Author Topic: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79  (Read 10308 times)

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LifeOnPluto

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"No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79
« on: November 23, 2013, 12:15:25 AM »
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?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 09:20:14 PM by LifeOnPluto »

Perfect Circle

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2013, 12:21:04 AM »
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.
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cicero

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 12:34:32 AM »
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

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EMuir

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2013, 12:36:39 AM »
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.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2013, 12:53:15 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.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 12:56:35 AM by JoyinVirginia »

Iris

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2013, 12:54:28 AM »
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.

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peaches

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2013, 01:14:05 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.
 
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 01:16:02 AM by peaches »

nolechica

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2013, 01:18:53 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.

MrsJWine

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2013, 01:38:40 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."


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sammycat

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2013, 02:06:09 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.  ;)

sweetonsno

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2013, 02:42:47 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.

123sandy

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2013, 04:23:02 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.

nayberry

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2013, 08:33:27 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 :)

Secret

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2013, 08:37:02 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.

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2013, 09:00:29 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.