Losing a close loved one is painful enough, but you may soon find that people around you respond to a death in strange and somewhat extreme ways. Although those who attend the funeral home should know to be respectful to the immediate friends and family members of the deceased, sometimes curiosity gets the better of them, and you may be asked some rude, nosey, and even invasive questions at the funeral. Here is how to shut down those sorts of questions without distracting others from the focus on your loved one.
Humble an Offender with Humor
Nothing is better at diffusing awkward situations than humor. Not only can it save you from the weirdness of an intrusive question, but it can spare the impolite asker having to directly take responsibility for their rudeness. You don't have to engage in a comedy routine. Just a subtle answer can shut down the rude question. For example, if someone asks how your loved one died, you can reply with a bit of sarcasm by relating a crazy story that nobody would believe. You may state that they were crushed in a dinosaur stampede or abducted by aliens. That will give someone a big hint that they are asking the wrong thing.
Exaggerate to the Extreme
Exaggeration is one way to send a large message with a small comment. As crazy as it sounds, some people ask recent widows how long they plan to wait before dating again. In such a situation, you could exaggerate by stating that you already have a date set up for that night or that you have already been there and done that. Nobody is going to actually believe that at the funeral of a spouse, so you will effectively convey the inappropriateness of their question.
Be Real About Your Reasons for Declining an Answer
It's okay to be direct if a question offends you. It will be easy and effective to shut down most prying people when you simply tell them that you don't think that you can answer that today. Reiterate that you are focused on remembering your loved one today. You don't have to give any further reasons than that, but you can continue to give the reasons why you don't want to answer. It's up to you how much or how little you want to reveal.
Finally, most people try to mind their manners at a funeral, and some people make honest mistakes when trying to make conversation. They may be even trying to provide comfort when they ask nosey questions, but that is no reason that you have to play along. After shutting down a rude question, take control of the situation. If you want to further engage in conversation with them, you can thank them for their interest and ask them a question about themselves. Otherwise, you can simple excuse yourself from the conversation and focus your attention elsewhere.