’s a bubble…they are clearly the best). Anyway, just stopping by from the Coast to Coast Blog Post Party; thanks for saying hi 🙂
    Brittany recently posted…We All Need TherapyMy Profile

  13. Tara Gauthier

    I would have pulled out the umbrella for sure. I do have to agree though that cell phones are a no-no. My husband mentioned years ago that when he passes away he wants there to be a party, ie a celebration of his life and he wanted everyone smiling and happy for his life. His family took it the wrong way.

  14. krystyl olson

    my poor husband, I wish he was as over-cautious about funeral etiquette as yours… my hubby’s go-to line when someone asks how he’s doing is “Oh, I’m alive” ….we were recently at his grandfathers funeral, and he said that. good LORD. 🙂 I love the man, I do.

  15. Elva Roberts

    I like this post because of the thinking displayed by your ‘military’ husband. Do all military think like this or does this apply to all men? My husband was a farmer but I truly believe he would not use a ‘joyful umbrella’ at a funeral or even a dog fight. He would think it would be not macho for the dog fight and not solemn enough for a funeral.
    This was a delightful post for a sombre event but we sometimes say: ‘I’d rather laugh than cry’ when faced with a perplexing event .


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