K had an identical twin brother who died less than a year after we married, as the result of a motorcycle accident. (He was hit by a guy driving without a license or registration.) We were in South Carolina and had to rush home for the funeral. With the sadness of someone so young losing his life, much too much managed to be said in an inappropriate manner. And before I start to bash anyone else, I will start with what *I* said!
K's boat was getting ready to set sail to the Mediterranean for a several month cruise, when we got the word of his brother's accident. While he was on the cruise, I was going 'back home' to live so that I didn't have to be by myself in a place where I knew practically no one. His brother did hang on for a few days before he died, and when we got the call, we decided that I would just move back home (early) when we went for the funeral. He came home in the middle of the afternoon, after he was told of his brother's death, and we began the task of packing up the apartment. After breaking our lease and getting packing boxes and tearing down the place, we got a few hours of sleep and were on the road around 4:00 AM. And then we drove for 22 hours until we were in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, when we finally stopped and checked into a hotel for a few hours. We got 'home' late that afternoon and K went for a nap, as he had done all of the driving. He was supposed to go to the funeral home with the rest of the family, to make decisions, but he needed the sleep more. And this is where I 'stepped in it.' I made the phone call to K's mother to let her know that he wouldn't be able to meet them at the funeral home. And the words I used were this: "K can't make it to the funeral home because HE IS SO DEAD!" Yes, I said it. If a hole would have opened up and swallowed me, I couldn't have been happier. More than 20 years later, I mentioned this to K's oldest sister and she said nothing had ever been said about all this. Whether she was trying to make me feel better or K's mom had been so distraught to have noticed, I'll never know. So, I can't really blame anyone else for being inappropriate, because I've done my share, as well.
As I said in the 'dying' post, people say wrong things at very inappropriate times. I understand that it has a lot to do with being nervous and not knowing the RIGHT thing to say, but some people need to keep talking, no matter WHAT they are saying. And here we have remark number1:
Woman to K: Wow! I looked in that casket and it's just like seeing YOU in there!
And for remark number 2:
Woman to K: I never could tell the two of you apart. One of you was taller than the other, right? I guess if he were standing here next to you, I'd be able to tell which is which, right?
Oh. Boy. But, as I said, people get nervous and talk just to talk--and don't filter anything. Maybe this is a lesson we all can learn from.