Secret Life of a Funeral Crasher
Attending a loved one’s funeral is among the most dreadful moments in life. But for some, attending a stranger’s funeral is as cathartic as it gets.
Illustrations by Beth Walrund
If you die near Wellington, New Zealand, there could be a pale young woman at your funeral, with raven hair and delicate, shadowed eyes. None of your mourners will know her or even recognize her, and some might suspect she’s a ghost. She never met you, either. Her name is Kat, and she’s at your funeral only because you were a person once, and now you’re dead.
It’s surprisingly easy to crash a stranger’s funeral. Families rarely orchestrate a private service, and nobody’s checking IDs. But once you’re inside, there are scores of social hazards: There’s the guest book — do you sign your real name? Jot down a somber “remembrance?” What if a loved one is guarding it? What if someone shoots you the evil eye? There’s the prospect of an awkward conversation: “How did you know my mother? Oh, you don’t know any of us? You’re here for the food, then?”
So why do it? Why go to a funeral for any reason other than loving obligation?
Some people may crash funerals for the f…