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  #1  
March 26th, 2012, 01:28 PM
*Leslie*'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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As most of you know, my mother-in-law passed away last week. The overwhelming support has helped my husband's family significantly. His sister has a lot more friends and even acquaintances than us, and it really got me to thinking. Not one single friend of my husband's came to his mothers viewing and it was incredibly hurtful to me (for him). Now, childhoood playmates and things like that came, but I am talking about the Groomsmen in our wedding that was just 3.5 years ago, all of which live within an hour of us, most of them local. I acknowledge that some people feeling really weird at those sorts of things, and in fact, I was incredibly anxious throughout the entire thing. I have a real complex with death and dying, but I will always put my friends/family first and be there for them.

So, do you go to funerals for friends/family?

Do you think social media has replaced going to funerals/viewings? It seems that when you can simply post that you are praying and things, people don't seem to think it's important to be there in person.

Do you hold it against people that don't go for your family members? (We ran into one of his "friends" at the movie theater the day after the funeral and while Jason stopped to talk (he is much more forgiving than I am), I walked the other way).
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  #2  
March 26th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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So, do you go to funerals for friends/family? Depends entirely on who they are to me, how close I am (or were, in some cases) with them. What is going on in my own life at the time, etc... I know that probably sounds selfish, but there really are times I can't drop everything and do things, no matter how much I'd like to. I'm even more limited in the fact that, I can't drive myself. Transportation isn't always just a phone call away, either. I do try my best though, both to attend when/where I can, and also to be there for them in whatever way(s) I possibly can. It's not always going to be me being physically present at a funeral, viewing, or whatever, though.

Do you think social media has replaced going to funerals/viewings? Replaced? Absolutely not. I think for some people it's actually provided a much easier, and for some likely a more personal way, to discuss their feelings, extend their condolences and allow those who are grieving an ear or shoulder. Something that distance, and, well, daily life, can often throw a wrench in. I think social media is just another tool people can, and do use. Just like phone calls, cards, flowers and things like this. For those who believe in the power of prayer, I know it can often help them in times of need to know there are others out there joining them in prayer, or lifting them up. We see it all the time. How many times have we read online of a tragedy, or hear through another person, or someone who needs our thoughts at a tragic time in their lives, that we'd never have known of otherwise? Happens a lot, imo. Without social media in general, this wouldn't happen as often. In fact I can think of one way that social media alone actually helped me NOT lose my friggen mind after losing a very dear family member. It turned out that the physical presence of friends and family wasn't what I needed at all. Someone who lives nowhere near me stepped up and filled a void I didn't even realize was there.

Do you hold it against people that don't go for your family members? Absolutely not. My uncle passed away recently and even the majority of our family wasn't present. That doesn't mean the friends and family of my uncle(and the rest of us) don't care, or didn't. It doesn't mean they were intentionally being rude, mean, selfish, or whatever else. I don't hold grudges on things like this. I know all too well that life doesn't afford us all the opportunities to do all that we wish, and that includes being there for friends and family when they need us the most-physically speaking. Heck even the VFW who was supposed to be present at my uncles service, wasn't. The few men who did show up to perform their portion of his service did a very botched job, dropped the folded flag they were supposed to give to his son and knocked the coffin over. If I were going to be angry at anyone, it should be them, imo, not the folks who couldn't or didn't want to, be there.

Things like funerals often bring with them an overflow of emotions, to all involved. I can't really see myself ever getting mad at someone, or even being hurt, that they couldn't be there for me. When I know there may come a time in my life, when I can't be there for someone else. I wouldn't want that person to be upset with me, either.
Even if not attending is an intentional choice, we can't always know the inner workings of another person's brain. Personally, I don't judge their reasons for not attending, at all. I do my best to make sure they know I'm not angry, upset, or whatever with them. That may be an odd way of doing things, I'm not really sure. But that's just how I deal with it.
I don't think being unhappy with people who aren't there for you, is going to help anyone who is grieving, in any way. If anything, it's more likely to compound the already huge rush of emotions. I'm a bit of a basket case when it comes to things like death, and illness, at times. I definitely don't need to add to my own insanity while I'm grieving. So, I guess, I'm just more understanding of others when they too, simply cannot be there.
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  #3  
March 26th, 2012, 02:07 PM
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I go to funerals for all friends and family. Even some work friends families out of respect. However I do know a few people who go to every funeral they ever hear about and while they think that is respectful, I think it shows disrespect as it seems more about the gossip than paying respects.

That being said, I have a huge problem with open caskets. It's not that I will not attend the funeral of course, but I stay way clear. I learned the hard way that it leaves me with that image of the person when I would rather remember them happy and smiling as they were in life. I do understand some need that closure, but I am not one of them. Although then again, ask me if I were to lose someone extremely close and I might have a change of heart. I've never lost anyone in my immediate family and I might feel differently if I did.
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  #4  
March 26th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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So, do you go to funerals for friends/family? family, yes. Friends, I would say close friends should at least go to the viewing if not the funeral.

Do you think social media has replaced going to funerals/viewings? It seems that when you can simply post that you are praying and things, people don't seem to think it's important to be there in person. For some it might have, but for close by people it shouldn't.

Do you hold it against people that don't go for your family members? (We ran into one of his "friends" at the movie theater the day after the funeral and while Jason stopped to talk (he is much more forgiving than I am), I walked the other way). Depends on the friend to be honest.
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  #5  
March 26th, 2012, 02:24 PM
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So, do you go to funerals for friends/family?

Yes. I always go to funerals for those that are close to me. I also go to the funerals of parents, spouses, grandparents and children of those that are close to me, be it family or a friend. This is something that my husband and I have been discussing quite a bit lately. My MIL's best friend passed away a couple of weeks ago. The friend and her family live in another state. She had cancer and they knew she had very little time left. The friend's husband called and asked if MIL and FIL would come and visit and say goodbye. MIL and FIL agreed. Unfortunately she died the morning they were set to leave. At this point they decided not to go at all. They didn't even go to the funeral. My husband and I are floored by this. My in-laws could easily afford the trip and take the time off. My MIL said it was because "funerals aren't her thing". Who really loves a good funeral? To be honest, I think it was all about money. While my in-laws can easily afford it, they are frugal to a fault. If they went, they wouldn't be able to stay at their home. Now they would have to put down money for hotel.


Do you hold it against people that don't go for your family members?

It depends on the person we are talking about. If it is someone that I have a super close relationship with and they didn't come, I would most likely be hurt. My second son died very shortly after birth. We held a short graveside service. We expected very few friends and mainly family to show up. We were very surprised when more than 150 showed up at the cemetary. If my best friend or my brother decided not to come, I would be very upset. My uncle, whom I am close to decided not come. He lost his infant son 25 years prior to SIDS. He said he couldn't handle the funeral. I completely understand that. So I guess my answer is I might hold it against someone. It all depends on the relationship and the circumstances.
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  #6  
March 26th, 2012, 02:26 PM
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I have to travel for most that I go to (about 4 hour drive) and will go for close family as well as friends that lose close family members. People who branch out further than that I go on a person by person basis.

For me it's just a part of being in a family or being a friend just one of the less pleasant parts.
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  #7  
March 26th, 2012, 02:26 PM
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So, do you go to funerals for friends/family? Yes, whenever I can. Most of our family lives thousands of miles away, so we've unfortunately had to miss some things.

Do you think social media has replaced going to funerals/viewings? I don't think so. When someone is grieving, I don't think anything can replace physical support - hugs and seeing loving faces.

Do you hold it against people that don't go for your family members? I think it would if the person was close. I think you should make every effort to go to support people that you are close to in times like that. Of course not everyone can go 100% of the time, and if it works out that you can't go support a close friend, I definitely think you should personally call to explain the situation - work you can't get out of or whatever - and offer your sympathy and love other ways.
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  #8  
March 26th, 2012, 02:59 PM
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1. Yes if they are a good friend. If it was a friend that I only see a handful of times and don't know the family, then probably not. It really depends on how well I know said person.

2. No.

3. No. Some people just aren't comfortable with funerals.
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  #9  
March 26th, 2012, 03:38 PM
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So, do you go to funerals for friends/family? No

Do you think social media has replaced going to funerals/viewings? No

Do you hold it against people that don't go for your family members? No
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  #10  
March 26th, 2012, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHippy View Post
1. Yes if they are a good friend. If it was a friend that I only see a handful of times and don't know the family, then probably not. It really depends on how well I know said person.

2. No.

3. No. Some people just aren't comfortable with funerals.
I'm really doubting this is the situation for all of his friends. Either way, I'm not comfortable at all, but I feel it is something that makes people a good friend, putting your friends feelings above yours. I have one close in real life friend and she drove over an hour to come to the viewing. She only met my MIL a few times, at birthday parties and such. I thanked her for coming and then texted later on to thank her again, because it meant a lot to us. She replied with: "Girl, you don't have to thank me... you ad Jason are my friends and I'm always here for you". Her reply made me cry. That is a true friend. Now if someone has a legit excuse like work or travel costs, I can understand that. But just not wanting to come, no. One of his friends I saw walking around town about 2 hours after the funeral. I know he doesn't work nights and he literally lives 1 minute from the funeral home, has no wife and kids, etc. I can't think of one legit excuse for his absence. I just can't be bothered having people like that in my life.
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  #11  
March 26th, 2012, 05:38 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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First off.. I'm sorry for your families loss Leslie.



So, do you go to funerals for friends/family? If I can get there, i will go. I didn't attend my first funeral until I was almost 18, and it was for the mother of two classmates. I have traveled by car for over 20 hours to attend a funeral. Like Mindy I have a problem with open Caskets. It is not the way I want to remember someone. I think I'm over it though after last year's funeral where we had open casket visitation for 12 hrs a day for 3 days... and as family we were required to be in and out for those 12 days (family requirement)... I didn't get to the point where I could touch the body, but I could be next to the casket and touch it.

Half of my family is attending a second funeral 20 hours away from their home. It's not expected of us to be there... but we'd never forgive ourselves for not going. (as I'm not there... you can guess the guilt I'm dealing with right now.. alas.. my lawyer is an idiot and it's her fault I'm not there)


Do you think social media has replaced going to funerals/viewings? No I don't. I know for me, it actually makes me feel worse when all I can give is a quick "I'm sorry" and a card in the mail. I'd rather be there to give them a legit hug.


Do you hold it against people that don't go for your family members? Would be situational for me. Someone 10 minutes away, yeah I'd be pissed... but someone who had to travel long distances, I'd understand.




I ran into your husbands situation when my dad passed away Leslie. Everyone knew dad had passed away, many of my friends were very close to my father. But only one single friend showed up to lend support for me.. yet dozens of my brother's friends and their families showed up. It stung.

What stung me more I think was some of the friends who adored my parents, didn't even bother to send a condolence card.. yet strangers from an online game I played, sent cards to my mom and I. Major donations were made from companies all over the world to dad's charities in his honor by them. One paid for my father's funeral because he adored me (in a daughterly way) and he wanted to do something to help and to repay me for the love I'd shown his family when he himself had nearly died 6 months prior.... but my own friends couldn't spend $1.50 to send my mother a card.
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  #12  
March 26th, 2012, 06:00 PM
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I honestly don't care who comes or not. When you're in the midst of grieving, you're glad for the people who WERE there. One of my good friends died about 6 years ago, I'd known her for most of my childhood; it was unexpected, and tragic. I flew from TX to NJ to attend her service. I can't tell you one bit about who wasn't there, but I can name every single person who I hugged or swapped stories with.

Do I attend every funeral of every single person I've ever met in my life, no. I make an effort to be there for the people who are important to me, whether being near a body is uncomfortable or not. Sometimes I can't be there (my mom's boyfriend's father died last year - might as well call him stepfather, they've been together almost 20 years) and I just could not make it to Jersey - the child was sick, I had work obligations, and it just wasn't happening. But I still made it a point to send flowers, call and listen to him, and check up on him the following week just to let him know I was thinking about him.

A funeral is a single, solitary event - yes to comfort family, yes to show support, but how many of those people who went to the funeral bothered to ask how you were the week afterward? Or the week after that? Those people I care about more than those who show up just to show their face.
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  #13  
March 26th, 2012, 07:22 PM
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I don't know. I haven't gone to many funerals, and the ones I remembered were for close friends, family and 1 co-worker who killed herself and we were all to report to her funeral.

I hold nothing against anyone for going or not going.

I think that if it is someone who means something to you, though, go and pay respects. Its a very personal thing
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  #14  
March 26th, 2012, 09:23 PM
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I strongly believe that a person's worth should never be measured by the things they cannot do, or have not done, but rather the things they did.
That's why I don't judge when others simply cannot do something, including being physically there during times of tragedy.

For me, the reasons why don't matter, to be honest. I've had all sorts of people in and out of my life since the day I was born. I've come to realize the whys and hows of what we do, or do not do, are as different as we are.

Grief is something very personal, and every single person deals with it differently. Many, many people I expected to see at my father's calling hours and funerals, were not there. I never was, and to this day still am not, mad at any of them. If I were to decide that the fact they couldn't be there would be the deciding factor in whether or not I wanted them in my life, I would have lost out on a lot of great relationships with people.
In my mind, that only compounds the tragedy of my father's death.
He certainly wouldn't want me to be mad at someone who wasn't there, or pick apart their reasons. That's just the type of person he was. Which is what I mirror. He was actually a pretty nonjudgmental person in general. One of his best qualities. I like to think he'd rather I not worry about the times when people couldn't be there for me, but be very grateful for the times they could. No matter how major, or minor.

We may be a weird bunch, but for us funerals and death aren't really about grieving the loss of a loved one. They are about celebrating all the good they brought to us before that time. We have far more parties, and gatherings after the fact, than we do actual funerals. We prefer to avoid, as much as possible, the more somber parts of, well, death, and how it affects us.

That's probably based an awful lot on the fact that in a relatively short time period(less than 5 years), we had a tremendous amount of tragedy spread all across our family. We lost more than 20 family members, and that's not including friends outside the family. There just came a time when we were getting together so frequently, only for it to be the most somber and sad occasions. It was absolutely awful. Not that death should necessarily be celebrated, of course. We just decided that while we needed to grieve, and mourn the loss, celebrating the life was far more important. So we put much less emphasis on the mourning together.
I can honestly say that far more people come to be with us, during those happy times, than ever show during the sad ones.
There's got to be a reason for that, and whatever that reason is, it's good enough for me. I'd rather someone be there with me to talk about my dad the way we all knew him, than stand by me while I sit on the ground sobbing like I've never sobbed before and tell me "I'm here for you". Here for what? To watch me cry? That's not always helping. But celebrating his life, and giving me reason to think back on fond memories....yeah, that's a much better way to help me out.

But that's just how I do things, and how I feel. I don't necessarily think everyone should feel the same as I do, on all things. I just know why I feel the way I do and what works best for me.
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  #15  
March 27th, 2012, 09:58 PM
Fluffy Baby's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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No.
No.
No.


My BFF grandma passed and I went even tho I do not like funerals. I don't have many friends, so it would just depend if I think they need the support. I don't care for funerals and I would rather celebrate their life and not their death.

To me, grief and death is very personal and I understand why people do not want to go to funerals because I do not like to.
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  #16  
March 28th, 2012, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Tithen~ View Post
First off.. I'm sorry for your families loss Leslie.



So, do you go to funerals for friends/family? [B]If I can get there, i will go. I didn't attend my first funeral until I was almost 18, and it was for the mother of two classmates. I have traveled by car for over 20 hours to attend a funeral. Like Mindy I have a problem with open Caskets. It is not the way I want to remember someone. I think I'm over it though after last year's funeral where we had open casket visitation for 12 hrs a day for 3 days... and as family we were required to be in and out for those 12 days (family requirement)... I didn't get to the point where I could touch the body, but I could be next to the casket and touch it.

I think I was close to 18 too when I went to my first funeral. Now I'm wondering if us not having been exposed as kids has something to do with not liking the open casket thing. Then again unless it's someone very close, I don't think kids need to be at funerals. The first funeral I went to was my grandmother's. My other grandmother died when my mom was only 3 months old. I have since been to both my grandfathers funerals. None of them were open caskets. The only open casket I've seen is my 18 year old football star cousin who just died, they have never figured it out. It still haunts me to this day as that wasn't Joseph, and it's not the picture I have in my head and I hate it.
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  #17  
March 28th, 2012, 11:38 AM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MindyRambo View Post
I think I was close to 18 too when I went to my first funeral. Now I'm wondering if us not having been exposed as kids has something to do with not liking the open casket thing. Then again unless it's someone very close, I don't think kids need to be at funerals. The first funeral I went to was my grandmother's. My other grandmother died when my mom was only 3 months old. I have since been to both my grandfathers funerals. None of them were open caskets. The only open casket I've seen is my 18 year old football star cousin who just died, they have never figured it out. It still haunts me to this day as that wasn't Joseph, and it's not the picture I have in my head and I hate it.
Well a flip side story. Tori is 8 now, she's been to more funerals than I have. I've seen two bodies. If I've had to go to a funeral with an open casket I've chosen my spot in the church carefully so I don't have to see it, and foregone going near it/looking at it. I actually couldn't even go up for communion at a friends funeral because the casket was there.My grandmother cannot understand my fear, she grew up in a time where the dead stayed at home to be watched over by family, and remembers sitting up at night with a candle to do her share of watching when she was just a little girl. So she quickly got me over it.

It probably helps that they did a FANTASTIC job on Mel, and she looked like mel, just a little "old". I've had no problem remembering her as her... my ex's dad... I cannot see him alive anymore, just as the dead guy in the casket (tho considering the fact he drowned off peggy's cove, he did look great)

But little Tori.. has no trouble at all. Even with impending death, she deals well. I can remember her fussing with Dad's bed sheet because his legs were out and he was going to get cold. She was scolding him the way you'd talk to a newborn "oh no, get your lil leg back in there uncle scott, you don't want to catch a cold you goose." Someone recounted to me that she sat brushing the tangles out of Averee's hair this week, because it was matted from her seizures and someone wanted to leave it for the funeral home after she passed.. and tori would have none of it. she brushed out all the tangles and then braided it with the help of a nurse. and then unbraided her hair AFTER she'd passed and brushed it out for the funeral home.

Honestly if my father wasn't burried at the back of the graveyard surrounded by family and friends, I'd probably not be able to visit him alone. He'll have my mom and grandparents to his right, and to the front a family friend, her parents and sister. I can go there and feel safe.. but 20 yards away.. I feel all creeped out.


Long story short... my kiddo's will go as long as they can not cause a disturbance (like screaming in church).. and I will do my best to hide from them how I feel because I honestly think Tori is MUCH better off in how she deals than I do.
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  #18  
March 28th, 2012, 01:32 PM
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Who is Tori?
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  #19  
March 28th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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Who is Tori?
Haha! That whole post was written as if we were supposed to know all the people in it!
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  #20  
March 28th, 2012, 04:03 PM
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Location: Kingston, NY
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Sigh.. we've had too many funerals for all young people in my family. My 44yr old cousin Jack to ALS, my 37 yr old cousin Stephanie to breast cancer, my 19yr old cousin, Frankie to a brain tumor, my 21 yr old cousin Wojtek to a motorcycle accident, my newborn cousin Vincent was stillborn, and 3 more uncles..... I've had enough funerals for a lifetime....
Yes I went to all their funerals. It was devastating. Yes, I was mad at some people for not showing up, in particular baby Vincents funeral... people didnt understand why we were having a funeral for a dead baby no one knew..... grrr
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