Follow
Share

My dad passed away a week ago today, after developing Covid. It was an experience like no other.


I have been busy the past week making arrangements for honoring my dad with a high quality and meaningful memorial service that will replace a traditional funeral. His city is currently being hit hard by this illness.


I am also planning an outdoor “scattering day of roses” and presentation of a custom built park bench to his a nature trail near his childhood home in another part of the state. These memorials cannot be produced over night.


I am also dealing with after death responsibilities and I live 5 hours away.


His obituary clearly states the plans. I have clearly stated the plans to his loved ones. I have verbally repeated and clarified in writing these plans.


So many people seem to not understand that due to this public heath crisis that ultimately took my dad’s life... and for safety reasons... there will be no traditional funeral.


I’m already exhausted from events from the past three months... and now people not able or willing to understand the seriousness of public health in their own city.


Some people are even asking very personal questions... that do not concern them. However, this repeated question of “When is the funeral???” has become more than I can take. If they cannot understand multiple responses in various forms of communication....then may God help them.

Find Care & Housing
Sunnydayze, you have my deepest sympathy, and loads of admiration, for the respect, and love you're showing your daddy. Most of these asking the question of "When's the funeral?" are the ones that simply have a morbid sense of " gotta have a look-see" of the deceased, so that afterwords, they can have a "trash party" - "did you see how they were dressed," or "the family didn't look very upset," or just anything they can think of. It's in our dna, ---- so you hold your head high, with pride, no guilt, and look them in the eye and say: that is none of your business, and walk away. If that don't shut them up, nothing will. Stand your ground, and do so with honor. Which they obviously do not have. You have my prayers, and respect. God just loves idiots, he put so many on his earth.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Jazzy1349
Report

They need to lock the Church doors he is putting lives at risk and doesn’t seem to care!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to LCPELC
Report

Traditional funerals are going the way of the dodo; what you've got planned sounds way nicer and more meaningful.

Stay strong.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to ZippyZee
Report

If you gave them the info about the memorial that is all they need. It is rude to ask more at this time. Silence the phone and let them leave messages for you when you are up to listening or answering. So sorry about your loss. God Bless you and your family.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to LCPELC
Report

I'm so sorry for your loss and hope that you will find peace soon. Set your voice answering machine with a brief notice that due to your dad's death & preparations that need to be made that you will be out of reach for a week or two. Explain that they can share in them by .......... You can then choose the messages that require your response. You have spent a lot of time carefully making tributes to your dad. You should be able to do so without having to make explanations to everyone. As you said his obit is clearly stated.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to ToniFromRVA
Report

I can’t get over what you’re going through. I would tell the unthinking and unaware to call the funeral home responsible.
I had made previous arrangements, and when I was notified of her diagnosis, I called them to be sure that the internment could be done immediately because of the horrifically long waits in our very difficult geographic area, and they were WONDERFUL to me.
When I made my follow up call to inform them that LO would not need them “this time”, the funeral director sounded as thrilled as I was.

Sympathy from me to you. You are honoring him so beautifully! I am doing the bench in our Churchyard, but the roses are an exquisite addition. Please stay safe and well!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AnnReid
Report

My sister and I lost our mother on April 9. She was in a nursing home that was on lockdown so we didn't see her for a month. Although COVID wasn't the cause of her death, it still affected our plans. We had a small (just 3 of us--me, sister and BIL) at a miniature service at the funeral home (masked, etc.) and then another small (10 people) graveside service in the cemetery. Because the latter was in another state, the funeral director gave us notes explaining the situation in case there were issues or questions upon crossing the state line (fortunately, there weren't).

We had talked about having a memorial service later, but considering that this might be possible only quite a while from now, our mother was 95, and nearly all her contemporaries are gone, I doubt it will happen because it will be "stale news" to most people by the time we could have it.

However, another relative (65 y/o) died from COVID, and his widow and son put together a "virtual" memorial celebration via Zoom, with various family members, friends and former co-workers giving short presentations about various stages of his life, and this worked quite well. He had been cremated, and this memorial celebration took place a couple months after his death--but most of the people involved were contemporaries and very computer-savvy, making this easier.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to jacobsonbob
Report

Sunnydayze, I'm very sorry to hear about your loss - sending my deepest sympathy. My uncle died a few weeks ago so I understand how difficult it is to organize funerals at the moment. It sounds like the plans you have put in place to honour your father are what he would have wanted, under the current circumstances, and are a wonderful expression of your love for him. As others have said, posting all plans and arrangements on Facebook is an excellent way to broadcast information without having to speak to people. You can also set up a voicemail message giving callers the Facebook details. If people persist in bothering you despite doing this, don't return the calls, or alternatively get a friend/uninvolved family member to deal with them. You will be mentally exhausted at the moment and need kindness and compassion right now, not hassle from insensitive people. Keep focused on planning what your father wanted and hopefully you will feel uplifted and close to him, knowing you are carrying out his wishes.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Chriscat83
Report

Sunny, you should write a novella! You made me think of Tom Lehrer's song called something like "I want to go back to Dixie".

Yes, beautiful and unique!


(((((Hugs))))))
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Simply explain the services and your reason for attempting to do them in this way (covid-19). I am afraid we are not only dealing with a Pandemic (hopefully one that will not get as bad as the 1918 flu, but which may given we did not get the summer respite we hoped for), and the illness itself has somehow, in a deeply divided country, become "political." You are honestly best not to discuss these things with people who choose not to understand. Simply state the way it is. If anyone EVER suggests to you that your beautiful plans are a result of a lack of caring, do tell them that the lack of caring is their own, and tell them that gently, move on and away from it.
You are dealing with grief. My bro died in AL in May. I was unable to be with the man who was there for me every single second of my 78 years. There were no services. That was his plan in any case, but just saying, there was NOTHING. I get through with walks thinking of him, a collage book decorated with letters to him (we wrote long letters when apart all of our lives), and I celebrate him. This is your loss. Honestly, it has nothing to do with others. And anyone who would turn a death of a loved one into a political thing of any kind is not, to tell the truth, worth the powder to blow them to Hades.
My deepest sympathy for your loss. Celebrate the love of you Dad in any way that comforts you. It's what a good Dad would want.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Report

Sunny, my dad died four weeks ago, also in the South. Seems like four years in many ways. I had to plan what to do on my own and opted for a brief outdoor service and burial. The staff of the cemetery couldn’t have been less sensitive. And then the rude, intrusive questions and comments from relatives came in. For several days, I spent hours away from my phone just because I couldn’t deal with anymore. I constantly reminded myself that I don’t owe the world an explanation for my decisions or choices. I don’t owe answers when they aren’t needed. Ignore and delete are great options. It really seems like when someone dies, opinions and “wants” circle like vultures. I’m sorry you’re walking through this, sorry for the loss of your dad. I hope you’ll decide to call it good enough on your plans and feel no need to explain or defend. This is hard enough as is. God bless
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Daughterof1930
Report
Sunnydayze Aug 14, 2020
Thank you for sharing your experience. You obviously understand the culture.... and the vultures. I’m so sorry for your loss as well. You are absolutely correct on how to handle people. Thank you so much for your wise words.
(3)
Report
See 1 more reply
Maybe you can set up a memorial Facebook page and let people post there. We did that with my FIL.

I asked my mother's church what they're doing about people who have died during this time. They only do memorial services anyway -- no funerals -- but they said bluntly that the minister will come and do a burial service, and there will be no "services at a later date." The time for closure is now, not six months from now, and people have to understand that what you have planned is what there will be.

If you've got it in you, set up the FB page, post pictures, a eulogy, where to send donations, and call it a day. You and your immediate family will attend any in-person services at the cemetery, and no one else gets to come.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MJ1929
Report
Sunnydayze Aug 14, 2020
Thank you. I wrote a beautiful obituary it is online and in 3 city newspapers.

I put together a polished memorial service honoring him... is in it final phase of downloading today. It will be ready for release tonight. My dad was a private pilot... I was able to use a friend’s airplane, etc... The flower girl from
his wedding... now in her 60’s...recorded a flute performance for him. This “memorial service” was professionally videotaped. It proved to be more labor intensive than picking out a casket, floral spray and clothing for the deceased.

You are absolutely right... post on a FB account... and call it a day. Thank you, wise friend.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
So sorry for your loss. You may just have to turn your phone off. I love caller ID.

In my state of NJ no funerals are allowed. People are cremating or burying quietly. All obits say, that a Memorial Service will be at a later date.

Sorry, so many people are in LaLa land especially the elderly. As soon as the weather got nice and states started opening up, people seem to forget we still are in a pandemic.

You may need to be blunt. Remind them "funerals as such with viewings and services are not allowed. Dad has been cremated/buried already with just immediate family allowed to attend. "When the virus has died out and things are back to normal, I will have a memorial service for Dad. For now, I can't do anything more". When a personal question is asked, tell them you cannot discuss that with them. All the time smiling. Put a smile in your voice if on the phone.

Sorry, people can be so thick. You may just have to remind them "there "is" a Pandemic still going on!"
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

SunnyDaze ((((((hugs)))))) and my sincere condolences on the loss of your dad.

I wouldn't explain beyond "due to the pandemic that took my dad's life, we're making alternate plans instead of a funeral."

Are they asking about the burial, perhaps?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report
Sunnydayze Aug 14, 2020
Yes... they are. For safety reasons... he is being cremated. There is a complete back log for cremation in his city. The funeral homes there are not embalming COvid victims. Also... I’m sure many of his relatives will take issue with cremation...but I made an informed decision. This is the south... funerals are a part of social cultural. Many here cannot understand any alternatives. Also... there is a loose cannon family member... diagnosed with COvid for the second time... not isolating or wearing a mask... since he does not have a fever! Lately...he has been a church service crasher even after being asked not to attend. The south is beautiful... but definitely a unique place! We don’t place the crazies in the attic... we set them
out on display. Even the most talented authors could not make this stuff up.
(5)
Report
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter