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10 Things That You Can Bet Will Go Wrong at a Funeral

Updated on July 7, 2014

A nice coffin


Doing some comparing

Comparing marriage ceremonies, graduation exercises, Christenings, giving out of special awards, and funerals, I would bet that you would agree that “the” event that the most serious and calls upon us to be our most-disciplined is the funeral.

I am not saying the other ceremonies are not important, it’s just at “these” ceremonies at least we can relax, exhale, even burp if we cover our mouth in time, but not, absolutely not, at a funeral.

And that’s how it should be. Paying our last respects to a friend or family member has to be serious and not displayed in a circus atmosphere.

Friends paying last respects


Pallbears have a heavy responsibility


Now for some ironic information

For those who like the FYI portion of hubs, here’s one for you: Of all these five dignified ceremonies, did you know that the marriage ceremony and funeral have the most in common? Yes, this is a sad-but-true fact. There are lots of flowers at both events. Both events have ministers and singers. There is lots of weeping at both ceremonies. One ceremony spells “the ending” of a life while the other signifies “the beginning” of two lives. To my knowledge, no one has ever thrown bags of rice at funerals, just weddings. And at a funeral there is no decorating the hearse with “Just married,” and “My Life is over,” sayings written with white shoe polish, and no cans tied to the back of the hearse to announce the funeral is over.

Us human beings try to be “tough as nails,” “rough as a cob,” and able to withstand any obstacle in life, but I know that is just our pride and vanity talking and strutting about. I gladly admit that “I” am not good at attending funerals—no matter how close the deceased and I were at one time. I just don’t have whatever it takes to sit for two hours (or more) and not let all of the depressing-darkness and sadness affect me. I am very weak in this way.

Priest comforts the widow of a man in his congregation


Funerals are also held in the rain


Some funerals are held at grave side


A single red rose signifying departure



Although most of the 10 things mentioned in this story can be considered humorous, if viewed in that light, but I personally have witnessed a few of these same things listed actually happening in funerals when I was a young boy.

Did these things affect me? Yes. I will not lie. And the more they affected me the more I began to realize that "I" was far from perfect.

Thank you . . .


My title today is:

"10 Things That You Can Bet Will Go Badly at a Funeral"

See if you agree.

  1. DO NOT EAT – popcorn before you go to a funeral. You know that one little annoying husk that always gets stuck underneath that place in your throat that you cannot reach with your tongue? This is bound to happen and you do not want to sit and make grunting and gagging sounds while the eulogy is being read over the deceased.

  2. DO NOT DRINK – big amounts of beer or coffee before a funeral. Your bladder has been slowly filling while you are driving down the road shaking your over-worked kidneys and just as sure as you sit down and try to be made of dignity, “you have to go.” And do you really want to be remembered as the man whose kidneys meant more to him than his friend who has gone to Heaven?

  3. IF YOU HAVE A HEAD COLD – fill-up with cold capsules, cough syrup, any anti-cold medication you can get your hands on—and carry an available handkerchief because at the wrong time, a sneeze will try to sneak up on you and there is no way to stop it.

  4. IF YOU EAT LOTS OF FOODS – that create gas in your intestines, then you are on your own for being a non-thinker. When the minister gets up to talk about the deceased who was known by all as “salt of the earth,” a shooting-pain will hit your lower intestines—nature’s signal that a big gas bubble is wanting to be released. You now have only two choices: Relieve the gas without that awful air horn sound (that is heard on tractor-trailer rigs) or head to the men’s room without bringing attention to yourself. This one is so tough that I do not have a feasible answer.

  5. DO NOT SHARE JOKES – with your good buddies before the funeral begins because just as sure as you are reading this story, one of the more-humorous punch lines will stick in your mind and then you realize you are in a place of dignity and respect and no laughing is allowed, so human nature begins to illuminate this punch line over and over in your mind as you try to hold in that huge guffaw. Tears will be running down your cheeks, but that is fine. People will think they are tears of sadness, but you best have a believable reason for that smile on your face.

  6. NEVER PLAY WITH BABIES – then head to the funeral. Somehow the baby has burped-up something he or she was drinking and it is all over the back of your black suit. You will know this has happened to you when you hear lots of toned-down whispers when you sit down.

  7. NEVER FILL-UP ON GARLIC – based foods no matter how much whining your hot girlfriend insists. The delicious garlic tarts you are chowing-down on with your girlfriend at the family’s house of the deceased, will come back to haunt you each time you exhale during the funeral.

  8. WHEN YOU TRIED ON YOUR – new suit, did you try the “squat test?” Okay. In case you are walking to where friends of the deceased are to be seated, and your girlfriend drops her purse, and the back of your tighter-than-usual pants rip, well, I suggest you just politely and discreetly seat your girlfriend and go home and change. No amount of covering of any material is going to save your butt now.

  9. NEVER LET GO OF A FULL-SNEEZE – even if you are allergic to the perfume worn by the woman in front of you. Sneezes can attack without warning and with the “sudden sneeze,” comes mucus and other despicable liquids that will most-assuredly land on the dress of some woman who is in the direct path of the sneeze.

  10. BE ATTENTIVE – during the funeral services of your feet, especially if your feet have a tendency to “go to sleep.” If you forget to check your feet and have to stand, you might look very stupid falling on your face for no reason. And no one will believe you when you try to explain about your feet “going to sleep.” They will just assume you are clumsy.

Coming soon . . . “Vacationing With Your In-Laws: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”

Flowers are an important part of any funeral



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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you for your sweet comment. Without you and my followers, I would not exist on HubPages.

      You are all that important to me. Come back anytime and visit.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      LOL! I loved your comment. You could write your own slant on this hub and I wouldn't be offended. That part about your uncle and his shoes and pants is hilarious.

      Yes, your mom loved it.

      Nice comment.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, teaches12345,

      I have missed you. I realize that the burrito has a power unto itself and not that I have experienced this, but I have went to funerals without eating anything and my stomach growling caused some to look at me with scorn.

      So I lost any way I went.

      I just nibbled some cornbread if I were to attend any funerals from that moment on.

      Thanks for your input and come back soon.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Those are all excellent thoughts, and I got a laugh out of every one.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image


      4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Nicely thought through, Kenneth! I went to my mother's funeral in the pouring down rain. In fact when we got to the cemetery, it was flooded. My uncle, who wore very expensive shoes, took them off and rolled up his pants to carry the casket. We thought my mother would have loved it.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      I highly follow #1. That burrito will come back to demonstrate its power when you least expect it! Love your thoughts here and tips.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Greetings, Graham,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I wish you the best day you ever had.

      And please come back anytime and TO ALL OF YOU ON THIS COMMENT TREE . . .THANKS TO ONE AND ALL.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, sheilamyers,

      I enjoyed your comment as much as I did writing this hub. Weird family? Naaah, pretty normal compared to some families I used to know of who lived waaayyyyy north of my hometown and they did things at funerals that, well, would not be acceptable for publishing on HP.

      Nice to read you again.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, lisavanvorst,

      I appreciate your comment and all of it is true. A decent length of time is always appropriate to show last respects. I do know of factions in Louisiana who "mourn" for an entire week with drinking, eating, dancing and other things. The same is said for when one of own gets married.

      When I was younger, I dreamed of moving there to do that, but as I grew older, I gave that dream up for the decency of where I live.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Ericdierker ,

      Thank you very much for your comment. I appreciate your time and thought. I do not know if there are any other things that happen at funerals that might be considered as funny, but I will keep looking.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Kenneth. A nice interesting hub with a touch of humour. Very nice.


    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Hilarious! I've never heard of most of those things actually happening, but I'm sure they do from time to time. Number five would never sit well with my mom's side of the family because, for some reason, it's filled with people who love to tell a good joke right before the actual funeral starts - and some of them a pretty racy. But they've always controlled themselves once the funeral starts and have never laughed out loud although I think most of the Myers' in attendance would want to stop the funeral long enough to hear the joke told to everyone. Do I really have to say I have a weird family?

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      Very funny, but true. Great hub. Look forward to reading more. Yes sneezing and other bodily functions do occur. Usually it during the most quiet time and that individual has to say get up and walk out. Another one I can think of is never bring really small children to a wake or funeral, especially babies. After all they don't understand and can't sit still through something like that. I remember when wakes were two days long from 2-5 and 7-9. Those were the old traditions. Thank goodness that most opt for the one day wake. I always thought two days was just too long and too difficult emotionally for the families. Just my opinion, but one day is more than enough to pay your respect.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Excellent. SBD's are funny in the one example.


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