U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 09-11-2014, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
Reputation: 32304

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by RosemaryT View Post
When my father died, many of my friends showed up to pay their respects, even though they didn't know him. I was immeasurably comforted by their thoughtfulness, their kindness and their presence.

So I do try and attend funerals, to pay back the kindness that was extended to me.

BTW, that was a real blessing because I was genuinely concerned that me and my husband would be the only two in attendance at my father's funeral. My father was in his 90s, and he didn't have any friends. More than a little sad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LibraGirl123 View Post
I agree with RosemaryT...it is SO comforting when people take the time to pay their respects during a difficult time for those left behind. I try to do the same for others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RosemaryT View Post
Actually, I had a brother who chastised me for the date that was selected for our father's funeral. I was the one arranging *everything* and it was the best date that we could get the church, the preacher, the funeral home director all together.

None of my brothers attended the funeral of our father. It was not convenient for them. Will I remember THAT for the rest of my life? Yes, and with much sadness.

I gave the eulogy, and EVERY SINGLE SOUL that I gazed upon in that audience brought me comfort.
I'll get in line here as agreeing strongly with the above posts. I do not understand people who could reasonably attend the funeral of their own parent but choose not to, unless there was no relationship at all, or an extremely toxic one. After all, every out-of-town funeral is "inconvenient" - that's an excuse, not a reason.

Here's my own "co-worker" story. A female colleague at work whom I had known for years and years had her husband die. Although I had never even met the husband, I went to the funeral to support my colleague. She seemed to appreciate my presence deeply, even though there were lots of people there. She even mentioned it to me several months afterward.

Within the past month I attended the funeral of my last surviving aunt half-way across the country. It cost me $900 - airfare, hotel, and rental car, plus I had to renege on one commitment (although not an earth-shaking one). It was worth it to me in order to get together with many cousins and adult children of cousins, some of whom I hadn't seen for quite a few years.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-11-2014, 04:56 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,229,344 times
Reputation: 14870
Quote:
Originally Posted by Army_Guy View Post
I know a couple who when their son was 2, he had already been to 5 funerals. She said quite proudly, "Poor kid is only 2 and he's been to 5 funerals already" as if it were something to be proud of.
How things have changed.
That's just plain sad. And idiotic.

I was 4 when my paternal grandfather died. I wasn't even told that he had gone to sleep and not woken up until 2 weeks after the fact. Mom said many years later, "You were a little girl. Would you have understood what was going on? No. There was no point."

I agree with her. Glad I don't have a 4 year old's memory of that. It wouldn't have 'enriched' my childhood. Nowadays, parents have to *explain* everything bad that happens. If you don't discuss it in front of the child, there's no reason to explain!

As to the OP's question ... no, I don't attend unless it's family or a very close friend.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-11-2014, 06:03 PM
 
3,279 posts, read 6,605,680 times
Reputation: 8308
I can't stand funerals. I don't want one when I die. Just do whatever with the body and people can maybe talk about old memories or something, but nothing formal at all. Getting together at someone's house and maybe eating dinner or whatever is fine.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-11-2014, 08:47 PM
 
1,780 posts, read 2,166,099 times
Reputation: 5877
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I'll get in line here as agreeing strongly with the above posts. I do not understand people who could reasonably attend the funeral of their own parent but choose not to, unless there was no relationship at all, or an extremely toxic one. After all, every out-of-town funeral is "inconvenient" - that's an excuse, not a reason.
.
And in this case, that was part of the problem. My father wasn't a nice fellow, but I had hoped that my own brothers would show up to support ME.

My ex-sister-in-law showed up, and I was very grateful for that, and I invited her to sit up front with me, so that I wasn't all alone on the "family pew."

That was my "ah-ha" moment, when I really understood *why* funerals are so important, and why they have endured throughout the centuries, and why it's right to show up at funerals (even when it's inconvenient). In the midst of death, it's a loving way for us to put a hand gently on the shoulder of the survivor and say (without words), "You're loved, and you're not alone in this. It's going to be okay."
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-11-2014, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,534 posts, read 47,711,196 times
Reputation: 110346
Do you attend every wake /funeral if you know the person?

LOL, when I first read this heading for this thread I misinterpreted it to mean how many wakes and funerals is this person having.

We've had 9 people die in our area (old peoples community) in the past 4 years and we only attended one funeral. He was a direct neighbor we knew fairly well. I find funerals depressing and only attend if it is really necessary. The dead person won't know.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2014, 03:05 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
Reputation: 32304
Default General thoughts

All societies have rituals (ceremonies) to commemorate and mark important events in the life cycle - the birth of a child (baptism), the coming of age of a child (Bar Mitzvah, first communion, quinceneira), graduation from various levels of schooling, marriage, retirement ("official" lunch with speeches), and finally death (wakes, funerals, gatherings to break bread together which meals have the special term "repasts" in the black community). The relative importance of the various ceremonies as well as their specific forms will vary in different societies and in different eras.

In the United States the modern era (post World War II, I would say) has been marked by the increasing relaxation of social norms to the point where it sometimes seems like there are no more norms at all. What is "expected" anymore? Well, this trend certainly favors increased freedom - everybody does what he wants and feels moved to do.

But I wonder if we are the poorer for it? The rituals and ceremonies, on a deeper and more generalized level, cement our common humanity and our feeling of belonging to a society.

Part of this modern trend is the thought that one can avoid anything which is unpleasant or upsetting, and I believe it has led to a denial of death. Death is the last taboo subject; we would almost rather speak about sex to children as opposed to death. We are isolated from its realities, perhaps to our detriment. In olden times, family members would wash the body and prepare it to be "laid out" in the home, and members of the community would drop by to pay their respects. Now we are separated from all that and specialists - morticians and funeral directors - take care of everything.

Funerals are important on multiple levels, as explained with particular cogence by poster Rosemary T.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2014, 03:45 AM
 
12,687 posts, read 14,071,402 times
Reputation: 34790
I grew up in a small town and in the era when you did attend the wakes and funerals of relatives, friends and neighbors. If someone you knew well suffered the death of a close family member, you made a visit to the wake. It was about "community" in a deeply personal sense, before the word became a meaningless political invocation.

At one time I believed that prayers for the dead were efficacious for the dead, I have long since ceased to believe that. However, the primary purpose in attending a wake and/or a funeral even then was to give consolation and support to the living, and these remain my reason for continuing to go.

"Depressing"?

When I hear that objection to supporting the living, it gives me a proctologist's view of humanity.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2014, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,886 posts, read 25,316,043 times
Reputation: 26377
I detest funerals. I didn't attend my own grandmother's funeral. Why? Because I spent a week of my vacation with her every year. I wanted to see her while she was alive. No matter where I lived I flew and got a rental car. When she died there was a funeral that was very well attended because most of the rest of the family lived close by.

When my parents died we had them cremated with no funeral/ceremony. All their friends and relatives were either dead or too frail to travel thousands of miles for a funeral. I saw little point in paying for a funeral no one could attend. And it went right along with their wishes. They didn't want a funeral.

When H died he was cremated. His cousins and I went to the cemetary where his parents were buried and scattered his ashes on their graves. We had our own little 'service' and that was it.

I don't want a funeral when I croak either. Do whatever is cheapest and get on with life! Funerals are a racket! If someone wants to do something for me, do it while I am alive.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2014, 05:29 PM
 
Location: in the miseries
3,302 posts, read 3,578,775 times
Reputation: 3810
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
I detest funerals. I didn't attend my own grandmother's funeral. Why? Because I spent a week of my vacation with her every year. I wanted to see her while she was alive. No matter where I lived I flew and got a rental car. When she died there was a funeral that was very well attended because most of the rest of the family lived close by.

When my parents died we had them cremated with no funeral/ceremony. All their friends and relatives were either dead or too frail to travel thousands of miles for a funeral. I saw little point in paying for a funeral no one could attend. And it went right along with their wishes. They didn't want a funeral.

When H died he was cremated. His cousins and I went to the cemetary where his parents were buried and scattered his ashes on their graves. We had our own little 'service' and that was it.

I don't want a funeral when I croak either. Do whatever is cheapest and get on with life! Funerals are a racket! If someone wants to do something for me, do it while I am alive.
Well said!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-13-2014, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
24,992 posts, read 23,900,059 times
Reputation: 30840
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmyhoss View Post
These past two weeks 5 people I know died. All over 60.
I am making myself go to various wakes/funerals,
but I'm getting a bit depressed.
Where do you draw the line?
No, I can't attend all of them. Some of them are on days or at hours which don't allow me to go. Others are out of area or state, and it's unlikely that I'll get there unless it's a family member or someone very, very close to me. I can't always attend those, either.

Send a card and write a personal sentiment. The bereaved the cards. They reread them later.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top