A funeral is not always necessary.

Started by

Regarding the question of whether to have a funeral when there are no close relatives or friends that you feel like entertaining! I am an only child with few if any relatives that care a d*mn. My mother lived with us as an invalid for about 15 years. I was so shattered when she died I could not face a funeral. My husband agreed . My mother was buried in the local Woodland Burial ground and the lovely people there saw to everything . I felt she was not actually there but more with me or in a better place. l should have had a cremation but couldn't think straight at the time. We feel the funeral business is a con. but its not the money its having to go along with convention. A service some time afterwards can be held. Funerals are not about the person who has died! They are for those who are left. Just convention.


I appeciate your comments. My parents are mid eighties, I'm the last living child and they've both been telling me for years; WE DONT WANT ANY FUNERAL SERVICES WHATSOEVER! That's fine with me but I don't really believe them. If one dies before the other the surviving parent will expect a service just like the hundreds they have seen their whole lives. If the surviving parent is incompetent, which is a distinct possibility, I would probably forgo any service.

My other issue would be the grandkids, my nieces and nephews, some of which are devout fundamentalists, who will be outraged if there is no proper service with all the attendant religious hoopla. I'm not religious nor are my parents. But when my older brother died suddenly about 3 years ago his sons insisted on the whole package, two competing ministers, fancy coffin etc. My brother had no money and my parents in their grief forked over approx. 15 K to the funeral home. It was a two day ordeal, visitation, funeral and graveside service. I don't know how my mother survived this mess.

I think we have all attended funerals and wondered, "Hmmm.....I hope this many people turn out for my funeral". It's a little vanity I suppose, to hope there will be multitudes grieving over your dead body.

So when my folks go I will do as little as I can get by with. If the nephews want some prayers said fine, but Its not gonna be a revival service. And Im not spending whatever might be left of their estate on ridiculous caskets and funeral home gewgaws. I've had to accompany my grieving mother to set up arrangements for my brother and sister in the past five years. If I hadn't been there she would have spent the life savings on all this silly crap pushed by the funeral home.
I agree wholeheartedly! do as little as you can get away with. Its hard when we have all grown up with conventional arrangements. My family were never religious but went along with all the expensive fuss. I live near a churchyard which has made me realize the pointlessness of it all. Also those poor expensive flowers left to wither which the deceased person cannot even see!
Yes just a few prayers if people want this.
I'm an only child and my only living relative is a very elderly uncle living 3000 miles away who hadn't seen my mother in 30 years. She didn't have any friends. When she passed, in accordance with her wishes, she was cremated and her ashes scattered. Who would attend a service? Me, along with her dog and cat who've been living with me the three years she was in a nursing home? I don't think a service is necessary.

I rather like the Irish tradition of throwing a party to celebrate the deceased's life.
Recently I found a note that my Dad had put together regarding their final resting place. Mom and Dad want to be buried in Iowa.... thanks for narrowing it down, Dad.... [sigh]. Dad wanted viewing time for both him and Mom at the funeral home here in Virginia. And I am thinking viewed by whom? A party of one? I am an only child with no children.

And a Mass said out in Iowa. Mass, ok I can understand that but attended by whom? Maybe a couple of my cousins who saw my parents back in 1974. I can't be there, my flying days are over, you couldn't lure me onto a plane for no amount of money.... and my parents are in their mid-90's, so no flying for either of them, either.

I know for me, cremation will work, just scatter my ashes... no viewing, no Mass, no reception. Not even an obituary. I knew I existed, the rest of the world doesn't need to know.
Your killing me Flyer! So he narrowed it down to Iowa.......coulda been Texas

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support