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Old 12-20-2015, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Near a river
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I've helped plan "memorial" services for several people. Having been an event planner as part of my former work, it's a natural for me. None of these had any fanfare, just a simple and nicely done service of remembrance.

I waver on whether or not to want a memorial service for myself. I see the pros and the cons. I will not be having a traditional church funeral at any rate.

In the event I do decide I want one, I'd like to put together the elements while I'm kicking. So far I've only thought about some music.

For those who want a memorial service (aside from a funeral) for themselves, what stage of planning are you at and what are your thoughts, or are you going to leave it to others?
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
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I have spent most of the last week working on my funeral arrangements. I have gotten as far as the music for the service but no memorial as such yet.

Mostly I have been concentrating on the casket choice, checking out National cemeteries and my concerns about being sure casket is not sealed and other things to keep from turning to smelly soup in the casket. I know dead is dead but that idea just really bothers me.

I have no real friends and family is mostly far away now, so not sure who will actually be there for any service. Also I have not done a whole lot with my life so there is not much to say either, How would I proceed with the memorial?
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Close to an earthquake
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I think when I do this planning, I'll start by writing my obituary.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
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My "adopted" New Mexico dad (I lived with them in high school and remained close) planned his memorial service but he had cancer that came out of remission so he knew he was going to die in the next year. He selected the songs, music, and pictures to be shown and wrote his own obituary. My dad asked a colleague of a similar age to speak and met with him several times to provide details of his life. The colleague was a very eloquent speaker and both him and my dad had similar life experiences growing up in the depression on a small farm and being in WWII before going to college on the GI bill. He did a great job and it was very interesting the way he discussed both his and my dad's life experiences with similarities and differences. Afterwards others were encouraged to speak and did so. It was a very moving and uplifting service. Secular except for a few of the songs.

We had an open house at the home afterwards with food and drink. Definitely served beer as my dad loved to drink beer although had given it up the last ten years or more before his death. Lots of sharing of stories from his law enforcement co-workers and old hunting buddies and it lasted late into the night. My mom found it all comforting. She was anxious to get rid of his stuff so the next day we divided things up and took the rest to Goodwill or whatever. I got a couple of his flannel shirts and a little wooden sign that he put outside his law office with his name and profession when he was in private practice. I now display the sign in my den.

My dad wanted a casket with viewing as my parents were of the age where a viewing was not morbid but was important for them to be able to accept that someone had died. Some of the younger folks did not care for that but I prefer it. When their son died unexpectedly years later, I never got to see his body and both myself and his mom felt like he just was there one day and not the next which made it a little harder to accept his death. Back to my dad, he was cremated after the memorial service and the remains buried about a week later in the local Veteran's cemetery. As I lived a distance away, I did not go to the burial service. But there was probably a military element to the service.

On a related note, he and his daughter over the course of a month or so had sat together and recorded his life story. He would tell stories and she would help by asking questions as he was very sick at the time. Later she transcribed the tape recordings and organized the stories and we all got copies.

I'm an introvert and had a much less interesting life. I don't want a memorial service but have told my brother that he can do what he wants. My only wish is not to have a religious service (which will annoy some of my southern family members) and to be cremated and have my ashes scattered in the mountains of New Mexico.

Last edited by ABQ2015; 12-20-2015 at 12:43 PM..
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQ2015 View Post

On a related note, he and his daughter over the course of a month or so had sat together and recorded his life story. He would tell stories and she would help by asking questions as he was very sick at the time. Later she transcribed the tape recordings and organized the stories and we all got copies.
That's incredible, what a gift — both ways.
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:39 PM
 
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I intend to be cremated and my executor/lawyer is to get it done. I am looking into prepaying. My ashes will be given to a Buddhist friend and his wife, who will take them to a huge beach on our Atlantic coast to scatter them. Whether they want to let people know when this is done or not is up to them. There is a short recitation, probably less than a minute, then the ashes ashes are scattered along the shore. There won't be any music unless there are seagulls around, in which case I will not mind missing the chorus as I have heard enough of them the last ten years nesting and roosting on the roof.

I did write an obituary and give my lawyer the names of my local papers in the United States.

And that's it.
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Old 12-20-2015, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Close to an earthquake
890 posts, read 678,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
I intend to be cremated and my executor/lawyer is to get it done. I am looking into prepaying. My ashes will be given to a Buddhist friend and his wife, who will take them to a huge beach on our Atlantic coast to scatter them. Whether they want to let people know when this is done or not is up to them. There is a short recitation, probably less than a minute, then the ashes ashes are scattered along the shore. There won't be any music unless there are seagulls around, in which case I will not mind missing the chorus as I have heard enough of them the last ten years nesting and roosting on the roof.

I did write an obituary and give my lawyer the names of my local papers in the United States.

And that's it.
I've heard the phrase "got burned by an attorney" and now I better understand it based on your share.
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Old 12-20-2015, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post

I did write an obituary and give my lawyer the names of my local papers in the United States.

And that's it.
Whether or not I opt for a memorial service, I will have my obit in two papers. It is written and on a CD for each paper with a jpg photo. I'm not sure I want that particular photo, but it's already on the CD so I don't really care. Having had to do obits as a rookie reporter, I don't trust anyone to write mine up. Short and to the point with correct punctuation, lol.

On topic, I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable trying to come up with good things to say about me, so I'm leaning toward instructions for a simple memorial exhibit of my artwork and photographs, with music and champagne, no eulogies. Many boxes of tissues of course.
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Old 12-20-2015, 04:56 PM
 
5,429 posts, read 3,454,205 times
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I'm interested in why you care about a memorial service......since you'll be dead and will not know about anything.

You wouldn't know if you are simply cremated without a service, and that's the end of it.

I realize that people want to think that their life counted for something, that they made some sort of impact, and that this is recognized. Also that their absence on earth will have some sort of impact even if it consisted of just living and being around, especially on their children and/or spouse if existing, but apparently on others too.

I'm also curious as to why at least two, if not more, threads on death are being started during this time of the year. Rather morbid to be bringing it up during traditionally festive and for some, joyous, time of year. i imagine there are a number of reasons.

Last edited by matisse12; 12-20-2015 at 06:00 PM..
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Old 12-20-2015, 05:53 PM
 
5,429 posts, read 3,454,205 times
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I'm probably singular in this opinion, but I think it's rude to inflict a memorial service on relatives who are scattered all over the country thereby expecting them to travel (air flight, car, bus, train) along with inconvenience, time, money for hotel, plane tickets, etc.....or leaving them with possible guilt if they decide not to attend, just for a memorial service.

I realize maybe not many agree with me on this. And I realize that for some a memorial service is very welcome, especially for prominent people.

Last edited by matisse12; 12-20-2015 at 06:03 PM..
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