Re: Best Funerals Ever.
shay . . .
Originally Posted by prhoshay
Very valid point, but only to an EXTENT, I believe, given what an actual situation happens to be.
Work with me a second.
Example: My cousin has CLEARLY expressed to me AND all of her children that in the event of her passing, there is to be NO church service of any type at all. She is to be cremated, and wants her ashes scattered in Scotland.
Did we, as a family --- she and I, that is --- grow up with cremation as an avenue of bodily disposal in the event of a death?
Absolutely and most certainly not.
Did we, as a family --- again, she and I --- grow up with the thought of scattering one's ashes in a foreign country as a means of bodily disposal?
Absolutely and most certainly not.
Matter of fact, the way the two of us were raised, to cremate a loved one after death was tantamount to murdering them. And scattering ashes? In OR out of our country?
Will her wishes be carried out as she has expressed them?
One of her daughters is VERY involved in a local Baptist church that she attends. Said church doesn't exactly look upon cremation and scattering of a deceased's ashes (ESPECIALLY overseas) as "right" (we ARE, after all, still in the Bible-belt South).
Will she STILL honor the manner in which her mother has stated she wants her earthly remains disposed of, via cremation? And, in particular, the fact that my cousin has clearly stated that she wants no formal religious rites of any kind and wants her ashes scattered in another country?
Because she is well aware --- as are we all --- that how my cousin wants her remains disposed of and no religious service of any kind has been very clearly stated by my cousin. Her daughter may or may NOT agree with it (she hasn't expressed her feelings one way or the other). But, then again, she is also well aware of the fact that, once her mother goes, IT AIN'T ABOUT WHAT SHE'D LIKE TO DO OR HAVE DONE, BUT WHAT HER MOTHER HAS STATED SHE WANTS TO BE CARRIED OUT ON HER BEHALF.
Now, could we ALL ignore what my cousin has stated, stick her in a coffin, have a service in a church, and plant her in the family burial plot, along with the rest of our kin? Make her passing all about us and what WE want for HER?
Sure, we could.
But, we recognize that for us to "get off" and get OUR jollies on having a service, etc., for her would disrespect HER by moving into direct opposition of what she's said she wants. We know that, even --- and ESPECIALLY --- in death, it AIN'T ABOUT US AND WHAT WE WANT. It's STILL about HER, because it was HER life.
And anybody that doesn't understand it or like it can shut the hell up and back off and sit their behinds down, because none of us will be asking for their ideas or opinions from the peanut gallery, ANYWAY. Matter of fact, even as I'm typing this, I KNOW one family "friend" that will be absolutely SCANDALIZED that there's not going to be a service, she's going to be cremated, and her ashes are going to be scattered in Scotland.
Big fat whoop. We're already revved up to enter "tune-out mode" with this idiot, and to tell her to shut the hell up because nobody asked for her opinion, if she REALLY wants to try to push her idea of what's the "right" thing to do for my cousin.
And, to mix it up even more, everyone in my family who has passed up to this point --- from 1967 to 2010, that I was present and accounted for --- stated beforehand they wanted a traditional funeral and burial, and that is what they got. Regardless of the fact that a couple of them had NO business being anywhere NEAR a chapel or proper church for their send-off because they'd not set foot in either since the Devil was a boy. Hell, no, I personally didn't agree with those couple (frankly, I wonder why the buildings didn't get hit by lightning during the services, actually!), but, hey, that's what they wanted, so I was with their program, and more power to 'em.
In at least THOSE couple of cases, there were funerals/burials, but they SURE weren't for us, the survivors.
I acknowledge and respect the fact that some people come to terms with the death of a loved one through how they choose to send that loved one's physical remains to their final rest. Sometimes, even, in SPITE of what the deceased may have stated that they wanted to have happen, and how.
But not everybody rolls that way, though, 'cause the funeral rule book --- even here, in the South --- got thrown out a LONG time ago.
Just an observation.
Re: Best Funerals Ever.
Yeah, there are a lot of people everywhere who try to commandeer a funeral, beyond the wishes of the deceased. A lady in the nursing home where I volunteer died and had, like many of the residents there, made her wishes clear to the chaplain at the home (it's a Lutheran home, so consequently it has a chaplain, daily chapel services etc.--though it also has a Catholic priest who comes in and does a Sunday service for the Catholic residents, since Lutheran and Catholic are the two largest denominations in the area; the Lutheran service itself is pretty ecumenical in nature, so it covers Protestantism in general). She wanted him to conduct a religious service at the home's chapel, since most of her relatives were deceased or did not live in the area, so her the people at the nursing home had become her second family, and she knew it would be hard for many of them to attend the service if it weren't at the home itself. She also picked out scripture verses, hymns etc. When her daughter arrived from out of state, she told the chaplain, that he could conduct the service--but only if he didn't mention God or religion at all. He told her that wasn't what her mother had specified, and she answered that she didn't care, because she didn't share her mother's beliefs. He finally had to tell her that as a minister, he couldn't, in good conscience, conduct a service in a chapel without mentioning God, particularly when the deceased and specifically told him what she wanted, and if that was the kind of funeral the daughter insisted upon, she was going to have to find someone else to conduct it. Apparently that was too much for the daughter, and she gave in. I only found out about any of this, because the chaplain asked if it was okay to mention me and my dog in the woman's eulogy, because she had told him repeatedly how much she enjoyed the pet therapy visits. In fact, her will specified that she wanted what money she had left to be donated to the local Humane Society after her death. Fortunately, her daughter didn't have any issues with animals, so all of that was okay with her.
But yeah, really, if someone has already made his/her own funeral plans, that's what ought to happen. If what they want doesn't go along with what a particular religious body believes, then the service can be held elsewhere. And if someone doesn't want a service or a burial...well, the family/friends can always get together at some other time to remember the person. Nothing says they can't offer up prayers in their own houses of worship for that person too, if they would find solace in that. But there ought to be some way to figure out a way to honor the deceased's wishes and still find a way for those left behind to have a gathering of some sort that would offer them comfort without contradicting the deceased's wishes.
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