My wife's grandfather just passed. I asked for an address where to send a mass card, and she had no idea what I was talking about. I thought this was a common thing to send to the family of the deceased. Some further investigation revealed that mass cards are a strictly Catholic thing, and not all Christian religions use them. My wife's parents attend a United Methodist church, so I figure it is safe to assume that is their religion. So what do United Methodists do for funerals?
I'm interested in learning more about funerary rituals and memorials for the dead in different cultures. Can anyone recommend any good texts? This is a wide-ranging inquiry, so all cultures and historical periods are welcome.
Do I tip the funeral director? [more inside]
A friend just lost her baby in the second trimester of pregnancy. She's invited me to the funeral. I want to go to support her. I cannot imagine the pain she's going through. But I'm 8 months pregnant and all is going fine. Would this be upsetting for her? [more inside]
Have you ever attended a comforting secular wake, a gathering that wasn't a memorial service or shiva, that was held someplace other than a funeral home? [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]
A not very close family member recently died and I would like to attend their memorial. However, I know that I will cry during the memorial and I feel weird about that. [more inside]
I don't know a thing about menswear except that men sometimes wear it. My husband's one suit is finally done for, and he needs a new one by the end of the week. [He doesn't know much, either.] He wears a suit primarily for weddings and funerals, maybe once or twice a year. What style of suit will last him for years without becoming out-of-date? [more inside]
Has someone important to you passed away? What was the most comforting/most respectful thing anyone said to you when that happened? I work with the elderly, who die at an accelerated rate. 98% of the time, I genuinely care about the deceased and would like to give comfort to the surviving family. Since this comes up a lot, I feel as if I'm repeating the same phrases over and over. I need more options. I'm specifically asking for things people said to you that were kind. [more inside]
At present, what is the most environmentally friendly way to deal with a human body after they die? [more inside]
What worked for you when you wanted to keep your control in sad situations? [more inside]
My father unexpectedly passed away last weekend from a heart attack. I am not religious. Part of my family, and most of our community of friends & extended family, are. Help me navigate the religious talk without either going on the defensive, or being complacent. [more inside]
On NPR in Los Angeles yesterday there was a segment on Buddhist funeral practices in Japan, and an interview with a Buddhist monk. What show was it? Is there a downloadable or listen-able on line version of it? [more inside]
Philosophical approaches to death and dying. I am prepping a college course; looking for great readings on philosophical questions about death, but also: world religious/cultural traditions about dying/funerals/mourning/afterlife, how people in death-related jobs see their work (undertakers, hospice workers, doctors, chaplains, military/police...), writings of people who have terminal illnesses, psychological research on preparation for dying, etc. [more inside]
I'd like descriptions or, fiction about, gang and gangster funerals. [more inside]
What was the nature of Leopold Bloom's relationship with Paddy Dignam? How did they know each other? Why did Bloom attend his funeral? [more inside]
I know former S. Korean president Kim Dae-Jung died of pneumonia -- does that account for the surgical masks worn by the pallbearers or is there something more to it?
Followup to previous post about requirements for next of kin paying for a funeral [more inside]
The former Congressman for my district passed away today. Do former members of U.S. Congress have special funerals? Do current members of U.S. Congress have special funerals if they die while in office? If so are they the same as military funerals?
My father recently passed away (four weeks ago) and I was contacted today by a funeral home claiming that because I am next of kin, I am required to pay for funeral costs and/or cremation. Am I legally bound to this? [more inside]
I'm writing a story in which a character dies, and I need to know what happens after that with respect to police involvement, morgues, funeral homes, the actual funeral, etc. [more inside]
This question is morbid, but I've always wanted the answer. How on earth do funeral parlors (especially those that do cremation) operate in neighborhoods or right next to them without smelling horrible? [more inside]
A (work) friend's husband was recently killed in an accident. What is the protocol for sending cards, flowers, letters, etc., to the surviving family? [more inside]
My husband's uncle was recently killed in a horrific car accident. The funeral is soon, and we have been debating on whether or not to bring our two-year old daughter to what will surely be an emotional event. [more inside]
Is there a big list (with general descriptions, optional) of jobs in the death industry? [more inside]
I work for a funeral home and I'm looking for a book that will help people with the bereavement process. It should be easily available and fairly inexpensive (these are coming out of my own pocket--I just want something that I can give people who are having an especially hard time dealing with their loss). Most "self-help" books that I've looked at are too clinical and dull. Any recommendations? [more inside]