This series of Sherman’s Lagoon cartoons brilliantly illustrate the awkward things people say when a loved one dies. Check out these conversations around the death of a very famous fish with the nickname Granddad.
Upon hearing “Granddad died,” Hawthorne the Hermit Crab says, “Um, sorry for your loss.” When informed by Fillmore that he wasn’t his granddad, Hawthorne asks, “So, do I have to keep faking sympathy?”
And who was Granddad, anyway? And how could they tell he died?
Fillmore tells Sherman the Shark, who doesn’t know Granddad was lungfish and an icon in the Chicago Aquarium that lived more than eight decades. Fillmore starts to get upset.
Fillmore thinks they should go pay their respects to Granddad. “The lungfish in the Chicago Aquarium that none of us knew?” asks Hawthorne. “Maybe we can catch a Cubs game,” whispers Sherman.
Sherman’s wife Megan has a cheat sheet with Granddad’s history, because Sherman warned her Fillmore was ranting about this old fish.
The gang shows up at the aquarium for the funeral service – and any food and beverages that may be served.
Right off the bat, a beluga whale that lives at the aquarium admonishes Hawthorne, who has no sense of propriety regarding the dead, “Less talking, more mourning.”
Somehow, Hawthorne winds up speaking at the service, and he says those words no one ever wants to hear at a funeral: “I did not know (insert name here) personally.”
Sherman gets to offer his condolences, but he doesn’t do much better.
So, if you don’t want to get thrown out of a funeral, take a lesson from these characters. Know a bit about the deceased, prepare your remarks if you are speaking, and don’t crack jokes with folks you don’t know.