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How does your family handle death?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Driftwood, Jul 6, 2024.

  1. Driftwood

    Driftwood Well-Known Member

    My wife had a first cousin die earlier this year. I refused to go to the funeral. Wife asked why I was being that way.
    "She was a bitch. I didn't like her. You didn't like her. I tolerated her when I had to and avoided her when I could. I'm not going to sit and listen to a bunch of liars and hypocrites talk about how great she was."
    maumann and Liut like this.
  2. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

    Guess I've been fortunate. Cannot recall any serious disagreements.
    Was designated by my mother and stepfather to handle things for them and followed their wishes to the best of my ability. When one died, then the other, I drove to the crematorium to get their urns.
    My parents had a joint memorial service. Suppose it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to carry one parent's ashes in one hand and the other's in the other into the church.
    Then it was off to a veterans cemetery.
    The shocker was my stepfathers' military ceremony.
    It didn't dawn on me until about 45 seconds beforehand that I was going to be presented his flag. Really had no time to prepare emotionally.
    I lost it. Never had (or since) cried so hard and so loud in front of so many people.
  3. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    My WWII veteran grandfather died in a smallish town where he and my grandmother lived on a farm for 25 years in retirement. When he died, we had a small service in the city church, then had an escort to the cemetery about 10 miles away (same place where my sister's family's ashes are buried; where my parents will be buried). I remember some kids topping to salute as we passed. Local VFW had members do a 21-gun salute. Flag presented to my grandmother. My mom now has the flag after my grandmother's passing two years later. That all was tough to absorb in the moment. He was a great man.
  4. maumann

    maumann Well-Known Member

    One of the best pieces of advice I've heard was the pastor of Gwen's church coming in before her mom's service started. (The same guy who married us later.) He said to the family, "People will come up to you today and may say inappropriate things. Don't take offense and don't be angry or upset. Those people aren't trying to be mean. They just don't know the right words to express their grief. Or they may just be oblivious."

    For example, her cousin said, "You didn't know Enid like I did." Really? You don't think a mother-daughter relationship is just a touch more intimate?
    Wenders, Baron Scicluna, Liut and 3 others like this.
  5. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Yup. Also, after my sister's family's deaths, it was, "We're here for you. What can we do for you?"

    Thank you. Really. But honestly, check back in with us in six months, in a year. That's when we really probably need the help, from an emotional standpoint. Certainly, I did.*

    * I was different. I was the executor of the four estates and to say I was overwhelmed/buried under Niagara Falls for three years was an understatement. To say nothing of how to also process their losses on top of all of that.
  6. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    You've hit upon a great point, MileHigh. People are there that day, the days leading up to the funeral and such and the day of. But how about a week later? A month later?
    maumann and OscarMadison like this.
  7. Driftwood

    Driftwood Well-Known Member

    Years ago, one of my favorite high school teachers was killed in a farm accident. My cousin and I were standing in line to speak to his widow. I was in front. I asked him, " What are you going to say?" "I'm not going to tell you." "Why?" "You might say it first." "Well, I can't very well say I liked your husband. I'm sorry he was trampled to death by a bull!"

    I told that story to a good friend of mine who is a funeral director. He said just say "Sorry for your loss" and move on because the family won't remember who came through and who said what. That honestly freed me up from feeling obligated to go to funeral homes for anything other than the closest of people. Family won't recall if I came or not, and if they go back later taking notes from that sign-in book, they have bigger issues than whether or not old Driftwood paid his respects from 7 to 9.

    That's another thing that's come up recently. When we were moving my mom, for some reason, she wound up with a half dozen of those sign-in books from the funeral home: both her parents, a couple of her aunts and uncles, her grandmother, etc. She asked what we should do with them. I asked if at any time since the day after the funeral she had ever looked at those books. She said no. She's like me. I just did sort of a head tilt. She handed me the books and said "trash."
    maumann and OscarMadison like this.
  8. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I will add one thing - with the delayed services you often won't read an obituary until just ahead of the service. If then, as some people just go without putting something in the local paper.
  9. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    Given the extent that papers gouge people in their time of grief, I can't blame them. Not trying to threadjack, so apologies in advance.
    Liut likes this.
  10. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Yesterday was 8 years since my dad died.

    A few days later was when I swore off newspapers forever after the Philly Inquirer and others tried to fuck me in the ass on obit prices.
    MileHigh and Liut like this.
  11. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I wrote my sister's obit. All I know is that I wish I got paid per inch what they charged back in my newspaper days. Dang.
    Liut likes this.
  12. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    The best part of the whole ordeal was some jerkoff on this very message board telling me I was lying about my dad’s obit rates to be mean to newspapers.
    Liut likes this.
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