Author Topic: Funeral A/B List (Update Post 107)  (Read 11143 times)

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magician5

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #75 on: June 09, 2013, 04:10:26 PM »
These many stories are very interesting. But getting back to the wasn't the original question whether all the attendees should expect to be invited to the post-funeral restaurant meal planned by the deceased's family? It wasn't clear to me who was going to be paying ... each diner, or the aunt.

Then follows a lot of discussion about traditions.

My position is: doesn't matter what is usual, what matters is what the next-of-kin arrange. Doesn't matter if it's a church-arranged meal for the entire congregation, or barbecue and mead at a Viking boat-burning, or a just-close-family post-funeral gathering in the home, or (if the widow wishes it) nothing at all. Nobody has a right to gripe about what is planned, or to expect "what most other folks around here do."
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Sharnita

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #76 on: June 09, 2013, 04:20:48 PM »
See, I would disagree with "nobody". In this cade, I would ay the children of the deceased.do have some right to complain. I would definitely agree that mosy people have no right to complain.

Thipu1

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #77 on: June 09, 2013, 04:53:51 PM »
I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in lower New York State.  Our family was very Roman Catholic. 

At the time, the deceased would be waked at home.  Furniture would be moved from the living room.  The coffin would be moved in, flowers were delivered and folding chairs were stacked anywhere they could be for the two days of the wake.    Family members continued to live in the house while all this was going on. 

Family and friends would bring in huge amounts of food.  I remember seeing baked hams and whole, roast turkeys.  There would also be cakes, pies and side dishes of all descriptions. This largesse was intended to help the family living in the house.  It was also intended to feed people who came to the wake. 

The wake usually lasted for two night and an afternoon.  When the wake closed down around 9 in the evening, anyone who was there was invited to partake of refreshments.  The last night of the wake was always a bit manic.  You could expect delegations from any and all of the following:

The Altar and Rosary Society
The Knights of Columbus
The Volunteer Fire Department
The local police department
The Odd Fellow's Lodge

My uncle was a Catholic priest.  He was well liked in his parish and somebody had the brilliant idea to
 send two bus-loads of well-wishers to my Grandfather's wake.  Grandpa was waked at home.  There were serious questions the integrity of the living room floor. 

Although the visitors may not have expected it, the family did feel an obligation to feed these people
at least a little something.  Family and friends anticipated this sort of thing.  That was why they generously provided hams and turkeys.

Around the turn from the 1950s to the 1960s, this sort of wake was recognized as insane.  The wake was moved from the house of the deceased to the funeral home.  Still, the idea of hospitality towards people who came to pay respects persisted.  It now took the form of coffee and cake served by the
funeral home at the end of the evening wake.  It was not unusual for the grieving family to be presented with a silver cake server engraved with the name of the deceased and the date of death. 

After the burial, close relatives and very close friend's would be invited back to the house. Everybody knew that this was to 'eat up what was left' and the get the house back in order. 
   

Peregrine

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #78 on: June 09, 2013, 05:11:13 PM »
See, I would disagree with "nobody". In this cade, I would ay the children of the deceased.do have some right to complain. I would definitely agree that mosy people have no right to complain.

I agree with you to a point Sharnita.  The children do have a right to complain, but I think that the ultimate say lies with whomever pays for the funeral/services (usually the spouse).  If the kids don't like how stepmom does the funeral they are within their rights to pay for and hold their own memorial.  However, if the kids chipped in towards covering the costs, I think they absolutely have a say and should be able to help create a meaningful memorial.

Yvaine

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #79 on: June 09, 2013, 05:29:24 PM »
See, I would disagree with "nobody". In this cade, I would ay the children of the deceased.do have some right to complain. I would definitely agree that mosy people have no right to complain.

I agree with you to a point Sharnita.  The children do have a right to complain, but I think that the ultimate say lies with whomever pays for the funeral/services (usually the spouse).  If the kids don't like how stepmom does the funeral they are within their rights to pay for and hold their own memorial.  However, if the kids chipped in towards covering the costs, I think they absolutely have a say and should be able to help create a meaningful memorial.

And then avoid being like those people on the main blog who then billed the wife for the memorial she didn't have anything to do with!

*inviteseller

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #80 on: June 09, 2013, 06:46:34 PM »
No one else in the family has a say over a widow/widower though.  By law they are the top of the next of kin list and as much as his kids may want to do things differently, they have no say in the actual funeral arrangements.  What they should do is set up their own memorial service for all the people Aunt seems to be snubbing.

But as much as they legally don't have a say, this woman is extremely disrespectful to his children by basically cutting them out and slapping together a half baked funeral just for the fact she wants to get it out of the way (my take on it).  I know my step mother would never do anything without consulting my sister and I because, as much as she is his wife, we are his kids and will be grieving too.

TootsNYC

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #81 on: June 09, 2013, 08:10:37 PM »
See, I would disagree with "nobody". In this cade, I would ay the children of the deceased.do have some right to complain. I would definitely agree that mosy people have no right to complain.

But again--nobody is STOPPING them from arranging something of their own, or getting together with the aunts & uncles from their FATHER's side of the marriage. And if they enter into this knowing that there isn't going to be an "official" meal hosted by "the widow," then they have room to do this.

WillyNilly

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #82 on: June 09, 2013, 08:19:18 PM »
when my father passes, my stepmother will of course be his next of kin. But I would be right there with her, helping her with all the arrangements. I wouldn't dare presume I should just sit back and let her shoulder all the burden and expect my concerns to be taken into account. It seems like the aunt/widow in this case was doing it all alone - where were the kids? So maybe part of her not wanting to include them is because she feels they haven't been involved.

This might even extend beyond just the funeral arrangements. Yesterday I was out with a friend who is a second wife. Her husband's kids were in their late teens/early twenties when she married him and they lived with their mom, so she never really "mothered" them (whether that relevant or not). Anyway yesterday she was lamenting how 2 of the three have not gotten back to her about Father's Day dinner, which she is is organizing and will pay for. She's organizing it because last year they didn't even bother to call their dad. On Mother's Day each year though they post all sorts of "Best mom ever!" comments and photos on Facebook. And they don't even call their dad... unless they want money of course. Or a new car. Or a place to crash in NYC (they live regionally but not in the city).

So maybe this widow feels the kids were never very interested in socializing when their dad was alive, why should she make an effort to ease their social mourning time now that he's gone?

Edited: because I left out a few words.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 08:29:45 PM by WillyNilly »

Sharnita

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #83 on: June 09, 2013, 08:28:05 PM »
See, I would disagree with "nobody". In this cade, I would ay the children of the deceased.do have some right to complain. I would definitely agree that mosy people have no right to complain.

But again--nobody is STOPPING them from arranging something of their own, or getting together with the aunts & uncles from their FATHER's side of the marriage. And if they enter into this knowing that there isn't going to be an "official" meal hosted by "the widow," then they have room to do this.

I don't know that the church does it after they have also done a service for Stepmother and the offer to do a dinnder for her has been declined.  So the dinner has been offered to the family, she has declined, I don't know that realistically they can do this on their own.  So I would say that her refusal of the church's offer is stopping them.  It has been offered once and refused. 

*inviteseller

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #84 on: June 09, 2013, 08:48:19 PM »
The fact the woman is admitting she knows she is wrong and is doing it this way so she does not have to be around her husbands kids and their families and friends is what bothers me.  What is she hoping to accomplish by acting like this.  She doesn't have to pay for a restaurant because the church will do it, but she is setting up a meal in a restaurant simply to avoid her husbands family.  Who is paying for this meal at the restaurant?

TootsNYC

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #85 on: June 09, 2013, 09:44:32 PM »
See, I would disagree with "nobody". In this cade, I would ay the children of the deceased.do have some right to complain. I would definitely agree that mosy people have no right to complain.

But again--nobody is STOPPING them from arranging something of their own, or getting together with the aunts & uncles from their FATHER's side of the marriage. And if they enter into this knowing that there isn't going to be an "official" meal hosted by "the widow," then they have room to do this.

I don't know that the church does it after they have also done a service for Stepmother and the offer to do a dinnder for her has been declined.  So the dinner has been offered to the family, she has declined, I don't know that realistically they can do this on their own.  So I would say that her refusal of the church's offer is stopping them.  It has been offered once and refused.

She is still not STOPPING THEM from going to a restaurant on their own. She just isn't. They know that there is no large, official gathering. if they *want* a gathering, they also know that everyone they'd want to surround themselves with is in all probability free.

They can get off their butts and arrange something.

Maybe they won't know how to arrange something that lots of peripheral people can come to, but they sure as heck can get together as siblings, or with their father's sister, etc.

Figgie

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #86 on: June 09, 2013, 10:45:17 PM »
Well, my husband's uncle (brother of the widow) called my husband to ask him if there was anything he could think of to do to get his sister/my husband's aunt to change what she is doing.  Of course, there truly isn't anything my spouse can do are say, as she is as stubborn as the day is long.  :)

Her stepchildren all seem to be decent people.  The three youngest were 14, 12 and 11 when she married their father and so she was quite involved in raising them.  As far as we have known, there is no issue with the stepchildren treating her badly (she has never complained and she would have if she felt at all disrespected).

Her brother thinks that she is so obsessed with having a full choir sing at the service that nothing else appears to matter to her.  I expect that he probably knows his sister and is correct about what is going on with her.

My spouse doesn't believe that she is acting this way because she is grieving...her behavior is pretty typical of the kind of person that she is, which is extremely self-centered.  I really think that it just doesn't cross her mind that her choices are impacting people other than herself.  She just doesn't really think about other people and never really has.

My husband has decided that we aren't going to stay for the graveside service, which will be after dark.  We will be driving a total of five hours round trip and this will just be too late for us with a 2 1/2 hour drive home.  So, we won't be going to the restaurant after the graveside service, as we are heading home right after the funeral instead.

I'm kind of glad, because to be honest, being in a cemetery after dark sort of creeps me out.  :)


kareng57

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #87 on: June 09, 2013, 11:06:01 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)


My church did that too - when I was a SAHM I would occasionally get calls, about two days ahead of time, about reporting for sandwich-making for a funeral.  They did charge a nominal fee (probably not much more than covering costs, and for all I know it might have been waived completely in some instances) but it was far less than ordering sandwich-trays from an outside caterer.

It really varies around here - I don't think that most folks "expect" refreshments after a funeral/memorial, but it is done fairly often.  The funeral home where we had my Dh's memorial service did have a reception-room, but we opted to take a kind neighbour up on her offer to have the refreshments at her house (I picked up the deli trays and beverages myself).

But even without the background, I'm really not seeing a  A/B list here.  Presumably, the close family members are going to want to eat dinner at some point, no matter what.

*inviteseller

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #88 on: June 09, 2013, 11:50:08 PM »
Yes Toots, there is nothing stopping them from doing their own thing..and I don't think this is a case of lazy people hanging on someones coattails but of the Aunt having something in secret so as not to invite the dead mans own children...that is the rude part.  She is telling her select invitees not to say anything to others, not to spare feelings, but because she is deliberately snubbing the mans own children.  I am a stepchild and my dad is unfortunately dying.  My step mother would NEVER do anything like this !  She will (if I know her) actually be inviting everyone so she could surround herself with those who knew and loved him so we can all tell stories and share some laughs with the tears/  This woman sounds just so nasty that honestly, his kids would be better off making their own celebration of their father's life without her.

Curious Cat

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Re: Funeral A/B List
« Reply #89 on: June 10, 2013, 12:07:31 AM »
Oh, in the midwest people frequently drive to the cemetary (could be 10 or 15 miles away) then drive back to the church.

We're talking a hour's drive through traffic, though.

10 miles is longer in NYC than it is in the Midwest. I grew up there--I know.

The majority of the population doesn't actually live in NYC, though so I am not sure the experience of those living there is a good yardstick for everyone else.  It doesn't sound like your experiences there are anything like the community where OP/aunt are living.

It seems like threads would be pretty short if the only people who replied had experienced the exact same things as the OP.  I grew up in the suburbs of large NE city and my experience is much closer tootsnyc's than anything you described.