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Old 05-03-2016, 09:22 PM   #61
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Well, there's what I want, and there's what is likely to happen. I'd like a nice get-together with some good things to eat and drink and some quality Santana in the background. Just close family and a couple of good friends. No dead bodies on display, a quick cremation, get rid of the ashes. Then back home for more eating, drinking and reminiscing. It's paid for in my will.
....

I'd like some Hendrix but I know it'll never happen.
Sounds good to me. As far as some Hendrix, I've always thought this would be a great tune to have played as they lower the urn/casket in to the ground, and/or as people leave the memorial.

It just has that funeral dirge sound, and a certain finality (audio quality is not that good on this posting, but it's all I could find of the Woodstock version - I assume they are chasing them down as copyright violations?):



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Old 05-03-2016, 09:49 PM   #62
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Note that there is one other place where you can often find out about a death the legal notices. If there is any kind of estate a notice is supposed to be placed in a newspaper telling any folks that think they are owed money from the estate that they have until some date to file their claim with someone.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:44 AM   #63
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For those people interested in genealogy, one of the major tools are often reading obituaries. Oftentimes, there is information in obituaries that is not available in any other way. So, I would always do an obit if you only to make it easier for future descendants who might want to build a family tree.
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:14 AM   #64
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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."
I agree entirely. I have been to an elaborate funeral and celebration for someone who really could have used more helping hands while alive.
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:29 AM   #65
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And, for the droll side of things:

Remains to be seen if glass coffins become popular.
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:33 AM   #66
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Remains to be seen if glass coffins become popular.
<rimshot>
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:29 AM   #67
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<rimshot>
I stole it from another site.
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:59 AM   #68
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How nice to see so many folks who want to share their experiences on a difficult subject.

Our four sons have been incredibly close throughout their lives. When Chris passed away suddenly in 1995 at age 36 it created a hole in all of our lives. As a family we sat down together to decide how to handle this loss.

It didn't take long to make the decision. First, donation of organs which was simpler that that time. Then, to invite Chis's friends to a small hall... for what might be called a remembrance service, but with no formality. There were about 35 people there... Fewer from our extended family as we were 1500 miles away, but all of the very closest neighbors and pals.

We expected a half hour of sharing the sadness, and some memories, but the get together evolved into a two and a half hour celebration of his life, with every person in the room sharing a remembered personal recollection, with a vignette of some event or special moment that was imprinted as a private story that most people didn't know about.

Stories that were wild (Chris was a free spirit)... Stories that made our eyes roll, funny stories (which made up most of the two hours), and private tales where lives crossed. Two hours of a real life obituary that covered the good, the bad, and some of the ugly, but a fullness of recollection, that provided closure, not only to DW and me, but, as we learned, to everyone who knew him. No meal, no drinks, no formality... just a part of life... shared by those who knew him. Now 21 years later, we still remember those special moments that help us past the sadness.

His ashes lie in the lake, in front of our campground home, where he had spent so many happy hours quietly fishing. Shortly after, we received a letter from the organ donation group... that told of two individuals who had benefited from receiving life changing organs. No names of course, but specifics, that touched our hearts. I don''t guess that this is done today, but it meant a lot to us.

Even today, we sometimes hear from those who were there... that this was a special moment in their lives.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:30 AM   #69
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I'm off to a Catholic funeral Mass today. For some reason this spring has been a bad run--two co-workers dying far too young (one cancer, one alcoholism) and now the sudden death of a co-worker's wife. In my tradition, the funeral Mass is important and I will certainly request one for myself. I like the fact that eulogies are not allowed at Catholic funeral Masses--the purpose is to pray for the dead and commend them to God (not "celebrate" them), and to show support for the family. On the other hand I've also never liked viewings ("visitations" as they are called here). My understanding is that these evolved when it was important to make sure the dead person was really dead--long before ekgs etc. There was a huge scare in the 19th century in particular about being buried alive, which must have happened in reality at times! Hence the bells and pull chains at some graves. The body was laid out in the parlor and visitors came and went, just like what happens today in funeral homes. All houses had to have a coffin-sized door. One of the best, funniest scenes in Huckleberry Finn takes place at a parlor service with the minister droning on and a dog howling in the basement. Classic Mark Twain.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:04 AM   #70
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All of our recent departeds have been in Urns with Celebrations of Life. Always have some pictures of the happy times as well. (Except Dad (2000) who had purchased a plot next to Mom (1970) but we buried my brother's Urn in the same plot (2009).)
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:09 AM   #71
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His ashes lie in the lake, in front of our campground home, where he had spent so many happy hours quietly fishing. Shortly after, we received a letter from the organ donation group... that told of two individuals who had benefited from receiving life changing organs. No names of course, but specifics, that touched our hearts. I don''t guess that this is done today, but it meant a lot to us.
First, I am so sorry for your loss, even after so many years have passed. I did want to tell you that the letters are still done. My mother received a donated kidney from a deceased donor, and part of the recovery process is to write a letter to the donor family, telling them about themselves and what the donation meant to them.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:37 AM   #72
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How nice to see so many folks who want to share their experiences on a difficult subject.

Our four sons have been incredibly close throughout their lives. When Chris passed away suddenly in 1995 at age 36 it created a hole in all of our lives. As a family we sat down together to decide how to handle this loss.

It didn't take long to make the decision. First, donation of organs which was simpler that that time. Then, to invite Chis's friends to a small hall... for what might be called a remembrance service, but with no formality. There were about 35 people there... Fewer from our extended family as we were 1500 miles away, but all of the very closest neighbors and pals.

We expected a half hour of sharing the sadness, and some memories, but the get together evolved into a two and a half hour celebration of his life, with every person in the room sharing a remembered personal recollection, with a vignette of some event or special moment that was imprinted as a private story that most people didn't know about.

Stories that were wild (Chris was a free spirit)... Stories that made our eyes roll, funny stories (which made up most of the two hours), and private tales where lives crossed. Two hours of a real life obituary that covered the good, the bad, and some of the ugly, but a fullness of recollection, that provided closure, not only to DW and me, but, as we learned, to everyone who knew him. No meal, no drinks, no formality... just a part of life... shared by those who knew him. Now 21 years later, we still remember those special moments that help us past the sadness.

His ashes lie in the lake, in front of our campground home, where he had spent so many happy hours quietly fishing. Shortly after, we received a letter from the organ donation group... that told of two individuals who had benefited from receiving life changing organs. No names of course, but specifics, that touched our hearts. I don''t guess that this is done today, but it meant a lot to us.

Even today, we sometimes hear from those who were there... that this was a special moment in their lives.
Thank you for sharing that story. I am happy (can't think of a more fitting word, I am sorry!) that out of a terrible tragedy, you were able to have such a great celebration of his life. I have to imagine that even all these years later, you remember it like it was yesterday and were happy to have heard stories you may have never come to know.

One of the 'remembrance' things we have done for my Dad is audio recordings of some of the Sunday Happy Hours. We (family and his social buddies) figure that once he's gone, it will be nice to sit down on occasion and listen to his jokes and stories we have heard so many times before. We harass him incessantly about retelling his stories, but we all know that when he's gone, we will miss them. Even if we have heard them a thousand times over.
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:01 AM   #73
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Shortly after, we received a letter from the organ donation group... that told of two individuals who had benefited from receiving life changing organs. No names of course, but specifics, that touched our hearts. I don''t guess that this is done today, but it meant a lot to us.
A friend who married quite late (in his 50s) lost his wife to cancer only 8 years later, and only a couple of months after diagnosis. She'd already consented to have her organs donated and he just reported that he'd been to a gathering of the families of organ donors, with a slideshow of their beloved deceased family members and whatever details the family wanted to share about them. He seemed to find it comforting. I think they do whatever they can to show the donor families how much they're appreciated.
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No funeral or memorial service
Old 05-04-2016, 12:11 PM   #74
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No funeral or memorial service

Though I have contemplated my demise, I have yet to make plans. It's on my "list", but since my recent FIRE, I've balked at schedules and lists...

My parents retired to Florida, but moved to Texas a few months before my mom passed from cancer. They had prearranged with a funeral "home" to have mom's remains flown to Indiana, a service held, and then burial in a cemetery outside of town, where a number of other family members were happily decomposing. A comedy of errors then ensued. The funeral home was notified, who then called an affiliate in Dallas County, and they came to get mom, prepare her for the flight home, and take her remains to the airport. Problem was, she had actually passed just over the county line in Denton County, thus getting the proper paperwork required for things to proceed was delayed. By then we had all flown north, so all of the wrangling required took place via long distance phone calls. She arrived at the designated place the morning of her funeral, having missed the viewing the day prior...

Not a pleasant experience, and anyone who knew my mom would know that, if there's an afterlife, she was probably madder than hell. She was always the planner, and would never be late...

The viewing, sans Mom, wasn't totally unpleasant, as I got to visit with a lot of folks from the old hometown. But the funeral was miserable, and I'd have had just as much closure skipping the whole ordeal.

My dad has decided to donate himself to medical science, then be cremated, and the ashes buried next to Mom. He also bought enough plots for the rest of us, though no one has claimed them. I've considered having a small marker made, so there would be some evidence that HFWR actually existed, since there's a good chance I'll croak without dear grandchildren.

I would like to have a plan in place, to spare DS from having to deal with it. In the case of my dad, there is only a handful of his peers still kicking, though there are some the next generation down that knew him or would still remember him. If I luck out and live to a ripe old age, there would likely not be many who would attend a funeral in Indiana, and I have a relatively small circle of friends in Texas, so not much need for a service here. Best to get drunk and tell bad jokes in remembrance.

I'm thinking organ donation and medical experiments, then dump me out in the woods somewhere.

I would like an obit in the local rag back home, but an obit in the Dallas paper would likely only result in "Who?" Assuming I get advanced warning, might even write my own. One more chance to be a wiseass!

In the meantime, I'm in total denial, living by the creed "It's better to be seen than viewed...".
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:56 PM   #75
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Just some various musings:


I wonder why some choose to still have an evening wake separate from the funeral rather than a visitation before the service. My parents used to say they were for the people who had to work and couldn't attend a daytime funeral. Wakes to me tend to become a social get together to catch up with people you haven't seen in a while. The last one I was at the funeral director came over the loud speaker asking people to quiet down as they were disrupting a visitation in an adjoining room.


I do not understand people wanting to keep ashes in an urn. At what point do they or someone else have to get rid of them? How do they get rid of them? I understand having ashes scattered. Is it legal to have your ashes scattered in your lake where your cabin was? I tell my wife I am scattering hers in her local Talbott's department store.


Friend of mine had a church funeral that celebrated his loyalty to the local football team. Guests were asked to wear jeans and a jersey or at least the team colors. The sanctuary was lit in the team colors. The minister had a tie with the team colors. The closing hymn was the team's fight song. His dog also attended an sat with the family in the front pew.


My parents both had standard wakes/church funerals. Don't remember when the picture boards started, but putting that together was really a family bonding/closure enjoyable process. We then put the boards up on the walls of the family cabin.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:39 PM   #76
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J

Friend of mine had a church funeral that celebrated his loyalty to the local football team. Guests were asked to wear jeans and a jersey or at least the team colors. The sanctuary was lit in the team colors. The minister had a tie with the team colors. The closing hymn was the team's fight song. His dog also attended an sat with the family in the front pew.
Love this. I plan nothing, but if I did......................
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:41 PM   #77
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I mentioned this a few years back, but I gave my late wife's mother some of her ashes for their family plot, some went into the Colorado River, and the rest were scattered by the 'church' here, (she had no religious inclinations but really enjoyed this place):

The Desert Bar
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:53 PM   #78
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My FIL was cremated, but the family could not decide on a celebration ceremony. So, he sat in my furnace room for a year. Then BIL decided to bury the ashes in another state and asked me to send them to him. I mailed him Priority Mail Express with tracking signatures in case he got lost. Postal clerk asked if package contained anything prohibited and I assured her it was just my FIL.

It was a nice ceremony.
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:52 PM   #79
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Just to muddy the water a bit, here's a story that shook me when it happened, but then has just made me smile ever since.

Dad died in 1996, and had a direct cremation. The ashes sat in a box in my closet for about a year and a half until I was able to take them on their final journey to scatter them in his favorite fishing spot in Jamaica Bay (New York City).

All went well, but as I was pouring the ashes into the water, I noticed a small metal disk, about the size of a quarter. I picked it out and put it in my pocket. There was just a serial number impressed in it, obviously how they keep track of the bodies in the crematorium.

After I got back home, I put the disk in the envelope with the cremation certificate that came with the ashes. Much to my surprise, the number on the certificate was one higher than the number on the disk.

So I took care of someone's ashes, but I certainly don't know whose. And someone else took care of my father's ashes. My first thought was to contact the crematorium for the information, but it had been almost two years earlier and I just decided to forget it.

All is well, and at the end of the day it really made no difference.
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:16 PM   #80
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One man's opinion...

http://youtu.be/DEhqzOeJnto
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