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Old 01-25-2009, 11:44 PM
 
1,860 posts, read 2,627,810 times
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The father of somebody I know died. I found out because this friend sent a mass email to just about everybody on his address book.

Bailey and I are not super close friends. The dynamics between us have limited our interactions to drinks, talk over sports and women, and politics. We met at a company where we both worked once. We both moved on several years ago and kept in touch sporadically - more by email in recent time than in person or by phone. I do not think we have hung out in about 2 1/2 years.

Now, it's not about attending. I will go to the wake.

Bailey mentioned donations.

Given that I never met Bailey's father, and given that Bailey and I were never super close, am I obligated to give? I feel a bit awkward - if I give, I may give a modest amount and fear that such a small amount may be offensive. If I don't give, I feel that may be seen as rude too.

The way I was raised, I only attended funerals so far for people who were either relatives or friend of my parents. So when I attended, I attended with my parents, and they handle any gift-giving. The few times I attended a funeral as a young adult without my parents, it was: 1) when the father of a man who is a lot younger than my father but much older than me died. Both of my parents were away so I attended, in part to represent my family. 2) my best friend's father passed away when I was in college, and that was of course a no-brainer.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,120 posts, read 56,997,117 times
Reputation: 38325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprawling_Homeowner View Post
The father of somebody I know died. I found out because this friend sent a mass email to just about everybody on his address book.

Bailey and I are not super close friends. The dynamics between us have limited our interactions to drinks, talk over sports and women, and politics. We met at a company where we both worked once. We both moved on several years ago and kept in touch sporadically - more by email in recent time than in person or by phone. I do not think we have hung out in about 2 1/2 years.

Now, it's not about attending. I will go to the wake.

Bailey mentioned donations.

Given that I never met Bailey's father, and given that Bailey and I were never super close, am I obligated to give? I feel a bit awkward - if I give, I may give a modest amount and fear that such a small amount may be offensive. If I don't give, I feel that may be seen as rude too.

The way I was raised, I only attended funerals so far for people who were either relatives or friend of my parents. So when I attended, I attended with my parents, and they handle any gift-giving. The few times I attended a funeral as a young adult without my parents, it was: 1) when the father of a man who is a lot younger than my father but much older than me died. Both of my parents were away so I attended, in part to represent my family. 2) my best friend's father passed away when I was in college, and that was of course a no-brainer.

You are not at all obligated to donate. Showing up for the services will do more to help your friend anyway as your presence will be a real gift to him right now.

He/she most likely included the info about memorial donations because that is kind of a standard thing to do - it was just an FYI, not a solicitation.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:49 PM
 
13,779 posts, read 17,022,281 times
Reputation: 7254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprawling_Homeowner View Post
The father of somebody I know died. I found out because this friend sent a mass email to just about everybody on his address book.

Bailey and I are not super close friends. The dynamics between us have limited our interactions to drinks, talk over sports and women, and politics. We met at a company where we both worked once. We both moved on several years ago and kept in touch sporadically - more by email in recent time than in person or by phone. I do not think we have hung out in about 2 1/2 years.

Now, it's not about attending. I will go to the wake.

Bailey mentioned donations.

Given that I never met Bailey's father, and given that Bailey and I were never super close, am I obligated to give? I feel a bit awkward - if I give, I may give a modest amount and fear that such a small amount may be offensive. If I don't give, I feel that may be seen as rude too.

The way I was raised, I only attended funerals so far for people who were either relatives or friend of my parents. So when I attended, I attended with my parents, and they handle any gift-giving. The few times I attended a funeral as a young adult without my parents, it was: 1) when the father of a man who is a lot younger than my father but much older than me died. Both of my parents were away so I attended, in part to represent my family. 2) my best friend's father passed away when I was in college, and that was of course a no-brainer.
Is the donation for a foundation Bailey's father chose or a family type fund? I ask because I am always suspicious of any kind of family fund...anyway, people know times are tough and donations will reflect the times. Give if you can and if you feel compelled. If not, send a nice card.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:04 AM
 
25,252 posts, read 27,370,393 times
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A brief and reflective note expressing your condolences is all that you really need to do. Quite frankly, I think it's more meaningful and reflects greater caring than writing a check.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs, AR
5,612 posts, read 9,675,327 times
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I think a small donation would be appropriate. No one expects anyone to make a huge donation. Just do what is financially comfortable for you. The amount isn't important, every bit will help. Your presence and support will mean more than the donation.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:37 AM
 
1,501 posts, read 3,983,924 times
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I agree. Your presence is most important.
As far as the donations, many folks are doing that now, suggesting Charity and Hospice-related donations and such because most peoples' first instict is to send flowers. The family would be over-flowing with a gazillion flowers from everybody....they hope folks will use the money they would have otherwise spent on flowers for a good cause which people, otherwise, wouln't have thought of at such a time.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:47 AM
 
25,252 posts, read 27,370,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travel'r View Post
I agree. Your presence is most important.
As far as the donations, many folks are doing that now, suggesting Charity and Hospice-related donations and such because most peoples' first instict is to send flowers. The family would be over-flowing with a gazillion flowers from everybody....they hope folks will use the money they would have otherwise spent on flowers for a good cause which people, otherwise, wouln't have thought of at such a time.
Yes, I agree totally. Just showing up is important if this guy means anything at all to you. Hey, funerals are definitely unpleasant. But so is a root canal. That doesn't mean you blow off your appointment to the endodontist, do you?
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Philly
1,776 posts, read 2,586,378 times
Reputation: 800
If you feel compelled to give, do so. It should be an anonymous thing, correct? So he wouldn't know either way if you did or not. Otherwise, just showing up and having him see you there should be enough.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
2,412 posts, read 4,660,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprawling_Homeowner View Post
...am I obligated to give?
Absolutely not. A gift is not obligated and, frankly, a kind, handwritten note (not a preprinted card) expressing your sincere sympathy would probably mean a whole lot more. Attendance at a funeral and a kind note cost virtually nothing but can express much, much more than an expensive gift.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:58 AM
 
1,860 posts, read 2,627,810 times
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I am going to attend. I decided to do so the moment I got the email. And probably just hand a card to Bailey.

It was only a later, when I made my plans for this evening, that I did a search on where Baileyís fatherís wake is being held. Itís a 45-minute drive away, in a town Iíve never even been in.

Doesnít matter. As I said, Bailey isnít a very close friend and we havenít been in touch lately. We did exchange many emails in 2008 as we discussed a lot about politics. But this is a very serious matter Ė his father passed away.

Not to dramatize, but in recent time Iíve thought a lot about my own father, who is alive and healthy, but who is getting up there in age. Because my father (and mother) live in a city where they have many relatives (siblings) as well as friends, I know that there would be a solid turnout at their funerals. Yet, I know Iíd appreciate it if anyone who knew my father only passingly still cared to show up. Which is why Iím doing it for Bailey.

And as I said earlier, one of my first funerals was when I was only 19 and my friendís dad died. John was only 20 and his dad wasnít even 60. Very few people of our age range (undergrads) went, and it was clear that it was a big lift to John that I went Ė we had only known each other for 4 months but had become good friends, and I wasnít embarrassed to hug him and to cry when I saw him there. The dude was hurting.

Itís a lesson I learned in life Ė it is never too big a sacrifice to be there for someone who is hurting due to a personal loss, and even if we think our gesture isnít meaningful, it may be seen differently by the recipient.
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