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Old 01-26-2018, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,471 posts, read 15,913,707 times
Reputation: 38735

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I am sorry for your loss. The funeral does sound odd.

Regarding the burial. Contrary to what you often see on TV, of the 15 to 20 burials that I have attended the casket was never lowered into the ground while any mourners were present (or even walking away to their cars). So to me it was not unusual that the family and other mourners left. Normally, in my experience, there is some type of religious service at the grave site but it may have been said either at the church earlier or at the funeral meal later.

In fact, after one service at our family/neighborhood cemetery I waited around near the casket because I wanted to ask the cemetery manager a few questions. It turned out that he, and the other workers, were waiting around, at a far distance, for me to leave so they could do their jobs and lower the casket into the ground.

Of course, different religions have difficult routines, rules and customs.

I am glad that something will be held for her close friends and coworkers,

Last edited by germaine2626; 01-26-2018 at 01:43 PM..
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Camberville
11,395 posts, read 15,995,267 times
Reputation: 18034
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
That does sound very odd. Was your friend gay? Or did her parents think she was gay? Or had she lived in a way they perceived to be shameful? I'm just trying to think of reasons for their peculiar behavior.

In any case, it's good that you went and good that y'all are going to hold your own memorial service. That type of thing helps with the grieving process.
I don't think her family thought she was gay, but the path they envisioned for her was to meet a man, get married, have kids, and never leave the declining city they all live in. They blame her best friend (though they were kind to her at the funeral, thankfully) for "stealing her" away to the big city 2 hours away. In reality, there are few opportunities in the city she grew up in and she went where there were good jobs and things to do. I spoke with the best friend at length before and after the funeral, and she offered to help but was thwarted. BFF is married and just had a baby, not to mention is still very active in that church tradition and has an incredibly important job at a university, so it's not like she's a bad influence other than moving away.

They were obviously very disappointed that she left the church and was not religious. They also live 2 hours away but acted as if she moved to the moon and refused to ever visit. If she didn't visit, she wouldn't see them, and since they berated her every time she saw them about not being married or having kids she did not visit frequently. That changed a bit when her niece was born and her sister certainly made much more of an effort. Her sister unfortunately ended up shouldering a lot of the burden for the funeral and was likely completely overwhelmed, so I can't really blame her too much. I just wish she wasn't stubborn like my friend and would have been willing to accept help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I am sorry for your loss. The funeral does sound odd.

Regarding the burial. Contrary to what you often see on TV, of the 15 to 20 burials that I have attended the casket was never lowered into the ground while any mourners were present (or even walking away to their cars). So to me it was not unusual that the family and other mourners left. Normally, in my experience, there is some type of religious service at the grave site but it may have been said either at the church earlier or at the funeral meal later.

In fact, after one service at our family/neighborhood cemetery I waited around near the casket because I wanted to ask the cemetery manager a few questions. It turned out that he, and the other workers, were waiting around, at a far distance, for me to leave so they could do their jobs and lower the casket into the ground.

Of course, different religions have difficult routines, rules and customs.

I am glad that something will be held for her close friends and coworkers,
Thank for this, Germaine. Another friend said something similar: that they'd never been there when the casket was lowered. I don't believe I've ever been to a funeral where we went to the cemetery and weren't there for that part unless it was in the middle of winter and the ground was frozen (but maybe that was just my impression and in reality they were never going to do it?). Almost all of the funerals I've been to are Jewish so there are rituals that happen at the gravesite. I can't express how shocked I was at what was happening, and I'm glad to know that it wasn't out of the ordinary.

It seems like the funeral home dropped the ball there. The friend I spoke to mentioned that she's almost always "ushered away." Everyone dispersed and we were left alone with our friend and the cemetery workers - no one stayed to shoo us away or say anything. The cemetery workers seemed in a rush. People were still walking to their cars and of course we were all there when they started lowering the casket. One of our friends, who had been approaching the casket when they began unexpectedly, yelling, "Can't we say goodbye!" They stopped, but hovered. It was so unsettling.

In the light of all that happened, however, I sat down last night and wrote out general expectations for my future burial. I hope it doesn't happen anytime soon, but it's clear how different peoples' ideas of how it should go range dramatically. I didn't think it would matter to me - and it didn't in my early 20s when I felt much closer to death - but now at 30 with my health more stable it matters a great deal.
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Old 01-26-2018, 03:20 PM
 
588 posts, read 121,878 times
Reputation: 342
I am so very sorry about your friend
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:19 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,431 posts, read 18,144,759 times
Reputation: 18811
So sad to hear of your friend's miserable funeral. Sounds like your friend was lucky they even held one for her. She was lucky to have such good friends like you and the others.

I remember seeing caskets lowered into the ground years ago. I remember throwing a rose into the hole instead of placing it on the top of the casket. It actually never struck me that none of them are lowered anymore. Maybe that is to prevent grief stricken people from fainting or jumping into the hole which has been known to happen.

Bless you and her other friends for having your own memorial for her.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:02 AM
 
12,422 posts, read 14,553,508 times
Reputation: 14112
Quote:
Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post

I still can. not. believe. that not a single member of her family stayed. I'm hurt for her. She deserved so much better. She and I bonded over winning the crap family lottery, but in all of my family's horribleness, I don't think they'd ever pull this.



It's a whole lot to process on top of still trying to process her death. My heart absolutely aches.
I lost a friend (only 38) as well....that was 15 years ago....He ingested a bunch of prescription drugs...layed down on the couch, and never woke up....I had just spoke with him the day before. We had had many talks together and he had assured me that he would never ever take his own life.
It was devastating to say the least. There are stages to grieving...they're right on, I went through them all.

It is extremely difficult to lose such a young friend...I understand your shock and pain.
Other than me, his 2 very young children, his wife, and his wife's mother there was no one else at the funeral.
No-one cared enough to even say goodbye to a good young man.
I'm sorry you're going through the heartache...it takes a while but it does get better.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,702 posts, read 21,750,727 times
Reputation: 27752
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I am sorry for your loss. The funeral does sound odd.

Regarding the burial. Contrary to what you often see on TV, of the 15 to 20 burials that I have attended the casket was never lowered into the ground while any mourners were present (or even walking away to their cars). So to me it was not unusual that the family and other mourners left. Normally, in my experience, there is some type of religious service at the grave site but it may have been said either at the church earlier or at the funeral meal later.

In fact, after one service at our family/neighborhood cemetery I waited around near the casket because I wanted to ask the cemetery manager a few questions. It turned out that he, and the other workers, were waiting around, at a far distance, for me to leave so they could do their jobs and lower the casket into the ground.

Of course, different religions have difficult routines, rules and customs.

I am glad that something will be held for her close friends and coworkers,
I watched my grandmother's casket being lowered into the ground, but that was in the 60s. I never saw it again.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Camberville
11,395 posts, read 15,995,267 times
Reputation: 18034
Just a little bit of an update. It's now been more than 3 weeks. I still haven't really cried - my eyes have watered a few times, like watching This is Us (which was one of "our" shows - we discussed at length every week) - but no real tears.

The memorial service at work went well. A friend who works on the events team stepped in and insisted on taking over the logistics. 4 months after I met her, she was the first person I was able to get in touch with when I found out I needed to go to the hospital immediately because of suspected cancer, and so she is uniquely aware of how resistent I can be to accepting help. All I had to do was put together a slide show and playlist, and prepare remarks. I ended up winging the remarks because I didn't want to live through thinking what I was going to say twice.

It was much more personal than her funeral. Even the dean in charge of her department who had been disappointing up until now shared a wonderful quality about my friend - how she always was seen around campus with her nose in a physical book - and talked about the types of books she read. I hope her family kept her books and didn't toss them.

Her family is just as disinterested in her life as they ever were. They didn't come to the memorial - just showed up briefly an hour before to get the things she kept on her desk. I've been seeing her things show up on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist as her family sells it all off. Her best friend of 25 years asked if she could have some of the framed photos of the two of them, as well as framed photos of her other friends to share with us, but the family had already chucked them. I understand that they're grieving too and that they probably just want to get this all over with, but it's just very sad that all the mementos of the memories we made together in that apartment are being cast out.

It still feels so surreal. I can't even walk by her office and see her desk. I've been spending all my free time applying for jobs to get out of this environment where I'm reminded of her, not to mention mounting frustrations about how this and other situations are being handled.
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,471 posts, read 15,913,707 times
Reputation: 38735
Quote:
Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post
Just a little bit of an update. It's now been more than 3 weeks. I still haven't really cried - my eyes have watered a few times, like watching This is Us (which was one of "our" shows - we discussed at length every week) - but no real tears.

The memorial service at work went well. A friend who works on the events team stepped in and insisted on taking over the logistics. 4 months after I met her, she was the first person I was able to get in touch with when I found out I needed to go to the hospital immediately because of suspected cancer, and so she is uniquely aware of how resistent I can be to accepting help. All I had to do was put together a slide show and playlist, and prepare remarks. I ended up winging the remarks because I didn't want to live through thinking what I was going to say twice.

It was much more personal than her funeral. Even the dean in charge of her department who had been disappointing up until now shared a wonderful quality about my friend - how she always was seen around campus with her nose in a physical book - and talked about the types of books she read. I hope her family kept her books and didn't toss them.

Her family is just as disinterested in her life as they ever were. They didn't come to the memorial - just showed up briefly an hour before to get the things she kept on her desk. I've been seeing her things show up on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist as her family sells it all off. Her best friend of 25 years asked if she could have some of the framed photos of the two of them, as well as framed photos of her other friends to share with us, but the family had already chucked them. I understand that they're grieving too and that they probably just want to get this all over with, but it's just very sad that all the mementos of the memories we made together in that apartment are being cast out.

It still feels so surreal. I can't even walk by her office and see her desk. I've been spending all my free time applying for jobs to get out of this environment where I'm reminded of her, not to mention mounting frustrations about how this and other situations are being handled.
Thank you for the update.

I am sorry that her family did not come to her memorial. It is very sad that they threw away the photographs of her friends rather than giving the photos to the friends.

Last edited by germaine2626; 02-08-2018 at 09:03 PM..
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