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Long story short-I live in another state from my late father. He went into hospital in January, I was his POA. I’m an only child and he was divorced, so I’ve been handling everything alone. Including dealing with the fact that he was POA for my grandmother (she’s 99) and left a vacuum when he got ill and subsequently died. Got her sorted out and since April I’ve been dealing with his out of state house, belongings and vehicle, insurance, probate court, etc.
Dad was cremated and I’m finally having a memorial service for him in his hometown, where he wanted to be buried. I don’t think a lot of people will attend but it may be more than I’m expecting. Following the service will be the burial at the cemetery. I did not plan anything afterwards, like a reception. I’m exhausted and my vacation starts right after the service. I’m worn out from doing everything alone. I’m starting to feel worried, though, that folks may be expecting a reception after the burial.
I may suggest going out to dinner with a few close family members but that’s it. Should I feel bad about that? I don’t know that I have the brain cells left to devote to that guilt trip, lol. I’m also not a local in that town where the service will be. I wouldn’t know where to book a reception and without knowing how many would come—you see my dilemma.

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”Worrying” isn’t part of your responsibilities.

You should NOT “FEEL BAD” about ANYTHING.

Have the Funeral Director thank everyone for coming at the end of the service and say that the graveside service is private. Handling it this way is very common around here.

Save those brain cells for your vacation, and RELISH EVERY MINUTE OF THAT!
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Reply to AnnReid
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Grandma1954 Jul 13, 2021
I was also going to suggest this. Great way to keep it low key and manage expectations. I think at this time people will understand.
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I have never gone to a funeral for someone not a close relative and expected to be fed.

Yes, you might plan to repair to a restaurant with a quiet meal after with close family , but anyone who expects a "reception" is out of line in their expectations.

I am so sorry for your loss.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I think you have done more than enough with a service and burial. There is no need for anything else.
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Maria7 Jul 14, 2021
Amen!
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No, don't feel bad. In our family, if a church brings food to our home, only the very closest family members are invited to eat.

This is one tradition I just don't get. After the physical and emotional exhaustion of planning and arranging a funeral, why add more work and expense?
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rovana Jul 16, 2021
I think part of the tradition could be related to an earlier time when people would come together in a rural area by horse and buggy and appreciate refreshments before starting their trips home.
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Just plan a bit of time at the cemetery for folks to come up to you and express their condolences. You aren't obligated to feed anyone.
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Reply to MJ1929
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You do not have to feel bad about anything.
The memorial service is just that. No one expects to be wined and dined.
People that are local will be just fine.
If you want to meet with some close friends after or if there are out of town people that attend having a lunch would be nice. But it could be as simple as going to a local park, one that dad might have enjoyed and get a delivery of sub sandwiches or pizza and just have a pleasant relaxed lunch.
With family, yes go out have dinner have a nice visit.
If you have a schedule printed with the "events" the Memorial, the Cemetery and any notes or thoughts people will know by reading that that there are no plans for a lunch or dinner. (any one with enough b&11s to ask is not someone I would want to have a meal with anyway!)
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Reply to Grandma1954
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I’m an only child of divorced parents. My dad was also cremated. I held his outdoor memorial service and did not hold a reception. We scattered rose petals in his honor. I gave away my dad’s favorite candy bar and packets of birdseed (he enjoyed Cardinals). I also had bottled water available. I could not do anything more. I was already completely exhausted. You have done plenty. Sending you hugs and prayers for restoration and peace. ~ Sunny
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Reply to Sunnydayze
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The beauty of a graveside service is people can simply disperse from there. You do not need to host a reception. If anyone expects a reception from his hometown, they can coordinate it and host it since they're in their hometown. You can attend and simply unwind.

You're managing a incredible workload and you're doing great. NO need for guilt and do not allow others to pressure you, LAnn!

My condolences on your great loss. *hug*
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Maria7 Jul 14, 2021
Amen. My Mama had a graveside funeral, too. And there was viewing for about an hour and a half at the funeral home, which was open to everyone before the graveside funeral. She had a beautiful funeral.
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No you should not feel bad about not having a funeral reception. The people who will be coming to your father's memorial service are coming because they want pay their respect to your father and his family. That's why a person goes to a wake, or funeral. or memorial service. People who go because they're expecting a free meal are not there for the right reason. You don't owe people a funeral reception.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Enjoy your vacation. You sure do deserve it. Hope it is wonderful for you. You have been a good Daughter and Granddaughter. Don't even think about a reception. For once, Friend, think about YOU and take good care of yourself and try to relax on your vacation. Take care. Maria
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