Facepalm Mute: Social Faux-Pas Chatting with Neighbor Yesterday

Slip Kid

Tele-Holic
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 21, 2011
Posts
951
Location
Connecticut
Don’t beat yourself up over this. It recently happened to my mother who is usually on top of these things and the etiquette that goes along with it. She was recently in contact with a friend about the passing of a mutual acquaintance. She hadn’t been in contact with this person since late last year and inquired about her very ill husband. It turns out he passed away at the beginning of the year. My mom was shocked to hear this and said she had no idea and didn’t see the obituary. It turned out a lot of probably didn’t know because the newspaper screwed up printing the obituary!
 

nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
18,367
Age
70
Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
Don’t beat yourself up over this. It recently happened to my mother who is usually on top of these things and the etiquette that goes along with it. She was recently in contact with a friend about the passing of a mutual acquaintance. She hadn’t been in contact with this person since late last year and inquired about her very ill husband. It turns out he passed away at the beginning of the year. My mom was shocked to hear this and said she had no idea and didn’t see the obituary. It turned out a lot of probably didn’t know because the newspaper screwed up printing the obituary!
When my mother died a year ago, it was truly shocking how expensive all of the arrangements cost.....not only the funeral home expenses, but certified Death Certificates, (needed for most financial and bank accounts to release money held in them) the funeral services at the church, grave marker at cemetery, etc......and add to all that the cost of posting an obituary. A ONE day listing here, with a short notice, was nearly $200. Many families now don't even list in a paper.....they choose to just rely on social media like Facebook. If you're not on Facebook (I'm not) you'll never learn of many deaths. :(
 

Deeve

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Posts
10,148
Location
Ballard
This mistake is so wide-spread that there's even been some jokes about it - I can't recall if it originated from vaudeville or elsewhere, but the first speaker says something like OP:
"so, how's the wife?"
and the response -
"still dead..."

oh, well -
 

Toto'sDad

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Posts
57,725
Location
Bakersfield
This mistake is so wide-spread that there's even been some jokes about it - I can't recall if it originated from vaudeville or elsewhere, but the first speaker says something like OP:
"so, how's the wife?"
and the response -
"still dead..."

oh, well -
The lady that I've asked twice about her husband after he had died, took it pretty good the second time around. She actually didn't react too badly the first time around. My wife on both occasions tried to jam her elbow clear through my ribs.
 

CV Jee Beez

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 24, 2016
Posts
1,486
Location
Duarte, CA
Context: My wife passed away one week ago, so this is kind of in the realm of possibility for me now. It's difficult to notify people of a death. There are so many, and it's just hard to do. I went through both of our Contacts lists and sent an email to everyone that needed to know. I told our upstairs neighbor and and hope the grapevine works. There's no real way to let neighbors know unless you run into them. Then you don't want to outright tell them first thing. Neighbors usually ask about my wife, so it'll be an easy in for telling them. If you didn't know you didn't know - don't sweat it, you offered condolences and I'm sure the neighbor felt awkward about it, too. The fact that you didn't know makes you a "not nosey" neighbor, so I think you're good, carry on, maybe send a sympathy card. If that happened to me, I wouldn't be insulted or hurt, no harm no foul, you just didn't know. And stop digging that tunnel...
I'm sorry for your loss.
 

Slip Kid

Tele-Holic
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 21, 2011
Posts
951
Location
Connecticut
When my mother died a year ago, it was truly shocking how expensive all of the arrangements cost.....not only the funeral home expenses, but certified Death Certificates, (needed for most financial and bank accounts to release money held in them) the funeral services at the church, grave marker at cemetery, etc......and add to all that the cost of posting an obituary. A ONE day listing here, with a short notice, was nearly $200. Many families now don't even list in a paper.....they choose to just rely on social media like Facebook. If you're not on Facebook (I'm not) you'll never learn of many deaths. :(
Sorry for your loss…and $200 does sound excessive. I would think that would be a service a paper would make reasonable given the circumstances.
 

notabot

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Posts
39
Location
Way out back...
A card is not a bad idea - but who knows?

You're right, it's not a bad idea.

Sending a cold piece of cardboard with over-used platitudes delivered by a stranger along with bills and advertisements from The Pottery Barn 10 months late is a HORRIBLE idea.
 

nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
18,367
Age
70
Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
Sorry for your loss…and $200 does sound excessive. I would think that would be a service a paper would make reasonable given the circumstances.
Our newspaper USED to print a brief obituary for a local resident for free.....those long, article-length obits cost a little.....but today the papers are bleeding money, as they slowly go out of business. I guess they have to do everything they can to stave off the bankruptcy lawyers. If they can "stick it" to a grieving family, they will.
 

MickM

Poster Extraordinaire
Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Posts
6,527
Age
65
Location
A steel guitar engagment.
Welll. I was teaching art to 4th grade class on a Monday and I opened class with " so how was your weekend kids!"....
One little girl raised her hand and said her mother died over the weekend...... There are no words!!!!
I would have wondered why a fourth grader was in school just a couple days after losing her mother.
 

Rockinvet

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Posts
2,096
Location
Inland Empire
There was no way of knowing unless someone told you. Now you know. I think a condolence card and a plant in his memory is appropriate just as if you knew all along. At least then shell know you care.
 

Toto'sDad

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Posts
57,725
Location
Bakersfield
Our newspaper USED to print a brief obituary for a local resident for free.....those long, article-length obits cost a little.....but today the papers are bleeding money, as they slowly go out of business. I guess they have to do everything they can to stave off the bankruptcy lawyers. If they can "stick it" to a grieving family, they will.
It's not unusual for our local gossip rag to charge in excess of $400 for an obit. I think it goes out to maybe ten or eleven subscribers.
 

ravindave_3600

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 30, 2004
Posts
3,529
Location
Newly Indiana
Context: My wife passed away one week ago, so this is kind of in the realm of possibility for me now. It's difficult to notify people of a death. There are so many, and it's just hard to do. I went through both of our Contacts lists and sent an email to everyone that needed to know. I told our upstairs neighbor and and hope the grapevine works. There's no real way to let neighbors know unless you run into them. Then you don't want to outright tell them first thing. Neighbors usually ask about my wife, so it'll be an easy in for telling them. If you didn't know you didn't know - don't sweat it, you offered condolences and I'm sure the neighbor felt awkward about it, too. The fact that you didn't know makes you a "not nosey" neighbor, so I think you're good, carry on, maybe send a sympathy card. If that happened to me, I wouldn't be insulted or hurt, no harm no foul, you just didn't know. And stop digging that tunnel...
Very, very sorry for your loss. You must be having a tough time but I appreciate your honesty.
I would have wondered why a fourth grader was in school just a couple days after losing her mother.
"Normalcy". That 9-year old's world was just blown apart but her adults decided her safest place, right then, was with her friends. There will be plenty of time for sobbing in the days and weeks to come.

I just wonder why no one told the teachers.
 




Top