Ugly Truth #1
This may be the worst shopping imaginable, but you are still a consumer.
Final arrangements can be confusing, especially if your loved one didn’t make her or his wishes clear beforehand (Planning ahead makes sense, doesn’t it?) Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and take someone with you when taking care of business.
Ugly Truth #2
Somebody’s About to Say Something Stupid
Whether it’s an acquaintance, a friend, or even a family member, someone will say a very wrong thing. Considering the awkwardness most of us feel when approaching the grieving family, we shouldn’t be surprised when emotional panic comes out in a wild faux pas. The important thing for you to know is the best reaction is no reaction. They’ll be replaying the scene in their mind and kicking themselves for years to come, so why bother? Walk away.
Ugly Truth #3
Houses Are Burglarized During Funerals
I know, it’s shocking, but it’s true. These animals scan the newspaper for funeral announcements, then Google the family’s address(es) and get to work. The easy fix? Have someone stay behind during the service. Trust me when I tell you there is someone who desperately wants to help you but is freaked out by funerals. Having them housesit will make you both feel better.
Ugly Truth #4
The Obituary is Not a Report Card
If someone has strong opinions about writing the obituary, let them do it. Make sure the name of the deceased is spelled correctly, then step aside. When it comes to survivors, don’t worry about being listed first, last, or not at all. Nothing that is written can change your relationship with the person who has died. Don’t let this become a battle. It’s not worth fighting.
Ugly Truth #5
Someone Will Let You Down
There will be someone who loves you very much, but will not attend the service, send flowers, a card or even call. This doesn’t mean they don’t care about you or the person who died. It usually means they are either paralyzed with fear over saying the wrong thing, or some past experience has made them unable to handle death in general. It’s only natural to be hurt by this apparent abandonment, but a forgiving heart will serve you both. Take comfort in those who are able to support you, and know you’re not alone.
Alicia King writes from the unique perspective of one who has lost many of those close to her. Her mother’s death was suspicious enough to launch a homicide investigation and lengthy legal roller-coaster. This ultimately led to a sentence of more than 15 years for her mother’s boyfriend. During the next eight years she would lose her grandmother, step-father, step-mother, and father, as well as miscarrying in her second trimester while awaiting her mother’s boyfriend’s trial.
Ms. King currently lives in Tennessee with her husband Dan and their two children. She’s a world-class worrier, earning her the nickname, The Queen of Concern. She is also an award-winning songwriter, writing mostly for film and TV.