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Senior Contributor

Re: I don't need no stinking funeral.

Well, yes, you are correct.  The deceased doesn't need a funeral.  It's over.  Kaput.  Finished.  Done.  Nothing else matters to the deceased.  Even regrets are too late.

 

I just attended the funeral of a friend today.  Being there to grieve with them, to share that grief and to reflect on the loved one's life benefits those who remain.  I shudder to think how it would be if nobody were there to carry the burden with them.  People are social animals, we need this interaction to assist us in difficult times as well as the good times. 

 

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: I don't need a funeral

As Kay says a wake should be fun especially for us old guys.

Always a little sadder when it is a young person but we can only expect to hang around so long so when I go, and I have discussed this with my wife and it would be her wishes to do the same for her, my request is to be cremated. No visitation with family standing around in front of a coffin and body.

The family can have their time shortly after death to say their 'goodbyes' and then after a couple of weeks they can throw a party and those who are interested can come along for a wee bit to eat a visit and time for a few memories.

I would expect close friends and family would stop or phone to visit for a short time with family before the party but no forced performance with everyone lined up for a last look.

I of course do not expect any 'religious' ceremony.

No doubt they will drag out a few photos for the party and everyone will be able to trade memories and if they want music my suggestion would be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyUKyJVTgPg  Murray McLaughlan and The Farmers Song.

We have suggested the ashes can be spread on our favourite little woodlot/parkland where we have family parties at least once a year.

Had over a hundred there last summer family and friends with the excuse that I semi retired and got rid of the pigs so maybe they will throw a party to sprinkle the ashes.

Hey it will make no difference to me by that time, so they can do what ever they want and it will not matter to me.

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Advisor

Re: I don't need a funeral

The whole idea of the funeral is for the proper religious observance of the passage to the next life, if you are a religious person.  Your faith of choice will have a sacrament or other ceremony to observe this event. 

To me, quite honeslty, that part is for the deceased, if he or she chose a faith to follow, and accepted teh tenets of that faith.   The event also has power to provide emotional comfort to the ones who loved him/her, too...to feel that they have properly observed the beliefs of their loved one.  

The wake is most definitely for the living...when we express our sympathies, share our memories, and simply provide social support by means of our presence. 

You can dispense with either all or parts of the observance, but in some ways, I think it is selfish to do so.  It depirves those who cared for you of the chance to honor you.  While I agree that this ought to be done while you are alive, and I try to remember to do that daily with my family and friends, anyone can feel they left something undone or unsaid. 

Paying respects to our deceased is not all "for them," any more than forginving someone for a transgression is for their benefit...both actions provide each of us with a chance to close the subject, put a period to  that sentence.  Whether you want to admit it or not, that is an important thing to do. 

Even Neanderthal Man knew that....

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Senior Contributor

Re: I don't need a funeral

Actually, for the majority of protestants, the service or memorial is for the living.  The deceased has lived the life and nothing that can be done now will change the outcome or affect where he/she is.  Though some religious denominations believe they can alter time spent in purgatory, and perhaps some native American tribes may have similar beliefs that effects the abode of the deceased, most protestants and certainly all evangelicals agree that once someone dies, their fate in the afterlife cannot be altered, ever.  So, it does the deceased no good to observe a ritual or ceremony.  As for an agnostic or athiest, nothing should even matter, if that's their real belief.

 

As for the wake, celebration of a life lived and for those still living is an appropriate thing to do.  I'd rather be remembered for the good and give my relatives and friends the freedom to celebrate my ascension to a better life.  Who wouldn't want that? 

 

Having said that, it is still appropriate and even necessary to grieve, even to have an all-out cry session to mourn the loss of a loved one.  A good attorney friend who has experience in settling estates says that whether we agree with it or not, all go through seven stages of grief, and denial, sorrow, acceptance and even anger are a  four parts of that process.  And if we even try to circumvent one or the other stage, inevitably, we will go through it.

 

 

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Advisor

Re: I don't need a funeral

I do not believe that remains of the deceased are properly respected, or "sanctified" if you will, until the observance of the funeral rites.  I am intrigued with Masonic rites, for example, which in the funerals I've observed, always follow the religious service, as the final act of consecration and commission to burial. 

This whole decision to cremate and the set the urn of cremains on the mantel is okay as long as someone wants to tend them.  It gets cticky when that caregiver gives up.  With a grave, you can at leas tlet the burial site fall into benign neglect, but with these new ways of handling things, someone has to decide what to do next.  One sad end of the foreclosure mess was people walking away form houses, leaving their "dead" behind. 

Teh stages fo death and dying are well-documented, but do not alwasy progress smootjly in linear fashion...people take one step forward and two steps back, skip stages, and sometimes repeat them later on, with revisions.  Grief, like the rest of living, takes time and energy, is a process, not a product. 

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