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Old 11-22-2015, 11:54 AM
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
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When my died someone included a check inside the card with a note that read 'Accept this check towards anything that is needed'. It surprised me but I understood.

And a couple of people did "buy" a couple of Masses for her, and while I don't attend church anymore I did appreciate it. The intention was good.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:28 PM
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Yes, I always do and have had it given to me. The money is usually spent to cover the costs that go along with the death of the deceased. Not everybody is financially set and able to feed a houseful of family and friends during the three day period that used to be the norm. I couldn't afford to pay for a wake for my son, so my sister and brother-in-law did. The money I got went to help defray the cost of the funeral and my family shopped for the food to have at the house and even pay for my flowers to my son. I was on the verge of losing my house to foreclosure, so I didn't have two pennies to rub together when it happened.

If you know someone is financially well off, a prepared meal for them means just as much or more than money.
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Old 11-23-2015, 12:54 AM
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
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I think it depends on the local customs. In the Philadelphia area, I have heard it's very customary at Italian funerals. In our (Irish Catholic) family, it wasn't typical but I included a check in the card if I thought the deceased's family could use the money and perhaps it was a sudden death. I would write in the card that they should use the money for anything they needed. That way, they could donate it to the charity listed in the obituary, or use it to defray funeral expenses. In my hometown, it is always expected that there will be a luncheon after the service, and that everyone is invited. In some cases, I don't attend because perhaps I didn't know the deceased and am just a friend of the family.

When my Mom died, it cost me a LOT of money and I'm an only child. But there was no way I was not having a luncheon; my family is enormous and I wanted that time to be with them for support. I drew the line at an open bar though....but had I been able to afford it, I would have done that too. I received a few small checks and then an anonymous cash donation of $250. I never figured out who that was, but it was certainly appreciated.
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