My friend's mother passed away. She loved 60s music, particularly Peter Paul and Mary. In her home, I found CDs of Peter Paul Mary, John Denver, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens. I know she loved the song Turn Turn Turn and Signs [more inside]
I've been to funerals where a casket was lowered into a grave using some kind of machine – what's the equivalent to this when the remains are cremated and put into a small box or urn? I imagine there's some happy medium between a giant apparatus and just dropping the box into the hole. If it makes a difference I'm interested in particular in how this is done in graves without a vault.
Next month, my siblings and I will have an interment ceremony when our parents' ashes will be placed in a vault. The vault is on the grounds of the Methodist church they attended and the minister of the church will preside over the ceremony. As none of us are churchgoers, we're in the dark as to the etiquette involved: whether and how much to pay the minister for his services and the mechanics of such a transaction. Cash? Check? Payable to him or the church? Amount? Any guidance appreciated.
What's the right thing to do here? [more inside]
Yes, I know it’s always nice to go as a gesture of support, but how important is it really, in this scenario? [more inside]
After my mother died last fall, and my family having no money to bury her, it got me thinking about my own inevitable death someday. I know you can prepay for your funeral at actual funeral homes, but I never stay in one location more than 2-3 years. I have no idea where I'll be when I die. I've thought about life insurance, but I think that takes a while to pay out? Are there some options I'm missing?
A close family friend recently lost a family member. I'd prefer to send food instead of flowers to try and make this horrible situation a tiny bit easier on everyone. The catch is that I live in New Jersey. Hope me, Mefi friends!! [more inside]
I need to read something from the new or old testament at my grandfather's funeral. I was close with him and he was a very special figure in my life. I'm not Catholic or Christian but I'd love to find something that resonates in some way about his life or has some bigger wisdom. I don't know which texts are proper for Catholic Funeral Service/Mass. I don't even know when to sit, stand or kneel... I would be grateful for suggestions from folks on some meaningful and appropriate choices. [more inside]
A good friend of mine recently passed away, and his mother asked me to pick two musical selections to play at his service. He was a big classical music buff, but I am not. I know Mahler was his favorite, but frankly, I have no idea where to even begin. Please help me identify Mahler compositions that are appropriate (in terms of mood and length) for a memorial service.
My mom is in pallative care and may pass away shortly. I'm an only child and we have no blood relatives here. The service would be attended by my husband and two teen kids plus a couple of elderly neighbors and me. What funeral service ideas are there for such a small attendance? [more inside]
My boyfriend has to go to a funeral out of town on his birthday. What can I do for him or sneak into his suitcase to brighten his day a little bit?
A friend tells me that there are few if any family-owned funeral parlors left in the US. Although nearly all funeral parlors appear to be small establishments, they are in fact operated by large corporations. The reason they maintain the family business atmosphere is because people don't want a big company dealing with their loved ones' remains. Is it true?
A family friend is hanging around Atlanta, GA right now trying to figure out what her rights are to see her father's body. The father's wife, who she has never met, has set a "restriction" at the mortuary. [more inside]
I need to fly from Seattle to Indiana this weekend for my grandmother's funeral. Are there options I may not know about for doing this at all affordably? [more inside]
Is there a way I can purchase life insurance and/or funeral insurance for my parents, and if so, which would be the best way to do it? [more inside]
I'm looking for decoration ideas for a children's grave. [more inside]
What are the best Windows 7 applications for making a respectful slideshow for a funeral? I'm thinking there will be mostly pictures, but some video may be included as well. For now I'm thinking I won't be including music in the slideshow, but I'd still like to hear about software with music functionality as well.
I'll be meeting the family of a close friend for the first time at his visitation and funeral. This seems awkward — more awkward than funerals usually are. How best to handle it? [more inside]
A family member lost her sense of smell in an accident and we would like to hold a little "memorial ceremony" to help her process it. Can you think of any songs, poems, quotations, readings, symbolic activities we could use? Serious and humorous suggestions are fine.
I am remarkably conflicted on whether to buy a plane ticket to attend a family friend's funeral tomorrow. Obviously I have to make this decision soon but I'm really struggling. [more inside]
I'm nearing the two-year anniversary of my dad's death, and a close friend just lost a family member in a tragic accident. As I remember my dad and support my friend, I am craving some sort of movement-based grief ritual - an active dance, set of motions, physical practice, to do with others, potentially at my (UU) church. [more inside]
Having not dealt with close family death often, i'm a little concerned about how to prepare my 12 yo daughter for the service etc. Thoughts? [more inside]
I'm reading a poem for my grandmother's memorial service. I want to find something I like that will also get my mother's OK. [more inside]
Where do atheist funerals/memorial services take place, and who, if anyone, officiates? [more inside]
Should I, a non-Muslim woman, wear a hijab to a Muslim burial? What else do I need to know to avoid offending anyone there? [more inside]
I have family coming in for a funeral this week. Our house is the hub, so I'm going to be feeding a group of 10-12 for 5 days. Any thoughts on comforting foods, that are relatively easy to prepare for that many? I am a good cook, but will have to spend some time at work this week, so I won't have tons of time to devote to this.
My sister has asked me to deliver the eulogy for my nephew at his funeral next week. He was 21 when he died of a drug overdose. I am happy to do it, but the difficulty is that I did not know him. So, I am having a hard time getting started... [more inside]
My dear friend's mother just passed away (in Iraq). I called her and comforted her a little by phone, but would flowers and/or food be appropriate? What else can I do for her to help? [more inside]
I am helping to make arrangements after the death of a relative. I find the format and style of the "memorial websites" at legacy.com to be tacky and - more important - deeply unreflective of his sense for design, his rejection of religion and overall un-sentimentality. We can do a newspaper obituaries, but they're also overpriced (starting around $300 for anything of decent size) and over-sentimental and there does need to be some kind of on-line statement of his passing. (Don't get me started on the vulture-hyenas at funeral homes; he asked for a Neptune Society cremation, which was a huge relief.) [more inside]
My Husbands Grandmother has died and he and his whole family are in transit to the funeral (I am unable to travel due to health reasons) and wanted to send flowers as I couldn't be there but I don't quite understand the etiquette involved with the style of Funeral they are having. [more inside]
A great friend of mine passed away. I can't make his funeral in another country tomorrow, and feel really guilty. Should I/what can I do? [more inside]
Usually I think of sending flowers when I won't be able to attend a funeral. I will be attending one this week, for a pretty close relative, and another relative asked me to go in on some flowers. Is it customary to send flowers even if you're attending? This is in the US.
My Dad died this week after a long illness. I don't feel a thing, except maybe tired. How do I get my feelings back? Are there resources for people like me? [more inside]
Hi, guys. My boyfriend's grandma died today of a brain tumor. I come from a culture where when someone dies you all go and spend time and mourn together with the close family of the dead. It is something similar to viewing in America. Now he calls me tonight and tells me she died and that the funeral is on Monday. Then he says that probably this weekend he will go home to his parents house and spend the weeken with them and that might be best if I don't go because I might not see them at their best and that way he gets to see them alone because he hasn't really spend any time alone with his family ever since we started dating. Like I said, I am Romanian and in our tradition you want exactly the opposite , people to come by and sit by your side. Is that a cultural change in America? Is he right? Is he acting goofy? Just don't know if I should just shut up and mind my own business? This is weird because he was ok before with me spending the entire weeken in the hospice. Tell me how would you react from an American perspective? We have different cultures.
When I was living in Honduras, I noticed that when a person died, the family would hang up a large piece of black fabric outside of their house or in their window. This banner would be cut into a shape that reminded me of a bow tie. This might be a long shot, but does anyone know what the history is behind this tradition? [more inside]
My Dad just called and my Mom unexpectedly died in her sleep at 62. We need help in knowing what to do. [more inside]
A very very dear friend died unexpectedly recently and I have been asked by the family to be among the non-family members who will speak at his memorial service. I've only ever spoken at my mother's memorial service, and I cheated by reading her favorite psalm. I know some things to do and some not to do, but I think I need more thoughts from the hivemind. [more inside]
I suppose just about everybody goes through this process at one time or another, but I (30 year-old man) and my sister (34 year-old woman) are helping my dad plan mom's funeral (after 40 years of marriage and a drawn-out battle with cancer). None of us (dad included) have really had to plan these things, and conflicted advice from different friends and loved ones isn't helping. How do we do this? (and how can this be announced online to friends and acquaintances?) [more inside]
I have a complicated relationship with my family. An elderly relative is dying in the next few weeks. I have an extremely important deadline coming up. I need help in coping. [more inside]
My grandfather is likely to die within the next few months. I am trying to figure out how, when it comes to that point, to inform people of the time of the funeral and the shiva, because I do not want to have to think about this when he dies. I do not want to phone or text anyone except two or three of my close friends. How do I inform other people? [more inside]
After a slow, sad decline over the past decade, one of my best friend's much beloved grandmother has passed away. While I never met her ouma in person my friend has often shared stories of her life, the things she had taught her and more recently the sorrow of her drawn out illness and her fears for the future as it became clear she didn't have very long left in this world. My question is: is it appropriate for me to attend the funeral service this coming week? [more inside]
Should I go to my ex-coworker's memorial tonight? He committed suicide a few weeks ago. I kind of don't want to go because I'm more pissed off than I am sad. [more inside]
I was recently in a small village cemetery in Portugal. In the cemetery there was a wall with coffins interred on shelves, with a modern lockable double glazed door over each vault so that you could look in at the contents. [more inside]
Things you do not want to hear 15 minutes before your dad's memorial service: "Uh ma'am? These cremains are kind of... chunky." [more inside]
Death and DIY-filter! My dad, who is older but is not quite elderly or in dire straits with regards to his health, has always expressed a wish to be buried in as natural a way as possible. Think '1920s home burial with family dug grave' instead of 'put me in a biodegradable box made from reclaimed, waste wood fiber next to fifi the cat in a manicured cemetery' and you'll have the gist of what he's thinking. What are the ins and outs of making this happen? Look inside for specifics regarding our family situation/location/skillset... [more inside]
I am interested in learning more about anthropological approaches to family structure, and especially marriages and funerals. I have heard that anthropologists think of marriages and funerals as fundamentally similar because they are about shifts in who is a member of a family. A marriage adds someone, and a funeral takes someone away. Both marriages and funerals often take place in religious settings. Extended families are invited to both. A ritualized meal follows both a wedding and a funeral. These events are announced in newspapers, etc.. Can you tell me what anthropologists have written about these structural similarities of weddings and funerals? Any leads would be most appreciated.
What is the significance of a funeral with no calling hours? [more inside]
My mother is 75 now, has Parkinson's, and is likely not going to be around in another year or two. I will feel no personal need to go to the funeral, when that time comes, and would like help processing that. The following information may or may not be pertinent and may be a summer blizzard. [more inside]
In a few days I will be attending my grandmother's funeral in the south. While I love her very much, we were never particularly close. Based on my past experiences with these situations, I know myself well enough to know that I most likely won't be crying or even really upset at this funeral. Please help me prepare so I don't seem callous or further upset my grieving family. [more inside]
My beloved aunt was ill for a long time; I spent time with her over Christmas and said goodbye expecting not to see her again. She passed away the night before last in my home country in Europe, and her funeral will be in Monday. I am in my final year of grad school in Halifax, Canada. If I leave this afternoon/evening, I can be there by mid afternoon tomorrow, and I can just about afford the airfare (about $1500). I was thinking of staying until, say, Wednesday, to be with my parents and support them as best I can; but they told me yesterday that there would be no point in my coming. I'm torn. [more inside]