Author Topic: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service  (Read 4110 times)

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LovesWater

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Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« on: September 10, 2010, 02:09:00 PM »
I could use a little assistance with this.

An elderly neighbor of mine has passed away, and the obituary in the newspaper states that there will be a visitation this evening, a service tomorrow morning, and a graveside service after that.

I only knew her slightly, but what I knew, I liked. She was a very nice lady. I would like to pay my respects, and to let her family know that I am thinking of her and them.

Here is my dilemma: I don't think I need to attend all three things, but I feel like the visitation is for those who were closer than I was; and I am not sure it is OK to go to the funeral service and skip the graveside service after.

My questions are: Am I right about the visitation, or would that be the best way for an acquaintance to pay their respects? Is it OK to go only to the funeral service, but not to the graveside service (about 25 miles away, btw)? In summary, what is the best way for me to pay my respects?

Thank you ehellions.

Bellantara

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 02:14:24 PM »
I would go to the visitation, and skip the services.  That's how it's done where I grew up.  :) Visitation was for acquaintances/the community to pay their respects; services were for family and those who were close to the deceased.

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2010, 02:15:15 PM »
Around here, the visitation (assuming it is at a funeral home) is more public. The viewing takes place in the evening when people are off of work; the funeral and graveside service are usually during the day, so they are more likely to be attended by those close to the deceased.

Of course, different religions have different practices, so YMMV. Either way, it is perfectly acceptable to go just to the funeral and not the graveside service.
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DangerMouth

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2010, 02:15:59 PM »
I would go to the visitation, and skip the services.  That's how it's done where I grew up.  :) Visitation was for acquaintances/the community to pay their respects; services were for family and those who were close to the deceased.

Same here.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2010, 02:24:21 PM »
To me, the graveside service is for family and close friends.

The funeral is for anyone who knew the deceased to attend, if they wish.

The visitation is for anyone to pay their respects to the family.  I've been to visitations where I did not know the deceased but was friends with a relative and went to support them.

So OP, in your case, I'd definitely skip the graveside service.  I would go to the visitation and/or the funeral service, whatever works best for you.
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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2010, 02:27:08 PM »
IME, the visitation is where the widest variety of people come--from acquaintances to old friends to close friends to family.  The funeral is a slightly narrower swath, and the graveside service is the most intimate.


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Surianne

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2010, 02:28:54 PM »
Same here, the visitation is generally the most "public".

Sorry to hear about your neighbour.  I think her family would really appreciate you coming out  :)

DangerMouth

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2010, 03:12:24 PM »
Oh, also, I'd only go the church service if I were a member of the same religion, unless I was particularly close to the family.

Sharnita

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2010, 03:15:43 PM »
I agree that visitation tends to be the most public of the events.  You can certainly go to the funeral if you wish without going to the cemetary.

O'Dell

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2010, 04:06:36 PM »
Ditto everyone else...visitation is the one that is more public in nature. It also has the benefit that you can arrive and leave any time during the period it is open. You aren't required to be there for any length of time. So you can give your respects and leave soon after.
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LovesWater

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2010, 04:22:50 PM »
Thank you everyone for the education. I knew I didn't really understand all the subtleties of this situation, and your responses have helped me a lot.

Thanks!

SportsFan88

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2010, 05:11:49 PM »
I was recently faced with this myself. I went to the visitation for many reasons that other people have said.

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LovesWater

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2010, 11:14:18 PM »
Thank you everyone for your help. I went to the visitation, and I agree that it was the right thing to do.  I have attended a handful of funerals, and none of them have had visitations, so this was new to me. Thx.

Bellantara

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2010, 11:29:54 PM »
Glad we could help.  :)

kareng57

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Re: Visitation / Funeral / Graveside Service
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2010, 11:45:31 PM »
Thank you everyone for your help. I went to the visitation, and I agree that it was the right thing to do.  I have attended a handful of funerals, and none of them have had visitations, so this was new to me. Thx.


Visitations aren't common where I live, either.  I don't mean just my own social/ethnic circle - I rarely see them mentioned in obituary notices in the metro newspaper.

I do see that they can have their place.  People who weren't really close to the deceased or next-of-kin can still pay their respects even if they can't get time off work to attend the funeral/memorial service.  Graveside services are quite rare here; in my region cremation is overwhelmingly the option chosen.