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Old 05-02-2017, 08:47 AM
2,509 posts, read 1,284,331 times
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I am new to this forum. I have been a participant of Caregiving for a long time now, and my mother has passed after a 16-year battle with Alzheimer's.

As I said, my mother has has this disease for a very, very long time, and is of an advanced age and so most of her friends have either passed or moved away and we've lost touch with them. My mother has been unable to communicate with anyone for several years and has been in nursing home care.

We have a very small family, and many of them live overseas in my mother's country of origin. We are not really religious people although in years past we have attended a Protestant church. But we have no "church family" as it were.

My father and I are struggling with the fact we don't really feel the need to have a memorial service here in our town. We plan to have a small service overseas with my mother's family there. Our reason for not wanting a service here mainly has to do with the fact that most of the attendees would be people who didn't really know my mother. My father met his current circle of friends after my mother became ill, and his friendships with them are pretty much HIS friendships and not hers. Our extended relatives on my father's side are not real close...we don't see each other often and none of them have visited my mother in the past 8 years while she's been in the nursing home. A few would travel to be here if we had a service but we kind of feel there isn't a point to it.

If people have something to say about Mom's passing, we feel they have already been saying it in the days since she passed. I'm not sure a formal gathering is going to change the grieving process or expressions of love and honor for my mother.

However, we wonder if this is socially not acceptable to not have a memorial service.

Did you struggle with this?
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:31 PM
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Who cares what other people think?

No one should feel pressured to do anything......... Do what feels right in your heart!!

I am so sorry for your loss
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:54 PM
16,724 posts, read 13,670,338 times
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Originally Posted by wasel View Post

Did you struggle with this?
Not really.

We knew she had no friends, and the only reason to have the service was for my father's friends to pay their respects to him. The funeral/service is really about the living.

So if you don't feel like having one, nobody should pressure you to do so.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:43 PM
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I think that a memorial service is for the survivors, not the person who passed away. So the consideration is whether it would make you or your father feel comforted. When my husband died, very few in the community had ever met him. (We had not lived there long, and he had been sick the whole time.) It was important to me that they knew something about his life. So the AV guy at church helped me to make a power point slide show/presentation of pictures of our lives together, accompanied by his favorite music. We also had short (like one page) statements or tributes as to what people in our family remembered of him. People who had never met him told me that they understood now why it was so hard to lose him. They told me they were sorry they didn't know him. It was really, really helpful to me because I needed a way to honor him. So I am very glad that I had the service.

But that is me. I can understand that some people may not feel the need and may not want to do this. I think that's OK, too. What is "socially acceptable" has very little meaning in this situation. Do what you feel is best for your family.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:48 PM
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What would she have wanted?

That is the question to ask, their final wishes to be regarded.

I'm sincerely sorry to hear of this loss...
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:47 AM
Location: Sneads Ferry NC/Randolph NJ/Cape Coral FL
12,928 posts, read 24,052,828 times
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Sorry for your loss. In your situation do what feels right for you and your Dad.
You plan on a memorial in your Mom's country of origin for family there, in your situation I think that is what counts.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:00 AM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,845 posts, read 51,301,408 times
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I didn't struggle for a second. My wife did not want any memorial service. I don't want one when my time comes.

If you are feeling pressured to have one, try to examine the motivations of those doing the pressuring. It sounds as though the only ones affected are your father's circle of friends. It might be a method of closure of the subject for them, it might be an attempt to express support for your father. A memorial service doesn't have to be formal, it can be a celebratory meal or something simple. Something low key along those lines might be more fitting if most or all the participants have no "remembrances" of the deceased.
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:53 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,388 posts, read 50,582,032 times
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We had none for my mother-in-law 3 years ago. Other than the immediate family, and the others at the adult family home she knew no one, at 96 she outlived her friends and siblings. There was certainly no social pressure, nor really any discussion, we just didn't even consider it.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:46 PM
Location: Shingle Springs, CA
519 posts, read 1,202,673 times
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As an introvert who has had three parents pass away in the past decade (two of them in the past three years), I personally cannot stand having to go through the service, and a wake or gathering at the house.

My mother is 95 and she is mentally declining quickly over the past year. I will honor her wish for a catholic mass because that is important to her (but not to me, but I will provide what she wants). My dysfunctional family (siblings) will go to the gravesite. But - her wish is no wake, no one getting together afterwards. Phew.

I want to grieve in peace. I'd rather see friends not all at once, and not while my grief is on show.

So no - I feel no pressure to have a memorial.

You do what feels right to you. Don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:15 AM
2,509 posts, read 1,284,331 times
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Thanks for your responses. To clarify, no one is or was pressuring us for a service. My question was really more about whether you struggled internally with what to do and whether you felt you were properly honoring the person.

In the end, we didn't have a service but we had an absolutely lovely, casual reception where people dropped by and nibbled a snack and a drink and we celebrated what a wonderful person she was. It was perfect.
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