Author Topic: Obituary question - is the normal ?  (Read 2135 times)

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chibichan

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Obituary question - is the normal ?
« on: May 25, 2013, 12:04:58 AM »
I was informed today of a former co-worker's passing . I looked up the obituary on-line and found this at the bottom of the notice :

In lieu of flowers , donations may be made to ( family member ) at XXX address .

I felt a little skin-crawly . Co-worker's family never treated her well . At the worst , they could be considered borderline abusive . At best , they treated her like a burden ( she had severe health issues ) .

My question is - is this something that is normal to see in an obit ? To me , it looks like a money-grubbing opportunity but my personal feelings may be clouding my judgement .
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veronaz

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 12:10:01 AM »
I have seen it.  Usually it's to help defray funeral expenses (not much money or no insurance).

ETA:  have not seen it worded exactly like that; to a specific person/address.  The ones I've seen said "in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the family c/o (funeral home)".
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 12:48:01 AM by veronaz »

sparksals

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 12:21:04 AM »
I have never seen it in this format.  What I have seen is donations to a charity in lieu of flowers.  Given what you know about the family history, I would not donate personally to the family.  It could be a form of grabbiness given the history.

peaches

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 12:52:55 AM »
I have never seen that wording in an obituary, either in a newspaper or online.

A donation to a fund established for a scholarship, or to a charity, or to a trust established for surviving dependent children (at a bank) - I've seen all of those.

What you've described would make me uncomfortable. I would go to the funeral (if it's public) and show my respect that way, and/or make a donation to a charity in that person's name, if you know of one they favored.

sparksals

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 01:01:27 AM »
Agreed.  I think people have a great deal of leeway when it comes to funeral etiquette.  But requesting money in this manor?  I see it as a money grab much like a Dollar Dance.  It sounds like they want to profit from the death.  If they need to raise money for the expenses, then just like a wedding, provide the funeral or send off one can afford. 

chibichan

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2013, 02:09:38 AM »
There was no mention of a funeral , only a memorial service at a local organization's hall .

It would not be possible for me to attend , even if there was a funeral service and I certainly have no intentions of donating .

The wording just stuck me as odd , i.e - No flowers , but we'll take money .

This is something I can picture coming from this family and I am trying to give them the benefit of the doubt - perhaps there were large medical expenses . None of them could be described as well-to-do .

Co-worker needed some assisted care during her lifetime and was not capable of self - sufficient living either physically or mentally . She was , however , a beautiful and sweet person and it was my privilege to know her .  :'(

I have never been impressed by her family's treatment of her but I try not to judge . I don't know their story .
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Sharnita

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2013, 05:36:55 AM »
If she had severe health issues it seems like there would be a good chance there would be remaining medical expenses.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2013, 08:00:17 AM »
I think this is becoming the norm, at least from what I see in our daily newspapers' obit section.

Sometimes, in liew of flowers, there is a request to a donation of the deceased favorite charity or somethng to do with the reason that the deceased passed away, (ex. Cancer, Alzheimer's).

But, I have also seen where they set up a bank account for donations to the family, or the children or it will state to help defray funeral costs.

I think that most people are now feeling that possibly spending money on flowers is a waste of time, so if you are going to spend money, why not donate directly to whatever cause?

I feel that this is sort of along the line of registries in the sense that if you want to do flowers, than do flowers.  If you want to donate to the family, then do so.  If you want to donate to a cause in the deceased's name, then do so.  If you want to just send a card, then do that. 


*inviteseller

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2013, 10:04:23 AM »
Usually when I see it, it is a bank account set up for donations, usually administered by someone else - this is what was done at my nephews.  And I usually do not see asking for donations unless it is someone young or who has died tragically or who went through a long expensive medical battle.  You, knowing the family, may decide not to give anything to them if it looks like a money grab.

FoxPaws

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2013, 10:19:13 AM »
I have seen and heard of people setting up accounts for the family to defray medical and funeral expenses, but they are usually worded much more graciously than this - usually something along the lines of, "friends wishing to donate towards Mary's medical expenses may do so at XYZ Bank & Trust." This is...blunt.


{{{chibichan}}} my condolences on the loss of your friend.
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chibichan

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2013, 11:29:10 AM »
Thank you Fox Paws .

It eased my heart to see some of the on-line condolences from people who shared happy memories of their time with her . I'm glad to know she had the love of a few kind people .

She deserved a better life , dingdangity it .
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sparksals

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2013, 01:06:46 PM »
I always feel badly when someone so good and kind has such a sad life.   It is very tough to lose a friend.  Sorry for your loss.


jpcher

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2013, 06:29:33 PM »
I always feel badly when someone so good and kind has such a sad life.   It is very tough to lose a friend.  Sorry for your loss.

POD. Losing a friend is very sad. (((Hugs, chibichan)))


When LDH passed away I chose to not have an obit publicized in the papers. But after the fact, I wish I would have publicized something simply because of the huge amount of flowers/plants delivered to my home and to the church memorial service.

While I was extremely grateful for the gifts, I wish that I had the wherewithall at the time to say something like "In lieu of flowers, please donate to "LDH's favorite charity."

I mean, those flower/plant arrangements are.not.cheap. I strongly believe that the money could/should/would have been spent in a more benefactory way that would actually help someone in need.


In OP's case, the "in lieu of flowers" request was for monies to be sent directly to the family. I can understand this due to medical bills, etc.

Instead of spending $50 for a flower arrangement, why not send the $50 to the family in order to offset burial fees? You'll be spending the money one way or the other anyway.

That doesn't seem money grabby to me.


Twik

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2013, 11:09:37 PM »
It depends, I suppose, on the financial situation of the family. I think that my mother would have been humiliated to the very core if a friend of my late father's had sent her "$50 to help with the funeral expenses".

Asking for contributions to a favoured charity is not self-serving, and is, in my area at least, considered acceptable. However, adults should not be publicly asking others to help them pay their bills, except in extreme circumstances, and a funeral should not be treated as a "benefit performance". This goes double or triple if the relationship with the deceased in life was so poor that it appears that making a profit off the funeral will remove any emotional distress of the survivors.
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nonesuch4

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Re: Obituary question - is the normal ?
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2013, 07:42:00 AM »
So sorry for the loss of your friend.

I have seen funds set up for young children of the deceased. Those are usually well-worded and above board.  I did see one that was off-putting: a grown man who lost an adult daughter asking for donations. Sadly, the father had been in jail for s#xual assault.  Maybe he did need money for burial expenses. Worded the way it was, (basically, "Please send money to me.")   it gave the impression that the loss of his daughter was a financial loss for him.