Is it okay not to have a funeral? - AgingCare.com

Is it okay not to have a funeral?

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None of us have ever gotten along with our mother. My sisters live in Arizona and Nevada and I'm our mother's sole caregiver here in Wisconsin.

Mother wants her body donated to a university medical school after her death and has made the necessary arrangements and filled out the proper paperwork. She has no friends where she currently lives (she writes to two or three that are in other states).

When she finally passes, would it be ok not to have a funeral or any kind of ceremony? Mother has not said anything about this...just that she wants her body donated and I'm supposed to MAKE SURE that it happens after she's gone.

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It is all in the definition of 'funeral'. My mom wanted the viewing, prayers, and burial for herself. So I did it. She was 89 and hadn't seen anyone in years, most of the attendees were there for me. She didn't seem to care if anyone showed up, she just wanted this for her funeral.

I did inform her when she was alive, there would be no evening and next day viewings. One viewing, the morning of the burial. She was fine with that.

My husband's cousin died at 60, he was cremated with no ceremony. Later on his siblings had a catered gathering in a restaurant, where we were to dress in colorful clothes and take the mic and tell funny stories about him. It was a success, and very comforting in a unique way.
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If your parent doesn't want a formal funeral or memorial service, that can be his or her choice, surely? It doesn't prevent you from arranging whatever sort of friends-and-family gathering you will find appropriate and consoling after the death; and if you feel ethically bound you can always make it clear that the event is not officially in the deceased's name.

It's more of a problem if the parent stipulates black-plumed horses, a vigil and a five star wake and the family is thinking 'uh, who's paying..?'
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My Mom pretty much feels the same way, but I've simply told her that she's not being fair to me (I'm her only surviving child) because it won't be affecting her anymore but is for me. I should have the option to get together with friends, and any family who want to come (out of state) just to share stories and mourn/celebrate/renew ties if I need that for myself. She's sort of backed off a bit, although reluctantly? The get togethers really aren't for the deceased - they're for the people left behind to have some closure. I'm not talking about a "formal" funeral service, etc.
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My father recently passed away quite suddenly. Both him and my mom made their arrangements 2-1/2 years ago to be cremated and stated there was to be no visitation or services. My dad also included this in his will. My sister argued with him at the time that what if his kids wanted some type of service or memorial to which he replied "I don't care what our kids want, this is what your mother and I want". He made it verbally clear that he didn't want any kind of gathering, nor did he want to pay for anything. Well, my sister is holding a memorial party to "honor" my dad. My mom, myself and the rest of the immediate family will not not be attending because we know this is being done against my dad's wishes. When one makes it verbally clear as to what their wishes are along with writing it in two different documents, why does someone else feel it is open for a discussion? How do you "honor" someone when you are going against their wishes/requests?
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Anything goes nowadays. If the person has expressed their wishes as your mom has, you don't have to decide. You can have a memorial at a later time if you want to.
We had a closed coffin funeral for my father (45 years ago). It was very hard on our family but at the time, that was standard practice. Times have changed, and now everyone has a choice and if they don't leave instructions, its ok to do what is best for the family (and expenses are really high for a funeral now, so that is a consideration.)
The last funeral I went to was a church service and the person had been cremated and the urn sat on the alter. The testimonials were all happy and complimentary and it was so much easier to think about and remember that person as wonderfully alive rather than staring at an empty shell of a body in front of us.
I, personally, hate wakes and "visitation" and I never go up to the open casket. I simply do not want my last memory of the person I loved lying there cold and lifeless. So, I sign the book, hug the family give my condolences and leave.
Our family have all opted for cremation and a memorial at a later time when grief is lessened. I have told my husband, if I go first, I don't want people parading past my body looking at me.
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I'm 58 and I want nothing more than a direct cremation. Then stick me in my niche. No funeral Mass, no committal service, no nothing. However, I felt some pressure from both parish priests to have a Mass. So now there is one set up. I'm ticked off at myself for doing something I'm so dead set against. I feel it's a huge waste of time and money. I'd rather they make a donation in my name or do something I would enjoy and remember me like that. I want my money to go to my son, not the funeral home. I have few friends and my only family is my son. I figure by that time my soul has been judged and it's where ever it'd going to be. Nothing will change that. Most likely I will change the pre-planning back to what I want and just not tell anyone except my son. He will respect my wishes.
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Fortunately, my mom informed me of her desire to be cremated before the Alzheimer's got worse. She will be 93 years old in 3 weeks and her gerontologist says he gives her another 2-4 years to live. At the outside, she'll be 97 when she passes on.
At this moment, she has 4 living brothers and sisters, but they are all near her age. Who knows if they 'll be around when she dies. She wasn't close to any of the nieces/nephews. Any old friends and her previous husbands have all passed away.
I am an only child with one grown son. Since it probably would just be the 2 of us, it doesn't make sense to have a service. My mother was not religious/spiritual, so it seems hypocritical to have anything dealing with a church.

A person doesn't have to have a service or gathering as their "final goodbye". People will remember them, (or not), as they were influenced by the departed. If the family just can't cope with not having a gathering, I'm sure the deceased won't really care, once they're gone.

Wow! What a scathing obituary for Marianne. But, if it was true what they wrote about her, then she deserved it and more. Too bad the kids had to suffer at her hand. Now she might be getting her just "reward".
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my mom says the exact same thing! She doesn't want anyone staring at her either! Your solution sounds perfect.
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I'm coming in late on this one....My dad died about 6 months ago. He didn't want any type of service. He was a private, introverted man. But, he also had lots of people in his life that would have wanted to show their love for him at a service. He didn't want people (his words) "Staring at me in my coffin". We posted an obit in the paper and set up a memorial page on the multiple myeloma website where people could post messages and donate. Our family did a private service at my mom's house..we all wrote something about dad, my brother made a video, we released balloons and then spread his ashes at his favorite place. It was beautiful.
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Who is supposed to pay for a funeral or memorial service? There are lots of costs....even publishing the date, time & location in your city newspaper is 100's of dollars. If someone wants a memorial they should prepay it. If someone says they don't want one (or cannot afford it) then you should not have one. If a bunch of related people want to get together on their own dime to have a lunch meeting and share memories, then go ahead if that would help people process the loss. But you cannot tell a dying person, or even someone decades away from death, that they MUST have a funeral. Respect their wishes above all!
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