Gransnet forums


Words at a funeral

(25 Posts)
Flowerofthewest Wed 19-Feb-14 18:22:03

to wonder if it is normal for a person to request in her/his will for certain people to say something about them at their funeral. I always felt that if I wanted to then I would, and do, say something or read a poem etc. Surely people may feel pressured into this if it is the deceased request.

grannyactivist Wed 19-Feb-14 18:26:31

Two of my closest friends are wonderful singers and I have requested that if they are able and still around (they're younger than me) they sing a song at my funeral. I chose the song and they have both agreed.

Iam64 Wed 19-Feb-14 19:26:18

I suppose it depends on whether the now deceased, had discussed this, and got agreement as in grannya's case to participate in this way.

Flowerofthewest Wed 19-Feb-14 19:26:38

That's lovely grannyactivist a bit like choosing the music beforehand. Maybe I am being a bit cynical

kittylester Wed 19-Feb-14 19:34:01

Surely, the deceased should have got agrrement for the person rather than dumping it on them - bit of an awkward situation! GA seems to have it right! flowers

Flowerofthewest Wed 19-Feb-14 19:34:50

Think this was dumped and onto half a dozen people. They were told that this was expected of them.

rosesarered Wed 19-Feb-14 20:35:06

Unless this was for my nearest and dearest this would be a nightmare for me! shock

grannyactivist Wed 19-Feb-14 20:46:38

When our daughter got married my husband and I each read a poem at the wedding. Our daughter asked if we would read segments of the same poems again at her husband's funeral and of course we both agreed, but it was one of the hardest things I've ever been called upon to do.

absent Wed 19-Feb-14 22:09:56

While I was still in the UK I was always the one who wrote and delivered the eulogy at family funerals. Poor Mr absent had to listen to me rehearsing over and over again until I could do it without choking or bursting into tears. Even so, I used to shake all the way through and had a particularly difficult time when one chapel had no lectern for me to lean on. I had never realised before that knees can literally knock. It is a desperately hard thing to do if the deceased was close to you and I would never demand that someone else should do it for me or anyone I care for.

Aka Wed 19-Feb-14 23:05:10

It is very hard indeed, especially as Absent said, if the deceased is someone very dear to you. I only got through with the help of a little pill from my GP.

grannyactivist Wed 19-Feb-14 23:07:22

I shall be with my daughter tomorrow as she visits her late husband's grave, it would have been his 30th birthday. I can't help feeling sad - he was so very young. sad

Aka Wed 19-Feb-14 23:12:52


Flowerofthewest Thu 20-Feb-14 00:06:39


Granny23 Thu 20-Feb-14 00:16:21

My daughter, who is an Independent Celebrant, is always anxious when a friend or relative has agreed to speak or read at a funeral but she says that, in fact, she is amazed at how well people manage. She has a copy of their poem or reading but has only once had to take over when a teenage girl broke down completely at her young father's service. Her anxiety is mainly to do with timing, because crematorium 'slots' are very short (30mins locally) so if a relative goes on over their allotted time, something else, which may have been specifically requested, has to be cut from the ceremony.

MrsSB Thu 20-Feb-14 10:26:46

I did a reading at my dad's funeral because it was something I wanted to do. I used to do readings/prayers in church for many years and found I was able to switch off from the occasion and just read. Fortunately, when you are reading you are looking at the text, not the faces in front of you, and that makes it easier.

goldengirl Thu 20-Feb-14 19:47:41

My father wrote down exactly what he wanted and it made everything so much easier knowing that we were carrying out his wishes. I keep thinking I should do something similar!

Deedaa Thu 20-Feb-14 21:41:42

The son of one of my friends was killed in a car crash. He was notorious in the area as an unreliable drug addict and their next door neighbour had threatened him with violence more than once. At the funeral the neighbour came forward and recited from memory the parable of the Prodigal Son and said a few words about how sorry he was that the boy had never had a chance to redeem himself. Everyone was quite amazed that he should do this and it really brought home to us all what a waste of potential his death had meant.

whenim64 Thu 20-Feb-14 22:08:50

ga what a sad visit to be making. I hope it goes peacefully and privately for her. flowers

JessM Thu 20-Feb-14 22:53:16

The last funeral I went to was very odd. Over half the people there knew the dead person through their work, which was a very, very important aspect of their life and a role that was pretty high profile locally. The family elected not to mention this other than a brief mention of the previous job. It might almost have been the wrong funeral we were at.

grannyactivist Thu 20-Feb-14 23:18:36

Daughter is in bits today, but the outcome is that her dad took her and the grandchildren out to lunch and when I came home from taking mother in law to the hospital I found we have a little visitor staying with us for a couple of days. Our four year old grandson is in residence until the weekend. grin

Aka Thu 20-Feb-14 23:30:41

So sorry for your poor daughter.

Sure your little grandson will bring a smile to the rest of your week

LizG Thu 20-Feb-14 23:30:44

Oh Ga so very sad sad

Ariadne Fri 21-Feb-14 06:19:46

Oh ga I remember when you told us about your son in law, and I remember how brave you and your daughter were then. I read somewhere that you don't "get over" grief, you move through it, and that is what you are both doing, isn't it? Love to both of you.

thatbags Fri 21-Feb-14 07:28:56

In response to the OP, I would not make such a request of anyone, partly because it puts pressure on them which they may not want but also because I simply do not care what happens after I am dead. People will express what they want to express without any pressure from me. I suppose that means I favour a natural rather than an orchestrated approach to a natural event, death.

MiceElf Fri 21-Feb-14 07:43:41

I wouldn't ask anyone by name as that really is quite pressurising for the person. But I have chosen my own readings and hymns and music. That helps those who are left from wondering what you would have wanted.

As Absent says giving a eulogy is much harder and if you are asked, or choose to do it, and the person was close to you, you need to rehearse well so that you can deliver the words with authority and presence. It's very hard.