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Old 06-13-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
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What is the purpose of this get together after a loved one passes? We did it for my Dad because my Mom wanted it. But now, most of her friends and relatives are gone and she will be passing fairly soon. I don't believe anyone will be traveling from out of town to attend the funeral. Although she has wanted some type of get together, I guess I will be the deciding one (only child). I just cannot see "celebrating" when a loved one passes. Your thoughts?
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:49 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
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Well, growing up in the South, I didn't attend many funerals where there WASN'T something afterwards; however, we were heavily involved in a church at the time and all the church ladies brought food, so it was like a mini banquet at the grieving parties' home.

It wasn't so much a celebration as a way to offer condolences more personally to the extended family members (and food - it's all better with food in the South).

I think you should do what you feel comfortable with. If someone asks if they can host a get-together, you can just tell them it is a very private time and you'd really rather be alone. I think everyone will understand that. An alternate plan would be to have light dessert and coffee at the viewing or wake or visitation or whatever you want to call it the night before - but I don't think there's even an unwritten rule that you are supposed to be the entertainment committee.

You know, just one final thought - you might publish in the online and paper obituary "in lieu of food or flowers, please donate to X" if you or your mother have a favorite charity, or just the charity of choice. I don't know if that's really kosher or not, though, maybe someone else will.

I am sorry you are having to even think about this. It's very difficult, I know.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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It's not a celebration, it's just for people to get together before or after the funeral. Usually it's the church or close friends who make the preparations for the family. At least that's the way it's been in my experience. When my dad died, the church ladies all brought potluck type of food for the family/extended family/close friends before the service started. That eliminates the family needing to worry about preparing food for themselves and possibly relatives who are from out of town.

I really haven't experienced it where the family prepares the food.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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You can look at it one of two ways (or both):

1. An opportunity for friends and family to gather informally to celebrate the life of the person who's died; or

2. An opportunity to thank friends and family for coming to the service.

Who would be coming to the funeral? Your mom's friends, your friends, family members? Would they expect a meal afterward?
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Parkville, MO
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When my dad died there was a get-together after the funeral at our house. It was most certainly NOT a celebration. Nor limited to those who were from out of town. While I was not in a socializing mood, it was nice not to be just left alone by ourselves after the funeral. As Sam I Am said, it's really just a way to offer condolences more personally to the family (and don't forget the food). I've also been to funerals where they've had the get-together at a church, or a neighbors/friends house. Of course you're free to do whatever you're most comfortable with.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
It's not a celebration, it's just for people to get together before or after the funeral. Usually it's the church or close friends who make the preparations for the family. At least that's the way it's been in my experience. When my dad died, the church ladies all brought potluck type of food for the family/extended family/close friends before the service started. That eliminates the family needing to worry about preparing food for themselves and possibly relatives who are from out of town.

I really haven't experienced it where the family prepares the food.
Same where I lived.

If you wanted funeral lunch, you joined the funeral lunch program ( nearly all parishoners joined )

$10 per year and the only extra cost was if you wanted meat besides the casserol/hot dish

All members were divided into 4 groups who rotated each funeral.

When you worked, you were asked to bring a cake or bars.

Lunch usually was casseroll,beans, jello,cake,bars..........plus coffee,milk, and bread/butter.

DELICOUS !
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Depending on the time of day you plan the funeral you can just have coffee and cake afterwards or nothing at all. Like others said, it's just a get-together for people to share stories of your loved one and offer condolences in a more informal nature than at a receiving line at the funeral home. My husband's funeral was at 7 PM with coffee/cake/wine afterwards at my house for just a hand-picked group of 12-14 couples. I had given my nieces a list of those to invite and they took care of quietly doing that at the visitation. Doing it this way was the funeral director's suggestion because I said I really didn't want to provide a lunch for the 125 plus people expected at the funeral and he said you're not going to want to go home to an empty house afterward alone. I was very happy I took his suggestion. If you have a mid morning or mid afternoon funeral, then most people will expect a luncheon afterwards. It's pretty much tradition. Keep in mind that people you don't know but who knew your love in an earlier part of their lives can offer you a great deal of comfort just by the fact that after all those years, they thought enough of that person to want to honor them at the funeral. You'll like hearing their stories at a luncheon.

Last edited by Wayland Woman; 06-13-2012 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:02 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
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My husband and I have promised each other that after our respective memorial service, the one left will have a rip-roaring celebration of our life together; a time where we remember the good times and promise to continue what we shared with joy - the same joy we brought to each other; to honor our partnership not to mourn its absence; and to wish us the best in the next journey, whatever it is or is not.

There is another, more serious, side to the "after the funeral gathering" and that is to linger with the family so that the crowds and the hustle and bustle of the funeral preparations is slowly eased as people drift off, with the closest friends and family lingering until the family is ready for alone time.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:49 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
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I'm with Annie. When I pass I want my family to celebrate the life the life I lived. Tell funny stories about the things I did, play my favorite songs and reminisce about the good things that happened.
This is usually the way our family gets together after a funeral or memorial service, and IMO it can help ease the grieving process to take that time to remember and share happy memories of the loved one.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Australia
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It's a wake and it's a great way to see someone off.

Personally I'd rather have a wake than a funeral.

I grew up in NZ, it was common for people to bring the body home first and have a 3-4 day party with the deceased in the room! It is Maori tradition.

One friend and her sisters gave their deceased brother a beer and a cigarette while they partied which probably seems horribly offensive to some but not kiwis.

I knew a bloke that died in a motorbike accident, we went to his funeral, which included afternoon tea, and afterwards to a wake at a pub (again very common in Aus) and there was money on the bar and everyone just had a good time remembering him. He had a young daughter and I think the idea is to try to create a good memory of the day, not just all sad and gloomy...as well as pay your final respects.

Every funeral I have ever been to has had afternoon tea or a wake or both afterwards. As we tend towards non-secular funerals here, it is often provided at the funeral parlour.
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