Do you need a funeral?

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  1. TLMinut profile image60
    TLMinutposted 12 years ago

    Would you find it unacceptable for someone to request no funeral, someone you loved? I don't think I would want to put my kids, family, and friends to the expense, disruption, and awfulness of a funeral but would that be 'cheating' them somehow? If they're going to come see me, I'd prefer it to be while I'm alive, what good will it do anyone once I'm dead?

    Do people need this for closure or some such thing? I don't really know how to die anonymously but still have my kids inherit what little I have for them.

    1. Dave Mathews profile image60
      Dave Mathewsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I am an "Organ Donor" and after my organs and tissues,have been harvested to hopefully benefit others, my skeletal remains will be used as a teaching prop for medical students or science.

      If there is anything remaining after all of this, The Ontario Government, through their organ donor program has promised to dispose of my remains at the government's expense, not my families. I will be dead so what do I care if they creamate what is left and dispose of the remains.

  2. Hugh Williamson profile image76
    Hugh Williamsonposted 12 years ago

    You might request that the remains be disposed of in whatever way you would like (no fanfare), and your family and friends can have a memorial or life celebration at your home at some later point.

    If you prearrange the service beforehand, you can explore the many options.

  3. JSParker profile image80
    JSParkerposted 12 years ago

    I think Hugh Williamson has a good response here.

    Although there are different religious traditions that may affect an individual's opinion about this, for me, I think it is absolutely acceptable to request no funeral. I have been to numerous memorial services and far prefer them to funerals.  The difference, in my take of it, is that a funeral takes place within a few days of death, usually includes the deceased in a casket, and is followed by a graveside burial. 

    A memorial service can take place quite a few days, weeks, or even months later and does not include a burial service.  Often the deceased has been cremated, but not necessarily. 

    A memorial service can also be a few people meeting in the woods, by a lake, or some other lovely place, for a few minutes of silence in honor of the deceased.   

    My sister has requested a plain, pine box, a simple memorial gathering, and a small, artistically arranged pile of cemented stone to mark the burial site.

    For those people who have grown up not talking about death, my response may be unsettling, but I have learned to view death as natural and a consequence of life.

    I recommend starting a conversation with your family or friends and begin telling them your preferences, so they have time to adjust and you can gain insight into their reactions.

    In the meantime, may you live a happy and productive life!!

  4. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 12 years ago

    Funerals are not for the dead, but for the living.  They give a kind of closure, a time of grieving and solace to those left behind.

    To deny your loved ones that period might be cruel to them, even as it saves their resources (primarily financial).

    1. cheaptrick profile image75
      cheaptrickposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Absolutely right,funerals are for the living cause after a week or so the Smell would be something Awful!I'd like to be buried head down with my Butt sticking out of the ground so people could have a place to park their Bicycles....Picture it,Picture it...

  5. rebekahELLE profile image87
    rebekahELLEposted 12 years ago

    Both my father and mother have passed. We had memorial services for family and friends. I would have honored whatever they wished, but I can't imagine not having had that time to honor their lives together. I had the responsibility of planning my mother's service, and it was a huge blessing for me. I was with her in her last moments which meant more than anything, but having the family and close friends together is so special. It personally meant so much to me to plan. Financially, they already had arrangements made and my father was a veteran, so they both are laid to rest in a beautiful national cemetery not too far from where I live. It's a very peaceful place.

  6. L.L. Woodard profile image67
    L.L. Woodardposted 12 years ago

    Does a person need a funeral, no. Do the family and friends of the departed need a way to come together and celebrate memories and find comfort in each other? That is what I believe is needed. But it can be done in so many ways that don't include the traditional embalming, viewing period, funeral and ceremonial drive to the cemetery.

    You can take control of your after-death details in some places online. This relieves som3e of the burden from loved ones left behind to determine what your wishes might have been.

  7. TLMinut profile image60
    TLMinutposted 12 years ago

    Thank you all so much! One thing is that everyone lives from SC to CA, and I move a lot so I don't even know where it would be. Some would need a service of some sort, some would definitely not. I've told my boys they don't need to bother but that if they want to use me as an excuse to take time off of work, feel free!

    It's just that my youngest is almost 17 and I'm getting closer to when I don't HAVE to do my best to stay alive (I can go hang gliding or move to somewhere to live in an igloo if I want - snow, yay!) I've seen some funerals and can't really imagine what one "about" me would be like and the different needs of the people who would care don't seem really reconcilable into one thing. I'll keep working on it. I just don't want young families trying to arrange child care, time off work, flights, and uncertainty because I'm dead. Seems like a waste but ignoring it probably won't work either.

    1. JSParker profile image80
      JSParkerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I just had another thought about this in response to your expressing concern about the difficulties that family and friends might have taking off work to attend a funeral or memorial.  I have heard about memorial websites being set up where invited people can make comments, tell stories, and reflect on a person who has died.  Photos are usually part of the site, sometimes a bio of the deceased.

      The best memorial services I have attended allow people to share their personal reflections about the deceased.  Such a website would allow people to share such thoughts with others.

      I know this idea may be distasteful to some, perhaps too close to the "drive-by funerals" that have received some negative attention.  But if the deceased had expressed a desire for no "in person" funeral or memorial service, surely that should be respected.

  8. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 12 years ago

    You could leave them enough money for a funeral, or a party, their choice wink

  9. profile image51
    bnauticalposted 12 years ago

    Yes, your family and friends need a funeral.  You do not, since you're dead and moved on.  But everyone left behind will suffer the grief of losing you.  You can help them plan while you're still alive, or leave it up to them to figure out after your gone, but either way they will have to deal with their grieving process.

    What we mean by "a funeral" is wide open.  The best I've been to focused on celebrating the person's life, on how neat they were, and not on the death or illness that took them down.  The more imaginative, the better.

  10. Cagsil profile image71
    Cagsilposted 12 years ago

    Do you need a funeral? Nope.

  11. Daniel Carter profile image62
    Daniel Carterposted 12 years ago

    It's far cheaper to be cremated. A memorial gathering for the deceased is usually quite important for loved ones and friends. That doesn't have to be expensive and can even be done at grave side.

    My intent is to be cremated, spare as much expense as possible, and allow those who loved me to proceed as they wish, in simplest, least expensive ways. Funeral homes are as notorious as politicians for gouging, ripping off and much more. I don't see the need to engage them. A well thought out, written out plan in a will or something will save a lot of expense and still be considerate of others' feelings.

  12. dutchman1951 profile image60
    dutchman1951posted 12 years ago

    I am Old, but still standing!    lol

    In truth no, just the burial. if your dead, ackolades are worth-lesss, come to think of it they are worthless any time!

    your memory in anothers eyes are thier's to keep. Not reflective of what everyone else thought of your life.

    Funerals are more for the Family, not the person in the cofin I think.

    1. Jean Bakula profile image93
      Jean Bakulaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think you need a funeral. It scars people all their lives to see a loved ones dead body madeup in a way they never looked anyway. I have been attending many Celebration of Life ceremonies, which are better. You can display pictures of happy times the person had with loved ones, and tell stories about them. Now some are waiting a month or a year so those left behind  can heal and calm down enough to take time to put the Celebration of Life together better. I like that idea. I have only one son and no living family, and told him I don't want a funeral. He would only be burdened by it. I want him to remember the good times. Funerals are a bunch of shit, you get enough "closure" learning to live without someone you loved.

  13. profile image0
    fit2dayposted 12 years ago

    I think many people go to funerals for closure and others for guilt. I completely understand not wanting a funeral, personally I don't care either way, when I'm gone I'm gone. I definitely don't care to be honored in any way. If people insisted on having one, I'd tell them to dress as though going to a wedding and celebrate not mourn because this temporary life will be over and I'll be at home.

  14. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 12 years ago

    For me?  Right now?  No.  I'm still here (physically anyway).   smile (Knock on wood)

    (Sorry.  I couldn't resist.  The thread title kind of invited my reply before I saw what the discussion really is.)  smile

    1. wheelinallover profile image76
      wheelinalloverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hey I have that right on my profile. I am certainly not dead.

      After my father died I went to a funeral home, preplanned and prepaid for what I would like to have done. Because of circumstances he didn't get his wishes, so I made sure they were taken care of for my mother and I.

      My mother died of brain cancer, and her's didn't turn out quite as she had planned. She had no idea there would be as many people who wanted to attend. Luckily for the survivors the church she had attended stepped in and took over.

      Even then there were people who didn't fit and ended up standing inside the room or the hallway outside. In her case, pre-planning took care of the necessities but other things became overwhelming.

      In my case, I have no family here. I don't expect any of the relatives who are living to show up, so mine is all for friends. Since I only have one true friend, mine was a waste of money. I will however be buried in the casket I chose, and in the plot I paid for.

      As things stand there isn't even anyone to officiate. My fellowship, "the church I belong to" is 1200 miles away. I don't see any of the pastor's coming this far to officiate at a funeral.

      In the end it's what works for each individual. The example of my mother shows, not even that always works. My best recommendation is live life to the fullest and leave worrying about what comes next to the ones left behind.


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