Author Topic: Funeral A/B List (Update Post 107)  (Read 10452 times)

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SPuck

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #60 on: June 08, 2013, 06:01:33 PM »
I know darn well my former MIL did NOT want me at former husbands but she was keeping her mouth shut and we kept our distance as best we could.

Sorry, about the thread jack but was it your husband or her husband whose funeral she didn't want you attending?

As for the funeral/meal combination it sounds like it could be a cultural issue. I live in the Northeast, and my parents have attended funerals where wasn't provided. On the other hand after the passing of my grandmother's husband (and her eventual passing) food was provided for anyone who attended the funeral. My grandfather and father also both expect food and drink served after their respective passings.

I guess when it comes down do it food is probably going to be more expected for people who are at a funeral to support the living closest to the dead.

jedikaiti

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #61 on: June 08, 2013, 07:46:55 PM »
Perhaps part of the issue is the widow knows no one will be providing the meal. If she isn't a member of a church and knows her friends & neighbors don't usually provide food, then it would fall to her. I mean the dinner OP was invited to is with the widow hosting right? And her reasoning for the limited guest list is she doesn't want to host the stepkids friends, right? So really I don't blame the widow for not wanting to host.

No, I think she is hosting so she doesn't have to lunch with her stepkids family and friends which is something she would have to do if the church hosted/provided the food.


Well, nobody HAS to go out with her. The rest of the family can organize a more inclusive gathering if they want.

When DH's mom passed, after the wake there was a spontaneous decision for everyone in the family to go to dinner at a local landmark restaurant where the kids could run wild and the adults could catch up. (It's the kind of place designed for kids to run wild.) No hosting, just a collective, "Hey, let's go here!"

I can totally imagine someone not invited to the Aunt's dinner coming up with something like this, and everyone else deciding that would be a more enjoyable time than placing bets on how far Aunt will put her foot in her mouth next. And next thing you know, Aunt is dining alone, and everyone else is catching up and having a great time.

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Winterlight

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #62 on: June 08, 2013, 10:36:54 PM »
At a recent memorial service on a weekday evening, we grabbed a quick bite beforehand and then there were little nibbly things afterwards. The family ate separately- they were all off work, while the rest of us were coming from offices or schools.
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magician5

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #63 on: June 08, 2013, 10:52:26 PM »
The way I've noticed around here is: viewing is open to all, funeral service (wherever it is, church or mortuary) is open to all, interment may be private, and after that ... I suppose visiting and food in the home would be limited to graveside invitees, and if I ever saw a restaurant dinner in place of gathering in the home I certainly would not expect the entire world to be invited.
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ladyknight1

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #64 on: June 08, 2013, 11:55:13 PM »
I live in Florida, and every funeral I have attended has had a light meal served afterwards. The food is always provided by people in the departed's congregation or social organization.

GrammarNerd

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #65 on: June 09, 2013, 08:13:33 AM »
I have a relative who lives about two hours away from me (different state), who is in the funeral business.  She's remarked more than once that the dinners are *just not done* where they are.  They are a thing of the past.  You go to the funeral and then you go home.  Whereas where I live, something is generally done, either at the church, if they can arrange it and have space, or at a restaurant.  So I think it's definitely a regional thing.

And re: the responses about the dinner being for family; when my sister passed away, we had a small funeral b/c it was mainly just some family members.  We were going to go with the family for a lunch afterwards at a local restaurant.  There were some old acquaintances of my sister's that she hadn't seen in years.  We knew of them and they'd always struck me as the type that would glom on to you and be your best friend all of a sudden; hard to explain, but creepy and kind of users.  Sure enough, they stayed for the ENTIRE thing, and then just sort of glommed onto our family group when we went to the dinner.  Several people.  People that she hadn't seen in probably about 10 years.  People that acted like they were soooooo close to her (and us).  Even my sister commented that it was pretty obvious how they were just there to get the free meal.

*inviteseller

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #66 on: June 09, 2013, 09:01:23 AM »
SPuck - It was my former husband and father of our minor child, and I asked former SIL (who I do get along with) numerous times to make sure MIL was ok with me being there and she said yes, she isn't happy but she knew it would be wrong not to have me.  Only a few people spoke to me and DD, most snubbed us in the receiving line (walked right past us) and MIL, when we told her as we were leaving luncheon that all she had to do was call for anything she needed, said "I have my church family, I don't need anyone else.  Well la ti da..witch.  But the luncheon the church ladies put on was spectacular ! 

Roe

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #67 on: June 09, 2013, 10:12:01 AM »
It's tradition in my culture to have a meal after, usually in the Parish Hall of the church.  And yes, everyone who attended is invited.

However, I certainly wouldn't hold it against anyone if they didn't have a meal of some sort.  After all, as a PP mentioned funerals are NOT hosting situations.  So to the OP, don't hold it against your aunt.  She might just need time with "family only" and doesn't want to invite people she feels she has to entertain.

cocacola35

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #68 on: June 09, 2013, 11:21:02 AM »
The way I've noticed around here is: viewing is open to all, funeral service (wherever it is, church or mortuary) is open to all, interment may be private, and after that ... I suppose visiting and food in the home would be limited to graveside invitees, and if I ever saw a restaurant dinner in place of gathering in the home I certainly would not expect the entire world to be invited.

This is the norm around my area (South Texas) as well.  In my experience, the churches or funeral homes around here don't provide refreshments afterwards.  Most of the time there is a gathering at the family's home after the funeral with some refreshments, but that is only for close friends and family.  I certainly wouldn't expect the grieving family to host a meal or provide food for everyone that attended the funeral.  I'm also finding it odd that some people here think having funeral services at dinner time and the family not providing refreshments before or after is "rude".  Funerals/wakes here are often in the evening or late afternoon so people that are working during the day can attend.  When I go to a funeral, I'm not expecting the grieving family to preform the usual hosting requirements of a party.  Often there is no refreshments before or afterwards unless you are close to the family.  If you really want to be at the service and know you may get hungry at that time, you can plan your day accordingly and get a bite to eat BEFORE the service.       

The only place where I see the aunt in the OP being rude is excluding her stepchildren from the restaurant gathering.  Although after reading a few of the updates here, the family dynamics seem more complex and maybe the stepchildren wouldn't go even if they were invited.   

Two Ravens

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #69 on: June 09, 2013, 12:34:38 PM »
It's very interesting to read about the different customs in different areas.

I know when my husband's grandmother died in Kansas, there was a meal provided in the church basement. All the food was provided by the church ladies, who were also friends with the deceased.

When my grandmother died here in New England, we provided a buffet meal at a local country club, with an open bar. (hey, we're Irish!).

Peregrine

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #70 on: June 09, 2013, 01:32:34 PM »
It's definitely interesting to see the regional differences in funeral customs.

I have been to a couple at this point in my life and both were different.  For my grandfather's funeral it was along the lines of an open house at his home with food that the neighbors and his civic organization dropped off....and there was a ton of it, but it was all finger food and nibblies to be eaten off of paper plates, during a quick drop in visit after the private interment.

The other funeral I have been to was for my DH's grandmother, in which a luncheon was paid for by the oldest son for the immediate family at a local buffet restaurant.  Since my GMIL had 8 children the immediate family was VERY large.  I don't even want to speculate the size of the bill, I am assuming that he might have gotten some help from their church to host it.

I kind of see the tradition of a post funeral meal dying in a lot of areas as people aren't as involved in churches and civic/fraternal organizations.  Church attendance has been going down hill in a lot of denominations and the church ladies who run things are starting to die out themselves.  I think it is also similar with civic organizations, the Rotary, Lions, VFW, Eagles, Elks, and Granges are just not as active in a lot of places, and the members are getting the point where they aren't as able to provide the same level of support to their members.  Just in terms of the urban US, I would assume that funeral services are going to start later in the evening in order to accommodate working people who don't have paid time off.  I can see a lot of external factors affecting how things get done.

In this case, it seems that there are some pretty major unpleasant family dynamics at play.  I personally, don't see a problem with someone deciding to hold their own family dinner.  Which is worse the family silently glaring at each other on opposite sides of the room and seething or just having separate post-funeral plans.  I guess I just don't see the reason to do it "the way it's always been done" if it doesn't suit the person paying for the funeral.

WillyNilly

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #71 on: June 09, 2013, 01:38:48 PM »
One thing that really strikes me about so many of these stories about meals is the repeated mention of church. I know very few people who actually attend church regularly. Seriously I would estimate less then 15% of all the people I know (friends, co-workers, neighbors) seem to attend church other then for holidays or big events (or temple, or other religious house). So the idea of having a church provide anything is really just not an option for most people I know. Although truth be told even the people who I know who do attend church still don't have the meals... at least not for the general mourners, they might have them for the family or the church community.

dirtyweasel

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #72 on: June 09, 2013, 02:18:52 PM »
One thing that really strikes me about so many of these stories about meals is the repeated mention of church. I know very few people who actually attend church regularly. Seriously I would estimate less then 15% of all the people I know (friends, co-workers, neighbors) seem to attend church other then for holidays or big events (or temple, or other religious house). So the idea of having a church provide anything is really just not an option for most people I know. Although truth be told even the people who I know who do attend church still don't have the meals... at least not for the general mourners, they might have them for the family or the church community.

This is very true and I was thinking the same thing.  Our family never went to church so when my father passed away we had a wake at the funeral home for immediate family and then we had a memorial service at my aunts house a few days later.  There is no way my mom or any of us siblings could have afforded to feed all 150-180 people that showed up, but we were extremely lucky that my family provided a lot of food and many people brought food.



LadyR

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #73 on: June 09, 2013, 02:48:55 PM »
One thing that really strikes me about so many of these stories about meals is the repeated mention of church. I know very few people who actually attend church regularly. Seriously I would estimate less then 15% of all the people I know (friends, co-workers, neighbors) seem to attend church other then for holidays or big events (or temple, or other religious house). So the idea of having a church provide anything is really just not an option for most people I know. Although truth be told even the people who I know who do attend church still don't have the meals... at least not for the general mourners, they might have them for the family or the church community.

A lot of my family who ren't active church members still have their funerals at the kittle church in my town and for a small fee the church group makes sandwiches and sweets. My father's service was held at the local legion and for $200 the legion women's group provided sandwiches and sweets for close to 100 people. I've also seen the after part held at the funeral home or a community centres, but most often its the Legion or the church basement. There is always food though.

After my father' service, I did go out for dinner with friends (after about two hours of greeting people) and pretty much the whole restaurant was made up of small groups who had also been at the funeral (this was adtually uncomfortable for me as I'd wanted to relax with my friends and forget for a little while and people kept coming up to me and talking to me about my dad/the service, however there was only one restaurant in town so it was unavoidable)


Roe

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #74 on: June 09, 2013, 02:54:08 PM »
The way I've noticed around here is: viewing is open to all, funeral service (wherever it is, church or mortuary) is open to all, interment may be private, and after that ... I suppose visiting and food in the home would be limited to graveside invitees, and if I ever saw a restaurant dinner in place of gathering in the home I certainly would not expect the entire world to be invited.

This is the norm around my area (South Texas) as well.  In my experience, the churches or funeral homes around here don't provide refreshments afterwards. 



Interesting. I'm from South Texas as well and it has always been our custom to eat afterwards, like I mentioned, usually at the Parish Hall of the church.  Only in rare instances was a meal not provided after.  Maybe it's more cultural instead of regional?