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Simple funeral and people kept away

(37 Posts)
Bunny1 Thu 21-Jan-21 18:03:19

Would really like GN’s thoughts on this, I cannot figure this out. I had lived next door to my neighbour for 30 years. She was elderly, about 75 and died late last year, and her husband of 34 years died in late 2019 of a heart attack. She has one son by her first husband and the husband has a son by his first wife. She had always been prickly although I got on well with the husband and was on friendly terms with her son.
The couple both had a good relationship with her own son, but she had deliberately ostracised her step-son and they had had no contact with him for years. Anyway, I am really puzzled by the nature of the husband’s funeral. She did not let the neighbours know that he had died, he was suddenly absent.
Recently I have got to know further details of the funeral. Her own son was deliberately not told about the death, nor invited to the funeral. She told her husband’s family about his death but only 3 days before the funeral was to take place, in an attempt to keep them away. It was a very modest funeral, only the wife there, and the husband’s family had managed to get there, so about 8 people in total. Neighbours were not invited and no friends were present even though he was very sociable. The short ‘service’ was led by a crem staff member, there was a reading and a piece of music, with no hymns/eulogy/order of service booklet/flowers or charity donations. The wife was driven to the crem by the husband’s relative, so no limousine, and she wore inappropriate clothing, something casual. Afterwards the wife was driven home again and she just bid goodbye to the relative, no wake or refreshments provided for anyone. There was no memorial in garden of remembrance or anything similar.
They certainly had the money to afford a grander ceremony and I do believe they loved each other. She had not fallen out with her son so he could have been invited. Apparently the husband had not requested a minimal funeral without guests, it was her decision. Why would anyone organise that kind of funeral? Shock? Depression?

Maggiemaybe Thu 21-Jan-21 18:31:12

I was going to say lockdown. then realised that it happened in 2019.

I suppose that some people just prefer a quiet, private funeral. No fuss or show. It’s just a personal choice, one I feel increasingly drawn to the older I get. I know you say that this was not the husband’s decision, but how would you know that? Even if you’d discussed it with him, he could have changed his mind over time.

tanith Thu 21-Jan-21 18:32:09

Unless the husband had either booked or specified in a will what kind of funeral he wanted then his wife will of made arrangements she was comfortable with. Everyone deals with bereavement and funerals differently. My sister couldn’t go to either our Mum or her own husbands funerals but everyone was ok with her decision. If I understand your post correctly she is now deceased so why would it even matter now?

Bridgeit Thu 21-Jan-21 18:35:50

Well simply put , it is because that is what she choose to do.
If you knew why you would possibly understand, but on the other hand you may find it to be even more strange.
Covid also has an affect , numbers & distancing etc.. best wishes

cornishpatsy Thu 21-Jan-21 18:36:54

There is no right or wrong , it is the decision of those involved. People are different, what would be right for you is not right for everyone.

Jaxjacky Thu 21-Jan-21 18:37:50

I’m wonder both how you know and why this level of interest from you? Their business I’d have thought.

biba70 Thu 21-Jan-21 18:43:35


There is no right or wrong , it is the decision of those involved. People are different, what would be right for you is not right for everyone.

exactly and nought to do with how much money you have. My family know I do not want a big funeral, and want a simple local spruce coffin with not metal handles or expensive liner. And no fancy flowers either, all pushed into tons of polluting polystirene, etc. It will make tongues wag, and who cares.

kittylester Thu 21-Jan-21 18:50:45

75 isnt really elderly!

FlexibleFriend Thu 21-Jan-21 18:54:51

What's it to you, surely she can give him the funeral of her choice. What she chooses to wear is none of your business. I just don't understand why you're even trying to figure it out.

SueDonim Thu 21-Jan-21 18:55:33

Why are you concerned about something which happened over a year ago? There’s nowt so queer as folk and especially when folk are family!

crazyH Thu 21-Jan-21 19:07:18

I guess, with not much going on around us at the moment, the OP’s thoughts are turning to a variety of things and her neighbour’s funeral being one of them.
I have to admit, my mind also wanders to things that have really nothing to do with me, but I don’t put pen to paper or rather, fingers to the keyboard 😂

paddyanne Thu 21-Jan-21 19:08:36

Small funerals are normal for now and I think they may stay that way.People spend ridiculous amounts of money on coffins to be burned and flowers that get thrown out .What IS inappropriate clothes? My friend lost her 25 year old son a few years ago and we were instructed to wear bright casual clothes with lots of red as it was his favourite colour .Her choice as others have said and I admire her for not being drawn into the money machine that funerals can become

sue421 Thu 21-Jan-21 19:39:54

Well that is what she choose. Who knows the reasoning behind it but has to be respected. Big funerals are not always 'wonderful'... I would say respect her wishes.

Grannyben Thu 21-Jan-21 19:42:37

We have a local company who offer "simple cremations". I assume they primarily appeal to two groups of people; those who have chosen this type of service and, those who can't afford the more traditional type.
The simple cremation involves removal of the deceased to the chapel of rest and, a simple coffin. On the day, the deceased is taken to the crematorium, in a private ambulance, for a 9am service. Mourners are not allowed in but can obviously stand outside to see the deceased taken in. They do not have flowers and, there isn't a place allocated for any (obviously you can still place them within the grounds).
Perhaps this is the type of service your neighbour had. If so, there wouldn't be any point inviting people or, wearing anything other than casual clothing.
I appreciate this wouldn't be for everyone but, I doubt anyone knows what his final wishes were, apart from his now deceased wife.
I have to say, my lovely dad would have been more than happy to have his body disposed of in this way.

Peasblossom Thu 21-Jan-21 19:48:58

Sounds good to me. The things you list, loads of people, limousines, a funeral booklet, a wake, my idea of a nightmare.

I’m the person watching all that pantomime and thinking ‘What on earth is that all about?”

Each to their own.

BlueBelle Thu 21-Jan-21 19:51:01

Well 75 is bloody young if you are 75 and I don’t understand what business is it of yours anyway
You seem overly interested in someone else’s decisions and seem to know everything bar the colour of her underwear..... pretty unbelievable it happened over a year ago and the amount of details you have retained seems really really weird
Just get on with your own life in what ever way you can and let others make decisions about theirs

Jane10 Thu 21-Jan-21 19:51:44

I agree with paddyanne. She's said it all.

sodapop Thu 21-Jan-21 20:01:54

Yes who knows what the couple decided about the funeral, I don't understand your interest in this Bunny not everyone wants a big funeral with all the attendant expense.

Hithere Thu 21-Jan-21 20:11:25

Funerals are for the living

She chose what fit her circumstances.
Regarding how she invited or whom she invited, there could be more than meets the eye

TrendyNannie6 Wed 27-Jan-21 13:37:21

I don’t really understand why you want to know about what someone else did at a funeral, you are detailing sooo much, why are you making it your business anyway, and saying they certainly had the money to afford a grander ceremony!!your post is shocking bunny1

M0nica Wed 27-Jan-21 14:30:14

Just the sort of funeral, I would love, were I alive to be there!

I have made it clear to my family that I want a minimalist funeral, very immediate family and one or two long term friends and no more.

Just because you like big funerals, Bunny1, doesn't mean everyone does, nor do you know anything of any discussions this couple may have had over the years about what kind of funeral each would like. The days of mourning clothes have gone and people wear there ordinary clothes to funerals.

Shinamae Wed 27-Jan-21 14:50:48

I have already booked my funeral with Pure cremation when I pass they will come and collect the body,take it up to Hertfordshire I think it is,cremate it and then bring me back to Devon in a box and give to my family and they can then spread my ashes where I have asked them to be spread. I certainly do not want a big funeral and I don’t want my family stood in the crematorium..... when they are ready be it the next day or the next year they can hopefully fulfil my wishes and then I have asked that they book into a nice restaurant for a lovely meal and to raise a glass... (Hopefully will be out of Covid by the time I pass!!)Each to their own....

B9exchange Wed 27-Jan-21 15:08:04

Have to confess I am puzzled by your post OP. The funeral you are discussing took place in 2019, the wife's was late last year, and you don't mention hers at all. Why bring it up in a thread in 2021 out of the blue?

Bunny1 Sat 12-Jun-21 08:51:25

Thanks for all your comments. There have been investigations by the son because of problems with the estate, and he has uncovered evidence which shows that she caused her husband's death! Shocking!

CafeAuLait Sat 12-Jun-21 09:05:58

If true, that is shocking.

As far as funerals in general, after the last one I had to organise, any future funerals I have to organise will be small, no bells and whistles. Lots of reasons for that that have nothing to do with cost.

Please don't judge people for what they wear to funerals. What matters is that they are there. I remember going to a family funeral after recently giving birth. None of my nicer clothes fit my post-birth shape and I didn't have the time or money to go shopping for something just for the funeral. It was enough to organise the family. Yet I remember the look up and down my childless BIL gave me for wearing what I wore.