Family drama during funerals is not an uncommon occurrence. In fact, some argument-provoking behaviors are actually seen quite often. Here is a look at some typical troublemaking titles and how best to curtail their behavior before it causes havoc:
There is often one family member who takes on this role, feeling obligated to take over all decisions and disregarding everyone else’s feelings. This may stem from being the oldest sibling or can result from someone just wanting to get the decisions “over with.” Before this person can completely take over, have a family meeting to calmy voice opinions and delegate responsibilities.
Especially if end-of-life treatment options were involved, the Accuser is the finger-pointer who criticizes others, which can understandably get under everyone’s skin, especially that of the caregiver. When a family member places blame on others, it’s a surefire way to stir up emotions and cause conflicts. Remind this person that assigning fault does nothing to change anything now and that you’d prefer looking for ways to move forward peacefully.
It’s unfortunate but true, most families have someone who is extremely focused on the money and material items involved. This person puts up a fight about everything from who gets what, to keeping or selling the house, to how money is divvied up and spent. Financial issues are probably the number one source of family distress. The best way to handle an opportunist is to have a will in place and pre-plan and pre-pay for your funeral.
A long, lost cousin who wears shorts and a t-shirt to the ceremony. An uncle whose phone keeps ringing. A teenager who talks or laughs through the eulogy. There are family members whose behavior can be questionable, but keep in mind they may not be able to think clearly at this time. Before the service, set clear expectations on attire and etiquette.
Thank goodness for this person, right? The mediator tries to keep everyone happy, which is, as we all know, nearly impossible. The result of this person’s good intentions is often a backlash of undesirable behaviors now misdirected and displaced. Let this person know you are there for support and assistance!
A funeral is a difficult time for all families, and drama is bound to happen. However, if you keep an eye out for these common behaviors, you’ll be more likely to stop minor discrepancies from snowballing into major arguments. Then, you and your family will be able to say goodbye to your loved one together, peacefully.
If you need help dealing with changing family dynamics during difficult times, please don’t hesitate to call. We have helped many families find peace together in their journey through grief, and are happy to help you as well.