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Woman Shows Up To Estranged Mother-In-Law's Funeral To Air Her Old Grievances

Photo: @hallieb85/TikTok
Screenshots of TikTok showing older woman yelling at family at funeral

Funerals are typically events where we go to honor the dearly departed, or at least to quietly show support for those they've left behind.

But one woman has gone viral for all the wrong reasons after taking a vastly different approach to her mother-in-law's funeral—by using it as an opportunity to air her grievances.

A TikTok video of the incident posted by one of the woman's family members has racked up millions of views and sparked a debate about just how much respect the dead are owed.

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The TikTok shows the woman screaming insults about the deceased and being physically removed from the funeral home.

In her video caption, TikToker @hallieb85 explains that her great aunt, for whom the family were hosting a funeral, was the woman's mother-in-law.

The video shows the TikToker's father telling the woman to "leave before I get mad," at which point the woman seems to lose her cool. 

   

   

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"I'm mad!" she yells. "I'm mad over what she did to those kids!" The altercation continues to escalate to physical shoving until the woman finally leaves the funeral.

But before she does so, she yells one final insult. "She's nothing but a b-tch!... You better pray for her, those kids went through hell!"

In her caption and onscreen text, @hallieb85 mocked the woman as an "old a-- Karen" and "nutcase" and said she posted the incident because it "still crack[s] me up 5+ years later."

There's no question that going off at a funeral is... well, certainly a bold choice! And Hallie wasn't the only one who found the video a hilarious spectacle.

But a follow-up video Hallie posted explaining the background of the altercation suggests there's more to all this than just an unhinged "Karen" making a scene.

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The deceased woman allegedly abused the "Karen's" husband.

The TikToker explained her great aunt was forced to adopt three children by her Catholic church—including the "Karen's" husband—and that she abused them. 

   

   

In her follow-up, Hallie revealed her "strict" great aunt and uncle practiced "corporal punishment," including beating them with belts and paddles.

She further elaborated in comments that her aunt never wanted children, and theorized she was "unhappy" with the adoption arrangement as a result.

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She also reported that all three of the adopted children "got into drugs" and never spoke to her great aunt again after the age of 18—common patterns for victims of abuse.

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The extra context changed many viewers' minds, and many sided with the "Karen" in light of the deceased woman's abuse. 

And lots of users on both TikTok and Twitter were upset by @hallieb85's seeming minimization of what may have happened to her great aunt's adopted children.

One commenter called her out for claiming the children probably weren't beaten until they were "black and blue" or "bloody."

They wrote, "How do you know not black and blue, do u know what a beating is like from a belt?"

The woman's speculation the children were likely only emotionally abused angered people as well. 

As one commenter put it, "So u say belt and paddles but then said they were not abusive?"

Of course, even if they were only emotionally abused, that is still abuse—it's right there in the name, after all.

Others vigorously defended the "Karen," with one TikTok commenter writing the woman was "not crazy" but rather, "telling the truth and y'all wanna silence her."

Another wrote, "her approach wasn't the best, but I know way too many victims that were silenced by their family and it's the people who love them that stand up 4them."

Of course, the only people who truly know what happened were the people who were there. As @hallieb85 herself put it, "I can't ask the dead."

But while storming into a funeral to air out old grievances is probably not the best idea—and ultimately pointless, for obvious reasons—it's easy to understand the woman's anger.

As any mental health professional will tell you, people don't just cut ties with their parents for no reason. Where there's smoke, there's usually fire.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.

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