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To think if you're behind a funeral you turn the music off in your car?

(200 Posts)
freddiemisagreatshag Thu 02-May-13 09:38:41

On the way to work this morning. Behind a funeral. Loads of people walking behind a hearse.

The bucko in front of me had loud thumps music blaring.

AIBU to think he/she should have turned it off?

worried90 Mon 06-May-13 00:16:42

I don't even remember when I got taught how to behave for a funeral procession. I'm 29 but would always bow my head/block a roundabout and never overtake
I've been out riding before and had a procession come past, I always stop horse, bow head and drop hand (like a salute in dressage for horsey people!). I don't know why, I just do it. An elderly man mouthed thank you out the window of the car at me once for doing it so I've carried on. Respect and "but for the grace of God" takes 2 minutes out your day and makes a difference

Growlithe Sun 05-May-13 23:40:08

ZebraOwl that was a very very powerful post. I'm sure it took a lot of strength to write it. When my mum died I was 31, but I felt like a little girl again. I can't even imagine what it was like to actually be a little girl in that awful situation. Thank you for writing it.

It all goes to show, we can brashly imagine what death will mean to us when it comes knocking on our door, but we actually haven't got a clue - even when we think we know ourselves.

If you have an ounce of humanity in you, and if you do recognise it is a funeral procession (when at all possible), the best thing to do would be to stop and politely bow your head. Just to reach out a bit to the people who might be in the cars. They are possibly going through one of the most traumatic events of their lives.

2rebecca Sun 05-May-13 14:51:57

I have unknowingly joined in funeral processions if the hearse was way in front and I just saw ordinary cars, that is different to being just behind a hearse where the director is walking. That should be obvious.

GlassofRose Sun 05-May-13 12:57:45

The whole thing about people being in their own little world in their car & oblivious of funeral processions is really very worrying: if you are driving you need to be paying attention to what is going on around you!

being in your own little world is different to not being aware of hazzards. I could be singing along to stevie wonder the whole journey and not taking a lot of notice of the world going by but completely aware of hazzards. Have you never had a passenger say "did you see that" and replied "no, because I'm driving" ?

Lilypad34 Sun 05-May-13 11:32:52

YANBU, it's respectful to turn music off in this instance. I was also taught that you should never over take a hearse either.

ZebraOwl Sun 05-May-13 10:49:42


It is not a big thing to ask that people show some respect for the bereaved - am genuinely shocked & rather sickened by the attitudes shown by some people on this thread. I can only think that the people who've described funerals as "shows"/whinged about being inconvenienced/generally been dismissive of traditions surrounding funerals & mourning are lucky enough to have never experienced the death of someone close to them. The whole thing about people being in their own little world in their car & oblivious of funeral processions is really very worrying: if you are driving you need to be paying attention to what is going on around you!

I am ten days away from the 19th anniversary of my mother's death. There was certainly plenty to attract attention on the day of her funeral, but it certainly wasn't a show. Our front garden was full of floral tributes as was the pavement in front of the house - spreading along to in front of our neighbour's houses. Thankfully the woman who was all set to try & pick her way through them was stopped from doing so by a neighbour. I think all the curtains on the road were closed & people who were at home that day came & stood by their front gates.

I didn't travel in one of the funeral cars. I didn't go to the crematorium. I didn't even sit right at the front of the church because I couldn't bear to. Because if I did, it meant that it was my Mummy in the coffin & it was real. I still can't bear to hear "Morning Has Broken" because I have flashbacks to walking up the aisle of the church behind the coffin holding Daddy's hand & clutching my Sweep the dog to me with the other. I didn't wear black partly because Mummy didn't like seeing children in black & partly because going out to get new clothes for us wasn't exactly on the agenda in the aftermath of her sudden death. (Sweep wore a black tie though.) The church (which is HUGE) was so full some people had to stand. Mummy was a teacher & as well as as many of the staff who could be spared attending the funeral the whole of her Tutor group came - they also made a card for us all - full of memories of her, too, not "just" signed by them.

The day of Mummy's funeral is burnt into my brain. Had I had to endure shitty behaviour from stupid-selfish strangers the whole thing would have been even more traumatic than it already was. It was bad enough that when most of the children present (my then-13-year-old brother didn't come) went to the park at the top of the road to escape the horrendously grief-laden atmosphere of the house we got stopped by a random woman demanding to know why we weren't in school. Because apparently she thought a group of smartly-dressed (in sombre colours) children, all of whom had obviously been crying, were bunking off. Her reaction to that managed to make me feel horrendously guilty for having left the house.

Funerals reflect the wishes of the deceased &/or their family. Thing is, as you can't know what those were if you're not involved, it is the decent thing to err on the side of caution. They MIGHT [have] be[en] delighted if you broke into a tap routine/rugby song/series of cartwheels. You risk hurting the mourners by doing so if that's NOT the right thing, so it is best not to do anything that will interfere with what's going on, be that blast your music or cut into the procession. Stopping as the funeral party pass/bowing your head/crossing yourself/doffing your hat is not interfering - it is a respectful reaction that can mean a lot to mourners & as such is a good thing to do. It is one of those small things that can have a huge impact.

This has taken me so long to write the thread will probably have moved on massively. Ho-hum.

Much sympathy-empathy to all those who have had to endure the death of someone(s) dear to them. Growlithe, I hope today is as unawful as is possible. Sometimes it amazes me that it can still hurt so much, but as well as acknowledging there are fresh hurts in the points in my life when I specially want her there (e.g. graduation) I also know that the pain is the flipside of the wonderful relationship I had with my mother. I could not hurt so much had I not been so loved - which is why I miss my grandparents so much too. The love is worth the pain, though - and the memory of it is so comforting.

2rebecca Sun 05-May-13 09:15:59

Often there isn't a big choice of times with a crematorium and later times get booked up earlier because people prefer later times because it gives relatives etc more time to get there.
Also most mourners would rather not be involved in rush hour traffic. If the first slot is all that's left though and that fits in with relatives, any vicars/ speakers etc then you take it and other people just have to be patient.
People who play loud boomy music tend not to care about other people's opinions or pleasure anyway though.

Horsemad Sat 04-May-13 23:35:25

I found it distasteful when MIL requested photos of floral tributes at her DF's funeral. Not something I would do.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 04-May-13 13:09:40

I can understand the taking of pictures. It is one sadness that I cant remember things about my DF. We married before there were video cameras available so we have no record of my long dead DF's speach.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 11:08:29

We have taken photos of floral tributes on my grandparents grave before now. My aunt lives overseas and sends money to put flowers on occassionally so we take a picture to show her.

Nanny0gg Sat 04-May-13 10:58:19

Weird is taking photos of the floral tributes after imo. Although I suppose you don't really take them all in at the time.
And for those who 'don't see it the same way' - that's fine, but there is still no need for the utter disrespect for those who like the comfort of tradition.
For some, it helps.

Essexgirlupnorth Sat 04-May-13 10:28:28

Yesterday I was on my way to lunch with work colleagues and a horse drawn hearse went past. They was a girl (possibly a foreign student) taking a photo on her phone of it. Me and my colleague though that was a bit weird.

GlassofRose Sat 04-May-13 10:19:50

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 02-May-13 23:33:10
Travelling in the car to the crematorium with my DM I dont think she would have noticed or cared if someone had sped past in with music blaring.
We dont all feel the same about these things.


We all have different ways of looking at things. Some people value things or view them differently to others. Some people may not see the need to stop what they are doing because they don't see why if they have not grown up with that particular tradition. It doesn't mean they are purposely being disrespectful.

To some funerals are celebrations and to others they are day for mourning.

I've sat in traffic before whilst a funeral passes by on the other side of the road; I try not to make eye contact because I feel like it's respectful not to intrude, whilst I've seen others look directly at funeral processions and bow their heads as a sign of respectful. In all honesty whenever I've been in a funeral procession I couldn't even tell you how strangers behaved because I wasn't aware of them.

It really is hard to judge others behaviour when you have no idea of the reasoning for it.

ArthurCucumber Fri 03-May-13 09:58:48

That's what my mother used to do, ryan. We lived on the same road as a churchyard in the 1980s.

ryanboy Fri 03-May-13 09:39:22

When I was a child, people by the church used to draw their curtains if their was a funeral which apparently is a sign of respect.I remember when it was Dianas funeral people having their curtains shut too

Blessyou Fri 03-May-13 00:37:26

I have a slightly different spin on this, which I have told on MN before.

DHs uncle worked for an undertaker for many years.

When he died, younger than he should, the firm took care of his funeral.

The road to the crem in his town was a long sweeping road with a large dip. He had often said, when he was driving the hearse, it was hard to keep a slow pace here, and he would love, one day, to put his foot down here and rip down that part of the road.

So his colleagues and friends obliged him on his final journey. The hearse sped along that part of the road at 40mph, down and up the dip like a rollercoaster.

MIL was in the limo behind, with his widow, they were obviously 'in on it'.

But the sight of them laughing their heads off as they sped behind the hearse on the way to the crem is one we won't forget smile

MajorDivvy Fri 03-May-13 00:25:45

Also remembered another major bit of disrespect:

When I was younger, my parent's church used to have a gang of teenage yobs boys who used to hang around in the carpark causing trouble. At the wake in the church hall after my mum's best friend's funeral they all came traipsing in, grabbed some food and shouted abuse at various members of the church congregation who were attending the funeral. The minister soon chucked them out, but I will never forget the upset it caused everyone present!
They couldn't miss the fact that it was a funeral as the hearse had only just left! I still haven't forgiven them! and they were the same kids who used to bully me at school too! Twats!

daisy, sad I'm so sorry your DH has died. I've seen you on the woolly hugs thread, so glad it's providing some small comfort. X

Luckily those unpleasant views are in the very small minority on this thread.

ALittleBitOfMagic Fri 03-May-13 00:03:34

YANBU . I always turn my music off if I see a funeral or floral tribute .

daisydotandgertie Fri 03-May-13 00:01:48

My beloved husband's funeral was just six days ago.

His funeral was a ceremony to honour the battle he fought to stay with me; a battle he fought with determination, bravery and good humour. It was an occasion to honour his life and all the joy he brought.

It's not something I wanted to do. I would have done anything in the world to avoid being in the position of even thinking of my husband's funeral.

I find it hard to believe that anyone can honestly, really honestly, be so far removed from the grief of loss - even if that loss is a strangers that they think funerals are a distasteful show which should be planned to avoid rush hour.

Lucky them, to have no clue what it feels like to lose someone so dearly loved. I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone.

MajorDivvy Fri 03-May-13 00:01:23

When we were in the funeral procession for a close relative recently the ammount of cars and lorries (we had to go down a motorway) that tried to cut in was incredible! It was obvious we were all together as driving really slowly (for a motorway anyway) and I found it so sad! Why someone can't turn their music off or at least down, for a few minutes is beyond me.

I must be really old fashioned cos I'm only in my late 20's and I stop and bow my head and stop singing along to my ipod etc. if I see a hearse with a coffin in come past - I even bow my head if I see one when I'm in the car! (I don't drive so am passenger so safe! )

thebody Thu 02-May-13 23:54:20

Missymoo, so so sorry for your dreadful loss. Hugs to you.

Kewcumber Thu 02-May-13 23:50:44

I don't have a particular problem with someone not "getting" the sense of comfort that a ceremony to mark the passing of someone you loved can bring. That they were present, that they are gone and that others share your grief in the loss - I do find something both tormenting and comforting in the ceremonials.

I don;t have a particular problem with people who wouldn't bother to slow down or bow their heads or not overtake a funeral procession. Though I prefer most people to be courteous and unobtrusive (like most things in life).

I do however find the whining about people inconveniently arranging funerals in the rush hour and describing a funeral as "a show" distasteful in in the extreme and lacking in empathy to a breath-taking degree.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 02-May-13 23:33:10

I guess that for some people the funeral is a comfort and the observance of local courtesies whether they be doffing of caps or closing of curtains can feel an important part of this.

My own experience doesnt chime with this. I think for my DM the funeral of her DH (my DF) was a burden. She was exhausted from having cared for her DH through his final months. Travelling in the car to the crematorium with my DM I dont think she would have noticed or cared if someone had sped past in with music blaring. I remember she didnt want a slow moving cortege, in line with her and her DH's wishes she wanted the journey to be done with as quickly as possible.

We dont all feel the same about these things.

When my children died my world felt like it stopped, when my son died I remember walking out of the hospital, and down the road and looking at all these people just going about their lives and thinking 'why the fuck is everyone acting so normally, my whole world has just ended', it was the same when my daughter died, we walked out of the hospital and there were people heading in who were in labour, nurses just walking about saying 'hi' to us on the way past and I wanted to grab every single one of them and shake them and make the whole world come to a standstill.

At their funerals it genuinely meant so much to me to see peoples worlds actually stopping for a moment as the car drove past, it was hugely respectful. I didn't expect it, it wasn't a 'show' (although thanks to Catherine for minimising the last thing I ever got to do for my children to no more than a pantomime) but it touched me deeply.

I have planned my own funeral (I needed to to make sure I am scattered in the baby garden with my children) and I don't want a big fuss, and I am pretty detached about my own death, I'm not worried about it at all, but I still have the respect not to be a complete and utter dickhead about people who have lost loved ones and are mourning.

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