Monday, October 31, 2011

Worst Funeral Experience

The worst funeral experience I ever had was for a woman I didn't know. The old lady had suffered from dementia and been relocated to an out of town nursing home many years before. They brought her back to town to bury her. I was asked to do the honors.

Since I didn't know the lady I met with her daughter to find out something about her. "Tell me some good memories you have of your mother," I asked the daughter.
Her response surprised me."I can’t think of anything. She was a mean lady and a bad mother. I hated her."

I pressed her. After all, even Hitler probably helped a little old lady across the street when he was a boy. No one is completely bad. But she didn't break. She told abusive, neglective stories about her mother.

I’ve thought about that daughter a lot through the years. And do you know what? I think it was the daughter who was mean.


  1. This story is very sad indeed that a child would grow up to hate her mother so much; how devestated I would be for my children to hate me because I was sometimes too strict or sometimes lost my temper and yelled at them. Perhaps, however, in this case, it could have been the mother who taught her daughter to behave in such a way. Whether we like it or not, there are horrible parents in this world - people who verbally, emotionally, mentally and physically abuse their children. Some parents go as far as taking their child's life because of greed, selfishness or in retaliation for something the other parent has done. It makes me sick. I fail to understand why God grants some of the worst people children but not others who would make wonderful, loving parents. I assume it will remain a mystery to me until the day I hopefully walk with Him. That being said, yes, maybe the daughter was mean, but her mother may have been just as mean or worse.

  2. Only you, in this case, were able to evaluate this particular daughter first hand, but in my 61 years of churchdom, and having literally thousands of customers as a door-to-door mailman for almost 30 years, I can attest first hand that there are some parents who are, literally, mean, hateful, and despised, yea, hated, by their children, in the plural.

    Some of the hated parents have been elders in churches, and some of those people have been my very relatives by marriage.

    It is sad, but I know some that would not even attend the funeral of their parents, when they COULD have, and I remember more than one case.

    Sometimes it is a two way street, but having known some of these people, I can't blame the children, and of course can't blame them for leaving home as soon, and as permanently, as possible.

    Sometimes, the parents thought they were doing the right thing, but without real compassion, hardly anything is the right thing.

    So, I would probably err on the side of believing the daughter, unless she was a proven mental case, and even that may be a result of the mother....