Author Topic: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake? Update p79  (Read 9521 times)

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Pen^2

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #60 on: November 25, 2013, 10:15:23 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.

bopper

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #61 on: November 25, 2013, 10:53:19 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.

snappylt

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #62 on: November 25, 2013, 06:32:20 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.)

kareng57

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #63 on: November 25, 2013, 10:53:03 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.

White Lotus

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #64 on: November 26, 2013, 12:02:19 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 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.

CakeEater

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #65 on: November 26, 2013, 02:14:02 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'.

snappylt

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #66 on: November 26, 2013, 07:33:08 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.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 07:50:03 PM by snappylt »

violinp

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #67 on: November 26, 2013, 07:42:52 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.
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MariaE

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #68 on: November 27, 2013, 01:19:26 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.
 
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White Lotus

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #69 on: November 27, 2013, 06:00:51 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.

MariaE

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #70 on: November 27, 2013, 06:08:04 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.
 
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iridaceae

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #71 on: November 27, 2013, 06:15:37 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.

CakeEater

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #72 on: November 27, 2013, 07:07:37 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.

Twik

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #73 on: November 27, 2013, 01:42:26 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."
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TootsNYC

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Re: "No funeral for me, please" = big, fancy wake?
« Reply #74 on: November 27, 2013, 01:47:45 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.