I have tried in the past to have my mother write down her wishes concerning funeral arrangements. She has always resisted, and often changed her mind as to what she has told me she wanted. However, due to a recent death in the family and seeing many issues that can arise, she now has said she wants no funeral service. Before I sit down with her to actually have something put in writing, I would like to get some input. I know she does not want a wordy obituary about her life, so alternate "life celebrations" is not what she would want. But just saying the deceased requested no funeral services seems rather stark. (And it may turn out that mother does want some kind of service.) How should this be worded for a death announcement? If other family members are very disturbed with foregoing traditional services, what could be simple ways to honor her without going against her wishes?

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I would write:
To honor my mother's wishes, there will be no funeral service. I invite you to please privately celebrate (insert name) memory in your own ways. I know that she will be with us all in spirit. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to FarFarAway
NeedHelpWithMom Jul 30, 2021
Tell your “other family members” to plan (and pay for) ANYTHING THEY WANT, while you honor your mother’s requests.

You don’t do a funeral to please hanger on relatives or please yourself.

Your mother’s life, your mother’s death YOUR MOTHER’S CHOICE.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to AnnReid

A lot of people these days don't do a "formal" funeral service.(I personally think it's a waste of money) With a lot of folks being cremated, it's easier to simplify the process for sure.
When my husband died last year, and was cremated, I just put in his obituary that he would be cremated and his ashes scattered at his favorite beach, and that his family would be having a private celebration of his life. His "private celebration of his life" was just myself, my children and grandchildren all going out to eat at a nice restaurant the day we scattered his ashes.
So don't worry about what "other family members" think, as what is most important is the fact that you honor your mothers final wishes. And if you don't want to use the words celebration of life, you can just say that we're going to have a small family gathering to honor her.
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Reply to funkygrandma59

If it were me, I would stop asking her to give you input. She has been resisting for years. It sounds like she was recently influenced to decide on no service due to some family dysfunction at a recent funeral? Planning a funeral for your mom also depends upon the financial situation. I would sit down with some family and discuss what would be the best approach to help those that remain behind grieve and honor her memory. You can honor her wishes while still doing something to help the family have closure. As caregivers we are tasked with so much! We have to balance making reasonable decisions while trying to please and being criticized by those on the sidelines.

I am facing an odd situation in planning for my own mother’s funeral. For many complicated reasons I will not be planning a public service. For those same complicated reasons, I need to be able to help my own family find some closure with some sort of rite of passage to mark the event. So we will have a private gathering for family so WE may have an opportunity to grieve in a healthy way together. I am letting go of a long history of misery with what I hope will be an example of mercy and forgiveness for my children and grandchildren. I am trying to think of something creative to do with my family like place a brick or bench in her name at a park. Bottom line funerals are for the living.

I actually started to draft an obit for my mother to have on hand. I highlighted her career and said good things. I picked a nice picture. I stated that she will be interred at such and such cemetery in a private family gathering. Then I said that to honor her memory donations can be sent in her name to such and such charity, a cause she was passionate about. Something like that. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
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Reply to Mepowers

Why bother saying no funeral service? I just looked up what we had posted. Other than the basics (name, DOB, DOD, locations, family/relatives predeceased and those of us left - not many!!), there was nothing and it ended with:

"Services will be private."

She had a pre-need burial plan, and was cremated. Due to it being winter AND the national cemetery (dad was a Marine and she could be interred with him) being about 2 hours away, I opted to wait until the nice weather was back!

I only had contact with bros, my kids and one cousin on each side of the family. They were all invited for the burial service, if they wished to go. Few words, etc. I didn't have anything planned, so I suggested we find a nice local restaurant with outdoor seating (virus concerns!) and raise a glass to mom, who outlasted all the others in her generation, passing at age 97!

If she doesn't wish elaborate service, don't do it. Anyone can always have some kind of celebration of her life after the fact.

If she has expressed her wishes to you, is there really a need to have her write it down? Would anyone else in the family object, and if so, do they have any say?

FWIW, one thing my mother and I agreed on was her mantra:

"If you can't be bothered to come see me when I'm alive, don't bother when I'm dead!"
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to disgustedtoo
Learn2Cope Jul 28, 2021
I would like to have her write her wishes down so that other family members understand that it is not me making the decision. I have a sibling, with good intentions, that will no doubt expect to be involved any arrangements. I do not need a funeral service or any celebration of any kind. I would like to avoid hard feelings, misunderstandings, or drama among relatives who will not agree with not going a more traditional route.
Announcement should include something like, "At her request no service will be held." stark sounding or not. It is no different than saying, "Cremation has taken place at her request." If people object just verbally repeat that phrase and inform them they are free to "unofficially" honor her in any way they please. You mother sounds like a very down to earth person.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Bobby40

My mother says the same thing. I've known many elderly people who tell their families they don't want any kind of service when they pass. When in reality what they really want is a reproduction of Princess Diana's state funeral (rest in peace). Funerals and memorial services are for the living. People need this as a form of closure. It's the ultimate act of narcissistic selfishness for a person to still think they can control their family from the other side by deciding how they will be allowed to grieve and mourn.
If you and your family want to have a gathering or memorial service of some kind when your mother passes away, have one.
My mother says it all the time that she wants nothing too. We tell her we're not rich people and she doesn't like that response. She wants us to beg and plead with her about it, but we don't.
My mother is Irish. There has never been an Irish person rich or poor whose family didn't give them a proper wake. I do tell her that I won't be serving the good whisky because she didn't want a funeral anyway.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to BurntCaregiver
Mepowers Jul 30, 2021
This totally made my day! I laughed out loud. It’s so true. “I don’t want anything (meaning I want a big church service with communion and everyone will stand and give me long and grand eulogies; it will take hours and hours) from YOU AWFUL PEOPLE.” Of course my mother is not planning to die so she never made plans and never will.
My father has stated as such ,and even put it in writing.Direct cremation is what my dad wants.No service at all.

It really doesn't surprise me ,because he's all about simplicity.

I plan on scattering his remains near a lighthouse which are one of his favorites.

Regarding the obituary.
Just keep it simple ,and state that there will be no formal service at the request of our beloved one.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Concerned43

Funerals are for the living, not the deceased so I would have no problem having a service even if the deceased stated they didn't want one in their later days. I had a simple graveside service for my parents followed by a meal in a hotel ballroom for those who attended, some from a couple of hours out of town (the hotel's restaurant ran a buffet we used for the meal). My parents had lived so long most of their contemporaries had already died and those that lived could only travel during the daytime and usually needed some help. Most of the attendees were children who had attended functions my parents hosted 40-50 years ago (family reunions and church group picnics, etc). Having a graveside service on a Saturday at 11:00 am allowed everyone to get into town, attend the service and the meal, and travel back home.
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Reply to TNtechie

My parents pre-planed and paid for end of life - they are to go from funeral home to burial with no stops or services in between. Dad died a couple of years ago and I was willing to forgo any services as dad requested, however my brother wanted some kind of service so a "Celebration of Life" was planned. This occurred a couple of months after dad's death. Mom set up several pictures regarding dad's life and food was provided. Several family and friends came - but most of the family and friends of my parents age were either dead or unable to travel even a short distance due to their advanced age. Positive stories by family and friends were shared regarding their relationship with dad. It was very nice.

Now unless my brother again insists on some form of service, I will not plan any kind of service for mom - as far as mom is concerned - funerals, memorial services and the like are a waste of time as far as she is concerned.

On the other hand, dad's SIL died a few months after he did and my cousins had a funeral service - small town and my aunt was active in the church and the community (town of about 500).

I don't think there is any right or wrong answer. I do believe funerals are happening less and if any service the memorials or celebrations of life.
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Reply to cweissp

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