Funerals bring a diverse group of people together. Friends, family, neighbors and coworkers might all gather.
Some may know each other well, while some may be complete strangers.
The emotions of the moment and the mixture of individuals can lead to some odd interactions.
Reddit user AkatZuki_Z asked:
"What's the weirdest thing you ever heard in a funeral?"
"'Down I go!' from a lady who was about to faint from the heat, loudly exclaiming."
"It was so inappropriately funny. My sister and I still say it to each other sometimes like when we sit down dramatically."
"We were teenagers at our granddad's funeral. We didn't know where to look or what to do."
Poor Choice Of Words
"Priest: 'the day (child’s name) died was the best day of my life'."
"He was trying to make a point about how God was teaching him a lesson through the child’s death, but holy sh*t what a way to phrase it."
"You could feel the oxygen sucked out of the room as everyone gasped at the same time."
"He knew the child quite well. Used to come to family parties and holidays for years."
"Never saw him again after that."
Dear Old Dad
"In my dad's eulogy for his father, he told everybody that grandpa tried to kill him by allowing a tractor to tip over on him."
"Oddly enough, a friend of the family had died when a tractor he was riding tipped over and pinned him to the ground."
"It's pretty weird."
"The priest kept referring to the deceased as 'Nanette', but her name was 'Ann'."
"Then he went further, mentioning how unfair it was that she died at 20."
"But it was an open casket for a 94-year-old woman."
Family Fun And Games
"My dad did a eulogy when his uncle passed."
"He went up, gave a speech about him, how he was his favorite uncle and that one of his best memories was the time his uncle chased him with a machete."
"It wasn’t weird tho' because it’s just how our family is."
"There were obviously other nice things said, but it got a nice chuckle out of everybody at the funeral."
"My grandfather with dementia at my grandma's funeral yelled out 'what the f**k was that all about' when the minister/pastor finished his speech."
Not too weird considering, but it was hilarious at the time."
"Miss that ol' guy a lot."
It's All About
"At my uncle’s funeral, my cousin stood up and did a speech…"
"My ex-mother-in-law got up at her dad's funeral and did a speech almost entirely about her own horse."
"Sounds like my aunt. When my grandfather died, her eulogy was more about her than him."
"Do we have the same aunt? Mine did that for her father's funeral and her brother's funeral."
"It's like a joke now how she tries to turn everything into something about her."
Got Her Mind On Her Money And Her Money On Her Mind
"The bizarre daughter of the deceased made a long speech about the size of his estate and how she would go about dividing it 'even Steven'—she said that three times—amongst the siblings."
"You could hear audible gasps and whispered 'WTFs' all over the church."
Stay On Topic
"At my granny’s funeral, the pastor that was leading her service, was giving his little speech about her life and all that."
"Keep in mind, this man had known my granny just about his whole life but decided to go on a tangent about people dying with MS and Cystic Fibrosis. He barely spoke a word about her life or her accomplishments, etc..."
"My granny died in her sleep and, other than having a few strokes years prior, was in decent enough health."
"It completely ruined the funeral for me."
"A friend of mine from high school died suddenly. He was only 25 and had an undiagnosed heart defect. He just dropped one day."
"At the funeral, they allowed time for anyone to come up and share memories about my friend. A guy in his 50s went up. Apparently, he worked with my friend at a fast food place when we were teenagers."
"He proceeded to speak for 15 minutes about how hard his life is and his struggles with addiction. Did not mention the deceased aside from explaining how they knew each other at the beginning."
"A family member eventually had to get up and gently shoo the dude off."
Birds And Mountains
"At my grandma's funeral they had a new pastor who hadn't really known her at all. A day or two before, he had asked my dad what sort of things she liked."
"My dad—who was obviously dealing with a lot at the time—had just said something about how she liked bird watching and had enjoyed a trip to the mountains once."
"Well the pastor made the entire sermon about birds and mountains, and what they symbolized, and how important they were to her. Birds and mountains."
"He must have repeated that phrase in a super dramatic tone a dozen times. That's the only thing I even remember about the funeral now, and I was a pallbearer!"
"We laugh about it now, but I think everyone was a little sad that the ceremony was basically reduced to two words that honestly were little more than a footnote in her actual life."
Sing Out, Louise
"My uncle's funeral."
"A family member who had ambitions of pop stardom got up and sang a song about sexual desire."
O, Say Can You See
"People sang 'The Star Spangled Banner' outside the church before my aunt’s funeral."
"After it ended, her son—who was drunk at the time—yelled 'Play ball!'."
The Tithe Of His Life
"Went to an Evangelical funeral for a friend's father who happened to be a very successful contractor."
"The pastor only talked about how much the deceased had donated to the church and who was going to step up with donations next."
"Was very gross."
"My brother-in-law was a beloved redneck in his community and a Civil War Reenactor. At his funeral, he had a Confederate flag and honor guard."
"My wife is Black. Knowing what was coming, I begged her not to go, but she gritted her teeth and suffered through it for my sister’s sake."
"As the service concluded, they were going to play 'Dixie,' but luckily—for me—they couldn’t get the music to work."
"I thought I had dodged a bullet when some a-hole in the back stood up and yelled:"
"'Come on folks, you know the words!'."
"Everyone at the funeral stood up and sang 'Dixie' in the church, even the pastor. We sat quiet, arms crossed in the front row."
"My wife and I laugh about it now but I’ve never been more uncomfortable in my life!"
Strike Up The Band
"I used to play in a brass band that was booked for a lot of funerals."
"At one funeral when I was about 13, the mistress of the dead bloke came in wailing. Then his wife came in with an English mastiff—think big scary looking dog—and sang 'ding, dong, the b*tch is dead' and then left."
"According to the son of the dead man, his dad was awful, and he only came to dance on his grave and enjoy the inheritance money."
"Why he was telling a teenager this, I have no idea."
"It was a f*cking weird one. We also had to play 'You Give Love A Bad Name' and the theme from Titanic."
And Then... The Carol Clone
"So, my uncle Joe passed recently, and in the haste of putting together a ceremony, a random officiant was hired off Craigslist. Think Carol Baskins from Tiger King with a sing-song voice and woo-woo-crystal vibes."
"Initially, the ceremony seemed to be going really well—a series of community members shared really lovely and heartfelt eulogies honoring my uncle, I'm crying, we're all loving on this guy, and then..."
"Apropos of nothing, having literally zero connection to my uncle or the family, frickin' Carol Clone takes back the mic and decides that as officiant, she also needed to say her piece, to set our grieving hearts at ease professionally."
"What follows was the most absurd ten minutes of my life."
"Hot on the tail of lovely testimonies from people who actually knew and loved my uncle, Carol Clone proceeds to describe what she imagined he might have been like."
"Namely, she strongly felt that he probably lived in the present moment, much as one does when they are walking down the stairs with a cup of coffee and they trip and fall—her exact words."
"In that moment, she says—rising into a tone of triumphant revelation—there is no time for anger, or fear, there is only joy and acceptance, because you are living in the present moment, just as she felt my uncle definitely probably did."
"You see, she says, it's sort of like what one of her spiritual adherents once told her—they had been driving down the interstate in Wyoming, and they hit a slick patch at 70 mph. Wait, was it slick, or was it slippery?"
"No, no, she thinks it was slick. And so the SUV—it's an SUV, by the way—starts rolling, and in that moment time slows down, and her spiritual adherent feels a sense of serene calm come over them."
"They have the presence of mind to stop their head from smashing into the windshield, and they pull their leg back into the SUV before—'ah that's right, the window was down, so it must have been slippery'—it was snapped off as the car rolled."
"And you see, that's what Joe's life was like, she thinks. Just a beautiful, extended SUV rollover crash where he lived persistently, stubbornly, in the present moment."
"Now, all through this dada-esque screed, my partner and I are sitting on the hard wooden pew, our grief short-circuited into utter bemusement, and we are literally shaking with mirth at how surreal and inappropriate it was for this stranger to hijack a nice ceremony with her weird woo-woo worldview, and how inappropriate it was for us to be responding this way."
"And the thing about the wooden pews is they perfectly convey the vibration from the other person's repressed laughter. So we sat hunched over for the entire presentation, trapped in this cycle of inappropriate laughter reverberating back and forth between us, trying to quietly gasp for breath and thinking of anything that wasn't this insane experience."
"At one point, we have to mask our gasping laughter as a quiet sob, which is equally inappropriate."
"She proceeds, 'I would have really liked to know Joe, and if I did, I think I would have thought of him as a comet, always moving forward, leaving bits of himself wherever he went. Dim the lights, please'."
"This is the part where we pretty much black out from lack of oxygen."
"The lights dim, the haunting melodies of Enya fill the small chapel, and up on the projector screen, the slideshow images of my uncle's face are replaced with a four-minute montage of spiraling galaxies and nebulae and a single comet image, straight out of a mid-90s Bowl-a-Rama."
"This is clearly a video of her own design, she chose it for this occasion over her other greatest consolatory hits—waterfall.wav, sunlitmeadow.wav, SUVrollover.wav—and it means a great deal to her. She stands watching it intently for the full four minutes, and then turns to us with great gravity as the lights rise, and says, 'To Joe, our shining comet. We miss you'."
"The ceremony ends at this point, and my partner and I absolutely hustle out of the chapel, making no eye contact, and Quasimodo-ing away with our heads down to go scream-laugh in the back alley behind the funeral home."
"Later, we apologized to my aggrieved uncles/aunts/cousins at the reception—horror of horrors, we had been sitting right behind them the entire time—and everyone assured us it was one of the more bizarre performances they'd ever seen. But dammit, Joe would have liked it, beautiful rollover crash/comet that he was."
"To this date that funeral is the most uncomfortable I've ever felt. It was hilarious, but holy Hell."
Some funerals go off without a hitch, completely drama-free.
What absurd thing have you witnessed at a funeral? Let us know in the comments.