Responsibility for your own conduct

Charles 2 Comments



By celebrant Wendy Coulton of Dragonfly Funerals

The Plymouth Herald ran a story recently about a family complaint that the funeral service for their relative was disrupted by the loud and distracting sound of laughter and conversation outside by a large number of people waiting to attend the next funeral. They included senior leading council figures because the funeral was of a former councillor.

Instead of holding their hand up and unreservedly apologising for any upset they caused, one councillor blamed the crematorium staff for not marshalling the crowd properly and the council statement said this was an issue they would take up with the funeral director. This just added insult to injury to the family who said their funeral was spoilt.

I was incensed that the crematorium staff were the scapegoat and was delighted when the Herald ran my letter prominently with the headline ‘Take responsibility for your own conduct.’ Grown adults shouldn’t need to be reminded or marshalled on how to behave in a cemetery outside a chapel when they know a service is being conducted.

It is a challenge managing large numbers of attendees at the council crematoria because of the back to back service activity and limited areas to congregate but at the end of day it may come down to that simple saying ‘Silence is golden.’ The wake reception may be the better time for banter and a good chat.


  1. Charles

    Good point Wendy. And people do this within their own group of mourners too. As the hearse and lims pull up outside the crem, some mourners continue their banter and laughter. Also, I’ve witnessed crem staff and FDs trying to marshal large groups and they’ve often been greeted with eye-rolling. Or ignored altogether.

  2. Charles

    It is outrageous bad manners and adults shouldn’t need to be reminded of their behaviour or codes of conduct. I think a letter like that should be printed in every local paper across the land. It would then be picked up by the visual media and exposed to the masses. Good point well made

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