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How to go with the flow

(20 Posts)
Mishap Mon 12-Aug-13 11:23:19

My brother is doing a tribute to Dad at his funeral next week and it does have some excellent and touching moments in it, but unfortunately misrepresents Dad in a big way. Brother is obsessed (and I mean obsessed!) with cars and the topic is done to death in his tribute. Dad was not really interested in them and only serviced them himself to save money. The rest of us are keeping schtumm and going with the flow as we feel it is his way of dealing with things - but I guess a bit of me feels that this is the last chance to speak about Dad and tell everyone what he meant to us and it would be nice if his true character were represented.

I think it would cause a big rift if I said anything, so I will go with the flow. But it is another thing to mourn as far as I am concerned. Dad was a musician in his heart; frustrated by family finances so could not pursue it as he would have wished. I have however chosen the music and asked the celebrant to make sure he indicates why these choices have been made and what the music meant to Dad, so hopefully the beauty of the music will speak for itself.

Anyone else had these sorts of challenges over a funeral?

j08 Mon 12-Aug-13 11:32:17

Could you perhaps make a little tribute of your own Mishap? Would be nice for a daughter to speak as well as a son. That's if you feel up to it of course.

kittylester Mon 12-Aug-13 11:40:57

I was just going to suggest the same thing jings. smile

Different people see things differently, don't they. If you don't feel up to Mishap could you ask someone else who sees your father in a similar way to you. You could have some input to that and feel that you have shown the other side to your father. Can someone play a piece of music that meant a lot to your father, too?

Feelings do run high at times like these but you don't want to have any regrets. (((hugs)))

kittylester Mon 12-Aug-13 11:42:31

Didn't make myself clear above. What I meant was, could a member of his family or a close friend play something special? Sorry!!

Butty Mon 12-Aug-13 11:52:42

I feel sure the music you have chosen Mishap will speak for itself, and for you.

I also think that keeping schtum is by far the best policy regarding your brother's tribute to his father. As you say, it contains some excellent and touching moments. Everyone brings their own feelings about their relationships at moments like this. It would be a kindness to allow your brother that.

So yes, go with the flow, and embrace your memories of your dear Dad. flowers

Anne58 Mon 12-Aug-13 11:55:37

Yes, Mishap and big time! There was a "sudden" change at Jack's funeral, when a school friend found herself too overwhelmed to deliver her tribute, but luckily "by chance" (*NOT*) my exdh's partner of the time just happened to have a copy of my least favourite funeral poem with her and went up and read it.

The whole funeral was organised by the pastor of the church exdh & partner were heavily involved with at the time, and he seemed to regard it as an opportunity for a recruitment drive.

He actually said to me the only time that I met with him before the service (I eventually told him that no, I would NOT meet him in a coffee shop in the nearest town, even though it might seem more convenient for him, this was after he kept TEXTING me, which I thought highly inappropriate under the circumstances) he said "You know, there are going to be a lot of young people at this service (no shit Sherlock!) and I think this is an opportunity to show them that the church isn't always a stuffy sort of place"

I was [cross]

whenim64 Mon 12-Aug-13 11:58:05

You get this happening when one person takes control, but it sounds like you've got the chance to provide some balance, Mishap. I have never felt able to speak at a funeral, but I've contributed poems or a eulogy for someone to read on my behalf. That felt ok for me, as I put lots of time into what I wanted to be said. I hope it goes well for you all flowers

whenim64 Mon 12-Aug-13 11:59:52

phoenix flowers

Mishap Mon 12-Aug-13 14:14:19

Oh phoenix how perfectly dreadful. I cannot imagine how you dealt with it - you must have needed the patience of a saint. Well done you. I would have been incandescent.

But you have your own memories and those are what are real and what matter.

If I knew how to do the sending flowers bit I would!

Ella46 Mon 12-Aug-13 14:37:39

Mishap I was also going to suggest you spoke too, but I know how hard that must be.
There were only four of us at my dad's funeral, and it must have been the shortest service ever, no hymns, just Mozart's Requiem, which was perfect, and dad would have loved it.
I personally couldn't have coped with anything else, and as we all knew what a special person he was, it was fine.

Mishap, if you have chosen the music that your dad loved, then that is your tribute. It's what is in your heart that counts.

petallus Mon 12-Aug-13 14:49:28

I had one or two big challenges when my father died. I don't know about your father but I know mine, above all else, would not have wanted my brother and me to fall out.

So that's what guided me and I made some serious concessions.

gracesmum Mon 12-Aug-13 15:35:00

Oh this is a hard one. I like others, think maybe you could put your side of your Dad in your own tribute, or ask another family member or friend. I always think the eulogy or tribute is an opportunity to celebrate different aspects of a person's life. There should ideally be something for each of the groups represented - family, friends, neighbours, former colleagues (if any) and should raise an affectionate smile. I have felt "let down" by eulogies which were one sided or like you say a recruitment drive for the church. A French friend's funeral 2 years ago made absolutely NO concessions to her French heritage (husband's choice) and my former Head of Department who was a lovely man with a wide range of interests from rugby to all things Russian - plus a wicked sense of humour - well , his eulogy was just all about how he had "found Jesus." But the bottom line is that this is YOUR Dad (and your brother's and sister's) and anything which might cause bad feeling simply doesn;t belong here. How about something from a grandchild if any are of an age to do a short reading or tell an anecdote about him? Will be thinking of you flowers

HildaW Mon 12-Aug-13 16:37:47

Perhaps you could start a Book of Remembrance. If you bought it and then wrote the first entry as you wanted and then introduced it in a very low key way after the service as a sort of fait accompli so that anyone could add their comments.

kittylester Mon 12-Aug-13 16:50:08

Lovely idea Hilda. flowers

wisewoman Mon 12-Aug-13 17:58:06

That is a lovely idea Hilda. Early this year I was at a friend's funeral and there was a book of remembrance at the meal afterwards. Lots of people wrote memories in the book and I am sure it has been a great comfort to her family over the last few months and will be in the future. Mishap hope it goes well for you. Your brother has his memories and you have yours. Isn't it strange how different people see different versions of us!!

Mishap Mon 12-Aug-13 18:05:21

Thank you for all the ideas and thoughts.

In fact the grandchildren have sent my brother their thoughts and I sent mine, and they have all been glossed over in a few lines in my brother's tribute! He said he wanted to concentrate on Dad - but in fact he has concentrated on himself really!

He is a very kind man, but can be a bit controlling. He is trying to get us siblings to make the same donation each, rather than make our own decision about this.

But nothng can be as bad as what phoenix endured - so I will go mwith the flow.

The remembrance book is a good idea. I will give it some thought.

However, I will not stir anything up, as it is simply not worth it. The celebrant will make it clear why the music choices have been made and how they reflect Dad's talents in that direction; and I will sit and listen to the music and have my own memories.

kittylester Mon 12-Aug-13 18:08:15

Mishap flowers

merlotgran Mon 12-Aug-13 18:31:41

Maybe it's just a son/daughter thing. My dad died 43 years ago and whenever he crops up in conversation my older brother talks about a different man to the one I knew. My younger brother paints a picture of a distant figure in our lives who was not very 'hands on' (they weren't in those days). My memories are of a loving, hard working 'provider' with a lovely sense of humour who was well respected in the community. Those are MY memories and I'm sticking with them.

No one can take away what your dad meant to you, phoenix flowers

merlotgran Mon 12-Aug-13 18:32:26

Sorry. I meant mishap.

nanaej Mon 12-Aug-13 18:37:26

Mishap I hope the day of the funeral provides a positive time for you to think of all the things that your dad meant to you and that it is a helpful step along the path of grief. Take care of yourself, listen to the lovely music you have chosen to celebrate your Dad's musical interest and talent