Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: LifeOnPluto on November 22, 2013, 11:15:25 PM

Title: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: LifeOnPluto on November 22, 2013, 11:15:25 PM
A relative of DF's passed away on Wednesday. This relative was a very low-key, "no fuss please" type of person. On his deathbed, he firmly told his family that he did NOT want a funeral.

His two sons have decided not to have a funeral, in the sense that there will be no service, or burial, etc. However, they are throwing a massive wake, and inviting everyone who knew the Deceased.

DF's family is somewhat divided by this. Some relatives (such as DF's parents) consider that the sons are not complying with the spirit of the Deceased's wishes, and that the Deceased would NEVER have wanted an enormous, fancy wake.

However, other relatives (such as DF) believe that if the sons (and their mother, the Deceased's widow) feel the need to have a big wake for the Deceased, they should go ahead and do so, if it would bring them comfort.

What do you guys think? Are the sons being rude, or not?
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Perfect Circle on November 22, 2013, 11:21:04 PM
To me a wake is not a funeral so no. Plus these things are for the living and perhaps they want their family and friends around them for support at this time.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: cicero on November 22, 2013, 11:34:32 PM
I agree with perfect circle ( though granted *we* didn't know the deceased and if that is what he meant. ). Sounds to me like the uncle didn't want the rituals that relate to him - service, burial etc. The wake is about bringing comfort to his family.

Of course, there might be a whole long history here that would put a different spin on things
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: EMuir on November 22, 2013, 11:36:39 PM
My father was an atheist and didn't want a service or anything with speeches.  So we just got together at a hall for a meal with family and friends.  It was nice.  I put copies of some good photos of Dad on each table for people to take if they wanted a momento.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: JoyinVirginia on November 22, 2013, 11:53:15 PM
Funerals, memorials, services are for the living, not the dead. So the sons are just fine doing what they want and complying with the specifics of the instructions - no service. They are the survivors, they get to decide how best to cope with loss of their father. Do NOT let anyone criticize these guys.
When one aunt died, she had told her daughter that she did not want anyone at the church to go to the trouble of having a dinner there for her. Usually the church ladies would prepare a dinner for those who attended funeral. So the church ladies did not do the usual dinner. We family members got together at a near by restaurant. It felt really strange! Everyone wondered what my aunt's daughter had against the church!? I think it was an unreasonable request the aunt made of her daughter. And I think she would have been fine ignoring that request.

Edited to add: if anyone in the family feels strongly, they can stay away. However in my opinion I think it is horribly, almost inexcusably wrong, to criticize immediate family dealing with Loss of a lived one.  Some people have Sommer affairs, some people have celebrations.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Iris on November 22, 2013, 11:54:28 PM
I hold the firm belief that funerals and wakes are for the living so I'm not a fan of funeral instructions in general. They've stuck to the letter of his instructions and if a wake will help *them* to heal then I say go for it.

JoyinVirginia typed at the same time as me. I could have just podded.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: peaches on November 23, 2013, 12:14:05 AM
I really think we should bend over backwards to avoid criticizing people who are grieving, and the choices they make.

In this case, the sons have followed through with the gist of the parent's request, which was to have no funeral (which I would define as traditional visitation with casket present, religious service, funeral or memorial service, or graveside service). There could be valid reasons why someone wouldn't want a traditional funeral (expense, religious beliefs, etc.) and I would respect that.

A wake is just a party IMO. If it's going to be of comfort to the bereaved, I think it's fine to have one. Obviously, no one has to attend who would feel uncomfortable or who wants to grieve in a different way/environment.
 
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: nolechica on November 23, 2013, 12:18:53 AM
I think they should listen to instructions, but then I absolutely detest funerals (too religious).  Wakes, I can handle.  However, I do think it depends on how well known his wishes were.  My dad doesn't want a funeral and if I can arrange that I will, but I hope he put it in the will too.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: MrsJWine on November 23, 2013, 12:38:40 AM
My family can do whatever they want after I'm dead, but I really don't want them to spend a ton of money. They can have a funeral, or they can have a cremation and nothing else. But I plan to haunt them if they shell out a massive amount of money over my dead body. If I were to give those instructions, it wouldn't mean, "Don't do anything to remember me." It would mean, "Don't spend half of the life insurance payout on my stupid coffin."
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: sammycat on November 23, 2013, 01:06:09 AM
My family can do whatever they want after I'm dead, but I really don't want them to spend a ton of money. They can have a funeral, or they can have a cremation and nothing else. But I plan to haunt them if they shell out a massive amount of money over my dead body. If I were to give those instructions, it wouldn't mean, "Don't do anything to remember me." It would mean, "Don't spend half of the life insurance payout on my stupid coffin."

Great minds think alike.  ;)
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: sweetonsno on November 23, 2013, 01:42:47 AM
Only the people present understand exactly what this man meant. Did he mean no religious ceremony/ritual, or no formal/official gathering of loved ones?

It sounds like the truth is somewhere in the middle. The parents are leaning more towards the "no organized event" sense of the request and the sons are leaning more towards the "keep religion out of it" interpretation.

That said, I tend to agree with previous posters: with the possible exception of spiritual ceremonies specifically designed to protect the spirit of the deceased, this type of thing is for the living, not the dead.

I assume that this man's sons aren't maliciously going out of their way to disrespect Dad, so I don't think they are being rude. If they were saying horrible things or otherwise making most of his friends and family uncomfortable, I'd say they would be rude. However, this sounds mostly like they want to celebrate his life.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: 123sandy on November 23, 2013, 03:23:02 AM
They are following his wishes as there is no funeral. A wake is different. A time for the grieving to come together to share stories, memories and be there for each other.

Please don't say "my family can do what they want when I'm gone". Neither of my parents let their final wishes be known. Three children with different ideas of how the funeral/burial/cremation should be lead to bad feeling. The death of your parent is not a time to feel like your siblings don't care about your wishes/feelings.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: nayberry on November 23, 2013, 07:33:27 AM
when the last of my older rellies passed away we knew they hadn't wanted a big fuss,  so we got good food and drink , gathered family and friends and told stories about them and toasted their memory.  we felt better for it and they would have approved and enjoyed the spread :)
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Secret on November 23, 2013, 07:37:02 AM
In my family, there have been a few deaths lately of the senior folks and one younger one in his 50's and none of them had a funeral.  For the 2 seniors it was; meet with funeral home, get body cremated and get urn back.  For the younger one it was: hold a visitation and that was it.   The younger one with the visitation only was because he was a wonderful man who battled cancer and so many people wanted to come out and pay respects to his family.   The final unexpected on was a memorial service  only.

I don't know if it is just in my neck of the woods, but actual funerals are more "tradition" and we do it because "that is what you do".  (See IL's side).  My side has been doing what they are comfortable with.  they are not comfortable with paying for a huge funeral and the rigours of a funeral aren't really what people seem to be going for lately.  They are bucking the formality of a funeral.

Having said that, some people feel they get closure at a funeral type event.  Perhaps that is what these people felt having a small service.  they needed "something" to get a bit of clousre or formality.  My grandparent died a few weeks ago and my parents met with the funeral home, arranged for cremation and her urn is on my grandpa's mantle.  While her death was expected, i still felt a sense that I never got to properly say goodbye to gran.  Even through I dread funeral type events.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: *inviteseller on November 23, 2013, 08:00:29 AM
To me, the wake is more for the relatives to be comforted and the funeral is for the deceased.  I think the family is ok here because they followed their dad's wishes.  My dad set up his own final plans 2 days before he passed in August and his wishes were to have no viewing, no funeral and although it bothered my step mom, that is exactly what we did, just us taking his ashes to be interred at the cemetery a month later, but my sister and I are talking about having a 'party' on his next birthday to have his life celebrated and we feel he would appreciate us doing something like that.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Julsie on November 23, 2013, 08:02:34 AM
My family can do whatever they want after I'm dead, but I really don't want them to spend a ton of money.

You can plan and pre-pay your arrangements ahead of time.  That spares your family from having to decide amongst themselves (while grieving, no less) exactly what you wanted and how much you felt was reasonable to spend.  Aunt Susie may not like it but at least Uncle Joe can say, "It's not my doing, it's what Mrs. Wine said to do.".
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Pen^2 on November 23, 2013, 08:20:49 AM
I agree with so many of the PP's that a funeral and a wake are not the same thing. At a funeral, I immediately imagine a priest, readings, people dressed in black, and maybe even something graveside. A wake is a toned-down party where people share stories about someone they all knew and loved. Not the same thing.

I'd rather people not have a funeral for me, but if they want to have a get-together and talk about my idiosyncrasies, that's a different thing and their business entirely. A wake is about the living, whereas a funeral is about the deceased. I think they're following the spirit of their father's wishes just fine. And as someone pointed out, we really shouldn't jump to criticise grieving people.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 23, 2013, 08:31:01 AM
Funerals, memorials, services are for the living, not the dead. So the sons are just fine doing what they want and complying with the specifics of the instructions - no service. They are the survivors, they get to decide how best to cope with loss of their father. Do NOT let anyone criticize these guys.
When one aunt died, she had told her daughter that she did not want anyone at the church to go to the trouble of having a dinner there for her. Usually the church ladies would prepare a dinner for those who attended funeral. So the church ladies did not do the usual dinner. We family members got together at a near by restaurant. It felt really strange! Everyone wondered what my aunt's daughter had against the church!? I think it was an unreasonable request the aunt made of her daughter. And I think she would have been fine ignoring that request.

Edited to add: if anyone in the family feels strongly, they can stay away. However in my opinion I think it is horribly, almost inexcusably wrong, to criticize immediate family dealing with Loss of a lived one.  Some people have Sommer affairs, some people have celebrations.

I agree with the bolded, and hope that those  who are against it keep their opinions to themselves instead of burdening the survivors.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Hmmmmm on November 23, 2013, 08:39:00 AM
Funerals, memorials, services are for the living, not the dead. So the sons are just fine doing what they want and complying with the specifics of the instructions - no service. They are the survivors, they get to decide how best to cope with loss of their father. Do NOT let anyone criticize these guys.
When one aunt died, she had told her daughter that she did not want anyone at the church to go to the trouble of having a dinner there for her. Usually the church ladies would prepare a dinner for those who attended funeral. So the church ladies did not do the usual dinner. We family members got together at a near by restaurant. It felt really strange! Everyone wondered what my aunt's daughter had against the church!? I think it was an unreasonable request the aunt made of her daughter. And I think she would have been fine ignoring that request.

Edited to add: if anyone in the family feels strongly, they can stay away. However in my opinion I think it is horribly, almost inexcusably wrong, to criticize immediate family dealing with Loss of a lived one.  Some people have Sommer affairs, some people have celebrations.

I agree with the bolded, and hope that those  who are against it keep their opinions to themselves instead of burdening the survivors.

POD
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: jalutaja on November 23, 2013, 09:19:56 AM
I think they should listen to instructions, but then I absolutely detest funerals (too religious).

In my language "funeral" is also used to  atheist burial service. I assumed it is same in English, but you say only religious service is funeral.

Can anyone tell me how is atheist burial service properly called in English language?
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 23, 2013, 09:23:33 AM
I think they should listen to instructions, but then I absolutely detest funerals (too religious).

In my language "funeral" is also used to  atheist burial service. I assumed it is same in English, but you say only religious service is funeral.

Can anyone tell me how is atheist burial service properly called in English language?

Not all burial services are religious. One can have any kind of service, or none at all.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: problemattic on November 23, 2013, 10:24:47 AM
Let me preface this by saying that I know many, likely most, will disagree with me.  But I would be uncomfortable with the wake.  Before my father died earlier this year, he asked that we hold no service of any kind, and gave us a short list of people to notify.  We are typically a "big funeral family" and I would have liked to have had at least a small memorial service and put a notice in the paper,  but I did not.  Honoring Dad's wishes was the last favor I was able to do for him, and I'm glad I didn't cave.  I would hate to think that my loved ones had so little respect for me that they would throw a party when I specifically asked them to keep things quiet.  Ultimately, knowing I handled things as Dad wanted makes me feel better than a service would, and I hope my final wishes are similarly honored.  If not...well, I intend to haunt some folks!   >:D
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Pen^2 on November 23, 2013, 10:40:52 AM
Let me preface this by saying that I know many, likely most, will disagree with me.  But I would be uncomfortable with the wake.  Before my father died earlier this year, he asked that we hold no service of any kind, and gave us a short list of people to notify.  We are typically a "big funeral family" and I would have liked to have had at least a small memorial service and put a notice in the paper,  but I did not.  Honoring Dad's wishes was the last favor I was able to do for him, and I'm glad I didn't cave.  I would hate to think that my loved ones had so little respect for me that they would throw a party when I specifically asked them to keep things quiet.  Ultimately, knowing I handled things as Dad wanted makes me feel better than a service would, and I hope my final wishes are similarly honored.  If not...well, I intend to haunt some folks!   >:D

In your experience, your father asked that you hold no service of any kind. It seems like in your family, that covers wakes as well, which is fine. However, for a lot of people here, it seems, and perhaps in society in general, this is not the case, and the two are seen as separate things. It almost certainly changes according to culture, location, family traditions, and so on. Unless the family in this story was similar to yours in what "funeral" and "wake" meant to them, then I don't think we can assume that to them they're so similar that they're going against their father's request. Chances are, this was not the case.

Whatever the facts may be, if people who know these brothers feel like they're doing the wrong thing, then I sincerely hope they have the empathy to keep their opinions to themselves.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Tea Drinker on November 23, 2013, 11:17:53 AM
They are following his wishes as there is no funeral. A wake is different. A time for the grieving to come together to share stories, memories and be there for each other.

Please don't say "my family can do what they want when I'm gone". Neither of my parents let their final wishes be known. Three children with different ideas of how the funeral/burial/cremation should be lead to bad feeling. The death of your parent is not a time to feel like your siblings don't care about your wishes/feelings.

What if you really don't care, though? What I care about is that I am registered as an organ donor. After that, I have told my partners "do whatever comforts you two." Yes, I think this will work because they care about each other, and we have discussed what that's likely to mean--but rather than thinking of a funeral or lack thereof as the last thing that my loved ones can do for me, I'm thinking of this as one last thing I can do for them, because they're the ones who will be affected by it.

I'm sorry it worked out badly with your parents, but I suspect that they didn't realize that their three children did care and disagreed about what they wanted, because it's easy for people to assume that of course it will be done X way. And one reason people don't let their wishes be known is that they assume everyone, or at least everyone in their community, wants the same thing--knowing about funeral customs halfway around the world doesn't mean you'll think "my oldest kid goes to a different church now, and the youngest hates going near cemeteries, how does that affect me?"
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: mbbored on November 23, 2013, 12:24:49 PM
Let me preface this by saying that I know many, likely most, will disagree with me.  But I would be uncomfortable with the wake.  Before my father died earlier this year, he asked that we hold no service of any kind, and gave us a short list of people to notify.  We are typically a "big funeral family" and I would have liked to have had at least a small memorial service and put a notice in the paper,  but I did not.  Honoring Dad's wishes was the last favor I was able to do for him, and I'm glad I didn't cave.  I would hate to think that my loved ones had so little respect for me that they would throw a party when I specifically asked them to keep things quiet.  Ultimately, knowing I handled things as Dad wanted makes me feel better than a service would, and I hope my final wishes are similarly honored.  If not...well, I intend to haunt some folks!   >:D

I agree. I feel like the brothers are following the letter of the request but not the spirit of the request. While a wake is technically different from a funeral, I consider them to be part of the same greater event.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Margo on November 23, 2013, 12:32:38 PM
Let me preface this by saying that I know many, likely most, will disagree with me.  But I would be uncomfortable with the wake.  Before my father died earlier this year, he asked that we hold no service of any kind, and gave us a short list of people to notify.  We are typically a "big funeral family" and I would have liked to have had at least a small memorial service and put a notice in the paper,  but I did not.  Honoring Dad's wishes was the last favor I was able to do for him, and I'm glad I didn't cave.  I would hate to think that my loved ones had so little respect for me that they would throw a party when I specifically asked them to keep things quiet.  Ultimately, knowing I handled things as Dad wanted makes me feel better than a service would, and I hope my final wishes are similarly honored.  If not...well, I intend to haunt some folks!   >:D

actually, I don't feel that's inconsistent with the view that most here are expressing. Funerals/wakes are for the living. If you felt the best comfort came from doing what your father wanted, then that was right for *you* - you mention that you don't regret it, so you clearly made the right choice for you.

If OP's family felt that a wake rather than a funeral service was right for them,that's their choice.

I tend to the view that the thing which the closest family feel is right, is the best way. And if that means holding a religious service for an atheist, or a wake for an introvert, so be it. If it brings comfort to the bereaved, it has achieved it's purpose.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Twik on November 23, 2013, 02:35:31 PM
Quite honestly, there's something unpleasantly controlling about ordering your loved ones not to mark your passing in a way of their own choosing. It may come from a good place ("I don't want them to be stressed out trying to arrange a big ceremony, I hate the thought of them all grieving in my name.") Guess what? They're going to grieve no matter what you tell them, and perhaps wish for a ceremony, just the same.

If it is a matter of religious or philosophical belief, I can understand not wanting a particular *type* of ceremony. But ordering your loved ones, "Just put me in the ground and forget about me!" is fooling oneself, if one does it in the belief that it would ease their pain, not make it worse.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: veryfluffy on November 23, 2013, 02:54:31 PM
I think there was a thread a while ago about the cost of funerals? Perhaps someone who says they don't want one has some experience of organising someone else's, and considers it a waste of money and effort, exacerbated by pressure from funeral directors/relatives/clergy etc.

For my part, I would much rather someone spent $$$$ of any money I leave on a few cases of good champagne and a party, than on an ostentatious casket, hearses, etc.

The other thing I ask people is, if you want to buy flowers for me, give them to me while I am alive, not after I'm dead.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Brisvegasgal on November 23, 2013, 02:55:28 PM
My family can do whatever they want after I'm dead, but I really don't want them to spend a ton of money. They can have a funeral, or they can have a cremation and nothing else. But I plan to haunt them if they shell out a massive amount of money over my dead body. If I were to give those instructions, it wouldn't mean, "Don't do anything to remember me." It would mean, "Don't spend half of the life insurance payout on my stupid coffin."

POD. The people left behind can choose what to do. I always think of funerals as a celebration of the deceased's life and how that life is celebrated is up to the living.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: sammycat on November 23, 2013, 04:47:01 PM
I agree. I feel like the brothers are following the letter of the request but not the spirit of the request. While a wake is technically different from a funeral, I consider them to be part of the same greater event.

This is my thought too.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Elfmama on November 23, 2013, 08:56:18 PM
My family can do whatever they want after I'm dead, but I really don't want them to spend a ton of money.

You can plan and pre-pay your arrangements ahead of time.  That spares your family from having to decide amongst themselves (while grieving, no less) exactly what you wanted and how much you felt was reasonable to spend.  Aunt Susie may not like it but at least Uncle Joe can say, "It's not my doing, it's what Mrs. Wine said to do.".
Planning ahead of time is fine. But what happens if you pre-pay for arrangements and then move?  Or die in an accident while traveling?  If my parents had pre-paid when they lived in Florida, where they expected to live the rest of their lives, they would have wasted their money.  They're now in Assisted Living in Oregon, near my sister.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Winterlight on November 23, 2013, 10:31:50 PM
I recently lost my mom. She told us she didn't want a burial (she chose cremation) and no services. Two of the organizations she was involved with asked us to allow them to do a celebration of life for her, and we had a lovely one which mom would have liked.

I think if it gives comfort to the bereaved, the rest of us need to stay out of it. Ceremonies help us mark milestones, and picking the one that assisted them is not something to huff at them over.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: CakeEater on November 24, 2013, 01:16:43 AM
Quite honestly, there's something unpleasantly controlling about ordering your loved ones not to mark your passing in a way of their own choosing. It may come from a good place ("I don't want them to be stressed out trying to arrange a big ceremony, I hate the thought of them all grieving in my name.") Guess what? They're going to grieve no matter what you tell them, and perhaps wish for a ceremony, just the same.

If it is a matter of religious or philosophical belief, I can understand not wanting a particular *type* of ceremony. But ordering your loved ones, "Just put me in the ground and forget about me!" is fooling oneself, if one does it in the belief that it would ease their pain, not make it worse.

I was about to write something like this.

I think that holding a religious service for an avowed athiest, or failing to organise a religious service for a practising member of whatever religion would be wrong - you honour those sorts of requests. But other than that, the living should do whatever they need to, within reason.

Making very specific or emotionally difficult requests of your nearest and dearest is far from kind. You'll no longer be there to be concerned anyway.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: MariaE on November 24, 2013, 01:52:18 AM
Quite honestly, there's something unpleasantly controlling about ordering your loved ones not to mark your passing in a way of their own choosing. It may come from a good place ("I don't want them to be stressed out trying to arrange a big ceremony, I hate the thought of them all grieving in my name.") Guess what? They're going to grieve no matter what you tell them, and perhaps wish for a ceremony, just the same.

If it is a matter of religious or philosophical belief, I can understand not wanting a particular *type* of ceremony. But ordering your loved ones, "Just put me in the ground and forget about me!" is fooling oneself, if one does it in the belief that it would ease their pain, not make it worse.

I was about to write something like this.

I think that holding a religious service for an avowed athiest, or failing to organise a religious service for a practising member of whatever religion would be wrong - you honour those sorts of requests. But other than that, the living should do whatever they need to, within reason.

Making very specific or emotionally difficult requests of your nearest and dearest is far from kind. You'll no longer be there to be concerned anyway.

I agree with this. Respect the religion (or lack of same) of the deceased, but other than that, do what brings you comfort.

I'm a practising Christian and definitely want that respected. But other than that? Big funeral / small funeral. Burial / cremation... What do I care? I'm dead anyway and not likely to notice  ;)
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: JoieGirl7 on November 24, 2013, 02:34:07 AM
One cannot really be rude to the dead.  The people it would be rude to, to disrespect the wishes of the dead are the people closest to that person.

In this case, it was the closest people to the deceased who made the decision to do something slightly different and no one should be criticizing them for it. No one outranks a widow and the sons.

When my mom died we used a Cremation Society.  I cannot say enough good things about them.  They were so respectful and caring.  And it was inexpensive.  Only $1750 for cremation.

That was my mother's wish.  Now, what to do with her ashes after was a little more vague.  She and my father wished to have their ashea scattered together somewhere.

My uncle (my mom's brother) was absolutely horrified by this.  He felt that it went against his religion which was the same relitgion my mom was.

In order not to offend him, I have my parent's ashes in my home in a dignified place where they are not disturbed.  When my uncl eventually passes, I will scatter my parents' ashes together.

It is the best way to honor everyone's wishes living and dead.

My friends and I used to discuss planning the music and readings for our own funerals.  I asked a prominemt church musician what music he had planned for his own funeral and he said "You know, you should learn before you die not to control everything and certainly in death be able to let go."

He hadn't planned out his own funeral at all.  I think people shoud make certain decisions for themselves but ultimately leave the details to a trusted family member.

After all, if there is anytime to let go, it is defintely after you are dead.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Ceallach on November 24, 2013, 05:55:49 AM
Funerals & wakes are very, very, very important to me as part of the resolution and moving on experience.   If a family member didn't want a funeral I would absolutely respect that e.g. their final wishes for formality and how their body was disposed of and would not hold a funeral service, but I would still want a gathering of my family for *me* to help me grieve.   Because funerals aren't just about the dead, they are about the living.   

Therefore I find it a little upsetting that anybody would judge a bereaved person for holding a wake.    How can it possibly be "rude" to invite your family and friends to an event to remember a loved one?   Ok, so I can think of ways in which it might be - gimme pig registries, potlucks without enough food etc.... but the simple act of holding a big wake?   No.   I truly cannot believe that this would be rude.     I think it is uncharitable to think of it as such regardless of the circumstances.

When somebody dies I personally like to give their family an etiquette pass for a short while.  It seems the right thing to do.   We're not at our best when grieving, our priorities are elsewhere, it's about coping and about learning how to move on. 
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Bijou on November 24, 2013, 06:19:38 AM
I would never call it rude, and I think they are staying within the wishes of the person by not having a funeral.  I would also never second guess the decisions of the children of the person who has passed on.  Why make it harder than it already must be for them? 

In the newspaper I see more and more that there will be 'no services at the request of the deceased' and often there are 'celebrations of life', held even months later, rather than traditional funerals.  I think that a family needs to do what feels right to them, and maybe saying no services is a way of relieving them of the expense and possible pain of going through the preparations and so forth, of a funeral.  I have told my family that I don't want services, but I also let them know that whatever they feel they need to do is OK, too.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Psychopoesie on November 24, 2013, 06:30:29 AM
I can't see how holding a wake is rude either.

It seems to me that the family was trying to balance the wishes of the person who died with the emotional need of those grieving to have a proper goodbye.

That's not always easy. I noticed a few posters who've said it would be wrong to have a religious ceremony for someone who wasn't religious themselves.  Well, that's what happened with my dad.

He was not religious. My stepmum is. He prepaid his funeral once he knew he didn't have long to live. This included a service in the funeral parlour, not the church.

When he died, my stepmum found she really wanted the support of her religion during the ceremony. So we (my half-brother and I) agreed to have it in the church, with a priest Dad liked and had met several times over the years (and knocked back the occasional whisky with).

Everything else was just as Dad had planned - including cremation, not burial (which stepmum's religion frowns on). No one made out that he was a believer in or a supporter of that particular religion. We scattered his ashes in the sea, just as he requested.

It was a huge comfort to my stepmum though. Dad did love her very much - so I can't see how doing this dishonoured his memory.

Losing a loved one really sucks. It's not easy making decisions in the aftermath. Cutting the bereaved some slack during that time seems like the kindest thing to do.






Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: iridaceae on November 24, 2013, 06:35:02 AM
 


If it is a matter of religious or philosophical belief, I can understand not wanting a particular *type* of ceremony. But ordering your loved ones, "Just put me in the ground and forget about me!" is fooling oneself, if one does it in the belief that it would ease their pain, not make it worse.

My mother didn't want a funeral. We didn't have one. We didn't do a wake and I'm sure she wouldn't have wanted one; the people who we thought should know about the death knew.

But Twik I guarantee you that we didn't "just forget her". What a ....not nice thing to say. Insinuate.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 24, 2013, 06:54:54 AM
My family can do whatever they want after I'm dead, but I really don't want them to spend a ton of money. They can have a funeral, or they can have a cremation and nothing else. But I plan to haunt them if they shell out a massive amount of money over my dead body. If I were to give those instructions, it wouldn't mean, "Don't do anything to remember me." It would mean, "Don't spend half of the life insurance payout on my stupid coffin."

I'm much the same way. I know I want to be cremated and told my DH "no viewings, there's no point in spending the money on a casket if I'm not going to be buried in it!" Besides that, it's really up to him just what they do to remember me.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Twik on November 24, 2013, 08:17:51 AM


If it is a matter of religious or philosophical belief, I can understand not wanting a particular *type* of ceremony. But ordering your loved ones, "Just put me in the ground and forget about me!" is fooling oneself, if one does it in the belief that it would ease their pain, not make it worse.

My mother didn't want a funeral. We didn't have one. We didn't do a wake and I'm sure she wouldn't have wanted one; the people who we thought should know about the death knew.

But Twik I guarantee you that we didn't "just forget her". What a ....not nice thing to say. Insinuate.

I'm not at all insinuating that the relatives of the deceased would forget them.

I think that some people before death hope that their loved ones *can* "forget about them". No one wants to think of their loved ones weeping for them. But telling them not to mourn is like telling the tide not to come in. If having a ceremony to help the grieving process helps, then they should be allowed to have one.

"Don't mourn for me" may come from a loving place, but it's an impossible command. At some point, we must accept that we can't control our loved ones' reactions, and insisting on no outward mourning is no better than demanding that they spend the rest of their lives in black.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: veryfluffy on November 24, 2013, 12:13:41 PM
I noticed a few posters who've said it would be wrong to have a religious ceremony for someone who wasn't religious themselves.  Well, that's what happened with my dad.

He was not religious. My stepmum is. He prepaid his funeral once he knew he didn't have long to live. This included a service in the funeral parlour, not the church.

When he died, my stepmum found she really wanted the support of her religion during the ceremony. So we (my half-brother and I) agreed to have it in the church, with a priest Dad liked and had met several times over the years (and knocked back the occasional whisky with).

Everything else was just as Dad had planned - including cremation, not burial (which stepmum's religion frowns on). No one made out that he was a believer in or a supporter of that particular religion. We scattered his ashes in the sea, just as he requested.

I would say that if the deceased had specifically stated they wanted (to the extent of arranging and paying for!) a non-religious funeral, I'd see it as utterly disrespectful to their memory to hold one. Even if they didn't make claims that the deceased was a follower of that religion, it basically serves to negate and belittle their right to have not been a believer. What if the deceased was a Catholic, and their surviving spouse an atheist who decided not to bother with a Catholic service for them because they didn't believe in it?

Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: onikenbai on November 24, 2013, 01:33:18 PM
My family can do whatever they want after I'm dead, but I really don't want them to spend a ton of money. They can have a funeral, or they can have a cremation and nothing else. But I plan to haunt them if they shell out a massive amount of money over my dead body. If I were to give those instructions, it wouldn't mean, "Don't do anything to remember me." It would mean, "Don't spend half of the life insurance payout on my stupid coffin."

Little known fact:  you can rent a coffin.  As long as you don't plan to do the grave side thing and actually lower the coffin into the ground, you're good.  If you just do the church or funeral parlour service and then the person gets magically transported away for burial or cremation, they swap out the expensive wood coffin for a cardboard box after everybody has gone home.  They re-use the wood coffin only four or five times before they consider it to have enough wear and tear and some lucky person just gets buried in it.  It may not be universal, but it's available in many places and a lot cheaper than buying a $4000 box.  Also, I always feel that if I'm going to buy that much gorgeous wood I want to put it in my living room instead of the ground.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Psychopoesie on November 24, 2013, 01:56:31 PM
I noticed a few posters who've said it would be wrong to have a religious ceremony for someone who wasn't religious themselves.  Well, that's what happened with my dad.

He was not religious. My stepmum is. He prepaid his funeral once he knew he didn't have long to live. This included a service in the funeral parlour, not the church.

When he died, my stepmum found she really wanted the support of her religion during the ceremony. So we (my half-brother and I) agreed to have it in the church, with a priest Dad liked and had met several times over the years (and knocked back the occasional whisky with).

Everything else was just as Dad had planned - including cremation, not burial (which stepmum's religion frowns on). No one made out that he was a believer in or a supporter of that particular religion. We scattered his ashes in the sea, just as he requested.

I would say that if the deceased had specifically stated they wanted (to the extent of arranging and paying for!) a non-religious funeral, I'd see it as utterly disrespectful to their memory to hold one. Even if they didn't make claims that the deceased was a follower of that religion, it basically serves to negate and belittle their right to have not been a believer. What if the deceased was a Catholic, and their surviving spouse an atheist who decided not to bother with a Catholic service for them because they didn't believe in it?


He was my dad and I loved him very much.

It didn't feel disrespectful to me.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: CakeEater on November 24, 2013, 02:26:29 PM
I noticed a few posters who've said it would be wrong to have a religious ceremony for someone who wasn't religious themselves.  Well, that's what happened with my dad.

He was not religious. My stepmum is. He prepaid his funeral once he knew he didn't have long to live. This included a service in the funeral parlour, not the church.

When he died, my stepmum found she really wanted the support of her religion during the ceremony. So we (my half-brother and I) agreed to have it in the church, with a priest Dad liked and had met several times over the years (and knocked back the occasional whisky with).

Everything else was just as Dad had planned - including cremation, not burial (which stepmum's religion frowns on). No one made out that he was a believer in or a supporter of that particular religion. We scattered his ashes in the sea, just as he requested.

I would say that if the deceased had specifically stated they wanted (to the extent of arranging and paying for!) a non-religious funeral, I'd see it as utterly disrespectful to their memory to hold one. Even if they didn't make claims that the deceased was a follower of that religion, it basically serves to negate and belittle their right to have not been a believer. What if the deceased was a Catholic, and their surviving spouse an atheist who decided not to bother with a Catholic service for them because they didn't believe in it?

It sounds like in this case, that everyone agreed that Dad loved stepmum more than he would have insisted on a non-religious funeral, and would have wanted what was comforting to her.

Although I agree in general, that this sort of thing shouldn't happen.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Elfmama on November 24, 2013, 02:32:59 PM
My family can do whatever they want after I'm dead, but I really don't want them to spend a ton of money. They can have a funeral, or they can have a cremation and nothing else. But I plan to haunt them if they shell out a massive amount of money over my dead body. If I were to give those instructions, it wouldn't mean, "Don't do anything to remember me." It would mean, "Don't spend half of the life insurance payout on my stupid coffin."

I'm much the same way. I know I want to be cremated and told my DH "no viewings, there's no point in spending the money on a casket if I'm not going to be buried in it!" Besides that, it's really up to him just what they do to remember me.
I think in that case one can rent a fancy casket.  MIL's was one of the fancy enameled metal ones, not wood, the kind that runs in the mid-four-figures.  We left the mausoleum before they put her in the niche, but I'm assuming that the casket went in there too. 

I don't want to be embalmed, personally.  It's a waste of money if I'm just going to be cremated in a day or so.  Ditto with the fancy casket.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: nolechica on November 24, 2013, 03:15:31 PM
I think there's a difference in events are for the living and letting selfish people have their way.  Not everyone needs a final farewell to move on with their grief and people that demand that extended family come for a service/wake/lunch is selfish to a certain extent.  Hence my supporting the decedent's final wishes in 99% of cases (illegal wishes aside).
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: turnip on November 24, 2013, 03:48:35 PM
We had a case where a family member died and had a very formal, ritualized service according to the religion he was a strong believer in.  No one objected to that - but afterwards many of the younger generation were saddened that there hadn't been room for personal farewells or reminiscences.    I actually think that had they thought of this, having a separate 'wake' away from the pomp-and-circumstance of a religious ceremony would have been comforting for a lot of the mourners.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: nolechica on November 24, 2013, 03:57:42 PM
We had a case where a family member died and had a very formal, ritualized service according to the religion he was a strong believer in.  No one objected to that - but afterwards many of the younger generation were saddened that there hadn't been room for personal farewells or reminiscences.    I actually think that had they thought of this, having a separate 'wake' away from the pomp-and-circumstance of a religious ceremony would have been comforting for a lot of the mourners.

Yeah memorial services are better for that.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: daen on November 24, 2013, 06:38:42 PM
I have considered planning my own funeral.
It's not that I want to make sure that no one plays that song or that the right person reads the right passage. It would be more that this way, my family doesn't have to put a lot of thought into selecting music or readings that would reflect me and my life - I would have already done it for them.
Unfortunately, I have some depression issues, and thinking about my own death, however broadly/indirectly/positively, sets off bad trains of thought in my head. So it's all moot.

That being said - I had a co-worker whose father died after a brief illness. He was adamant that there be no funeral, no wake, no nothing. His wife felt she had to honor this, but the family really felt the need to mark their father's death in some way. So they "visited" for a few evenings, and told stories about their dad. Not a wake, no, nothing that formal - it was just that everyone ended up in someone's kitchen, and the conversation turned to Dad...

The opinion among the rest of us at work was that our co-worker's father was somewhat selfish and unrealistic to demand that there be no group event where people could grieve together. We kept this opinion firmly to ourselves whenever she was around, of course, but I understand she said something of the sort herself at one point.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: iridaceae on November 24, 2013, 07:14:53 PM

I think that some people before death hope that their loved ones *can* "forget about them". No one wants to think of their loved ones weeping for them. But telling them not to mourn is like telling the tide not to come in. If having a ceremony to help the grieving process helps, then they should be allowed to have one.

"Don't mourn for me" may come from a loving place, but it's an impossible command. At some point, we must accept that we can't control our loved ones' reactions, and insisting on no outward mourning is no better than demanding that they spend the rest of their lives in black.

Why do you assume that "no wake" equals "don't mourn"? I guarantee you it does not.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: sparksals on November 24, 2013, 07:24:14 PM
This is exactly how we did it.  My dad didn't want a funeral, so we had no service.  But we had a 'wake' at the house.   It was a great way for us to get closure and to see friends and family we haven't seen in years.

Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Sharnita on November 24, 2013, 07:35:51 PM
I think there needs to be some sort of balance in making the decision.  If dad had strong feelings about "no big fuss" those feelings might be strong enough that they are almost religious. A wake can be a bigger "deal" than a simple funeral/burial/memorial.  I think the best approach would be a discussion beforehand about what everyone believes and is comfortable with. In the case of the OP, it does sound like they are violating the spirit of the wishes expressed by the deceased.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on November 24, 2013, 08:01:23 PM
I have considered planning my own funeral.
It's not that I want to make sure that no one plays that song or that the right person reads the right passage. It would be more that this way, my family doesn't have to put a lot of thought into selecting music or readings that would reflect me and my life - I would have already done it for them.
Unfortunately, I have some depression issues, and thinking about my own death, however broadly/indirectly/positively, sets off bad trains of thought in my head. So it's all moot.

That being said - I had a co-worker whose father died after a brief illness. He was adamant that there be no funeral, no wake, no nothing. His wife felt she had to honor this, but the family really felt the need to mark their father's death in some way. So they "visited" for a few evenings, and told stories about their dad. Not a wake, no, nothing that formal - it was just that everyone ended up in someone's kitchen, and the conversation turned to Dad...

The opinion among the rest of us at work was that our co-worker's father was somewhat selfish and unrealistic to demand that there be no group event where people could grieve together. We kept this opinion firmly to ourselves whenever she was around, of course, but I understand she said something of the sort herself at one point.

I personally agree with this perspective. I'm not sure of the exact wording DF's relative used. I just heard that he specified "No funeral, please".

I think the conflict within DF's family has arisen because many relatives feel strongly that the Deceased would have hated the thought of a big, fancy wake, and everyone talking about him, and him being the centre of attention, etc.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: CakeEater on November 25, 2013, 12:14:08 AM
I have considered planning my own funeral.
It's not that I want to make sure that no one plays that song or that the right person reads the right passage. It would be more that this way, my family doesn't have to put a lot of thought into selecting music or readings that would reflect me and my life - I would have already done it for them.
Unfortunately, I have some depression issues, and thinking about my own death, however broadly/indirectly/positively, sets off bad trains of thought in my head. So it's all moot.

That being said - I had a co-worker whose father died after a brief illness. He was adamant that there be no funeral, no wake, no nothing. His wife felt she had to honor this, but the family really felt the need to mark their father's death in some way. So they "visited" for a few evenings, and told stories about their dad. Not a wake, no, nothing that formal - it was just that everyone ended up in someone's kitchen, and the conversation turned to Dad...

The opinion among the rest of us at work was that our co-worker's father was somewhat selfish and unrealistic to demand that there be no group event where people could grieve together. We kept this opinion firmly to ourselves whenever she was around, of course, but I understand she said something of the sort herself at one point.

I personally agree with this perspective. I'm not sure of the exact wording DF's relative used. I just heard that he specified "No funeral, please".

I think the conflict within DF's family has arisen because many relatives feel strongly that the Deceased would have hated the thought of a big, fancy wake, and everyone talking about him, and him being the centre of attention, etc.

In my philosophy, although he was the focus for the wake, it's not really about him, though. It's about the need of his remaining family to mark his passing in some way, or about catching up with family, or about comforting each other. It's actually about the survivors, not about the deceased. He's not there to be embarrassed by the attention, after all.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Miss Unleaded on November 25, 2013, 01:02:39 AM

What do you guys think? Are the sons being rude, or not?

I'm of two minds about it.

I don't believe in an afterlife so I'm not convinced it's possible to be rude to the dead. 

On the other hand, I'd be uncomfortable attending a wake if I suspected the deceased would have been against it.  I'd really feel 'put on the spot' if I were invited because I'd be torn between respecting the deceased's wishes and supporting the bereaved at a big shindig.

If the sons had instead held a small wake with only the deceased's nearest and dearest, I probably wouldn't have been able to fault that at all.  Is there any particular reason they felt compelled to invite 'everyone who knew the Deceased'?  There is a lot of room between 'no funeral' and 'massive wake' that would have satisfied both the need to grieve and respecting the dead.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: perpetua on November 25, 2013, 07:33:49 AM
Interesting question.

My Mum died back in August.  She specified in her will - made several years ago before dementia took hold of her - that she wanted cremation, a recyclable coffin and absolutely no religious content in the funeral whatsoever, and that's exactly what we did. The service was very short as a result - about 15 minutes. A few of us gathered - about 12 - the secular chaplain said a few words and gave us some time for quiet reflection, and then did the committal and it was all over in a flash. Since Mum hated to be the centre of attention, I think she would have approved.

One thing we did stumble over was the flowers. She had specified no flowers, but my Dad, in his 80s and quite traditional, couldn't bear the idea that people might think he hadn't bothered to make the effort to buy flowers for his wife's coffin and over the course of the week that thought began to really upset him. So we did go against her will on that and we selected a very simple spray for the top in a colour she would have liked, and how we did it was I paid for them so that he wouldn't feel he was going against her will. What we did was told everyone else no flowers, and asked for donations to the Alzheimer's Society in lieu, which a very common thing to do here. We thought that was a good compromise, and all the people who attended were close friends who were happy to go along with that. After the funeral was over, we had the flowers put into bunches and sent down to the care home where she lived for the last 3 years of her life, to brighten the place up (they were simple flowers and not at all "funeral-y").

We also didn't know what to do with the ashes, since she hadn't specified her wishes in that area. Dad didn't want them back - he thought it was macabre to have someone sitting in a pot on the mantlepiece, and I don't think he's quite ready to scatter, because that means saying goodbye. So for now her ashes are still at the funeral director's while we decide what to do with her, which sounds a bit grim but I think it would have tickled her, actually.

I think had she specified no funeral at all, we probably would have done just that. Neither of us really wanted to have to go - we were absolutely dreading it - Dad was worried about making a fool of himself breaking down in front of people and I didn't find that it gave me any closure at all. It was just a hideous, awful experience that I would rather have not had to go through. Plus, we had already said goodbye years ago, really, such is the nature of Alzheimer's. Had she specified that not having one was her wish, we probably would have honoured it for those reasons alone, I think.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Hmmmmm on November 25, 2013, 07:40:57 AM
I noticed a few posters who've said it would be wrong to have a religious ceremony for someone who wasn't religious themselves.  Well, that's what happened with my dad.

He was not religious. My stepmum is. He prepaid his funeral once he knew he didn't have long to live. This included a service in the funeral parlour, not the church.

When he died, my stepmum found she really wanted the support of her religion during the ceremony. So we (my half-brother and I) agreed to have it in the church, with a priest Dad liked and had met several times over the years (and knocked back the occasional whisky with).

Everything else was just as Dad had planned - including cremation, not burial (which stepmum's religion frowns on). No one made out that he was a believer in or a supporter of that particular religion. We scattered his ashes in the sea, just as he requested.

I would say that if the deceased had specifically stated they wanted (to the extent of arranging and paying for!) a non-religious funeral, I'd see it as utterly disrespectful to their memory to hold one. Even if they didn't make claims that the deceased was a follower of that religion, it basically serves to negate and belittle their right to have not been a believer. What if the deceased was a Catholic, and their surviving spouse an atheist who decided not to bother with a Catholic service for them because they didn't believe in it?


He was my dad and I loved him very much.

It didn't feel disrespectful to me.

I can completely understand your family's decision. There is a difference between not religious and anti-religion. I have a BIL who is not religious but would be fine is my sister decided to have a religious ceremony for his funeral just like he was fine to have religion as part if their wedding ceremony.

If someone is anti- religion or has stated they do not want a religious ceremony then changing would be wrong. But it sounds like this dad organized a funeral and when prompted with "are you a member of a church." he said no and the offered their parlor.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: perpetua on November 25, 2013, 07:54:25 AM
I noticed a few posters who've said it would be wrong to have a religious ceremony for someone who wasn't religious themselves.  Well, that's what happened with my dad.

He was not religious. My stepmum is. He prepaid his funeral once he knew he didn't have long to live. This included a service in the funeral parlour, not the church.

When he died, my stepmum found she really wanted the support of her religion during the ceremony. So we (my half-brother and I) agreed to have it in the church, with a priest Dad liked and had met several times over the years (and knocked back the occasional whisky with).

Everything else was just as Dad had planned - including cremation, not burial (which stepmum's religion frowns on). No one made out that he was a believer in or a supporter of that particular religion. We scattered his ashes in the sea, just as he requested.

I would say that if the deceased had specifically stated they wanted (to the extent of arranging and paying for!) a non-religious funeral, I'd see it as utterly disrespectful to their memory to hold one. Even if they didn't make claims that the deceased was a follower of that religion, it basically serves to negate and belittle their right to have not been a believer. What if the deceased was a Catholic, and their surviving spouse an atheist who decided not to bother with a Catholic service for them because they didn't believe in it?


He was my dad and I loved him very much.

It didn't feel disrespectful to me.

I can completely understand your family's decision. There is a difference between not religious and anti-religion. I have a BIL who is not religious but would be fine is my sister decided to have a religious ceremony for his funeral just like he was fine to have religion as part if their wedding ceremony.

If someone is anti- religion or has stated they do not want a religious ceremony then changing would be wrong. But it sounds like this dad organized a funeral and when prompted with "are you a member of a church." he said no and the offered their parlor.

Yeah, that's my feeling too. It all depends on what the deceased's reason was for not having a religious service. if they were adamant that they didn't want religious content in their funeral, like my Mum was, I feel it would be disrespectful to go against those wishes; if one of the congregation wants the support of their religion during the service then perhaps asking their priest/preacher/rabbi/whoever to attend alongside them would be the appropriate thing to do. If on the other hand the deceased had no strong feelings about it one way or the other and selected the funeral home service because it was easier, then it's probably not so much of an issue.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Twik on November 25, 2013, 08:49:37 AM
Sometimes I think the intent of such requests get lost in translation. If the deceased meant "I have a moral repulsion to funeral ceremonies in general," that should be honored. If they were trying to say "Funerals are expensive and emotionally draining. Please don't feel you have to do any of this if you don't feel up to it," then having a ceremony if it helps the survivors is not *really* going against their wishes, because the wishes were "do whatever is going to help *you* in a difficult time".
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Pen^2 on November 25, 2013, 09:15:23 AM
Sometimes I think the intent of such requests get lost in translation. If the deceased meant "I have a moral repulsion to funeral ceremonies in general," that should be honored. If they were trying to say "Funerals are expensive and emotionally draining. Please don't feel you have to do any of this if you don't feel up to it," then having a ceremony if it helps the survivors is not *really* going against their wishes, because the wishes were "do whatever is going to help *you* in a difficult time".

I think this is key here. Unless any of us knows the people involved personally, then we are simply unable to judge what the request meant in the context of his family. To some people here, it seems, a funeral and a wake amount to the same thing, whereas to others, they are quite different things. And again, the reason behind not wanting a funeral is important, and was quite probably known by the sons involved. They may be honouring him or dishonouring him--to me, a funeral =/= a wake, so I don't see this as "Following the words rather than the spirit" at all, since they're completely different things. But to some people, this would be going against his wishes. We only know the words which were said, not their meaning, so we can't judge much except what this would mean in our own families.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: bopper on November 25, 2013, 09:53:19 AM
I think that if you had very strong feelings about not having a funeral, you should make more explicit arrangements/plans/directions for what you DO want.  If you put no effort into that and just say "no funeral please", then people won't be likely to do that because they want a "script" for what to do and you haven't given them one.  SO if brothers may have gone with the letter of the directions but not the spirit because they felt a gathering would be helpful to them and absent any other direction they went ahead.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: snappylt on November 25, 2013, 05:32:20 PM
Wakes (or funerals) are for the living, in my opinion.  The survivors should plan to do whatever they find most comforting, I believe.  (Besides, a wake and a funeral are two different things - so they're obeying instructions to not have a funeral.)
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: kareng57 on November 25, 2013, 09:53:03 PM
My late Dh had always said that he would want a wake rather than a funeral.  This was long before he was dying; when we got the "terminal" diagnosis it was only a short time before he passed away and he simply was not mentally able to give more directives.

We knew that he wanted cremation rather than burial.  My sons and I arranged for a celebration-of-life memorial service at the funeral home that had a few speakers and ended with "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life".  It was followed with refreshments at the home of kind neighbours, and we felt very satisfied.  I don't think that he would have objected. :)

The terms obviously mean different things to different people.  It's my understanding that, in some circles, a "wake" means a "viewing".  Viewings aren't common around here - I don't mean just in my own experience.  I'd say that, looking at the obituaries in the city newspaper, there are viewings at about 1 in 10 funerals.  Cremation is heavily favoured here.  Of course it's possible to have a viewing along with coffin-funeral that's in fact followed by cremation but I don't think that happens very often.

I agree with PPs who assert that the primary purpose of memorial celebrations is for the survivors rather than to satisfy the deceased.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: White Lotus on November 25, 2013, 11:02:19 PM
In many faiths, a variety of services and kinds of services are held that are believed to actually benefit the deceased.  "Funerals are for the living" rather makes a mockery of that.
I am not a person to object to a party even if the guest of honor isn't physically present.  That's what a wake is.  I think they're fine having a wake.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: CakeEater on November 26, 2013, 01:14:02 AM
In many faiths, a variety of services and kinds of services are held that are believed to actually benefit the deceased.  "Funerals are for the living" rather makes a mockery of that.


I said upthread that people should respect the general, and specific religious views of the deceased when planning a funeral.

My grandmother is a lifelong and faithful member of x religion. She has said that she doesn't want a eulogy at her funeral because she sometimes feels that the deceased would find the stories or details shared in them embarrassing.

I think that having a z religion funeral for her instead of an x service would be very wrong. That part of things is for the deceased. If her surviving children decided that they just wouldn't be able to say farewell without a eulogy as part of the service, they should have one if it brings them comfort, making sure that it was extremely respectful.

A friend of my mother's dies, leaving very specific directions for her wake that caused quite a lot of logistical and emotional difficulties for her children, for no reason other than that she envisioned her family mourning in a certain way. They ignored the directives and held a wake that suited the people who were actually attending, rather than the deceased. That was fair enough, in my opinion.

It's that kind of thing that I mean when I say 'funerals are for the living'.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: snappylt on November 26, 2013, 06:33:08 PM
In many faiths, a variety of services and kinds of services are held that are believed to actually benefit the deceased.  "Funerals are for the living" rather makes a mockery of that.
I am not a person to object to a party even if the guest of honor isn't physically present.  That's what a wake is.  I think they're fine having a wake.

I have edited my original post because, when I thought about it, I think I was being needlessly snippy.  (I think my original post appears immediately below in a quote by violinp.)  Here's my edited post, which, I hope, shares my thinking without being snippy.  (I guess I'd like to be thought of as "Snappy" not "snippy".)   :)

Wow.

I believe that funerals are for the living.

It never entered my mind that sharing my opinion on funerals could possibly be thought of as "mockery" of "many faiths".

Is it really mockery of many faiths to share that particular opinion?

And, would someone who shared the opposite opinion be mocking my faith?

I don't think so.  To me, someone who shared an opinion the opposite of mine would be merely sharing his or her own opinion, not mocking the teaching of my faith.

I think we can politely share our different opinions without being guilty of mocking each other's faiths.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: violinp on November 26, 2013, 06:42:52 PM
In many faiths, a variety of services and kinds of services are held that are believed to actually benefit the deceased.  "Funerals are for the living" rather makes a mockery of that.
I am not a person to object to a party even if the guest of honor isn't physically present.  That's what a wake is.  I think they're fine having a wake.

Wow.

I believe that funerals are for the living.

It never entered my mind that sharing my opinion on funerals could possibly be equal to "mockery" of "many faiths".

Hmmm... what are those "many faiths" that believe funerals benefit the deceased?

White Lotus, how is sharing a different opinion equivalent to mockery?

Um, as a Christian, I believe funerals are there for the living. Whatever is going to happen to the recently deceased will happen, but those who are mourning need to be able to say goodbye, commit the soul of their loved one to the mercy of God, and then pray for comfort in this time of sorrow. I have to POD snappylt.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: MariaE on November 27, 2013, 12:19:26 AM
In many faiths, a variety of services and kinds of services are held that are believed to actually benefit the deceased.  "Funerals are for the living" rather makes a mockery of that.


I said upthread that people should respect the general, and specific religious views of the deceased when planning a funeral.

White Lotus, I don't doubt that such faiths exist, but I don't know of any. Would you mind elaborating as to which faiths you're talking about? I don't think that would be against the forum rules. All I know is that Christianity isn't one of them :) (Not the denominations I'm familiar with anyway).

That said, I agree with CakeEater.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: White Lotus on November 27, 2013, 05:00:51 AM
Buddhism, Catholicism of several stripes, Hinduism....  Pretty sure there are more.  Taoism.  Confucianism.  Mostly eastern or native religions, but not all.  Being eastern or native does not render these faiths invalid.
What bothers me is the notion that there is no afterlife, and/or no way to benefit the deceased through religious practices, and the deceased person doesn't and/or cannot, care, and so it doesn't actually matter what is done as long as the people arranging whatever IS done, if anything, are happy with that, and furthermore, and mostly, that this is the only correct and reasonable modern social attitude.
While funerals do have some benefit for the living, as ViolinP suggests, they aren't all about that, and I think implying or flat out stating otherwise disregards the beliefs of those who believe certain services actually do matter to and benefit the deceased, even though they are deceased.
My point, I guess, is that plenty of faiths allow one to benefit the deceased, and these are important, and should neither be disrespected nor disregarded.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: MariaE on November 27, 2013, 05:08:04 AM
Thank you for the answer, White Lotus. I certainly didn't mean to imply that "being eastern or native rendered these faiths invalid", I just honestly didn't know about it.

I do think you're seeing offence where none is intended though. I'm a practicing Christian, I do believe in an afterlife... and I still believe that funerals are for the living. It is my opinion that the religious views of the deceased should be respected, but that the details should be chosen to comfort the grieving.

AQ (I think) had a good example about ashes being scattered vs. kept in an urn. It doesn't hurt the deceased that the wishes on that point are not immediately fulfilled; but it would hurt one of the people left behind if they were.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: iridaceae on November 27, 2013, 05:15:37 AM

What bothers me is the notion that there is no afterlife, and/or no way to benefit the deceased through religious practices, and the deceased person doesn't and/or cannot, care, and so it doesn't actually matter what is done as long as the people arranging whatever IS done, if anything, are happy with that, and furthermore, and mostly, that this is the only correct and reasonable modern social attitude.


Bothered or not that is what many people believe and their beliefs are as valid as yours. My mother is dead. When she died that was it. End of story. She was an atheist. We are atheists. In fact no one in my family has done much in the way of funerals.  And it isn't because of some belief that it is "the only correct and reasonable modern social attitude" . What a bunch of hogwash.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: CakeEater on November 27, 2013, 06:07:37 AM
Buddhism, Catholicism of several stripes, Hinduism....  Pretty sure there are more.  Taoism.  Confucianism.  Mostly eastern or native religions, but not all.  Being eastern or native does not render these faiths invalid.
What bothers me is the notion that there is no afterlife, and/or no way to benefit the deceased through religious practices, and the deceased person doesn't and/or cannot, care, and so it doesn't actually matter what is done as long as the people arranging whatever IS done, if anything, are happy with that, and furthermore, and mostly, that this is the only correct and reasonable modern social attitude.
While funerals do have some benefit for the living, as ViolinP suggests, they aren't all about that, and I think implying or flat out stating otherwise disregards the beliefs of those who believe certain services actually do matter to and benefit the deceased, even though they are deceased.
My point, I guess, is that plenty of faiths allow one to benefit the deceased, and these are important, and should neither be disrespected nor disregarded.

I haven't re-read the thread, but I don't believe anyone else has even touched on religious practices or suggested anything like what you're suggesting has been said. This discussion was mostly about a wake, which has no religious overtones, as far as I know.

I don't know that anyone would think it was fine to have a full catholic mass as the funeral for a lifelong practising buddhist, for example.

It's the details about gatherings, how large they should be, when they should be held, whether to have this hymn or that, etc that I believe should be arranged to best suit those surviving.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Twik on November 27, 2013, 12:42:26 PM

What bothers me is the notion that there is no afterlife, and/or no way to benefit the deceased through religious practices, and the deceased person doesn't and/or cannot, care, and so it doesn't actually matter what is done as long as the people arranging whatever IS done, if anything, are happy with that, and furthermore, and mostly, that this is the only correct and reasonable modern social attitude.


Bothered or not that is what many people believe and their beliefs are as valid as yours. My mother is dead. When she died that was it. End of story. She was an atheist. We are atheists. In fact no one in my family has done much in the way of funerals.  And it isn't because of some belief that it is "the only correct and reasonable modern social attitude" . What a bunch of hogwash.

I think you are misinterpreting what White Lotus was saying, and being pretty aggressive about it.

I think that she is touching on the fact that one must balance the desires of the deceased (before death, if not afterwards) with the concept that funerals are for the living. For example, I would expect that the majority of atheists would be rather perturbed if, say, they knew someone in their family was planning on throwing a large religious celebration for them after their death. Even if their beliefs were that they would not be in existence to take offense when the ceremony occurred, they would feel it was disrespectful for their beliefs while living.

In the same way, if a religious person dies, it would be disrespectful if their atheist nearest of kin were to say, "Not having a religious ceremony, we don't like it, and we don't believe it'll do the deceased any good either."
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: TootsNYC on November 27, 2013, 12:47:45 PM
I think they should listen to instructions, but then I absolutely detest funerals (too religious).

In my language "funeral" is also used to  atheist burial service. I assumed it is same in English, but you say only religious service is funeral.

Can anyone tell me how is atheist burial service properly called in English language?

I also would think that any sort of official "people coming, someone standing up in front and saying something" is a funeral. It's the somberness that makes it a funeral, to me.

Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: perpetua on November 27, 2013, 02:33:55 PM
I think they should listen to instructions, but then I absolutely detest funerals (too religious).

In my language "funeral" is also used to  atheist burial service. I assumed it is same in English, but you say only religious service is funeral.

Can anyone tell me how is atheist burial service properly called in English language?

I also would think that any sort of official "people coming, someone standing up in front and saying something" is a funeral. It's the somberness that makes it a funeral, to me.

I think this depends on which bit of the English language you're talking about too: In the UK, a 'funeral' is a gathering of people at a service, either religious in a church building or non-religious in a funeral home, to commemorate someone's passing.The coffin is usually present and there's usually a burial or cremation straight afterwards.

In America, I've heard this referred to as a 'memorial service', which is a term that's not really caught on over here, but I'm not sure if it's quite the same thing.

The 'wake' is the gathering that's held immediately after the funeral, usually at the house of the deceased's relatives with some food and drink, in which the funeral-goers socialise and remember the deceased person, usually in a much more cheerful way than the preceding service.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Marbles on November 29, 2013, 12:38:53 AM
[snipped the quote tree]

I think this depends on which bit of the English language you're talking about too: In the UK, a 'funeral' is a gathering of people at a service, either religious in a church building or non-religious in a funeral home, to commemorate someone's passing.The coffin is usually present and there's usually a burial or cremation straight afterwards.

In America, I've heard this referred to as a 'memorial service', which is a term that's not really caught on over here, but I'm not sure if it's quite the same thing.

The 'wake' is the gathering that's held immediately after the funeral, usually at the house of the deceased's relatives with some food and drink, in which the funeral-goers socialise and remember the deceased person, usually in a much more cheerful way than the preceding service.

In my part of the States, a funeral is usually a religious service and will most likely have the remains present. Funerals are primarily held in church buildings, but may also be held in other places. Funerals, I find are more scripted, with specific prayers and eulogists chosen ahead of time. They may be followed with an interment or graveside service.

A memorial service, is a gathering that is not a formal religious ceremony and does not have the remains present , though it may be held in a church and have prayer as part of the service (a prayer vs. a mass). I find that they have some scripted parts, whether prayer, song, or primary eulogy; and then the floor opens up to anyone in attendance to share remembrances.

There is some cross-over in the formality and whether the floor will be opened to all. (This also has something to do with how widely attended the funeral is expected to be. A large gathering is less likely to be given an open mic, just so that the whole crowd isn't trapped for hours.)

After either a funeral or a memorial service, there is normally some sort of hospitality provided, either by guests, the family, or a group associated with the church or the deceased. (At my grandmother's memorial service, for instance, her former coworkers and patients got together to organize the food. It was very touching.) This will be a time for more informal sharing of memories.

We don't really hold wakes around here, but I would call a more irreverent gathering a wake. This would happen in addition to a more solemn service.

Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: peaches on November 29, 2013, 01:51:15 AM
I would add, a funeral is usually held soon after the death and is followed by burial or cremation.

A memorial service might be held right away, or it might take place weeks (or even a month or more) after the death (as the remains are not present).

Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: nolechica on November 29, 2013, 02:39:56 AM
[snipped the quote tree]

I think this depends on which bit of the English language you're talking about too: In the UK, a 'funeral' is a gathering of people at a service, either religious in a church building or non-religious in a funeral home, to commemorate someone's passing.The coffin is usually present and there's usually a burial or cremation straight afterwards.

In America, I've heard this referred to as a 'memorial service', which is a term that's not really caught on over here, but I'm not sure if it's quite the same thing.

The 'wake' is the gathering that's held immediately after the funeral, usually at the house of the deceased's relatives with some food and drink, in which the funeral-goers socialise and remember the deceased person, usually in a much more cheerful way than the preceding service.

In my part of the States, a funeral is usually a religious service and will most likely have the remains present. Funerals are primarily held in church buildings, but may also be held in other places. Funerals, I find are more scripted, with specific prayers and eulogists chosen ahead of time. They may be followed with an interment or graveside service.

A memorial service, is a gathering that is not a formal religious ceremony and does not have the remains present , though it may be held in a church and have prayer as part of the service (a prayer vs. a mass). I find that they have some scripted parts, whether prayer, song, or primary eulogy; and then the floor opens up to anyone in attendance to share remembrances.

There is some cross-over in the formality and whether the floor will be opened to all. (This also has something to do with how widely attended the funeral is expected to be. A large gathering is less likely to be given an open mic, just so that the whole crowd isn't trapped for hours.)

After either a funeral or a memorial service, there is normally some sort of hospitality provided, either by guests, the family, or a group associated with the church or the deceased. (At my grandmother's memorial service, for instance, her former coworkers and patients got together to organize the food. It was very touching.) This will be a time for more informal sharing of memories.

We don't really hold wakes around here, but I would call a more irreverent gathering a wake. This would happen in addition to a more solemn service.

Yep except that wakes aren't necessarily irreverent, just no service, but still a viewing.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on December 01, 2013, 08:19:57 PM
Update:

Apparently the younger son (YS) has decided to organise a wake. The deceased had lots of friends and relatives who loved him very much. YS plans to invite them all to a wake with food, drink, etc. He sees it as an opportunity for everyone to get together and remember the deceased and share their stories, memories, etc.

The deceased's widow and older son (OS) are appalled, as they feel the deceased would have hated that idea. They are very upset that YS is going ahead with a wake. They think he's acting very inappropriately. From what DF tells me, it's likely they will boycott the wake, and this whole thing will possibly have repercussions for their future relationship with YS.

DF's parents also think that YS shouldn't be throwing a wake, so I'm not sure whether they'll attend either. DF is on YS's side and thinks YS has every right to remember his father with a wake if it gives him comfort.

As you can see, this whole incident is causing some rather serious rifts through-out the whole extended family!
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 01, 2013, 10:36:32 PM
If I were an acquaintance, observing from the outside, if the family did nothing to more the loss of their family member, I would make an assumption they did not care very much. Incorrect in this case, but just an observation.
The son should do what he feels is right.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: PastryGoddess on December 01, 2013, 11:37:13 PM
The Widow and OS are allowed to be appalled at YS behavior.  Those are their feelings and they are entitled to it.  However, they need to do it privately and not in public.  Everyone grieves differently.  Judging the YS because he is doing what feels right to him to commemorate the life of his father isn't fair. 
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
Post by: Marbles on December 01, 2013, 11:44:19 PM

We don't really hold wakes around here, but I would call a more irreverent gathering a wake. This would happen in addition to a more solemn service.

Yep except that wakes aren't necessarily irreverent, just no service, but still a viewing.

By irreverent, I meant that I might expect more lighthearted, joshing sorts of stories to be part of a wake. But, yes, the tone is usually set by the bereaved.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: Psychopoesie on December 02, 2013, 12:15:59 AM
The Widow and OS are allowed to be appalled at YS behavior.  Those are their feelings and they are entitled to it.  However, they need to do it privately and not in public.  Everyone grieves differently.  Judging the YS because he is doing what feels right to him to commemorate the life of his father isn't fair.

Agree with pastrygodess.

Widow, OS and YS are each entitled to grieve in their own way. I feel for the YS whose mother and older brother are making this into a public issue. They could have simply and quietly chosen not to attend the wake if it didn't sit right with them. Even if the OS & Widow are right and the Dad was a quiet sort of person who'd prefer not to have a party, bet he'd also be the sort who'd like the resulting public barney even less.

Sometimes all the emotions that crop up when you lose a loved one, including anger, can create or intensify conflicts. I hope that things between the family members calms down over time.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: crella on December 02, 2013, 05:00:01 AM
My mother said 'no wake, and no one back at the house'. In her later years, she started saying it, and the way she said it (which I really can't explain well) gave me the impression she was afraid no one would come. I have no idea what made her feel that way. Anyhow, when she passed we were going to do just that, when a neighbor came over and said that all the old neighbors who used to live there were going to come,some from far away, to the church and several wanted to come to the cemetery as well.  I was very touched. We had a simple catered lunch back at the house. I think she would have been pleased as she was always big on hospitality...she wouldn't have wanted us to just end it at the cemetery and have all those people go home without even a cup of tea. I think it was ok.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: CakeEater on December 03, 2013, 04:08:17 AM
My mother said 'no wake, and no one back at the house'. In her later years, she started saying it, and the way she said it (which I really can't explain well) gave me the impression she was afraid no one would come. I have no idea what made her feel that way. Anyhow, when she passed we were going to do just that, when a neighbor came over and said that all the old neighbors who used to live there were going to come,some from far away, to the church and several wanted to come to the cemetery as well.  I was very touched. We had a simple catered lunch back at the house. I think she would have been pleased as she was always big on hospitality...she wouldn't have wanted us to just end it at the cemetery and have all those people go home without even a cup of tea. I think it was ok.

I think so too.  :)
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: crella on December 03, 2013, 04:21:32 AM
My mother said 'no wake, and no one back at the house'. In her later years, she started saying it, and the way she said it (which I really can't explain well) gave me the impression she was afraid no one would come. I have no idea what made her feel that way. Anyhow, when she passed we were going to do just that, when a neighbor came over and said that all the old neighbors who used to live there were going to come,some from far away, to the church and several wanted to come to the cemetery as well.  I was very touched. We had a simple catered lunch back at the house. I think she would have been pleased as she was always big on hospitality...she wouldn't have wanted us to just end it at the cemetery and have all those people go home without even a cup of tea. I think it was ok.

I think so too.  :)


Thank you.   :)
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: YummyMummy66 on December 03, 2013, 06:03:48 AM
My father passed away six years ago this month.  He also, did not want anything after his death.  I told my mom that we could have a small thing at my home, (dad was cremated), for friends and family.  She did not want anything, but I think this had more to do with that she was distraught, (rightly so).

My dad seems to have passed the torch or maybe this is becoming more common, but all of his siblings who have passed since then have done the same thing.  I can understand having no funeral or graveside service.  I don't want them myself. 

But, I don't understand not having a wake or get together.  The deceased is dead.  Why does it matter to them? They won't be here.  (Yes, I know, honoring their wishes).   

But, I really wish I would have done something.  My dad was such a great guy and loved and liked by many.  I would have loved to seen my cousins, aunts and uncles still alive at the time, (because you know as we get older, have our own lives, we do not see these people as much as we did when we were younger, except at funerals, it seems, any longer).  I would have loved to talk about memories of my father, funny stories about him, (he was such a character and prankster). 

The wakes are usually not about the deceased, but about the living.  (Oxymoron, isn't it?).

I don't know how you are involved with the family, but if it were me, I would encourage the widow and son to get involved and attend the wake.  They should be involved in as far as keeping it simple.  It does not need to be a party type atmosphere, (although, if it were me, I would love a party at my wake! lol), but some food and drinks should be sufficient.  I would also have notecards available for friends and family to write down stories that the family can look at later.  You will be surprised at what you did not know about the deceased or maybe never heard of before.  Maybe have a photo album with pictures of the deceased about his life.   

They might be surprised by how much they might enjoy talking about their spouse/father with others. 

But, they should not feel pressured if they do not wish to paritcipate, nor should they pressure the son who does want to do the gathering.   Everyone grieves differently.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: JoieGirl7 on December 06, 2013, 04:14:50 AM
Wouldn't it be nice if YS' mother and brother were more concerned about his well being than the wishes of a man who is dead and gone.

Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: Sharnita on December 06, 2013, 05:08:11 AM
It might be important to their (http://their) well being to do make the decision they have.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: Sophia on December 06, 2013, 07:04:53 AM
My heart goes out to the whole family.  The worst thing is imagining the father shouting, "Party, no party, just don't break up the family over this." 
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: Psychopoesie on December 06, 2013, 07:19:25 AM
My heart goes out to the whole family.  The worst thing is imagining the father shouting, "Party, no party, just don't break up the family over this."

This.

Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: djinnidjream on December 06, 2013, 11:56:19 AM
We had this issue a few years ago when my sister's FIL passed.  We all knew he didn't want a funeral- laid out in a casket etc.  There was a big division in their family because they held a wake- dinner, jazz, booze- just want Grandpa would have wanted.  Sister's SIL wanted to do a big funeral anyway but didn't get her way.  She's still not speaking to my sister, BIL,  or her own mother 5 years later.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: Sophia on December 06, 2013, 12:11:54 PM
In a way, I see an analogy with weddings.  The wedding ceremony/Funeral is for the happy couple/dead person.  The wedding reception/wake is for the guests. 

So, I would totally back someone saying that they didn't want a funeral.  Particularly if it was a matter of religion.  But, I don't think the dead get any say on wake or not. 
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: CakeEater on December 06, 2013, 03:24:18 PM
In a way, I see an analogy with weddings.  The wedding ceremony/Funeral is for the happy couple/dead person.  The wedding reception/wake is for the guests. 

So, I would totally back someone saying that they didn't want a funeral.  Particularly if it was a matter of religion.  But, I don't think the dead get any say on wake or not.

I like your analogy.

Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: squeakers on December 06, 2013, 06:12:15 PM
One of our friends passed away a few years ago.  Before that we (as a group around the campfire) had discussed what kind of funeral plans we wanted done.  She and I both were emphatic on no casket, no viewing, cremation and then our separate ideas on what to do with the cremains.

Her husband had a casket and viewing for her despite that talk.

At the wake that night the power went out 3 times due to lightning. 2 different transformers near the bar blew up. When he returned home an owl was sitting in one of their trees staring at him... it did not fly off while he was outside.

I told my husband that I would be even worse at making my wishes known.  I figure if someone has the need to see my body they should have visited with me before I died.
Title: Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
Post by: ClaireC79 on December 07, 2013, 03:29:11 AM
I would encourage the widow and son to get involved and attend the wake. 

But, they should not feel pressured if they do not wish to paritcipate,

Surely encouraging them to attend is pressuring them

It was brought up, they said they wouldn't be part of it - any attempt to change their mind is pressuring IMHO