Four and a half years ago, a man wore a yellow dress to his friend’s funeral. It made the news because of its comedic effect on an otherwise sad situation. He wore the dress because of a promise made while his friend was on his deathbed.
It raises the question, are people obligated to agree to deathbed promises? In the situation mentioned earlier, wearing a bright woman’s dress seems relatively harmless. But what if the promise involved something that could offend people?
Keeping a promise to a loved one on their deathbed is usually emotionally charged, and funeral parlors such as Broward Funeral Choices have a lot of stories around these situations. From unusual themes and dress codes, to the very surprising. Funeral directors have seen a lot of weird last wishes come true, it comes with the territory of the job.
So, what makes them say yes in the first place?
Compassion for the Dying
Someone who works around death on a daily basis would say that agreeing with a dying person may be the last piece of comfort they’ll have. People with a short time to live deserve to have some compassion, and if this means making a promise with someone – so be their wish.
Someone on their deathbed knowing they don’t have long left to live sometimes wish to have something carried out they didn’t have time to do, or something they would have loved to have seen. Almost like a special way for others to remember them.
A person’s mindset while they are facing the reality of death also comes into play, they may not always be thinking completely rationally. But being able to make a promise with them allows the person to release the emotions that come with dying, helping them achieve a peace of mind.
Gravity of the Situation
It’s hard for some to deal with, but dying people are often extremely dependent on those around them. If they are ill they may be fragile, and be spending most of the time at the hospital. Making a promise to them gives them hope in some ways. People don’t always make promises with those who are dying, but doing so leaves a mark when it happens.
As for the ramifications from whatever it is that has been promised, it’s best to weigh up the consequences before committing to anything. The person who will have passed will not be held accountable, but for the person carrying out the promise it could become a headache.
Making a promise to someone close to death is an admirable thing to do. But sometimes, rather than say no completely or agreeing with all of their requests, settle on a promise that you know you can carry out with any consequences that you can’t handle. This way, promises are kept by both parties, and the dying party can rest in peace.