My husband has a large and “interesting” family. Their custom is to hold a large repast after the funeral. This normally makes for a festive event with lots of stories being passed around and memories being shared. When his father died the dynamics were a bit electric since the funeral was held in their hometown in NJ but he had lived for many years with his second wife in Alabama. Needless to say, the cultures were a bit different.
The two-day visitation was awkward enough with the current wife and her sons positioned in one part of the large funeral home parlor and the first wife (my husband’s mom) comfortably seated on the couch across the room. Since the event was in the home town where the family was widely known, the well-wishers eagerly visited with my mother in law while the wife looked on.
The real fun came at the repast though. The “old” family took up the bulk of the restaurant with my mother in law at the place of honor at the head of the table. “New” family quietly sat off to the side. Once the meal was done and the chatter started Mom reached in her Mary Poppins bag and pulled out an album of wedding photos. As it was passed around you could tell that the current wife was becoming a bit uncomfortable. I guess the sons had had enough as one silently walked over to the table, snagged the photo album and took it back to the table. I don’t believe that wedding album has ever been seen again. Good times.