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Very Short Funeral

(45 Posts)
hildajenniJ Fri 13-Feb-15 18:28:02

I went to my Cousin's funeral this morning. Firstly, I was surprised at the large turnout. My cousin's son stood up and made a short announcement saying that after discussing his wishes with him, he decided that he didn't want a formal church service, any eulogies, or other speeches. He asked that a favourite song of his was played, and then a few moments of quiet reflection. True to his wishes this is what happened. It was the shortest and most peculiar funeral that I have ever attended. Unfortunately I was unable to go back to the pub he had chosen to hold the wake, but it sounded as though it would be fun as we were all invited to take our guitars and have a good sing.
Can anyone match this, we were in and out of the Crematorium in about ten minutes.

annsixty Fri 13-Feb-15 18:44:17

Never been to one like thatHilda but that is just the sort of send off I want for myself and also for DH as he is not bothered at all what happens to him. My family have been told this.

Mishap Fri 13-Feb-15 18:49:48

A quick sendoff indeed - but what he wanted.

I would not wish that - I would like my children to have the opportunity to grieve and a focus for their grief, so that they can get it out of the way. I have found funerals to be helpful in formally marking someone's passing and sharing who they were and feeling thankful for that; a permission to move on (as best one may) with the feeling that their life has been honoured. And I have chosen the music - a chance for others to enjoy some beautiful and sublime music!

granjura Fri 13-Feb-15 18:57:50

Funerals are becoming out of favour here- with a increasing proportion of funeral announcement saying the cremation will take place in private, according to deceased or family wishes. I'd say it would be preferable to so many taking time off work to pay respects, for some a short 'ceremony'.

kassi Fri 13-Feb-15 19:34:01

I can match it. My mother's funeral was even quicker than that. We went in, and sat down. The coffin was brought in and placed on the podium(?). The curtains closed. We sat for about 3 mins. We went out. No one said a word. No music was played. That was it. sad

Penstemmon Fri 13-Feb-15 19:49:17

Gosh Kassi that was brief! Her choice?

Funerals are really for those left behind. Some of us like time for quiet reflection, to be reminded of the deceased's personality traits and contribution to the wider world. Others like to celebrate a life with music, songs reading etc. Hard to please all the people all of the time!

kassi Fri 13-Feb-15 19:52:35

It was my father's choice for her funeral, but I believe she would have approved. When dad's time comes (he's nearly 94) he wants the same.

soontobe Fri 13-Feb-15 20:06:21

This thread is a bit poignant, as I too went to a funeral today. Some of us decided that it wasnt a very "good funeral", as the vicar seemed to be trying to get through the whole thing in haste, and was also officious rather than personal. The service took longer than 10 minutes though.
The elderly man who died was a very sociable person, so in this case, the service didnt really suit his nature.

I am sitting here wondering whether funerals are really for those left behind or not, as Penstemmon says.
Not sure, I suppose they are.
Because else, people dont get a closure that they might need.

Do you feel that what you had at your mum's funeral was enough kassi, if you dont mind me asking?

Lona Fri 13-Feb-15 20:06:57

My dad's only lasted about 6 or 7 minutes, just a few words from a lovely priest who understood that my dad was a lapsed Catholic.
Mozart's Requiem was played ( briefly) which dad would have loved and that was that.
There were only four of us there.

Ana Fri 13-Feb-15 20:15:01

soontobe, that strikes a chord with me, too, the minister rushing through a carefully-worded eulogy prepared by the daughter of the deceased followed by an awkward silence before the chosen music was played...

It does make one realise that it's important to put any specific wishes as regards your own funeral service in writing, and make sure your nearest and dearest know.

annsixty Fri 13-Feb-15 20:17:37

Penstemmon I understand what you mean but at several funerals I have been to, when being reminded of the deceased's life I truly havn't recognised the person being portrayed. One very good friend's son told us what a very successful career he had had, not exactly true ,what a very good golfer he had been and named all the best courses all over the UK and Europe he had played. This went on for 45 minutes and was a lesson to me that that was not what I want for myself.
At another where the second wife had written the eulogy ,his first wife with whom he had had a very happy marriage for 26 years until she died was never even mentioned.

hildajenniJ Fri 13-Feb-15 20:30:28

Having thought about things it maybe wasn't the shortest funeral that I've attended. I looked after an old gentleman who had no relatives, or so we thought. We put an announcement in the local newspaper and a sister-in-law got in touch. She asked the care home to make the arrangements as he was for burial. On the day of the funeral there was myself, another nurse, the SiL and a nephew. We sat in the chapel of rest while we waited for the hearse. We were met at the cemetery by the vicar who read out the commital and that was that. Good job too as it was a very cold day, and started snowing at the graveside.

Penstemmon Fri 13-Feb-15 20:31:32

Perhaps you can do that at the Crem then have a 'remember dad' party a week or so later for those who would like to have a more active remembrance? My MiL funeral was awful as the minister was too disinterested to make an attempt to make it personal. However at the wake, at our house, we had loads of photos of her and the family and a book where everyone could write something they recalled about her. it made us all talk about her..which was good. smile

tanith Fri 13-Feb-15 20:36:04

I would actually prefer there to be no funeral for me, I want to be cremated and my ashes scattered into the sea at a later date when everyone is ready. I know it won't happen that way as OH feels that funerals are important and I know I have to let him do what he has to do as I won't be there to help him through it..
My children are aware of my wishes so will express my wishes again to him should I die first but I know in my heart he will have to have a funeral with all that goes along with it.

loopylou Fri 13-Feb-15 20:39:17

Me too tanith but I hope my wishes would be followed and then have a get together later to reminisce if they wish.

Mishap Fri 13-Feb-15 20:41:00

When I worked with elderly people, sometimes there was no-one to go to funerals, even though we tried to find families. Once or twice some nurses and I would go to the funeral.

I have been to funerals where the celebrant - usually a vicar - had no idea who the person was, which must be very hard for them to find the right things to say. I even went to one where the vicar had forgotten whether it was a man or a woman!

ninathenana Fri 13-Feb-15 22:19:27

annsixty my brother's eulogy at mum's funeral was about a person I didn't recognise. Nothing about the warm caring loving mum I knew. Just a load of facts about her past.
When we went to arrange her prepaid funeral she said she didn't want any hymns. I asked if we could at least have one. We didn't discuss a eulogy, she probably wouldn't have wanted that either.

numberplease Sat 14-Feb-15 01:02:59

What I don`t like about funerals, apart from having lost a loved one, that is, is how immediately afterwards, everyone gathers at, usually, a pub, and all of a sudden all is happy and lighthearted again, it seems so insincere.

Lona Sat 14-Feb-15 07:49:10

Yes, I agree number.

loopylou Sat 14-Feb-15 08:08:32

I agree number, and I try to avoid these gatherings for exactly that reason.

thatbags Sat 14-Feb-15 08:14:34

The stuff at the pub or hotel or someone's house is the wake. It's a celebration of the dead person's life. It's a showing of love for that person. It's an acceptance of their death. All that helps with grieving. That is what it's for and why wakes are traditional. Wakes are helpful to those left behind because they get to share their grief, their love for the dead person, and their happy memories too.

Nothing wrong with happy wakes.

Anya Sat 14-Feb-15 08:26:42

The reason some wakes are distasteful I think number is that it's not just family and others who are grieving who attend the wake, but too many of the hangers on who look on it as an excuse for a booze up or (as I witnessed once in disgust) bag up left over food.

It respectful to the deceased and can help the family if plenty of people turn up for the funeral service, but often it is asked that only family members and close family friends attend the cremation or actual buriel.

That should be the same for the wake. If I attend a funeral out of respect then I leave after the service. If for a family member or a good friend, as happened very recently, then I stay for the reasons Bags mentioned above.

Lona Sat 14-Feb-15 08:43:31

A wake is one thing but a general p**s up at the pub is another.
I've seen many, when working in a pub, that certainly haven't been a celebration or respectful!
Those are the ones I don't like.

kassi Sat 14-Feb-15 09:24:46

SOONTOBE you asked if I thought what we had at Mum's funeral was enough?........

I felt it would have been enough for her . She hated fuss, and kept herself to herself. She would have disliked some random vicar who didn't know her speaking about her.

For myself, I felt a bit embarrassed about the brevity of it to be honest, but that's only because it wasn't 'the 'norm'.

However, I've never been one to do 'what's expected' and I don't think those who attended were in any way surprised.

thatbags Sat 14-Feb-15 09:33:48

Seems I've led a sheltered life re funerals too then. Hey ho.

Nothing intrinsically wrong with bagging up leftover food though. Better than letting it go to waste smile