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Dad passed a little over a year ago. My siblings descended. One helped a little bit. the other 3 not at all. The ones who stayed her and in a hotel near here went to dinner every night all together. never invited me or any of my family. of course noone invited my mom which she could not have gone anyway as she got diarrhea the night he passed and it lasted a week! she was SO sick!
so - i have less than no interest in repeating that scenario when mom passes. i want to have a service with my kids when I am ready. (we cremate so time is not an issue) that may be awhile before i am ready to say goodbye.
i have no interest in doing a service "because i should" and even less incentive to do it for my terrible brothers and sisters!
am i off the ranch here?

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Have to have a service? Why?

Your sibs can certainly have a private service for themselves, or a public service if they want to organize it. That is their call.

And you can hold a memorial service whenever you are ready. You don't need the approval of your sibs.

My father did have any kind of service when his mother passed. I know that he was following her wishes. But even fifty years later I feel kind of bad that there was no kind of acknowledgement of her life. I was young and inexperienced with such things at the time -- had only ever been to funerals and never a memorial service -- but if it had come later in my life I would have organized a very simple low-key service for her.

I understand where you are coming from, I think. But don't cut off your nose to spite your face. I hope you will at least have a service for your immediate family and your mother's friends to celebrate her life.
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very well said jeannegibbs, I agree whole heartedly, somewhat of a similar senerio happened in our family.
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Memorial/funerals/graveside are really about those left behind! My siblings didn't show up for any preliminary planning of Dad's funeral they chose not to come to help Mom thru the ordeal of planning things, and yet when they came in time (to the funeral) to grumble about what was chosen, "took over" the program, changing things up (from pallbearers to flowers to who gave homily) opinionated about everything else including the costs...even though I was only following Mom's wishes!! The constant chatter I got (behind my back) was how controlling I WAS and that he WAS they're Dad too!! But they had no clue what Dad and I had talked about, cared NOTHING about what Mom wanted!!

Therefore, when Mom passes, I too plan to have my own quick, private service with family and close church friends.....and while I cannot exclude them from coming to memorialize their mother....my family and close church friends already know the situation and we plan to honor Mom in a quiet, fun way at Mom's fave restaurant!! My siblings can do whatever, at their own expense, and time, I do NOT care to be a part of their drama and will be long gone on a cruise somewhere!!!
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You are under no obligation to have a service. This is a personal decision. Do what feels right for you. I recently pre-planned the final arrangements for my 96-year old mother who lives with advanced Alzheimer's Disease. I am a single, only child with no family of my own or with any close and caring friends or other relatives. So, I plan to bury my mother alongside my father without a formal service, without invited guests and without clergy. I would have probably done more had the circumstances been different but they are what they are. My minimalist approach is no reflection on how I feel about my mother. I have cared for her seven years and love her dearly. I The point is to feel comfortable with whatever you decide to do without guilt. I hope this comment helps.
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I totally understand your dilemma here.
My mom passed in June after living in AL with dementia for 2 years. My two sisters chose not to be involved. At all. No help transitioning her from her home to AL. No phone calls, visits, nothing. Not even when I let them know the end was near. Mom always said, and urban written in her will, that she didn't want a servuce. She knew that I hate then and didn't want to put me through it with my nightmarish sisters. I am so grateful I didn't have to deal with any of it. I had her cremated (as she wanted) and I have her with me in a beautiful wooden urn. Do what feels right. You don't owe anyone anything.
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I am sorry for your loss, and no, you do not have to have a service if you cannot afford one, or do not choose to have one.
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My husband's mother died about a month ago and there is no funeral or service planned, no acknowledgement of her life. She has 5 children, and they barely speak to eachother as she has triangulated them throughout their lives. I, being an in-law, felt awkward not even acknowledging her death, so I sent his two sisters each a sympathy card expressing my condolences. But my husband says they will probably take it wrong and find fault with me for doing that. I feel better that I at least did something, and if they choose to take it negatively, well not much I can do about that. I just felt like it was the decent thing to do.
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My mother also died last month. I am an only child and am unmarried with no children. I have two first cousins who did not return my calls or get involved during my mother's illness even though they live in the same city as I do.

My mother was a devout Catholic who told me she wanted a mass of Christian burial to be officiated by a Catholic priest followed by a traditional internment.

I knew that no family members would show up or even cared. But I wanted nothing more than to fulfill my mother's final wishes. None of this mattered to me. I carried out what my mother wanted. I could do nothing less after all she did for me.

My advice: do what your mom would have wanted. You will always regret it if you don't.
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No you are not "off the ranch" ha- what a cute expression. I've never heard that one before. Sounds a lot like DH's family. He was only child, lived in the original city where his parents and grandparents were. His Father passed when he was young, all of Father's and Mother's many siblings, (DH's Aunts and Uncles), scattered to other states. DH took great care of his Grandfather and Mother, by himself, around working 2 jobs and not having much money or time for himself. We did the errands, Dr. Visits, washing special clothes, emotional hand holding as needed, took the 2 a.m. phone calls from the hospitals and got out of bed and went to be with them, the taking them out for meals so they had somethings to look forward too. Made the Easter and Thanksgiving meals for them, brought them to our home, took care of their birthdays, Christmases, went to visit at their little places, bought them household items out of our pocket so they had what they needed.

"Out of staters" rolled in once a year, hotels, fancy dinners, as if on vacation, complained and criticized and told DH where he needed to improve, then skated away until next time. We made the oldest Uncle handle his Grandpa's funeral. It was HIS Father after all. DH's Mother donated her body to science and did not want a service. We honored that. The Aunts and Uncles rolled in months later and held a service for her, around their eating and shopping trips. :-) Geez. Guess I'm saying, we did as we needed, and let them do as they needed since we'd all had such different levels of experiences and involvement, and it all worked out fine. Follow your heart. :-)
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I am so thankful that this subject is being discussed! When my Dad passed I felt very stressed by the church and funnel planners. We are Catholic so we played by the rules. It was a nice service but I still remember the stress. I have always been the caregiver and one in charge, my Mom says do whatever for her. What I remember about Dads service was people showing up saying how sorry they were that they didn't go see him. It wasn't comforting to me. I struggle with this subject. The thought of dealing with people I have not seen and won't see again does not give me peace. I do my job 24/7 and love my Mom dearly as she is completely dependent on me but the thought of planning a service is overwhelming. My heart tells me to have a quiet service and the obituary after she is at rest. My family also has it's drama with divorse etc and who can and can't come and stepchildren I don't know. She also has grandchildren that don't come and she is an amazing grandma. Thank you all for writing, I sure appreciate all your thoughts on this difficult subject!
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I have my strategy in place for when the time comes. No funeral, no service, and no obit in the paper. I really don't have any good friends here; I am planning on moving to another state to be closer to my sister since I don't have any family here. I also do not attend church on Sunday. I just turned 62 and I am planning to go off to senior housing.
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I also am requesting to be cremated
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You don't have to have a service if you don't want to (or can't afford to). If your Mom wanted one - then a simple graveside service prior to internment (or prior to cremation) is all that is necessary.
Funerals are for those left behind. If all concerned were a part of your Mom's life - you can split the costs and decide what type of service to have (if any).
Otherwise - do as you wish and let them arrange whatever they want.
You are taking care of Mom while she is alive and that's all that really matters.
The vultures descend only after their help is no longer needed (usually come to see what they can get) and leave. You owe them nothing.
Do what you are comfortable with.
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My mother used to say that nobody would come to her funeral. Not many people came but certainly not nobody. I felt she lived an over-the-top life and deserved recognition so I badgered the obituary writer until he gave her the main obituary. She was an actress, singer, dancer, writer (for that newspaper), and activist so there was plenty to write about. If I hadn't forced it, there wouldn't be that acknowledgement. I did that for her. I made the service partly for her but also for me, playing a song I knew she'd hate but I knew I needed it - Celine Dion's Goodbye's the Saddest Word (listen, you may cry). Anyway, dad is alive but I don't know for how long. He wants cremation and no serice but we'll have a small one because his life wasn't nothing like he wants to think. His late parents and siblings loved him once. Follow her wishes, and, if none, do what you want. Since I was too ugly to have a husband and kids, when I pass, there will be nobody to arrange anything. Ashes to ashes.
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It will be ashes to ashes and dust to dust for me; I am requesting to be cremated when the time comes. I never married nor had children. I am on better terms with my mother's side than I am with my father's side, but some on my mother's side aren't speaking to me anymore, and I'm re-connecting with some on my father's side. Again, no funeral for me, no obit in the paper, just cremate me and dump my ashes into the Atlantic Ocean since I love to swim
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This has been a topic of conversation before on this forum. It is up to the individual whether you chose to have a service and even an obituary. You don't have to go with "the norm or the trend" at all.
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I love that purple butterfly, and it's a good thing I don't have to go with "the norm of the trend." I have always been a free spirit and always loved doing my own thing.
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Do exactly what you want.


This whole caregiving experience hardens us all...

I often think about what I will"not" do for my Mom's service..Screw my no show siblings...
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I have been a hospice chaplain for many years....so my response is what I have shared with many loved ones. It is truly your call. The fundamental purpose of any ritual after death is to support those left behind. The gift in doing a ritual is to give voice to what we are feeling, to honor, or perhaps simply come to terms with what has has happened. It also is a way to acknowledge what you have learned from them even if it is what you don't wish to do unto others. There is no rush especially if cremation will take place. Who is invited to join with you, how you express and if/when is preference. Follow your heart; engage others who you feel will support you... for assistance. It doesn't have to be a big deal...a simple candle, a poem or prayer that fits for you, a meal with those who you choose to be with...all will help mark both an ending and a beginning to move forward. May you feel supported by me and others who are participating in the conversation. Peace be with you...Elle
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cak2135: I am glad my post gave you some measure of comfort, since in caregiving, there is none!
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My mother recently died. She wanted to be cremated and have only a graveside service (or niche-side as it were). We published her obit for one day. We were expecting family only, but some of her old friends showed up. It was small and simple, I played some of her favorite music (instrumentals from "Terms of Enderament," "Legends of the Fall," and a few others). It was lovely and she would have liked it. Her pastor spoke a few words and I did a reading. Of course my sister got credit for the whole thing--as usual. All of the guests told her what a lovely service she had planned.
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I am an only child as is my mother. There is no extended family, I have no children.The plan is for my mother to live out her life in my home, hospice and palliative care in the future. I will call the funeral home and they can take it from there. She has a burial plot next to my father in a town 3 hours from where we live now. My dad died in 2000 and I haven't been back to that town since then and I don't intend to return. She has no living friends, she out lived them and I have health problems of my own. I was there when it counted , when she was alive.
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There was great comfort for me in being the caregiver for my mom. You give everything of yourself, both physically and emotionally, to help someone close to you who cannot help themselves.

When my times comes, may God look back at this time in my life and say this was your finest hour.
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if your loved one had special wishes, grant them, if not do what is comfortable for you or all involved. if you feel special acknowledgement is warranted, maybe make a donation to your loved ones special charity. you will know that something was done and may help you feel better.
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