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  1. #41
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    I agree, funerals are for the living and also shows respect for the dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eventer55 View Post
    Here's my take. When we first moved here we became friends with the man across the street. A couple of years later his mother died, we had never met her and were only slightly friends with the man. Both my husband and I went to the wake and I went to the funeral.

    I can't tell you how many people commented on my attendance and I know for a fact it meant a lot to our friend as well as everyone in town. Funerals are for the living to show support and kindness, I'm glad I went. You are under no obligation to go, but do send a card or make a donation, you'll be glad you did.


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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabula rashah View Post
    Honestly if it's been that long since the you have seen these people and you weren't all that close with them to begin with, it's not going to matter if you are there.
    And for those who say, oh you'll change your tune when you bury someone close to you- thank you for telling me how I will feel, ever so kind of you.
    And yet you presume to tell us all that it will be meaningless to the survivors if a long-ago acquaintance (as opposed to a recent close friend) attends the funeral? It could very well be that survivors will be PARTICULARLY touched to see someone unexpected there.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.


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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windsor1 View Post
    And yet you presume to tell us all that it will be meaningless to the survivors if a long-ago acquaintance (as opposed to a recent close friend) attends the funeral? It could very well be that survivors will be PARTICULARLY touched to see someone unexpected there.
    they could be or they could not even notice that you are there. but if it doesn't happen then they will never know that they would have been touched by it. kind of like the whole schrodinger's cat thing.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  4. #44
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    I was in the "don't go" camp. Also, my grandfather died almost a year ago. He was cremated. We didn't hold a memorial here because he didn't know many people in this area. We didn't hold a memorial anywhere. We plan on planting a tree in our yard and putting some of his cremains underneath. Some will go to his hometown where my cousin will spread them on the old house site where he grew up (it's an empty field now). Some will go to another cousin to be spread on my grandma's grave. Some may go back with other family back east, but I don't know about that yet.

    We felt no need to have some big memorial for him. When we plant the tree, it will be just us. We are going to have a memorial stone for my grandparents to put under the tree. The fact that there won't be a bunch of people whom he hasn't seen in years and years doesn't bother us at all. His SIL died two days before him back east, and they are having a small (read: family only) memorial for him and are doing the tree thing too.

    The last funeral I went to was my paternal grandmother's. I had been estranged from that family since I was 11 when she disowned me for taking my step-dad's last name. I went to the funeral to be reunited with a cousin that I missed dearly. I was so nauseated by all the "wonderful" things they said about her life. She was one of the biggest biznitches on the planet! It was hard to keep a straight face.
    Last edited by Capall; Aug. 13, 2013 at 12:15 PM.


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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    Thank you for all of your advice, and different points of view. I did not go, but I am absolutely planning on reaching out to the widow (card for sure, maybe drop some meals off at her house or something.
    To me, a visit after the fact seems like a much better idea and probably would much appreciated.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain


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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    Thank you for all of your advice, and different points of view. I did not go, but I am absolutely planning on reaching out to the widow (card for sure, maybe drop some meals off at her house or something.
    sounds wonderful!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabula rashah View Post
    they could be or they could not even notice that you are there. but if it doesn't happen then they will never know that they would have been touched by it. kind of like the whole schrodinger's cat thing.
    "I'm not going to do something nice for someone because they'll never miss my not having done it."

    Whew. That is no way to live life whether we're talking about funerals or just random acts of kindness or anything else. It's not just about enriching the lives of those on the receiving end of your kindness -- it's about enriching your own.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.


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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabula rashah View Post
    To me, a visit after the fact seems like a much better idea and probably would much appreciated.
    I agree. When my dear grandfather passed away, I actually opted not to travel to attend the funeral since most of the rest of my family was there to comfort and support my grandmother. Instead, I arranged to visit my grandmother a few weeks later, when everyone else was starting to drift back into their own lives and daily routines. And I'm very glad I did it that way.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland


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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windsor1 View Post
    "I'm not going to do something nice for someone because they'll never miss my not having done it."

    Whew. That is no way to live life whether we're talking about funerals or just random acts of kindness or anything else. It's not just about enriching the lives of those on the receiving end of your kindness -- it's about enriching your own.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayside View Post
    I agree. When my dear grandfather passed away, I actually opted not to travel to attend the funeral since most of the rest of my family was there to comfort and support my grandmother. Instead, I arranged to visit my grandmother a few weeks later, when everyone else was starting to drift back into their own lives and daily routines. And I'm very glad I did it that way.
    So which is it? I'm nice or not nice? LOL!
    PS- Just because I spew out a bit of philosophy doesn't mean that I'm not kind to or do things for others.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  10. #50
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    Wow, I would love to snatch quotes from about six people on this thread, but I won't.

    OP, I know where you are coming from. Personally, I think you should go to the wake/visitation. You can drop in, sign the book, say a few words to the family and leave. It is a very nice gesture to the living family, that will be appreciated. You don't have to hang out long, you can be in and out quickly.

    I'm not big on funerals myself, but when my dad died 10 years ago and my heart had a big gaping hole in it (oh great here come the tears), I remember sitting in the church and looking up and seeing that it was standing room only and thinking how wonderful it was that all of those people cared enough to come. And all the phone calls, and people that stopped by and shared a kindness from my father, and I have to tell you that after ten years, I still hold some of those stories in my heart, and it gives me something, comfort? I don't know, but I"m really glad they did it.
    (editing to say: I DO know what it brings, a wonderful confirmation that my father's life MEANT something to a lot of people)
    My mom passed this year (they were divorced, very bitter)...she didn't want anyone to even know she was dead. And only her close family sat there at the grave and noone knew what to even say, and THAT feels like and ending that sort of fell apart to me.


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  11. #51
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    Of course it's thoughtful to remember the bereaved "later," when the loneliness really sets in. That doesn't negate the acts of kindness done by going out of your way based on THEIR schedule (when the deceased actually died at an inconvenient time for you). As others have said, it's the personal effort and thoughtfulness exhibited by making the time to attend when we've all had "better things to do" that day, and it's also true that often the unexpected visitor brings great solace. The viewing & funeral does help those left behind.

    Many of us do both, you know. Attend the services and then pay a visit later on.

    I think, tabula rashah, that your posts just come off as though you're punching some spiritual timecard: gotta go somethin' but ick, I don't like funerals, so I'll catch up with you later.

    I'm sure that's not your attitude entirely, but that's how it sounds. Like wildlifer saying "[funerals] just make ZERO sense to me and I do not go."

    Usually in grief situations, the humans make an effort to put others' feelings ahead of their own. Just a tip.

    This ties in nicely with the bride & wedding threads this OT day (ahh, the circle of life) and how many of us have really narrow spotlights that don't shine on anyone else very often. I'm certainly guilty, too.


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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne FS View Post
    Of course it's thoughtful to remember the bereaved "later," when the loneliness really sets in. That doesn't negate the acts of kindness done by going out of your way based on THEIR schedule (when the deceased actually died at an inconvenient time for you). As others have said, it's the personal effort and thoughtfulness exhibited by making the time to attend when we've all had "better things to do" that day, and it's also true that often the unexpected visitor brings great solace. The viewing & funeral does help those left behind.

    Many of us do both, you know. Attend the services and then pay a visit later on.

    I think, tabula rashah, that your posts just come off as though you're punching some spiritual timecard: gotta go somethin' but ick, I don't like funerals, so I'll catch up with you later.

    I'm sure that's not your attitude entirely, but that's how it sounds. Like wildlifer saying "[funerals] just make ZERO sense to me and I do not go."

    Usually in grief situations, the humans make an effort to put others' feelings ahead of their own. Just a tip.

    This ties in nicely with the bride & wedding threads this OT day (ahh, the circle of life) and how many of us have really narrow spotlights that don't shine on anyone else very often. I'm certainly guilty, too.
    If it makes me seem selfish or whatever, that's fine. I am comfortable with the decisions that I make in my life.
    Maybe you should try to understand that people show kindness in different ways- just because I wouldn't go to a long past acquaintance's funeral doesn't mean I wouldn't be the first person to show up if they called in the middle of the night with a sick animal or a broke down car.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain


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  13. #53
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    Having watched my father grieve for my mother, "later" was when it really did matter who was around, who reached out to him. It was when he was done taking care of all the "business" related to my mother's death that he fell apart.

    Quite honestly, her memorial service was huge (several hundred people) and I don't remember who was or wasn't there, or even trying to figure that out at the time. She did not have a funeral; she was cremated and her ashes scattered by immediate family in the mountains she loved.

    Then again, my mother herself had stopped going to funerals several years before she died. She just couldn't stand it anymore after so many. Before that, she avoided open casket services, viewings, etc. if at all possible, and I do the same as it seems very, very creepy to me.

    I agree it can be touching to see who shows up at a funeral. My grandmother taught home-bound students (usually those with illnesses or injuries that kept them from school) in the 1930s, and when she died in 1993, some of those students showed up at her funeral, even if they hadn't seen her since she was their teacher, 50 or 60 years before. She was a difficult woman and it gave me a different way to look at her.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine


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  14. #54
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    I don't think you can ever regret going to at least one of them, however I do think you might regret NOT going. The fact that you are having a bit of angst tells me you should go to at least one, pay your respects and leave it at that.

    Added...oops, sorry. Looks like it has already passed. Didn't read through all the posts.



  15. #55
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    I generally try to go to funerals and am usually happy that I did for one reason or another (not that they're often fun, though some have their moments), but having had them for both parents and a brother (not to mention more distant relatives), I really don't care who else goes or doesn't go. While it's thoughtful for people who haven't been active in your life (or the life of the deceased) in a long time to show up, and I appreciated it, I wouldn't have wanted to inconvenience anyone by having them show up out of a sense of duty.

    As for the OP, I think it's a wonderful idea to reach out to the widow afterward.



  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windsor1 View Post
    "I'm not going to do something nice for someone because they'll never miss my not having done it."

    Whew. That is no way to live life whether we're talking about funerals or just random acts of kindness or anything else. It's not just about enriching the lives of those on the receiving end of your kindness -- it's about enriching your own.
    And another thing!

    Why, OP, does your new found adultness mean being true to yourself and not observing good manners/common decency? I mean, what's the point in being all grown up if what that really means is freedom to be selfish?***

    I agree with others who think that

    1. Later on, you might regret not having gone. That's a greater pain than the appearance you'll put in now.

    2. Go for whoever you want- the nice guy, yourself, any of his relatives who might feel as you do about the Churchers and would like to see a friendly face there.

    3. But for the big stuff-- weddings funerals and such-- you Man Up And Go.

    ***(Clearly this rant could have been directed at people who now consider weddings forms of entertainment. Not so. If you are invited to attend a wedding, you are being called on to celebrate and support the marriage. You go if you can. Or you don't go and cost them money at the reception if that suits your conscience. But you don't RSVP and then bail because you got a better offer that day.... as adults often do.)
    The armchair saddler
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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    And another thing!

    Why, OP, does your new found adultness mean being true to yourself and not observing good manners/common decency? I mean, what's the point in being all grown up if what that really means is freedom to be selfish?***
    Oh, dear. The OP admitted she's kinda feeling her way here and was very honest (and mature) in admitting she had some trouble distinguishing between deciding to assert her adult autonomy (or whatever) and doing something she didn't want to do because it's the right thing. I admire her a lot for recognizing the distinction and trying to do the right thing. I really don't think she's asking permission to be selfish or postulating that now that she's an adult, she's free to be selfish.

    (But thank you for quoting me! )
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.



  18. #58
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    I did not read all of this but offer my opinion anyway. I've been on both sides of the question and I can absolutely tell you how important it is for the living to feel the love and thoughts of people who cared for the deceased.

    We don't seem to do viewings very much her (I suppose depending on your religion or upbringing or family tradition), and if you feel you cannot go to the funeral (I know you did not go), then absolutely a visit, a card, some baking,
    some dinner that can be frozen would mean the world to his widow. It is just that if someone cares enough to help in some small way it softens the blow.

    In fact, after the first week or two, people drop by the wayside, so by showing you care after that time, will make her feel not so lonely.

    I hope you can find it in yourself to be ongoing...I know how it would make me feel. She will probably be very lonely waking up every day, making meals everyday, without her long time partner.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  19. #59
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    Wow, mvp, that savors strongly of bitterness...

    Sorry if I offended you, but like Windsor1 said (thank you!!) this thread was not created so that I could ask permission to be selfish. It was started because I didn't completely trust my own judgement, and I wanted to know what others thought of the situation.

    I was raised by parents that were in the "let's force our kid to do everything, saying no or backing out is not an option" camp. The end result was a young adult who always feels obligated to do things, and feels extremely guilty for not doing so- even if it really is nobigdeal. So through my recent years of "adulthood", I have had to retrain myself and re-learn the standards for what situations are ok/not ok to pass on.

    Thank you for any advice given here. As I stated before, I did not attend, but I plan on visiting the widow in the next couple of weeks.



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