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Old 05-03-2016, 04:31 AM   #21
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Wouldn't it be nicer if people spent the money and gave the attention while the person was still alive to enjoy it? I note the trend toward referring to funerals as "celebrations of life"; in my view, people should put their money where their mouth is, and celebrate the person's actual life with the person actually there.

Then again, I am not big on the concept of "closure."
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:06 AM   #22
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I've always though the Christian idea of funeral send offs was kind of macabre. Viewing a corpse isn't my idea of closure as I would much rather remember the departed as they were full of life and living. My parents always told me the funerals were as much for the living as for the dead. Guess when it is my time for the dirt nap, a small graveside service with immediate family will suffice. Hopefully followed by some food, drink and laughter of some of the stupid **** I have done in my life.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:21 AM   #23
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This was the service my brother and wife pre-bought. Scattering Ashes and Burial at Sea by Sea Services™

I agree with remembering all they did when alive. I hear that some people want closure but (for me) I ma not sure that that accomplishes...............
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:22 AM   #24
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My dad announced to my mom that he wanted to be cremated about a week before he died. Surprise! Mom couldn't do it (devout Catholic and set in that old custom), and they discussed it while he was in hospice care. Dad was set against an open casket, all the makeup, etc., so we didn't do that. And we buried him in his comfy clothes and favorite shoes, etc.

But we definitely had a calling and funeral mass for him. I think Dad would've been happy without any of it, but it really wasn't for him. It was for the rest of us and his friends.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:36 AM   #25
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Some very interesting posts. I definitely agree that funerals are more for the living than the dead. To me, it is an important part of the grieving process, particularly for family.

While I was raised Roman Catholic, we are not particularly religious and do not attend church regularly. I actually like the trend to celebrations of life rather than the pomp and circumstance of a formal wake, funeral mass, burial ceremony and fellowship which was common around here.

Our family is all over the place. For my Dad, who was very religious and attended church almost every day, we had a small service at the funeral home and fellowship at the house in Florida and months later a funeral mass, fellowship and spreading of the ashes at home. For my Gram we had a small service at the funeral home and fellowship at a local restaurant. For my great aunt, there were only about a dozen or so of us so we met at the cemetery where she had previously been buried, people told some stories and remembrances about her and we then went to lunch at a local restaurant.

Any of those is fine with me but to just do absolutely nothing.... and in that one case not even have an obituary... just seems inappropriate. It was interesting that for the person that did not have an obituary... she was well known and liked within the community and very social... and her daughter was similar. The decedent and her husband (who died prior to her) we both well known and had operated a notable local business. The local newspaper found out about her death and that there would be no obituary and published a short article that she had died so people would know.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:59 AM   #26
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One of the nicest "funerals" I've been to was held several months after the death and cremation. It was a luncheon at a golf club and people stood up as they wished and shared memories and anecdotes about the deceased. A few relatives had well prepared presentations, others were just impromptu.

It provided closure for the living and I'm sure the deceased would have been pleased with the love and respect paid by the attendees. It was unique in that it was by invitation, but the widow knew who would be interested.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:16 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
Most of her family was religious and had traditional services with the minister giving the eulogy. Only the most recent one (her sibling) had someone briefly speak other than the minister.
If someone is an active churchgoer, and the minister knows them, that's one thing. But there's very little more depressing (IMO) that going to a funeral and listening to a standard eulogy by a minister for someone who is essentially a stranger. Even worse is when they get things wrong, or mispronounce the name or something.

I'm definitely leaning toward small and private, if not skipping it altogether. I'm an introvert in life, and should continue to be one in death.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:25 AM   #28
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Viewing a corpse isn't my idea of closure as I would much rather remember the departed as they were full of life and living.
When my late wife died, the funeral home representative, (she was cremated), asked me if I'd like a "Final viewing".........I told him "No, she's not there anymore, she's gone".
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:35 AM   #29
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Both my parents wanted direct cremation with no service, so that's what they got. I personally scattered their ashes at sea, which gave me good closure.

Both had outlived all their friends and most of their relatives, so there was never a problem.

When DW and I go, we plan to do the same for each other.

I suspect the whole process is easier for those of us who are not religious. I believe that since it's all about how the next of kin feel, they should be the ones deciding the matter.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:38 AM   #30
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My Mom passed away last Aug, no funeral or service. The pastor at her church mentioned my Mom in the next Sundays services, but that was it. My Dad has the same plan. Long way off hopefully, but DW and I plan to go without funerals/services. Cremation and scattering. IF anyone asks, they can donate to their favorite charity.

IMO people who really care can memorialize lost loved ones without funeral services. Friends and family will remember us when they get together on their own, or not.

My MIL had an expensive, elaborate funeral-service-brunch, filled the Catholic church she hadn't attended regularly for over 20 years. Seemed over the top showy to me. YMMV

Is there a right or wrong answer? I'd say no.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:45 AM   #31
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For those considering med school donation you need to know the following things.

- You need to be close by a med school that takes donations. (UCSD med school is near us).
- You need to prearrange with a notarized form. It's not something you decide after a loved one dies.... they have to have notarized paper work on file before they die. (I have mine on file already.)
- Organ donation will take priority over cadaver use. For my dad they harvested corneas and skin (burn patients)... but the school still took the body. But most folks when they get old, have health issues (in my family's case - cancer) the organs would be declined anyway.

My sister and I were thrown for a loop when my brother insisted on burial. He did not want a lot of expense taken from his estate, however... We learned that there are similar caskets in the "cremation" side of the catalog as the "burial" side of the catalog... and they're 1/4 the cost. After asking some questions he was buried in a cremation casket. In death it was LBYMs.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:48 AM   #32
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My FIL is a funeral director and even I think funerals are dumb and a complete waste of money.

What you see at a viewing is not the person you remember. Its a hunk of meat...a shell if you will. I have no idea what kind of closure people get by looking at a still corpse.

I told my wife when I die I do not want any of that stuff. I want to be cremated immediately and whoever can do whatever they want with the burnt material that is left over...throw it out for all I care. Id rather my wife take the $5k that would be blown on viewing/burial/embalming etc and have a massive dinner somewhere nice for a group of people of her choosing. Celebrate my life instead of everyone moping around and shedding a tear. No one benefits from that kind of behavior. At least if people are fed it will provide some nourishment for their bodies.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:56 AM   #33
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What you see at a viewing is not the person you remember. Its a hunk of meat...a shell if you will. I have no idea what kind of closure people get by looking at a still corpse.
I've never liked that tradition either. If it's voluntary I don't view, but sometimes it's basically unavoidable. I'd rather have my (visual) memories only of the person in life, not one of them after they're gone.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:56 AM   #34
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My parents (both alive in mid-80s) have columbarium niches in the church they've attended for decades. There WILL be a funeral Mass and that's OK- there's some magnificent requiem music out there. I could do without calling hours faeturing the embalmed, made-up body lying in repose, though. DH and I are Episcopalians and love ritual, so we couldn't imagine a send-off without a priest. I'm 15 years younger so likely to make these decisions first and am likely to scatter DH's ashes in bodies of water we've visited and loved over the years. (Darn good excuse for a tour of Europe!)


One other option if you're into criminology: there's a "body farm" in Tennessee associated with a university, where they eave bodies out under various conditions to observe how they decay. It's useful input for coroners trying to determine time of death. Not something I'd choose, but useful to society.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:59 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Wouldn't it be nicer if people spent the money and gave the attention while the person was still alive to enjoy it? I note the trend toward referring to funerals as "celebrations of life"; in my view, people should put their money where their mouth is, and celebrate the person's actual life with the person actually there.

Then again, I am not big on the concept of "closure."
Well said, agree 100%.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:01 AM   #36
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Not something I'd choose, but useful to society.
At least it keeps you 'above ground' just a tad longer.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:05 AM   #37
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I do not want any acknowledgement of my passing. I want to be cremated and my ashes mixed together with the ashes of all my beloved pets. I don't care what happens to the ashes after that.


I have attended funerals and "celebrations of life", but have never felt any closure or any difference in the grief process. They have always just felt like an excuse for people to pretend they cared.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:10 AM   #38
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Just give me a viking funeral. What's needed is - a old canoe w/ some hay, a lake, a bow and arrow. Drift my body to the lake, shoot a burning arrow to the canoe, and let it drift burning. Probably cost less than a funeral. LOL
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:59 AM   #39
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regarding the body, I don't think anyone has the right to occupy space after they die. There has been in excess of 100 trillion people on this earth (estimated) and over 7 trillion currently. Can you imagine if we all took up space in a cemetery? That is a lot of real estate.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:04 AM   #40
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The wife of DH's friend died and it was a week later that DH's friend told him she had been sick for four months (she opted for minimal, palliative treatment). She had been in the public eye early in her career for a couple of decades and it was a month before her death was learned of and reported by a few columnists. She and her husband were very private in their personal life and just didn't want the attention--her husband is one of the shyest people ever. I don't think there was even a small family funeral as they had no children and and sadly had had two close relatives pass away in the year before so I think the emotional weight would have killed her husband.

Personally, I would choose that nonmemorial but I have kids who wouldn't like it, and I'll be gone anyway. Imo closure is overrated. DH would enjoy a standing room only crowd himself. He'll never know....
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