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AIBU to technically gatecrash a funeral?

(72 Posts)
RainbowBodyDouble Thu 22-Oct-15 16:17:36

I'm a bit hmm at my Aunt for saying I'm morbid and insensitive to sit in a funeral for a stranger.

Long story shorter is....

I have at least ten separate major family hurdles all at once so I escaped from the house, popped to the cemetery to visit my brother's headstone, noticed a very small funeral starting and sat in on it.
I initially thought it was for someone who I vaguely knew but it wasn't, I didn't leave though I stayed because the service was nice and it was just nice to hear happy stories.

So is my Aunt right or would it be the height of rudeness to just wander off out again?

hiddenhome2 Thu 22-Oct-15 16:20:09

Funerals aren't private events. Anyone can attend.

Gottagetmoving Thu 22-Oct-15 16:21:51

There were two women sat at the back of the Chapel at my Mum's funeral. No one knew who they were but no one minded.

sparechange Thu 22-Oct-15 16:21:52

Technically, anyone can sit in on a funeral or wedding in a church, but if that was my loved on, I think I'd find it incredibly odd that a stranger was listening in on what is quite a personal event

LisbethSalandersLaptop Thu 22-Oct-15 16:21:56

it is fine, that part of the funeral is public. If you had turned up at their 'wake' and started stuffing yourself with egg mayo sarnies, then that would have been different.

lushaliciousbob Thu 22-Oct-15 16:22:05

pretty sure anyone can attend but I do find it a bit odd!

LisbethSalandersLaptop Thu 22-Oct-15 16:23:07

I disagree sparechange, if that had happened at my mum's funeral I would have just assumed that this was someone that she knew and I didnt...

MrsJayy Thu 22-Oct-15 16:23:13

Its a bit odd to wander into a funeral of somebody you dont know but it would have been worse to leave again i dunno if yabu because funeral services are not private

aginghippy Thu 22-Oct-15 16:23:22

YANBU assuming your presence wasn't worrying the bereaved people at the funeral.

MrsBojingles Thu 22-Oct-15 16:25:53

Aren't there "professional" mourners some places, who just turn up to random funerals? Or is that just in Wales?

MaxPepsi Thu 22-Oct-15 16:31:37


It's not something I would personally do, simply because I can cry at adverts so would bawl at a funeral even if I didn't know the person now that would be fucking weird!

But it wouldn't bother me if someone unrelated turned up at a loved ones funeral.
It would bother me if the service was small enough that I'd notice someone leaving though!

WorraLiberty Thu 22-Oct-15 16:35:13

YANBU to not get up and walk out once you realised you'd got the wrong person, as it might have seemed a bit rude.

Is it just me finds it just slightly amusing though? blush

Hornydilemma Thu 22-Oct-15 16:35:24

Rainbow they probably just assumed you were someone the deceased knew - it would probably have looked lots worse if you'd left halfway.

MrsBo , here the nickname given to those who go to every funeral is a "follow-the-box".

sparechange Thu 22-Oct-15 16:37:51

By automatically assuming that only people who knew your mum would be there kind of confirms that the idea of a stranger being there is weird though...

Waltermittythesequel Thu 22-Oct-15 16:40:47

I think it's weird to stay at a stranger's funeral but it doesn't hurt anyone!

var123 Thu 22-Oct-15 16:45:56

Sorry but I think its weird. Sometimes you just want privacy and I can't think of a time you'd want it more than at a funeral of someone you really loved.

Its fine to be surrounded by friends and family, even acquaintances, but it is a different story when other people come along to watch just for the spectacle.

(You touched a nerve!)

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Thu 22-Oct-15 16:48:39

Yes it's a slightly strange form of escapism but OTOH I can see how it could be comforting and diverting from RL problems.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 22-Oct-15 16:52:54

I went to the funeral of DP's uncle. DP's bitch of an aunt, (sister not wife of the uncle) said I couldn't be in the family party because we aren't married. 15 years and three kids, at that point, doesn't count apparently.

So I sat at the back and sobbed like a drain. The uncle was a nice old bachelor and came round for a chat with me and the kids two or three times a week. The church was full of his mates front the pub who gave me very curious looks. I like to think they all assumed I was his much younger secret bit on the side and I enhanced his reputation a bit.grin

RainbowBodyDouble Thu 22-Oct-15 16:53:47

Amongst other things I'm juggling DP relocating, New job for teen, best pals beloved aunt dying, house renovations, narc DM starting her annual shenanigans bloody dog dying and God knows what else.

My head was up my arse, I saw them going in and automatically assumed it was the lady who passed recently from the allotment group, I just tagged along blush

Once sat down there wasn't an ideal moment to bigger off.

JugglingFromHereToThere Thu 22-Oct-15 16:54:19

I think it's totally understandable how this happened OP and you behaved perfectly thoughtfully to everyone throughout. I'm sorry you lost your DBro sad - and also have a lot going on ATM. This is exactly the sort of reason why there are no rules flowers

RainbowBodyDouble Thu 22-Oct-15 16:54:42

Bugger or bigger.

MrsJayy Thu 22-Oct-15 16:56:25

I went to my step dads brothers funeral and sat at the back the family came in sat in front and then there was about 10 rows then me and another woman i have never felt so awkward in my life

OhMakeMeOver Thu 22-Oct-15 16:56:33

What I think WOULD have been rude is if you had got up half way through and left. I think it's nice and shows respect for whoever's funeral it is you sit in on. I wouldn't be offended if someone came to sit in a funeral I've attended as long as it hadn't ALREADY started but I would be offended if that person got up and disturbed the service to leave. I also find it rude if people aren't dressed in black unless the deceased stated otherwise.

Obviously funerals are not "social gatherings" just for the sake of it, though. I wouldn't be comfortable sitting in on someone's funeral I didn't know. I'd feel like I was encroaching.

pebbletime Thu 22-Oct-15 16:57:22

I really DID once gatecrash a funeral.

Twas a New Baby party in a Village Hall 30m away.

I was in a new baby brain state (still am....).

Was running late (as per).
Flung open the doors and burst in, replete with helium balloons, big gift box, and stupid grin, loudly saying: 'Congratulations!'.

I was a week early for the Party, but right on time for a strangers Funeral.

The mourners were a little surprised <atthespeedIexitedat>

I am STILL cringing and it was 10 years ago blush

sparechange Thu 22-Oct-15 16:57:34

The way you describe it, what you did was right.
It was more respectful to sit through it when you realised it wasn't someone you know, that to leave halfway through.

That is different from spying a hearse pull up outside a church and thinking 'oooh, I wonder if it will be an interesting eulogy' and pitching up to listen in, which was sort of the way I read your original post.

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