Posts: 53
Registered: ‎02-11-2015

Re: When you think of funerals

Direct cremation is what my parents had and my husband and I want that as well. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 33,521
Registered: ‎05-17-2010

Re: When you think of funerals

@haddon9 wrote:

@Shanus wrote:

Another note on funerals: I resent friends and family who show up to mourn when they weren’t that close to the deceased. They either go out of guilt, just to be seen and make peace with themselves that they attended. 


The time for apologies and making amends is before the person passes away.


@Shanus . Interesting thought on this.  First I have to say like some others here I hate funerals.  I never know what to say and always feel awkward.  I see others who are natural in saying the right things, etc.  Anyway I attend because I'll feel guilty if I don't go and I hope that my presence offers support to those friends who have lost a loved one.  


My family is also Jewish and when my dad passed 20 years ago my mother had an abbreviated version (3 days) of Shiva.  I personally felt annoyed that people could just pop in anytime after dinner during those three days and we were there to "entertain" them. It felt like an intrusion. I realize they are supposed to be offering support to those of us grieving and it helped my mother.  When she goes my brother and I will do things differently.

@haddon9  I so agree w/ the Shiva situation. When my Dad passed away 5 yrs. ago after an extended & brave fight w/ lung cancer, we were all somewhat prepared except Mom, who fell apart and left the Shiva “sitting” to my house.... “entertaining” in the evenings when I wanted to be alone and grieve. Instead of dealing w/ his death, I was running around clearing plates, making pots of coffee, refilling cake platters and trying to smile. Although these Shiva calls are tradition, they may be more annoying than supportive.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,020
Registered: ‎05-06-2016

Re: When you think of funerals

My grandparents were wonderful people, but God bless them, they had no plans when it came to their funerals. So we "winged it" when the time came to preparing them. My grandmother passed away first, in October 2011, and my mom took over the task of getting everything together. I did pick out the flowers though, she loved carnations so that's what we had on her casket. I also chose the words for her headstone, "beloved wife and mother" because that's what she was. She was Catholic (but lapsed when she moved from Germany to the US in the 40s) but we still had a Catholic priest do the service. We had the viewing and the funeral the same day because we didn't want to prolong everything. We had no music or video - that was my mom's choice. The fellowship reception was held at my aunt's house, where it was pretty much a celebration of her life and who she was as a person. There was no sadness - she had suffered several strokes and was in a nursing home prior to her death. She no longer could speak. It was more of a blessing when she died, no more suffering. s surgery. I guess she figured it was her time as he would be away recovering.


My grandfather's only wish for his funeral was that the army would be involved as he was a former Army sergeant, and that's what he had on his headstone. We had him buried in his one good suit - I wanted him buried in his favorite windbreaker, but my mom, always a fashion cop, was horrified and said absolutely not. Woman LOL Pop was non-denominational, so we had to figure out who would conduct the service. Mom chose a preacher from a non-denominational church. For not knowing him, he did a good job talking about Pop. Mom gave him a lot of details, so that helped. Again, viewing and funeral was the same day, and the local legion provided a soldier for an honor guard burial. I was fine up until he started playing "Taps" on his bugle, and I bawled. 


My mom and stepdad have chosen cremation, and they just want a memorial service afterwards. I've chosen to do the same thing. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,958
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: When you think of funerals

When I have any say, as I sometimes do, we have a closed casket, an hour gathering before the service, graveside commitments, and lunch afterward.

Recently I lost a very close relative who was also my best friend. In the last month or so of her life, her very disturbed/disturbing daughter in law had swooped in and assumed her care, displaying practices that were both unpleasant and uncomfortable for my dear friend and also at times dangerous.

She died in a questionable situation with no medically trained advisors present, and we were told of the funeral plans after they had been made by the swooper.

Her sister and I knew that she had wanted a quiet simple service, and when we arrived at the funeral parlor, we were told only immediate family were to be admitted (we ARE immediate family). I opened the door by myself and stamped in to find my poor relative displayed in a tableau of “grief”.

The obituary had been written with three paragraphs devoted to daughter in law’s daughter, a nice child who was of her grandmother but had rarely seen her since leaving home for graduate school. No mention was made of other relatives except “...survived by several nieces and nephews”.

There is one more funeral in the family which has been preplanned, by me, honoring the requests made in discussion with the relative.

I have planned it, and she has paid for it. Simple, dignified, and respectful of her wishes.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,457
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: When you think of funerals

IMO, they're for those guilty of not being around during life.


I've already told my husband and daughter what I want and who to tell.


I want a viewing right before a service held in the funeral home and only want them, my immediate in-law family, my nieces and nephew.  That's it.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 40,598
Registered: ‎08-23-2010

Re: When you think of funerals

[ Edited ]

@game-on wrote:

I think about funerals.... in general.... and I wonder how others think about them.... 


To me... a funeral is for those who are left.... 


I feel that it would be best for the people who are survivors to plan the ceremony.  


Wouldnt it be wonderful if family members could talk about this with each other.... 


I think about what happens during a funeral.... the ones that I felt the best about .... and those have included memories of the person who has died, and words of comfort.  I do not want to be preached at.... I am in the most vulnerable of times and you might not believe as I do.  I have come to surround the friends and family of the this person with my love and to be surrounded myself.


I really like informal gatherings.... some people call them wakes.  Everyone shares memories and special moments.  There is laughter and tears.  People hold each other and are supportive.


What do you think?  


I know people who are requesting that no service be held for many reasons.  Do you want a service?



What?????     Why would you think it would be "best"??   


Your thinking that having devastated survivors plan the funeral and ceremony is naive.   


It can be torture for a family to have to make those decisions in such a bad emotional state.  It doesn't matter if everyone knew death was coming or if the departed died suddenly,  it's a  total nightmare.   Too many decisions, many of them financial, can weigh heavily on people, and sibling fights can erupt and make things even worse.     


When my Dad passed, it was a complete shock, and we were SO relieved that he had put many things in place so we didn't have to deal with them.    

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,878
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: When you think of funerals

I am firm in my belief, amd see death as an end to this life only   Funerals are for the living.  It is a celebration of life!  Lecturing would not be at my funeral.  Share some stories, people who come should support the grieving, celebrate the life of the deceased.  Play  " a song for you" by leon russell, share a few stories.  I am a person who would want money spent on flowers donated instead to a charity I favor. The pastor should speak on living your life with gratitude and kindness.  


I have told my daughters, keep It simple, and after I am cremated place in an urn resembling a handbag,  i saw a purse urn.  


I do believe there should be a service of some kind for the kids and loved ones.  Even if you meet at whole foods for coffee.  I also think if you have a family, your remains should be put somewhere.  I know people who never had a service or meeting for parents or loved one, they never buried them in anyway. The loved one just died, funeral home cremated and sent the ashes out to sea,  and no one was there from the family.  They all regreted later, because their was no final grieving .  Even if you go somewhere and throw ashes to the wind, say goodbye, it is jealing.  But that is me.  Just my humble opinion.  Everyone is so different




Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,874
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: When you think of funerals

[ Edited ]

Having grown up in a very large and catholic family, I have a lifetime of memories.


One that struck me at about age 11 is when my maternal grandmother passed.  She had 12 children and roughly 50+ grandchildren, the majority of which lived wihin driving distance.


Since all of the "adults" gathered in the front pews. we grandchildren were left on our own.  I still remember randomly sitting among my well-known cousins from various families, and remember that we were all age appropriatly comfortable with each other.  Hard to explain, bit I felt extremely comforted being surrounded with my well known relative "peers".


FF to my parent's passing.  Dad passed first at age76 (?) who was an emotionally abusive alcoholic..  I think "we" (siblings) spent more time talking the visitors through uncomfortable condolences (as we felt more relieved than sad).  A lot of "maybe he's in a better place now" which was easily picked up by those paying their respects.


Anyhow. DH and I are childless, living far away from our surviviing (older) siblings and offspring.  We've pretty much expressed ourselves that we're doing cremation with no services.


I don't dwell on it, just occasionally comes up in our weekly honest but goofy  sharing phone conversations (no topics are off limits!)