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Have you ever attended a funeral or do you avoid them?

by Finy (follow)
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Have you attended a funeral or do you go to great lengths to avoid them?

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I asked this question as I am going to a funeral today and have a friend who will not go to funerals.

I think it is disrespectful not to go to a close friend's funeral even though it is very unpleasant to have to go.

I have been to funerals, unfortunately, far too many in my life, however am going today with my daughter in law who is kindly taking me as I did not want to go alone.
by Finy
I'm sorry for your loss Finy.
There are times people can not face up.....when someone they know has lost a child, in your case it is two and that is overwhelming, to think about...Some just can not get their heads around 'going' to such a funeral.They are scared, or worried or just so upset for you and the loss you have to endure.

I will be honest with you, I too would be over come for you....if I had to go.

As a Mother myself Finy.....it would more than likely just cause me no end of pain, and mental stress to see you at your own childs funeral...I'm being honest, and people just don't cope at time's like that.

I have no idea the strength you would have had to have, not once but twice.

It is selfishness on the part of those who don't go, but ...it really is one of the most dreadful days one can witness.

People I believe at heart, just have such guilt too, that they are not able to say much...do much....and just feel it better to avoid that very day.

It's not that they don't care, it's quite for a lot the total opposite, and to see a grieving Mother is too much for some.

I am glad I have never had to be around a grieving Mother, it brings grief to
a very raw nerve.
Bless you for your courage, and strength Finy, wish I could give you such a huge hug, and let you know how brave you are...Never think those people were being mean, my study in this area show's it is not unusual for it to happen, and esp with a Mothers grief. :)
by jonaja
jonaj -it is NOT ABOUT YOU as the saying goes -people attending will be uncomfortable but a true friend would not stay home.

by Finy
I'm well aware of that Finy....but I have come to see that others are 'sometimes' unable to do it.
I also have learnt that we can not expect people to react in a way we would like....they have 'feelings' they are not machines, and humans have weaknesses .
There are reasons why we act as we do......Sometimes it is Not because they do not care, it is just too hard for them.
by jonaja
There are 5 stages to grief, some hit them at different times... but how it causes a reaction is different for each person .

If at all possible I would 'ask' those people....'why' they did not attend. I could not just leave it, and that way it can bring some clarity to mind.
There is nothing wrong with doing that.
by jonaja
Oh! jonaj, re: your last line.
I do disagree with what you've said about asking someone WHY they didn't attend a particular funeral. I UNDERSTAND where you're coming from, BUT, IMHO, it's none of your business, even if the person is a relative of the deceased, or yourself. People do have reasons, & it's not the concern of ANYONE else what those reasons are.

And to be asked for a reason, if I didn't attend a funeral, I would consider it the height of rudeness of the enquirer, & would tell them so, as well as a few other choice words!

We CANNOT, & SHOULD NOT try & control others' thoughts, feelings or emotions, for a funeral. You never know how that person maybe affected by your trying to do so.
Base line, leave people alone, & don't interfere. It could cause untold damage.

A funeral is probably THE most sensitive area of life for people. Some are just more sensitive than others.
These are just my thoughts to you, jonaj, & are meant with kindness, not judgement of you.
by donjo
by jonaja
Yes, I have been to a couple. There's no need to go to great lengths to avoid them, if you don't want to go to one you don't have to. If you were close I suppose it's good to signal respect to the deceased family if you can, and it can help with the grieving process, but if you just can't face it or you have some other comittment you can't get out of (obviously that wouldn't apply if it's a very close friend or family) then I don't think there's any shame in not going. You can remember the deceased in your own time and in your own way.
Sadly I have attended rather a lot of funerals. Family and friends, some sad but inevitable and some tragic and shocking. But however awful the circumstances, I would never avoid the funeral. I think they are very important both for my personal grieving process and for the immediate family of the deceased. Having loving friends and family at the funeral can be an enormous source of support at a terrible time. It is also a way of showing love and respect for the person you have lost.
Very well put Verity, it is not about us but the bereaved who need support whether it makes us uncomfortable or not.
by Finy
I agree with what Jennifer has expressed. My own feeling about attending a funeral varies with the circumstances. Sometimes, especially with an elderly person who has led a full life it is a celebration of their life as well as a sad occasion where you acknowledge you will never see that person again.
OK Marie and Jennnifer
having been to two of my children's funerals I have to tell you I felt really hurt by a friend who "does not go to funerals" -I cannot forget this as even acquaintances came to support me, so I totally disagree with what you are saying -it is NOT OK not to go if it is a close friend.....no one likes going -it is awful to see people in such distress but having had my experiences I would not miss a close friend's and so today have to go to the funeral of my best friend who's son suicided, same as my daughter did. I would LOVE to not go as I am petrified i will make a show of myself, however as a close friend I know what it means to have good friends there even if it is uncomfortable.
by Finy
Yes I have been to a few...my own family, parents and brother.. and conducted 3 Funeral services for friends relatives myself. .
by Fran
Yes I have been to a few of them.
I have attended funerals and would not dream of not doing so just for my own comfort of being absent.It is very important for me to be able to genuinely give my support to my good friends in their times of tragic and/or very sad loss.I do not enjoy attending funerals,but I would prefer to do it than abstain.
very well put Jules -that is what I was trying to say.
Although at the funeral today, they requested we do not approach the bereaved family, my bereaved friend beckoned me as I walked past and hugged me, so I would hate to not have gone as having been there, I understand her needs......
by Finy
I feel so deeply for you after what you went through today! But WHO was it who requested that the attendees stay away from the bereaved family? After all,wasn't the whole point of you attending,being there for these very people? Very strange,in my eyes. This must have made things even more difficult for you,and for your friend as well. I do believe that going to a funeral is one of the bravest and most compassionate things we can do for the ones we care about.
by Jules
I think the family requested that and I don't blame them....it is HORRIBLE when your child has died and everyone comes up to you. My friend wanted a private funeral but she had no say as the wife has all the say and not the parents. Nevertheless as we walked past, my friend looked at me, and I just HAD to go to her -we hugged and she didnt seem to want to let go, but I moved on as I thought it might make others come to her and I knew she would not want that...glad it is over
by Finy
Bless your heart,and also your instinct.I would have done exactly the same thing,as this brief gesture meant so much more than any words could ever say to both your friend and also to you. May you not have to repeat this experience again for a long,long time,if ever.
by Jules
I have been to funerals and I go to pay my respects to the person and to show support for the families left behind. Funerals are very sad times.
by AJ
I go to funerals. No something I look forward to by any means but something I must do out of respect for the relatives and the deceased.
by Gia
Many. Of course, NOT a 'pleasant' experience, but it shows respect to the deceased, & their family & friends'.

I wouldn't AVOID a funeral; that's just plain bad manners.
I have attended many funerals.
I lost my wife to cancer when she was 44 years of age we had been sweethearts since the ages of 15 and 16 years.
She passed away a couple of weeks after our 25th wedding anniversary.
Since her funeral I find it extremely difficult to attend a funeral. As much as I miss the person who has passed away I struggle with the returning emotion .
Love really is forever and I think it is for this reason I struggle to let go of those I love.

please with hold my name
I was never taken as a child, as an adult I have been to a few.
Yes I have been to funerals - quite a few. The older one gets, the more goodbyes one has to make.
Yes, and I become 'unstuck' at every one.
It is important for young children NOT to be kept away and told it is not a place for them. At age 8, my maternal grandmother passed away and I was not allowed to attend her funeral, nor my grandfather's funeral even though he lived with us for 5 years, or that of any other relatives until I was in my mid-40's and was considered old enough to be permitted to attend - even though my mother advised strongly against attending, saying it would be 'upsetting'. That was so wrong.
I never had the chance to say 'Goodbye', never allowed to grieve for people whom I loved so very much. It stunted my emotional growth for many many years. Now in my 60's, I still grieve for my grandmother. Perhaps if my mother has allowed me to attend relative's funerals, I would have been a better, more rounded person, with less sobbing tears and regrets.
I really feel for you . . . it was the same for me with my beloved grandfather. I wanted to say goodbye. It's over 50 years and I still miss him and always think how pointless it was to make me stay home when all the rest of the family went :((
by Rice
I have attended a small number of funerals but would avoid them if I could. But I would never be able to stay away from saying that last goodbye to someone close to my heart.
If it is somebody close to me, then I have to go. I have to say goodbye.
by Vee
Yes, Vee, so true.
by donjo
Oh dear me . . such an emotive issue . . . . at the point of this answer, other half and I are arranging his father's funeral. It will be in two day's time and is certainly going to be very sad. I been to more funerals than I would like but I know I feel better by being able to say goodbye. I know funerals are a blur for the grieving but I personally would feel bad if I had not made an appearance. Every attendee swells the numbers and I think it is the "capacity of the blur" that matters to the grieving. They look around and are able to see that so many people turned out for them. I know it's hard, and nobody likes a funeral, but being part of "the blur" can really help. x x
by Rice
I've been to two in as many years - a friend I'd known for 20 years who I'd met through music, and my dad's in July this year.

Both were emotional though my friend's hit me harder than I thought, another close friend was studying overseas at the time and I realised how much I missed her. She could only offer support via words on email, and felt that was inadequate.
Luckily I had a wonderful colleague, (coming to the end of my six month tenure at this job at the time of my friend's death) who stepped into this role and helped me work out the complicated government system of how to get leave for the day.
Just last week I attended my only brothers funeral who passed away 5 months after my mother. With her passing it was expected and some of her last words were that Iwas to hold it together, which I managed to do. My brother's death was sudden and emotive, quite draining. I do attend friend's and acquaintances funerals as a mark of respect to them and their family. Not to go would be rude and although I don't enjoy them, the "celebration of life" afterwards where we all gather and others recall the funny incidents that had happened during the lifetime of the recently departed makes one feel privilaged to have known them.
Yes and I hate going to funerals the hurt is terrible especially when you lose a partner.
Yes, my husband & I attend funerals, close to where we live. His friends parents, & his sister-in-law. We’ve also attended a nephews, my brother’s, & my brother-in-laws,The very 1st funeral I attend, was my father’s, when I’d just turned 30. There were only 4 of us there. We gave him a cremation. We didn’t know we were to make speeches or talk about him etc, so it was all over in a matter of minutes! My husband & a daughter attended a group funeral of people they didn’t know, in Bali, while they were on holidays there a few years ago.
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