Funerals are solemn, somber events.
Except when they aren't.
Different cultures have widely varied funerary traditions. For some it's more celebration than solemnity.
But what if your culture does do the somber, solemn sort of funeral? Is cutting up allowed? What if the deceased was in on the joke?
After being inspired by something I saw online, I once told my family I wanted them to get someone to stand at the back of the room during my funeral, dressed as the Grim Reaper.
Just stand there.
Most of my friends and family would appreciate the joke. But I imagine a few older family members might not be as amused.
So who gets to decide what's appropriate for a funeral?
Facing a similar question, a 25-year-old man turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor throwonetwo63 asked:
"AITA for respecting my late friend's wish?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"Me and my late friend (28 M[ale]) made a bet with each other that whoever had a longer life had to wear a short dress, heels, and lipstick to the deceased friend's funeral."
"He died first. Didn't really expect it that much."
"Well the day of the funeral came and I went in the dress code we agreed to. His wife and parents cried their eyes out sobbing about how he was excited for them to see me in that dress."
"That cheeky son of a bitch."
"Some of my friends and my parents think that what I did was inappropriate for a funeral and are calling me an a**hole."
"All I see I am doing is respecting a late freind's wishes."
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
"NTA - you did as your friend wished, plus his family knew beforehand so there was no disrespect. You did nothing wrong." ~ Kellymargaret
"Can you imagine if he hadn't worn it, after that was obviously important to his dying friend?" ~ Perlocution4
"I think OP's options were either 1. Show up in the dress, or 2. Not show up."
"Showing up dressed like you didn't remember or care about the deal that you made with your friend (and supported by his family) is weirdly disrespectful." ~ finchdad
Redditors agreed the most important thing was to honor the deceased friend's wishes.
"NTA. This is the best funeral deal ever."
"I had a similar deal with my 'adoptive' brother. Whoever lived longer had to stand up at the others funeral and say 'this wasn't the way I wanted to win the argument'." ~ NewBlackberry2
"NTA - the family of the deceased are the only people who needed to appreciate it and they did. Sounds like you honored him and your friendship in a very true way." ~ frannypanty69
"NTA, even his parents and wife appreciated it, what other people think doesn't matter. You were being a good friend by doing it." ~ valerie_t
"NTA, and the fact that you brought a little bit of happiness to his parents and wife is what matters the most." ~ DutyValuable
"NTA. People seem to forget that funerals are about the person who passed."
"They are not one size fits all."
"It sounds like had he been there he would have gotten a kick out of your outfit." ~ stacylynn4082
"I disagree. Funerals are for the living, the deceased won't be around to see it."
"OP is NTA because in fulfilling his friend's parting wishes, the parents of the deceased were expecting it and happy for it."
"At the end of the day the point of a funeral is to help the grieving." ~ Qbr12
"Not only is OP NTA for honoring his friend's wishes, but even the family of the deceased appreciated it. The other people who were there probably are the kinds of people who just want to find anything to be offended at."
"You can't please everyone so only focus on those who matter.
"Reminds me of that one Dr. Seuss quote: 'Those who mind don't matter but those who matter don't mind'." ~ imsohungrydude
"NTA. Absolutely not. You did what any good bro would do and honoured your friend's wishes." ~ Throwaway51276
"NTA. He'd obviously told them of the bet and you respected his wishes."
"You brought a little slice of your shared humour to his funeral and that's admirable to bring something positive to something so sad, especially if that's what he wanted."
"If your friends and family can't understand that, that's a them problem." ~ Panaccolade
Ultimately, having the sort of funeral the deceased and their immediate family want was deemed the most important thing.
For the folks who want no laughter or jokes, when it's their funeral they can do whatever they want.
And I still think the Grim Reaper showing up and hanging out at my funeral would be hilarious.