This image surprised and saddened me. It appeared on the website Reddit and it shows a woman sunbathing in the middle of an ash scattering ceremony.
The story comes from Hungary, the son had started to clear a space of debris etc in preparation for the ashes ceremony early that morning, as it was his father’s wish to have his ashes scattered in the river.
He left to collect family and friends and when he returned there were two sunbathers.
The daughter asked them if they could give them a bit of space for 10 – 15 mins but one of the women refused and sat there during the whole ceremony while the rest of the mourners tried to ignore her.
The article prompted a fair bit of discussion online. I say discussion because there were those that argued for rights of the woman not to be disturbed.
And I quote:
- They’re dumping human remains in a public swimming spot. That lady might be entitled but that family is F****** gross
- f*** this family, this is a public beach.
- Was she bothering you besides being there?
- Hold the f*** up. You go to a public place, tell people to leave that public place, then proceed to dump a big bag of People Crisps in the area. The area where people are sunbathing and probably swimming. That’s f******* disgusting and I don’t see how a whole group of people thought it would be an acceptable thing to do let alone bitch about someone who was there first.
- I’d argue the sunbather is less wrong. Sounds like this was a public area, and the funeral party didn’t reserve it. Not to mention that you shouldn’t be dumping someone’s ashes into a river.
These were a few, there were more. However, I am glad to say the majority were saddened or appalled by the woman’s behaviour.
I am sure there may have been more the family could have done, chosen a quieter time of day for example, but for me it is down to one thing: respect. They may have turse or rude in making the request. They may have done many things that would making things more difficult, I accept that, but still…
My slightly depressing thought: is this behaviour symptomatic of where society is going? Does this represent an increased selfishness, rights without responsibilities and a general lack of compassion or kindness for others? I hope not. But I can’t be sure. Is society actually taking a shift towards a more intolerance or is that just how it appears and is reported? Is just a natural cyclical aspect of society?
So, I am not sure if there is a salutary lesson here, but one thought was – pick you timings and locations, as it appears that not everyone thinks respect is due.
The one positive thing I did find out: scattering ashes in Hungary seem to be accepted in rivers and public parks.