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Funeral Etiquette?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Lola's response in the Cremated vs Casket thread got me much fun is too much fun at a funeral and after the funeral? I mean, I know it depends on the family, blah blah blah.

Here's my example....we had a nice funeral/memorial service for Mom (she was cremated so no casket or anything). After that was the dinner at the church, still pretty stoic. After that, my uncle and cousins (dad's side) and mom's family came back to Dad's house where we sat around drinking flip (family recipe alcohol) and honestly had a blast. We talked about the great times we had with Mom, some funny stories, stuff like that. Well, Dad's family and us (Dad, sister and I) did. Mom's family sat in the other room and occassionally came in and gave us looks of distain.

I agree with Lola, and so did Mom. Remember the good times, have fun, you have all the time in the world to be sad about me but take this time as one last party with me!

Am I nuts?
post #2 of 25
I expect people to get VERY, VERY drunk at my wake. There will be laughing and singing and dancing! I think I'll tell my mom and write a letter to that effect. If you're going to spend money over the fact that I've expired, I don't want it wasted on a "nice headstone". Why should anyone be mad that someone is being cherished through happy memories?
post #3 of 25
My Russ did not want a funeral. He told me to go down to our hangout and buy a round on him. Since he played honky-tonk piano, in this bar and was very well-liked, we had a wake.

There was music, singing and lots of jokes and stories. We sent Russ off, the same way that he lived. His picture was hung over the piano, his derby, tip spittoon, a mug of beer and an ashtray, with one of cigars in it, was sitting on the piano. It was a great party and he would have loved it!

We lived in Tombstone and I dressed in one of my saloon girl outfits: feathers in my hair, lace stockings and garters. Instead of black crepe on his picture, we hung one of his fancy sleeve garters on it.

He left several boxes of cigars behind and I handed them out to his friends. I'm sure that's what he would have wanted. I've never regretted that send-off.
post #4 of 25
A dear friend of ours died suddenly of a heart attack at 43 years old. He was president of a motorcycle club, and very well liked all over the area. He loved a good party. When the hearse left the funeral home, it was pulling his bike on a trailer behind it. We rode the route that he loved to take his Sunday afternoon rides, and they left his place in the pack empty. He was also a warden at a medium security prison, and his "charges" admired him as fair and honest in his dealings with them. When we arrived at the cemetary, there were 2 busloads of prisoners there. They had asked to dig his grave.After the service, all but his closest friends left, and we covered him up ourselves. Then we went back and had a big party to celebrate George's life, rather than mourn his death. All through the day, pins were jumping off people's vests, and weird little things kept happening, so we knew he was with us. It was a great party, he would have been proud. One person got very offended, but it turned out he didn't even know George, he had come with someone that did. He was asked to leave. I know a lot of people would not have approved of this, but he would have, and his friends and family were fine with it. His parents came to the party.
post #5 of 25
I think the best way to handle grief is to celebrate the person's life. Tell funny stories about great times you had with them. Laughter thru tears is a great emotion. I think it's what most people want. They don't want you to crawl under a rock and don't talk about them. They want you to remember them with fondness and joy. It doesn't mean we won't miss them or there isn't a great loss.
post #6 of 25
I think you have to decide what the person who you are mourning would want. Personally - I would want everyone to celebrate my life and not mourn for my loss, but not everyone is like that.
post #7 of 25
Wow.. it is very hard for me to picture "excitment" or smiles at a funeral or a wake. Any I have ever been to is so sad, and I suppose I would expect the same at mine. I don't want a 'party' it's suppose to be a serious time where we remember all the things we loved about that person.
post #8 of 25
At my Mom's funeral, her family was very insulted when the Franciscan Friar (Brother Christopher, whom she met in hospice) who officiated at the service talked about my Mom's love of Monty Python. The stories that he told made people laugh, and they thought that it was inappropriate.

Personally, I thought it was great. He captured my Mom's personality perfectly. I think funerals should be the celebration of someone's life as well as marking their passing. My friends and I had a wake for my Mom, and I'm sure she would have loved the party!
post #9 of 25
I just couldn't picture laughing at someones death... I mean to give maybe a slight smile at a cute memory about them is one thing. But telling jokes... nah...

I would be TOO sad to even crack a smile, let alone laugh, and if I drank, I wouldn't stop and I would become a bad drunk and make a scene I'm sure. I don't want to ruin anyones funeral that way, so no drinking at my funeral!
I've never had anyone REALLY close die to me yet, but I've had a lot of friends that were kinda distant, and a little close die, and that was hard enough to take. My friend I talked about on here who was murdered earlier this year, for days I just pretty much sat, not showing any facial expression, no crying, no laughing, didn't even really talk to or look at my fiance, I couldn't allow him to touch me for days, let alone dance or laugh at a wake. uh uh!
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Angel, I can only speak for my own instance, but the release of drinking and laughing and remembering the good times was so cathartic. We had been crying all week (Mom passed on a Sunday night/Monday morning around midnight, the funeral was Thursday). We certainly weren't laughing at her death, just remembering the good times and the silly times. She had cancer so she knew it was coming, and she told us over and over to celebrate her life not mourn her death. Of course, there was a lot of mourning, and a lot of crying at the funeral itself. Even there, the Pastor (who she worked with) made a couple funny remarks. That was fine, he knew her and she was a funny lady!
post #11 of 25
My husband and I have talked about this very thing at length, and neither of us wants a 'proper funeral' with people dressed in black and crying. I'd like to think that I had enough of a positive effect on the people in my life that they would have cause to celebrate my life,and their good memories of me.

Theres too much sadness in the world today as it is. I'd like to think that they'd be happy enough for me that I've been released from all the bad things we have to deal with in this life, into the next one ( whatever that is)- that they'd have one hell of a party. After all, IMO, crying over the death of someone is because we feel bad for ourselves at not being able to see them anymore- more than likely they have moved on to something wonderful- why feel sad for them?

So, if you hear tomorrow that I've died- throw me a great party
post #12 of 25
I'm not saying that I didn't cry or mourn for Russ. He was a very upbeat person, always laughing, singing and joking, even when he was sick and in pain. Russ had a very good life and lots of people loved him and most of them showed up at the wake. Being able to talk and laugh with people who knew Russ helped Mark and me get through it a lot better, than anything else would.
post #13 of 25
I don't think, when someone dies that I cry for myself, so much, I am upset that they are gone. I do not know what comes after death, it might be something great, it might be something horrible, or it might be just nothing at all.

I can only but hope that any "life" or event after death will be better then their life on earth. I suppose if you just sleep forever and never wake up, that's good in a way too? I don't know, and neither does anyone else
post #14 of 25
I think that an important thing to note is that different people grieve in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, there is only your way. It is important to validates that a person can choose how they grieve.
post #15 of 25
ady: that is true. I was talking to someone about this the other day. Me... I just basically stay very silent, for a long time, with a very disturbed and vacant expression on my face. I look very tramatized if you look at me during this time, sometimes I'll cry, after a while...
Going through school, I knew people who were murdered and several who commited suicide, everyone always wondered what was wrong with me cause I wasn't bawling my eyes out over it as soon as I found out like most the other class mates.
And I knew other people who would laugh once they found out, I guess cause they don't know how to quiet deal with the situation, they are upset and confused so they laugh.
Some people need to talk about it, some people want hugs and condolences to feel better. Not me... as I said, I couldn't let even my fiance touch me or barely talk to me for days. And that's how I deal.
post #16 of 25
I remember when when granfather died, I had to be the strong one in the family - I arranged everything and even read at his funeral. But when I was home I was constantly crying as I was very close with him. But I knew in public I had to be strong, as my family always turns to me and expects me to be a rock in a crisis.
post #17 of 25
ady: Yeah, I think that might be part of the reason I don't talk... I think I'm afraid if I talk too much, I might start crying. I'd really rather not.
post #18 of 25
You can mourn and laugh at the same time, I think. The last funeral and wake I was at was for a student (manic-depressive) who committed suicide at 23. Another teacher and I accompanied most of the kids from his class. The funeral was very solemn, with a lot of tears, but at the restaurant (private room) afterwards, things loosened up when his parents came over and started asking who people were, relating stories their son had told about classmates, teachers, etc.. It was a way of sharing experiences with M. for one of the last times, and there were both funny and sad sides to his life.
post #19 of 25
I have been to too many funerals to last me a life time.And many to come,and I have cryed at all but when we got together after we laughed and remembered them alive and and told stories of their life and loves,I think the laughing is a release of the stress of the death and somber funeral! I want people who loved my remember the good times and not the pain of my death.
What are the first 3 letter's in funeral?
post #20 of 25
The actual 'funeral' itself is of course sad no matter what. But after, when all the formalaties are over, its normal to want to release your tensions and have a little fun, especially when you are celebrating someone's life.

I didn't post about this in the public forums, but my grandfather died 2 weeks ago ( which is why I haven't been around ). He was 102, and lived such a long life. We were sad ,and of course cried at the services. But at the after party, we told great stories about him, and reminisced about all of his joys. It was wonderful talking about him, and I don't think in ANY way we would have offended him or anyone else. Its sad that he is gone, but he had a very fulfilling life that in all honesty, few people could ever dreamed of having.

Everyone does what is comfortable for them. There is no right or wrong, its a matter of personal choice.
post #21 of 25
Daniela, I'm sorry about your grandfather. 102 is a good, long run though.
post #22 of 25
Daniela, I am so sorry for your loss. You are so lucky to have had him for so long - it sounds like he was a wonderful part of your life!
post #23 of 25
Daniela, I'm so sorry to hear that your Grandpa passed away. Sending hugs your way1 (((((((((((((((((((((HUS)))))))))))))))))))))))
post #24 of 25
Daniela, I am so sorry about the loss of your grandpa.
post #25 of 25
Oh thanks guys. That was sweet of you. I didn't post about it in the lounge because quite frankly I didn't have time. And it seemed sort of silly to do it after the fact.

Anyway, life is back to normal now. We had a busy 3 weeks, he was sick for about 2 of those weeks. I spent a lot of time driving back and forth to the hosp. which was over an hour away. But he couldn't overcome the pneumonia. And in the end he died a very peaceful death. I truly hope that he is in a better place now.

Anyways, back to the subject at hand:
Funeral Etiquette!
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