'I joke about death because it will happen to all of us, as scary as that is,' the wise senior explained.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 29, 2022.
A Connecticut grandmother gave internet users a good chuckle when she shared the three very important rules that she wants mourners to follow when they're at her funeral. Ninety-two-year-old Lillian Droniak—better known as "Grandma Droniak" by her 4.2 million followers on TikTok—knows exactly how she wants the service to be and is firm on three things: that people cry but not overdo it, that Bertha not be allowed anywhere near the location and that everyone gets drunk afterward. Speaking in front of a short list written in Apple's Notes app, Grandma Droniak elaborated on each of the three rules and we've got to admit, makes perfectly good sense.
For starters, the wise senior explained that she didn't want guests to cry too much and embarrass themselves in front of everyone else gathered to honor her memory. She also encourages guests to get drunk while at the funeral and maybe even take a shot or two while they're at it. However, the rule that intrigued folks the most was the one about Bertha. The majority of comments under the video asked for more information about this one person Droniak felt so strongly about. "Grandma we need a storytime. What DID Bertha do?" asked one TikTok user.
"Whatever Bertha did, I'm on your side Grandma," commented another. "Is bertha the new version of Karen? Storytime please," requested yet another TikTok user who wanted to get to the bottom of the Bertha-Droniak animosity. "If Bertha shows up, there will be two funerals," reads one comment. On April 19, Droniak posted a follow-up video explaining why she dislikes Bertha so much. In the video, the elderly TikTok star shared that she "cut Bertha out of my life" a long time ago because Bertha was "trying to talk to my husband" and tried to "copy off whatever I wore." Can you blame Grandma Droniak for hating Bertha? I would too.
"If she comes to my funeral, kick her out because I don't need her," Droniak announced. Speaking to Insider, Grandma Droniak confirmed that Bertha is a real person whom she "used to be friends with." As for why she decided to share the video—which has been viewed over 31 million times, becoming one of Droniak's most viewed on the platform—about the rules for her funeral, she said she wanted to open up a "lighthearted" conversation about death. "It doesn't need to be scary or taboo. It helps you live life better if you're not afraid," she said.
"I joke about death because it will happen to all of us, as scary as that is," Droniak explained, adding that we "might as well laugh about it." The vocal senior posts comedic videos on TikTok every few days, often sharing out-of-the-box (but valuable nonetheless) life advice with her followers. She revealed that she films a lot of these videos herself, but one of her grandsons, Kevin Droniak—a fellow social media star who rose to internet fame on YouTube with videos of his grandma—helped set up her account and sometimes assists with filming.
Grandma Droniak has a mixture of younger followers and older ones who are closer to her own age. The main takeaway from her time spent interacting with and advising young adults and teenagers on TikTok, she said, is that younger people are, "Crazier than me when I was at that age."