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I pre-paid funeral expenses for my mother, who is 82 years old and a nursing home resident. She has multiple disabilities from a ruptured brain aneurysm and is bedridden, but her major organs are healthy. I visit her weekly and I am her POA. Aside from me and my dear sister in law (wife of my deceased brother), nobody else visits her. She has another son (my half brother) who visits infrequently and never calls me to ask how she is doing. My mother also has a multitude of grandchildren and great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Only one niece visits regularly. Everyone else is too busy or lives too far away to visit. They do not send birthday cards or Xmas cards. So, I am ambivalent about having any huge funeral for my mother when the time comes. My thoughts are to have a simple gravesite service. She has a burial plot and casket that we pre-paid. I want to honor my mother and the value of her life, but I am not keen on having a big to-do funeral with reception for fake family members. Any advice?

Invite those who visited your mother to her graveside service and Chinese luncheon afterward. I think that sounds like a lovely way to transition to your new life without your mother. Focus on surrounding yourself with people who loved her. Forget about doing for people who don't matter and couldn't be bothered to visit or keep in touch with her.

When my MIL died, so many of her closest friends were unable to come because they themselves were dealing with serious illnesses and mobility problems. But I know they talked on the telephone all the time. In order to be considerate of their limitations and inability to pay their respects in person, we interred her cremated remains ourselves.

Mourning is a highly personal experience. I believe you should be able to mourn however you want. At such a sad and difficult time, your needs and wants should come first. You are under no obligation to host people you do not want.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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We (my brother, sister & I) cashed in our mom’s insurance policies & prepaid her funeral in prep for Medicaid. Mom also wants to stay home as long a possible before going to NH so we were very miserly on the funeral plans. Lot & headstone were purchased when Dad died so that was already taken care of.

She will be cremated, visitation will be 1 hour before the graveside service if anyone cares to come. She hasn’t attended church in years because of her health, and all her siblings are deceased. She only has two friends left & they’re not really in touch. Hardly sees the grandkids. There will be no lunch before/after service.
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Reply to mollymoose
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Sophia, I think the simple graveside and dinner at her favorite restaurant sounds wonderful! You can have a direct burial arrangement with a funeral home and bypass the viewing etc. If she prepays for that, it will all be in place. When she dies, she goes in the ground right away so there won't be time to alert everyone since she won't be embalmed and everything else. I think that is A-OK fine. Blessings!
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Reply to surprise
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I think that funerals are for those left behind, since others have left her behind long ago, this is for you and the few that care enough to be there when it matters.

Do what makes you feel as though you are honoring your mom and celebrating her life.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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My Mother is in memory care now and has had Alzheimer's for 11 years. Many of her friends are passed away and I moved her to my state of residence away from where she lived with Dad.
I have a funeral plan that consists of cremation. I did this for Dad too because he wanted that. Since Mom did not live in this state, I will be letting people who write to her know and her brother that she has passed. But as far as a structured ceremony, the only people who will be there are me, my children (2) and maybe some people who are still able to drive to the gravesite and we will sing and say goodbye. We honor our parents with our thoughts and the way we live our lives after they are gone. You are already honoring her by being there for her at the end of her life. If anyone comments on your wishes, it's not them who is making the decision, it's you. You are the child. The child who is there. It doesn't matter what others want or think.
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Reply to Onlychild64
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Thanks for all the comments. My mother's friends (with the exception of one who is also disabled and lives out of state) and family members from her generation are deceased. I agree that funerals can be like a family reunion, but it still feels "fake" because nobody stays in touch with my mother anymore. I am leaning toward a simple memorial with a grave site service and a private invitation to a Chinese restaurant afterward (her favorite food when she felt well). Thanks!
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Reply to sophiacharm
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Funerals are not just for family. When we had the Memorial Service for my step Dad in December, he only had two living children 2 grandsons and three great grandchildren. They all lived a great distance from our home. We did not have expectations of them coming to see him during his illness. His daughter was able to make two trips, but it is expensive.

Yet at his service there were 2-300 people, former colleagues, church members, people he had met during his post retirement Welcome Wagon job, service club members and more. We never expected any of these people to come see him when he was hospitalized, yet they all wanted to honour him when he died and we gave them the opportunity.

Most young people nowadays do not send cards in the mail, me included and I am not young. I email, call, post a message on Facebook etc. My fil lives in the UK, I have not sent him a card in years, but I do email on a fairly regular basis, Unfortunately he cannot hear when I call, but about every 4 months he calls me with a special line that allows him to boost the volume so he can hear. Does it make me a monster that I do not send cards? Maybe in the eyes of some, but that does not bother me.
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Reply to Tothill
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I agree with your plans. It may feel sad but the reality is that these family members have showed no concern. I don't even want to include family for my mother when the time comes who have been unsupportive to me when I placed my mother in AL.
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Reply to Riverdale
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There are wedding & funeral family, and it turns into a family reunion. I've been to a fair number of those. I understand your feelings, and I understand feeling overwhelmed with not knowing what to say or do with someone in a care home. What do you say to someone who is bedridden? "You're looking great today! What have you been up to recently?" would be just crass, and most can't think beyond their stock conversation starters.

You've paid for the funeral and anything left would be turned over to Medicaid. I'd just go with the flow of what's paid for and let the extended family visit. I don't face the need to have a Medicaid spenddown, so we don't have a prepaid funeral to worry about. If I did, I would just let the wedding & funeral people do their thing and realize they are not as big of a person nor as caring as you are. Hugs to you in this trying time.
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Reply to surprise
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You can be as simple as you want. You could have the viewing and service on the same day. The graveside could be private just those who have thought of Mom and visited. Lunch afterwards.

Me, I want no viewing or service. Just a graveside service with family and close friends. Then they can go have lunch on me.

My DH, is not a religious man. He wants to be cremated. So I probably won't have a service. Told him I would have a luncheon and invite all his golf buddies. 😊
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Do what you feel best doing.
I was very surprised for my Husband I planned just simple 1 day at the Funeral Home then go to cemetery for burial.
Well I got the shock of my life when all these people showed up. My first thought was where the he11 have you all been the past 12 years!
In any case the simple few hours at the funeral home and the cemetery was all I could take and I am sure it was more than my Husband would have wanted. (He would have wanted everyone to go out for a beer and pizza...we did that back at the house!)
So bottom line do what you feel is right for you and if your Mom would want it simple then keep it simple. As far as a "reception" many funeral homes have a space where you can provide drinks, and a variety of food from sandwiches to cookies and other foods. You can ask about that and that can be available at the funeral home then on to the cemetery and if family members want to go out for a bite after that is a decision they can make privately.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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