5 Situations during a Post-Funeral Reception that Everyone Who Has Lost a Loved One Will Definitely Recognize

Everyone who has lost a loved one and had to host a post-funeral reception, has definitely experienced some situations that were so weird, that no one really talks about them. While families and friends of the deceased are mourning and still can’t believe that they won’t see their beloved one ever again, there are some things that happen during the reception that are quite strange. In lots of Muslim cultures, it’s expected of the family of the deceased to serve the visitors with food (for Syrians, this means sweets, for Moroccans, couscous), and coffee.

Below, a Twitter user expressed her dissatisfaction with these kind of traditions and how exhausting and painful they can be to the mourning family.

Here are some situations that are weird, frustrating or special, that people who’ve held a post-funeral reception will probably recognize.

1. The fake tears

When you’re at a low point in life, especially when you’ve just lost a person that was very dear to your heart, you’d rather surround yourself with friends and people who sincerely love you. As everyone can visit you, the house often gets filled with people who don’t necessarily care about your grief or your life. You feel like an animal in a zoo, who keeps getting asked if you’re okay, by people you don’t even like. And some people think that if they don’t show some tears, they won’t be seen as sincere.

2. Sugar, sugar everywhere. For months!

This one is kind of sweet, though. Pun intended! In some cultures, such as North African ones, the visitors bring packages of sugar with them for the family of the deceased. After a few days, you can’t even remember how many packages you’ve received and where you will store them. They can last for months and even a year!

3. The visitors who suddenly get a binge-attack

While the previous one was kind of sweet, this one is kind of rude. As stated before, Muslim families serve food for their visitors. Unfortunately, some visitors apparently forget that those families are mourning, not feasting. There are always a few rude people who sneak into the kitchen to have a major binge-attack and eat as if there’s no tomorrow, or even ask if they can take some food with them. While, ofcourse, Muslims are generally very generous and don’t mind to feed you, it’s just… rude. So don’t do this. It’s not a food-party.

4. Warm, sincere hugs

For some, a warm hug from visitors who sincerely love them, can make them feel a little better. In times of sadness and pain, the little things can comfort you, making the many hugs feel extra pleasant.

However, not everyone is really into hugs, so it’s important to keep in mind that it will depend on his/her personality and amount of pain. Still, having someone around that sincerely loves and supports you, will always be comforting, even if it’s not at that specific moment.

5. Repeating the same painful questions over and over again

Humans are naturally curious beings, but we should also be socially competent. If you’ve just lost a loved one, you don’t want to repeat 70 times a day how he/she died. It’s painful to repeat the final moments of their lives over and over again. It hurts. Ask it at another moment, or ask someone who arrived before you. You’re here to show support, not to get the latest news.

Bonus: From crowded to empty

While the visiting days last usually 3 to 4 days and are always very crowded, with lots of people visiting you, many people forget about your grief after a week or two. Especially for older people, who are already lonely, they feel extra lonely and don’t have anyone to talk to about their pain. It would be more thoughtful to spread the amount of people to a longer time, so that mourning people still get people visiting that check up on them after a month. The most painful moments aren’t necessarily the first few days, but often the weeks and even months that follow, where the loss of their beloved one really kicks in.

Written by Mayada Srouji

Mayada Srouji

Mayada Srouji is a 23-year-old student Gender and Diversity at the UGent and has a bachelor in Arabic and Islamic Sciences, with a minor in political and social sciences. She is interested in women rights, philosophy, literature and history.