My mom is at home in hospice (end stage cancer) The social worker suggested going to the funeral and doing prearranging as it would be a bit easier earlier than closer to the time. Made sense, and I did. As time gets closer I (mom's only caregiver other than those we pay) cannot even imagine going through the ordeal of it all. I feel I've taken care of my mom with no support (not even emotional) from anyone who would be at this funeral. My brother (who lives in another state and has no relationship with mom and never did) says it is for closure for those left behind. I will be THE ONLY ONE LEFT BEHIND!!! And a funeral will certainly not give me any closure.My mother had no close relationships with anyone who would be there. To hear all that "sorry for your loss" I wonder sometimes why do I have to put myself through that. As someone said to me: everyday of my life is my eulogy to my mom. Someone else said: You are giving her the flowers while she is alive. What do others think? If you think I need to do this Please help with the motivation part.

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My mother died in June. It was a long four years of watching her body give up at 97. There were only three elderly relatives 1000 away left and an estranged brother who never called for 30 years. Mom did not have a lot of money, and I just retired. I talked to my cousin up north and to my oldest daughter.
And came up with the best solution.

Mom wanted to be cremated and buried in the backyard. She had last rights from the Catholic Church a week before she died and was aware of what was going on. I had her cremated. I created a small garden in my backyard. I mixed mother's ashes into the dirt when I was alone saying prayers and singing her favorite hymns. I planted a magnolia tree and azalea bushes. The tree is evergreen and the azaleas bloom all year with pink flowers.

A month later, all my children and grandchildren came to town. We invited my husbands family, neighbors, our Doctor, and my closest friend. We had a celebration of life at a local restaurant. I made memory cards, guests wrote down their favorite memory, and we saluted my mother while a slideshow played that I created. I also wrote thank you notes to each family telling them how they touched my mother's life. We had a wonderful time, and it was better than any funeral I had ever attended.

I also have a tiny bag of ashes left to distibute on the Las Vegas Strip at her request. Do what is in your heart. We did not even have enough people to be pall bearers. Do not go into debt to please other people. The only pushback I had was from my husband's family. Everyone who attended our celebration loved the way I handled it.
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In my book, a funeral (like a wedding) is whatever you want it to be. You don't need to have a service.

One of the nicest funerals I went to was a graveside service conducted by a man's two daughters. There were maybe 6 of us all all together, each sister spoke for a few moments about her memories of her dad and a grandchild said a blessing. The casket was lowered, and as is the Jewish custom, we shoveled in the earth. Would something like that, for you and YOUR friends work for you?
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Emily, I think you should do what you feel comfortable with. Since you're the caregiver, and apparently there isn't anyone else involved, it's your decision unless your mother has expressed her wishes to the contrary.

Funerals are for the living, but by that time any goodbyes they wish to offer is too late; the person is already gone. My feeling is that, unless there was an accident and accidental death, people and relatives have had ample time to express their concern and assist the caregiver. Failing that, I don't care what they want or say.

I understand the concern about "what people will say", but so what? If they weren't around when the person was alive, they have absolutely no standing to make any comments whatsoever.

I also find it offensive for people to come to funerals and blather on about how much they cared for the deceased person. If they did, where were they when he or she really needed help?
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My mom is currently 79. I am an only child as is she, also I have no children. She never had many friends and at this point has one friend 3 hrs. from here that is about the same age and one other friend several states away that is 80 at present. She will probably outlive both of them. Where she wants to be buried is 3 hrs from where we live now and frankly I don't see the sense in a funeral as I will be the only one left. There are no niece, nephews, siblings, cousins to attend,again she will probably outlive the 2 "friends" she has.My thought is I was there when it counted, when she was alive.
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When my dad died, he was cremated and that was it. I still have his ashes. It will be the same for my mom. Neither wanted a service and neither wanted an obituary. My folks moved away from where they'd lived for 35 years (to come near me), so they have no friends here. At 95, mom only has two friends left, one is in a nursing home and one is states away. So they couldn't come to a service if they wanted to. I've taken very good care of both parents, so I couldn't care less what others think. I've done my job as a caregiver and have done it well.

So do what you feel is the right thing to do and don't spend a minute worrying about what other people think.
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We decided to just not have a funeral
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I've been mulling over the same question, too. Pop had a fancy funeral and reception. But that's years ago now. Mom has outlived most of her friends. She wants me to ship her body 3500 miles back to 'home'. Has not expressed interest in a full-blown funeral for herself. I'm thinking of cremation and burial in her plot back home with a grave-side service. One family member besides me has been here to visit her. I'll be sure to invite him. If somebody wants to organize a reception afterwards, they are welcome to do so. I won't do it. I have honored her with years of assistance, that will have to do.
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Emily, all you really need to do at the time of death is make arrangements for her remains. Later, if you decide that you need the "closure" of a service, you can schedule a memorial service. I have seen this happen several months after a death. If anyone questions you about this you just respond that you were overwhelmed at the time and needed to wait a while.
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I think you should do what is right for you and forget everyone else. They've not managed to do the "right" thing by her in life so they've no legitimate axe to grind in her death.
My bil wants to be cremated and his ashes put on a river that goes into the sea. As his own family can't be bothered to stay in touch I shall have a cremation with the people who help me with his care.
He loved all things Viking so I've had a wooden ship made by a friend, I made the sails. When the time comes because I'm too disabled to manage alone, a friend who helped with his care will take me to a river we've selected.
Mac's ashes will go on the boat along with a couple firelighter sticks.
My friend does archery and he'll send a burning arrow onto the boat.
I told Mac while he was still lucid and he was thrilled that we would send him to "Valhalla."
I will have outlived the important people in my life so I've requested a no funeral.
Just burial in a bamboo coffin (no embalming) in the New Forest next to my SO with a Rowan tree planted instead of a headstone.
If friends want to do "something" I've asked them to bring a picnic to the New Forest and rather than eating their own picnic, everyone share together. An "Agape" feast in my memory.
If people want to have flowers then I've asked them to donate to the Woodland Trust and buy a tree in my memory.
For me a much better use of the money.
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AuntJane, may I offer a different perspective than the one you shared? I don't think that "caregiver fatigue, depression, seeing no value in life in general" are the bases for no funerals or gravestones or other commemorative issues.

From what I've gained here, caregiver fatigue shouldn't be blamed for no funeral or other activities. Caregivers are challenged enough during someone's lifetime and shouldn't be blamed for a fatigue which they often are unable to control.

A funeral hardly negates the "value" of "life in general". Individuals create their life value, as do their friends and family. Some of that value is created by society. And those values begin the process of creation either from inception or birth, depending on how the family feels about the child. Nothing can negate the value of life IF the individual and family value it.

Not having a funeral might be appropriate in many circumstances. Funerals are really for the living anyway. If family and friends have been close, they're aware of the last years, months and days of someone's life. If not, is it really important that they know?

That's how I feel. I'm not going to spend money, post an obituary that anyone can read (especially crooks who in our area have been targeting empty homes after reading an obituary notice and knowing exactly when the relatives will be gone), or even worse yet, post an obituary online and available for any one to read, on a funeral home's website that may or may not be secure.

It has nothing to do with negativity; it's an issue of privacy, not only for the deceased but also for the living, who may not want their loved one's life and family information shared (or commoditized).

It doesn't negate anything the deceased has done; those activities are remembered by the people involved who matter, or who may have forgotten because of time, but death doesn't negate the worth of any individual.

And on that subject, consider how many famous people are remembered if not revered - Kennedys, for example, as well as poets, musicians, authors, scientists.....their work lives on, for existing and future world inhabitants to learn, treasure and share (or reject if that's their choice). How many medical and scientific people have discovered cures for disease? Does it matter whether there was a funeral or there's a gravestone? Their legacy will outline their physical existence.

The brilliance of Beethoven, Handel, Brahms, Bach and more have and will be remembered regardless of whether or not there was a funeral when they died. I've never seen Beethoven's grave but am so inspired by his music. Not seeing his gravestone has no effect on the value of his life.

One of my aunts was cremated; a memorial service was held. But the fact that her physical body wasn't present doesn't in any way lessen the role she played in our family's lives or in the lives of others.

Times are changing, deaths are celebrated differently. People can design their own services before their deaths, or family members can choose burial in a way that commemorates their lives.

Although I don't know the individual, someone who does told me about a surfer who loved the sea and was buried in a ceremony at sea off California's coast. Why shouldn't he or she be buried in an area loved during his/her life? It's not as if it's a human body is a hazard like so much plastic, e-waste and other toxic junk that's thrown into river bodies and contaminates the water and sometimes kills the sea life.

And funerals as we know them are traditions of certain civilizations. Some ethnicities have their own methods of honoring their dead, ways that I think are characteristic of their lifestyles and beliefs.

My feeling is also that if people didn't bother keeping in touch with my family during our lives, I could care less if they know when we die. And only those who were supportive will be guests at a private luncheon. I'm not interested in hearing comments from people who couldn't or wouldn't take the time to be involved when my family needed help.
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