to feel a bit uncomfortable about this?

(19 Posts)
WyldChyld Thu 10-Mar-16 12:12:43

Somebody that I volunteer with has recently died unexpectedly. This person was a dedicated volunteer and did definitely go above and beyond in terms of time given and that, but was also very difficult to work with. There had been issues over time with several different things including some real temper tantrums and saying awful things to people when they were annoyed (nasty comments about weight etc).

There has been a public announcement which has started a massive (and very public) outpouring of grief and messages of "I will miss this person so much, they were incredible and wonderful and it's horrendous that this has happened and I'm devastated etc". I completely understand that this person was a volunteer for a long time and very dedicated, and some of the messages are from friends and close colleagues. I absolutely respect that, but lots are from people who did nothing but moan and complain about this person and, in some cases, talked actively about how much they disliked them and wanted them to leave (in some cases, some nasty tactics about making them go home as well). I personally wasn't a huge fan and had some horrendous run ins and so haven't taken part in this outpouring.

I would never say anything unkind about this person now and I have said that I was very sorry to hear that this has happened but it is the wailing and gnashing of teeth from people who actively hounded this person that is making me very uncomfortable. I wouldn't say or do anything, but AIBU to be uncomfortable? Should I be partaking in the grief thing?

ThePebbleCollector Thu 10-Mar-16 12:25:44

That's people for you. Fickle right through until the end smile

Leave them to it and deal with it in your (genuine) way.

WyldChyld Thu 10-Mar-16 12:27:08

Thanks Pebble - I couldn't decide whether I was being unreasonable or not because the idea of taking part in the wailing and that made me uncomfortable!

Queenbean Thu 10-Mar-16 12:28:54

Yanbu to feel like that but would be vvu to act on it!

People are odd. I've been in that situation before where someone hasn't liked someone, then they've passed away and all of a sudden, they want to make a speech at the funeral

Nowt as queer as folk

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Mar-16 12:30:30

There is good in everyone, no matter how difficult they are to work or live with.

When someone dies, people tend to want to concentrate on the good rather than the bad.

Plus shock often makes people react differently.

blankmind Thu 10-Mar-16 12:31:21

There's loads of fake emotional outpouring goes on around bereavement, usually the ones who make the most noise were the ones who didn't like them much in real life.

No, don't partake.

If you feel you are put on the spot and are expected to say something, just stick to generalities like how it's such a shock because it was so sudden.

The noisemakers are also the ones who are first to offer any help the surviving family may need, then whenever they are asked, they don't step up sad

FoxesSitOnBoxes Thu 10-Mar-16 12:34:25

I think there is a balance to be achieved between OTT displays of attention seeking "grief" that some people do on social media and refusing to acknowledge this person's death because you had some disagreements. (Not that I'm saying that this is what you are doing)
I don't think it would be hypocritical, for example, to say that it is really sad that they have died and that they did a lot of good work.

TooMuchOfEverything Thu 10-Mar-16 12:36:42

Sometimes people feel guilty I think. Also sometimes a bereavement can trigger feelings about other bereavements.

I am sure people bitch about me behind my back, I don't really care but for my family's sake I'd rather such people don't dance on my grave iyswim.

TooMuchOfEverything Thu 10-Mar-16 12:37:55

Argh just re read my post. I absolutely don't mean you are bitching behind the deceased's back or that you ever did.

I just think, well it may be false but it is harmless, and potentially comforting to the family.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 10-Mar-16 12:38:53

I know what you mean. I know that lots of people tend to "whitewash" the character of others once they die - that whole "speak no ill of the dead" type thing, but I can't do it.

I don't say bad things of the dead (except one great aunt who was a wicked old bitch) but I don't do fake grief either. IF someone is being hypocritically grief-stricken about someone they did nothing but complain about before, I would do lots of "mmmm, yes" type noises but be very non-committal and not actually say anything. Or just pick out the bits that are genuinely sad about them dying - in this case, that (s)he was a dedicated volunteer and gave many hours, and that dedication will be missed.

WyldChyld Thu 10-Mar-16 12:39:45

Good advice - I've said (on my own volition) that I was sorry to hear they had died because they had been very dedicated and committed and have kept that line when people have talked about it. It's the hypocrisy that I've found to be difficult to stomach.

I completely get about wanting to focus on the good (and I think everyone is doing that, quite rightly) but some of these people were talking about the dead person as late as the other week and how much of a pain they were etc! It is on social media where this is happening and I think it has just reinforced how two-faced some people are.

Oysterbabe Thu 10-Mar-16 12:49:18

It's nice for his family to read comments suggesting he was liked and respected even if that isn't 100% true.

SmellsLikeMiddleAgeSpirit Thu 10-Mar-16 12:53:35

Exactly what Worra said, with that extra added guilt thing that TooMuch mentioned.

They will be shocked, sad for the family, reminded of other bereavements, reminded of all the good that this person did, and feel guilty about their previous words and actions, things they'll never now be able to retract or make up for.

WyldChyld Thu 10-Mar-16 12:53:37

Oyster, I'm not sure! I'd rather have five messages from people who genuinely missed me and would like me than five hundred half-assed messages from people who didn't really care - but then I am a contrary cowbag.

Oysterbabe Thu 10-Mar-16 12:56:59

But you'd be dead so it's not about you anymore.

WyldChyld Thu 10-Mar-16 12:59:27

True, I suppose

Trollicking Thu 10-Mar-16 13:08:31

YANBU It's weird how people respond to bereavements.

Ifailed Thu 10-Mar-16 13:15:41

OP, there do seem to be some people who become moirologists whenever anyone dies, best to steer clear of them.
I appear to have entered a phase of life when people I know have started dying around me (previous one was in the early 20s when stupid life-style choices took their toll); its always sad to hear of someone's death, and most people have some saving graces that we will miss. However, few are without fault and I've discovered that there's usually a small conspiratorial group huddled in the corner quietly sharing horror stories (and nice ones) about the departed. Join in, I think it's far more cathartic to be honest about someone with like-minded people than going round wailing and gnashing your teeth, leaving those unpleasant memories to be dealt with later, alone.

EweAreHere Thu 10-Mar-16 13:30:46

This is actually very common, and I've seen it myself many times.

Just close your ears and ignore it. There are a lot of hypocrites in the world, and you're just experiencing some of them.

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