Conflict at a Funeral

Mourning Coffee, by Tracy Renee Lee

In times of adversity, a human being often finds it difficult to hold in check his/her core personality.  Quite often, if a person has not learned self-control, or if he/she has never been held personally accountable for a hot temper, rudeness, or lack of decorum; conflicts, ill feelings, and poor behavior will rear when one would be better served expressing, practicing, and sharing his/her virtues. 

Adversity is rarely less prevalent than at the death of an immediate next of kin.  It is during the rituals and traditions of death that survivors are most likely to react adversely to the oppressive stresses and profound insecurities that they unwillingly suffer.  Boundaries, especially soft ones, easily dissipate.   

When working with families who suffer conflict, a funeral director may find his/her job magnified in intensity and duty.  Ones task load triples, possibly quadruples, as he/she is constantly bombarded by the opinions and demands of battling survivors. 

Several years ago, I served a family that had assigned a conflict spotter within their ranks.  All in attendance were subject to the authority of the conflict spotter without question and indebted to follow his/her judgments.  The conflict spotter was sentry for any discernible behavior of concern during all services.  If the spotter perceived any questionable attitude or action, he/she had the authority to demand composure.  If the aggressor were unable or unwilling to accommodate this request, an assigned team, committed to impartiality, would immediately assemble to enforce the judgment of the conflict spotter following through (if necessary) to expulsion.   If applicable, a conflict resolution expert would engage the aggressor in calming techniques to attain swift resolution.  Upon regaining composure, the survivor would be immediately fellowshipped back into their fold and welcomed at all future services without prejudice. 

As time has passed, I have served many families who would greatly benefit from such a system.  This family’s ability to spot and resolve conflict has remained the most effective I have ever seen during the stresses and agonies of loss. 

They retain my admiration and respect.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC),  published author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief.  I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. 

It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at www.MourningCoffee.com.

About Tracy Lee

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

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