Author Topic: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.  (Read 1047068 times)

Botany Bae

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2650 on: June 28, 2021, 12:32:08 PM »
My dad was so good at funeral planning that none of us knew about it until the morning he passed away. It was in his on-file directive with the hospital. We were sitting in shock, awaiting the coroner, when a well dressed woman walked in and introduced herself. She was from a cremation service. He had paid for his cremation and urn, determined the memorial to be etched on it, declined all memorial services, and even written his own obituary in advance.

It was a surprise. My father was terrified of death and it was a taboo subject. I'm guessing he took care of it all in one fell swoop so he wouldn't have to think about it ever again. My mother, on the other hand, just goes on and on about how she should plan something in advance but never does so. My sister and I are tempted to just bury her in the backyard... (I jest, I jest!)

Dicey

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2651 on: June 28, 2021, 02:21:47 PM »
Last week we visited the huge mausoleum where my MIL's ashes are to be interred next to her husband's. It's a funky old place that's pretty cool. It's a warren of chapels and respites and whatevers. There are so many unclaimed niches and crypts that I have to wonder how many of them were purchased "Pre-Need" and never claimed.

Case in point: MIL's father bought a niche for 3 in an older section many years ago. When FIL died, the family tried to claim it. Uh, it seems the other two spots were in full use, with someone else's ashes. I thought they should have moved the interlopers, but the place offered them a "better" niche for 2 in a different area 9 years ago.

DH and I got there early and had a look around. We found the niche with no trouble, then had a good wander about. When we finally moseyed over to the office, BIL was there amidst a bit of an uproar because they had FIL listed in a place BIL knew was wrong. "No problem", said we. The mausoleum person had to escort all of us to where we said it was, just to make sure we were right, ffs.

Edited to override the fucking autocorrect. Again.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2021, 12:55:15 PM by Dicey »

Captain FIRE

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2652 on: June 29, 2021, 10:44:25 AM »
@Villanelle I'd still jot down a few things, even if it's just stuff you don't want. You don't know who might end up wanting a say in the funeral plans so "do whatever makes you feel good" will be different for different people - and how will they decide between themselves with nothing to go on? Same reason it's good to make a will even if it's super simple and what everyone expects - it removes any debate, internal or external. There are a few tickbox funeral planning guides online if you just want to take ten minutes over it to ensure less hassle for your heirs/friends and family.

I genuinely don't care, to the point that there's nothing I don't want.  For example, a full catholic funeral would seem super odd because I'm decidedly not Catholic (or Christian, or religious), but if that's what people want to do, the decision doesn't affect me in any way, what with me being dead.  So I really mean if when I say that whatever those closest to me find most meaningful or comforting or silly, or cheap or easy, or whatever criteria they want to use is A-okay with me.  I've told them that, and it does seem to me like that would make it easy because they don't have any pressure to guess what I would have wanted if I was there for the event, but I can see that it does provide no direction in a time that I'm guessing they will be at least a bit upset and overwhelmed. 

Outside of those who feel like there are certain things that need to be done for religious or similar reasons, I'm not sure why anyone much cares (but acknowledge and respect that they do) with few exceptions (and things like "make sure you invite cousin Fred because I think it's mean when is is excluded).  But that's because I believe that when we die, we stop entirely and in all ways, so it's a thing that has zero affect on my whatsoever.
I think you're right that providing direction when they are grieving is a good thing to do.  There's also the issue that may arise if there's a disagreement among your loved ones about what type of service (or not) is appropriate.  For example, Stoic Catholic Relative A might want a traditional Catholic funeral, while Naturalist Relative B might want to wrap you in a burlap sack and toss you in a hole, and they're each horrified by the other's proposal.  If you provide direction, it also (hopefully!) eliminates that potential source of conflict.

Yep yep.

Case in point: 15+ years ago my grandfather passes away.  My uncle is devastated - they lived nearby and were very close.  He did not engage in planning the funeral because he was too upset.  (He would walk out of a room if anyone but my dad entered it.)  My grandma was very much "whatever you want".  So my family plans the funeral since we have no engagement with my uncle and my grandma is agreeing to whatever is presented.

Next day, day of funeral, my uncle says to us that he thinks we may have mistakened his grief for lack of interest.  Well, no, but we also couldn't get your input so we had to move on.  He tells us he made a few changes.  Fine.  Except he removed a song that had special meaning to my family and wouldn't agree to putting it back in.  ("I was there to hear your borning cry") It was our only "change back" request.  Some rule about singing songs in Catholic church.  My grandma won't weigh in.  "Whatever you guys want."  We think we've struck upon a solution: we can't for some unknown reason have everyone sing it, but we can do a eulogy.  My siblings and I will sing the piece as a eulogy instead.  Grandpa would have loved it (grandkids performing?!).  Uncle didn't say anything then to object.

Uncle didn't say anything again for another ~15 years in fact.  Stopped speaking over this, well, other than to tell off my mom for sending him her annual Christmas letters sharing what they've done for the past year, considering it bragging.  Only started up again limited as my grandma's health deteriorated to share limited information related to her.  It's possible he wanted to speak sooner but felt he needed a reason.  He did not tell us when his wife had cancer or passed away, we found out after the fact.  He also lost one of his two sons during this time (though we did hear about that in time to attend his funeral at least, without objections).


TLDR: You might not care what happens to you after you die, but consider if you want there to be a family rift over something you may think is ridiculous.

Smokystache

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2653 on: June 29, 2021, 11:44:31 AM »
Full Disclosure: I work with funeral homes & cemetery (but am not a licensed professional)

I think one of the worst trends is the "don't have a service for me" trend. I understand that in most cases it said/done as a gesture of help -- as in, "I don't want you to have to go through a funeral. So I don't want one." What they are misunderstanding is that grief happens whether there is a service or not. It's just that they are putting you through their loss without any support or rituals that might be helpful.

This doesn't mean that everyone should have a big, expensive funeral to deal with their grief. If you think it would be more helpful to your family to rent out the local event center, buy some food and drinks, and give people a chance to tell a few stories and hug and console your closest loved ones, then great - do that. (But set up some way to have this pre-arranged so that it doesn't fall on your grieving loved ones to have to plan an event in a few days.)

But honestly, if you are directly or indirectly telling people "don't have a service" or "just throw me in a ditch" then you are essentially saying to your survivors (whether you mean to or not), "I want you to suffer through your grief alone."

Sugaree

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2654 on: June 29, 2021, 11:49:55 AM »
I understand that there may or may not be a plot in my husband's family's cemetery in a state where I have never lived.  I don't want to be embalmed or buried, so no thanks.  I want my ashes interred into a reef ball that is sunk off the coast. 

Villanelle

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2655 on: June 29, 2021, 12:30:13 PM »
Full Disclosure: I work with funeral homes & cemetery (but am not a licensed professional)

I think one of the worst trends is the "don't have a service for me" trend. I understand that in most cases it said/done as a gesture of help -- as in, "I don't want you to have to go through a funeral. So I don't want one." What they are misunderstanding is that grief happens whether there is a service or not. It's just that they are putting you through their loss without any support or rituals that might be helpful.

This doesn't mean that everyone should have a big, expensive funeral to deal with their grief. If you think it would be more helpful to your family to rent out the local event center, buy some food and drinks, and give people a chance to tell a few stories and hug and console your closest loved ones, then great - do that. (But set up some way to have this pre-arranged so that it doesn't fall on your grieving loved ones to have to plan an event in a few days.)

But honestly, if you are directly or indirectly telling people "don't have a service" or "just throw me in a ditch" then you are essentially saying to your survivors (whether you mean to or not), "I want you to suffer through your grief alone."

Since I'm one of the ones who said I truly don't care what happens, I'll address this.  I'm not telling anyone NOT to have a service.  If they want to sit in grief for 7 days, cool.  If they want to invite anyone I've ever met (and some I haven't) to an epic service with A-list entertainers and an open mic for "Villanelle was Amazing" stories, fantastic.  Or if they want to throw me in a ditch, that's wonderful, too.

But I also think your post somewhat shows your bias. You deal mostly with the families who do end up doing something beyond a ditch, which creates a confirmation bias for "services of some kind are helpful" because the people you deal with are generally doing at least something.  I have no remaining grandparents and have lost my best friend of 30+ years, my Father in law (husband's dad), as well as a handful of other people close to me.  For all of them, there was either not a service, or I was unable to attend due to living on the other side of the world.  *I* didn't need a service to help my grief.  I didn't feel like a lack of service was "grieving alone".  There were phone calls and texts and stories shared and FB posts, and comfort from my husband and from local friends who didn't know these people but reached out to me, and all sorts of things.  A service is surely helpful to some people.  An informal wake, "Hey, come by our place on Tuesday night, BYOB, and let's honor Villanelle in that way", may be helpful for others.  But for plenty of people, the service isn't necessary and doesn't aid the grief, and a lack of service certain does not mean "grieving alone".  I wouldn't have grieved those people any "better", faster, healthier, whatever, if I'd stood at a gravesite and thrown dirt, or in a church and heard sermons and hymns, or in a living room and shared whiskeys and stories, or anything else.  And I certainly wasn't alone in my grief just because I didn't gather with other grievers. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2656 on: June 29, 2021, 12:55:49 PM »
I understand that there may or may not be a plot in my husband's family's cemetery in a state where I have never lived.  I don't want to be embalmed or buried, so no thanks.  I want my ashes interred into a reef ball that is sunk off the coast.

Reef ball!  Never heard of them but off to investigate. 

Funerals can be surprising - my Dad said not to bother because he was in his 90s, didn't think there would be enough people to show up.  But we did have a funeral, and the small chapel was full.  The person in charge after my aunt died did not arrange a funeral, so several of my aunt's friends and a few local family gathered at one person's house for tea and to tell stories.  It was lovely.  Of course we did not invite the person in charge of arrangements, who was a stranger to us.

frugalecon

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2657 on: June 29, 2021, 04:34:48 PM »
I understand that there may or may not be a plot in my husband's family's cemetery in a state where I have never lived.  I don't want to be embalmed or buried, so no thanks.  I want my ashes interred into a reef ball that is sunk off the coast.

Reef ball!  Never heard of them but off to investigate. 

Funerals can be surprising - my Dad said not to bother because he was in his 90s, didn't think there would be enough people to show up.  But we did have a funeral, and the small chapel was full.  The person in charge after my aunt died did not arrange a funeral, so several of my aunt's friends and a few local family gathered at one person's house for tea and to tell stories.  It was lovely.  Of course we did not invite the person in charge of arrangements, who was a stranger to us.

What I like about this story is that it meshes with my view that funerals are for the living, not the dead. It sounds like those who cared about your aunt had the opportunity to come together and reflect and share, and that is just about perfect.

Botany Bae

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2658 on: June 29, 2021, 06:25:06 PM »
Full Disclosure: I work with funeral homes & cemetery (but am not a licensed professional)

I think one of the worst trends is the "don't have a service for me" trend. I understand that in most cases it said/done as a gesture of help -- as in, "I don't want you to have to go through a funeral. So I don't want one." What they are misunderstanding is that grief happens whether there is a service or not. It's just that they are putting you through their loss without any support or rituals that might be helpful.



This depends greatly on the situation and family, so don't always judge too harshly. In my father's case, a service would have been the worst possible thing for the main grievers. Family that couldn't afford to travel (and honestly weren't that close to him) would have gone into debt to do so just to keep up appearances. My mother would have turned it into a borderline narcissistic shit show, and the entire burden would have fallen on her children whom she would have used the whole thing as a means to torture us. His death removed the protection he had extended to us all of his life, as he was the only one my mother listened to. He knew this and used his final power as "man of the house" to protect his children from his wife's crazy. My sis and I had our own memorial at a local pub, so it was all good.

Imma

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2659 on: June 30, 2021, 02:56:27 AM »
Full Disclosure: I work with funeral homes & cemetery (but am not a licensed professional)

I think one of the worst trends is the "don't have a service for me" trend. I understand that in most cases it said/done as a gesture of help -- as in, "I don't want you to have to go through a funeral. So I don't want one." What they are misunderstanding is that grief happens whether there is a service or not. It's just that they are putting you through their loss without any support or rituals that might be helpful.

This doesn't mean that everyone should have a big, expensive funeral to deal with their grief. If you think it would be more helpful to your family to rent out the local event center, buy some food and drinks, and give people a chance to tell a few stories and hug and console your closest loved ones, then great - do that. (But set up some way to have this pre-arranged so that it doesn't fall on your grieving loved ones to have to plan an event in a few days.)

But honestly, if you are directly or indirectly telling people "don't have a service" or "just throw me in a ditch" then you are essentially saying to your survivors (whether you mean to or not), "I want you to suffer through your grief alone."

Since I'm one of the ones who said I truly don't care what happens, I'll address this.  I'm not telling anyone NOT to have a service.  If they want to sit in grief for 7 days, cool.  If they want to invite anyone I've ever met (and some I haven't) to an epic service with A-list entertainers and an open mic for "Villanelle was Amazing" stories, fantastic.  Or if they want to throw me in a ditch, that's wonderful, too.

But I also think your post somewhat shows your bias. You deal mostly with the families who do end up doing something beyond a ditch, which creates a confirmation bias for "services of some kind are helpful" because the people you deal with are generally doing at least something.  I have no remaining grandparents and have lost my best friend of 30+ years, my Father in law (husband's dad), as well as a handful of other people close to me.  For all of them, there was either not a service, or I was unable to attend due to living on the other side of the world.  *I* didn't need a service to help my grief.  I didn't feel like a lack of service was "grieving alone".  There were phone calls and texts and stories shared and FB posts, and comfort from my husband and from local friends who didn't know these people but reached out to me, and all sorts of things.  A service is surely helpful to some people.  An informal wake, "Hey, come by our place on Tuesday night, BYOB, and let's honor Villanelle in that way", may be helpful for others.  But for plenty of people, the service isn't necessary and doesn't aid the grief, and a lack of service certain does not mean "grieving alone".  I wouldn't have grieved those people any "better", faster, healthier, whatever, if I'd stood at a gravesite and thrown dirt, or in a church and heard sermons and hymns, or in a living room and shared whiskeys and stories, or anything else.  And I certainly wasn't alone in my grief just because I didn't gather with other grievers.

I went through a grief process alone during Covid and it was hard for me. The person I loved most in the world passed from Covid and I was not able to visit them in hospital before their death. I was able to see their body about a week after death and we had a short burial service with a handful of people there  - not all of course close relatives since some were still fighting Covid and not out of the danger zone. Less than 10 people. That's when I noticed how important the informal parts of the grieving process are. Just talking about people, laughing and crying. I really missed not having that. In this case, my own friends reached out to me and helped me but I really missed not being in touh with other people. I live out of town so the people my loved one knew wouldn't even know how to reach me and I wouldn't know how to reach them. I know where they live but Covid prevented me from going there.

But the people in our family who have expressed the wish that they want "no service" literally mean no service at all, no informal gatherings either. They do not want their death acknowledged in any way. We are going to defy their last wishes. One of our parents is in the last stages of their lives and wishes to just disappear off the face of the earth after death. It's their choice to not have a service or a headstone but we aren't going to hide their death from anyone. We are going to tell our friends, neighbours, coworkers, extended family etc that our parent passed. I believe that as a parent you can't burden your kids with a secret like that. When a member of our family or a friend calls and says "hey how are you doing, how's your parent?" we're just going to tell them the parent passed. I don't even know what those people think will happen. Do they expect us to keep up the charade and pretend they're not dead? Are we supposed to tell them the person disappeared (and get people worried and maybe even the police involved for no reason?).

Smokystache

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2660 on: June 30, 2021, 11:23:28 AM »
Full Disclosure: I work with funeral homes & cemetery (but am not a licensed professional)

I think one of the worst trends is the "don't have a service for me" trend. .... "I want you to suffer through your grief alone."

Since I'm one of the ones who said I truly don't care what happens, I'll address this.  I'm not telling anyone NOT to have a service.  If they want to sit in grief for 7 days, cool.  If they want to invite anyone I've ever met (and some I haven't) to an epic service with A-list entertainers and an open mic for "Villanelle was Amazing" stories, fantastic.  Or if they want to throw me in a ditch, that's wonderful, too.

But I also think your post somewhat shows your bias. You deal mostly with the families who do end up doing something beyond a ditch, which creates a confirmation bias for "services of some kind are helpful" because the people you deal with are generally doing at least something.  I have no remaining grandparents and have lost my best friend of 30+ years, my Father in law (husband's dad), as well as a handful of other people close to me.  For all of them, there was either not a service, or I was unable to attend due to living on the other side of the world.  *I* didn't need a service to help my grief.  I didn't feel like a lack of service was "grieving alone".  There were phone calls and texts and stories shared and FB posts, and comfort from my husband and from local friends who didn't know these people but reached out to me, and all sorts of things.  A service is surely helpful to some people.  An informal wake, "Hey, come by our place on Tuesday night, BYOB, and let's honor Villanelle in that way", may be helpful for others.  But for plenty of people, the service isn't necessary and doesn't aid the grief, and a lack of service certain does not mean "grieving alone".  I wouldn't have grieved those people any "better", faster, healthier, whatever, if I'd stood at a gravesite and thrown dirt, or in a church and heard sermons and hymns, or in a living room and shared whiskeys and stories, or anything else.  And I certainly wasn't alone in my grief just because I didn't gather with other grievers.

I think this is a fair critique of my statement. I don't have any doubt that many people will be fine in their grief process as they work through things without a public service. I believe my biggest concern is that someone else is making this decision for their survivors - often without allowing them to have any input.

This depends greatly on the situation and family, so don't always judge too harshly. In my father's case, a service would have been the worst possible thing for the main grievers. Family that couldn't afford to travel (and honestly weren't that close to him) would have gone into debt to do so just to keep up appearances. My mother would have turned it into a borderline narcissistic shit show, and the entire burden would have fallen on her children whom she would have used the whole thing as a means to torture us. His death removed the protection he had extended to us all of his life, as he was the only one my mother listened to. He knew this and used his final power as "man of the house" to protect his children from his wife's crazy. My sis and I had our own memorial at a local pub, so it was all good.

Without question, long-standing family drama and feuds may create a situation where it is best to not have service because it will add further trauma. I should have specified this contingency.

Your reactions have helped me think further about this and I'm willing to take a half-step back from my previous bold statement. I will argue that in most families we would all be better served with more frequent and more open discussions about death and what that means for the living. Perhaps that is half the less on of this entire thread: a lot of inheritance drama could be avoided by honest conversations prior to death.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2661 on: June 30, 2021, 12:28:53 PM »
Thanks to this thread I took our disparate pieces of paper (wills, list of accounts, funeral plan), put them all in a document wallet and labelled it "DEATH". Then told a few choice people to look for it in my desk if we both conk out at once. One day we will fiiiiiinally get round to writing a Letter of Intent to our children's guardians but at least I now know I can just shove stuff in there or update it with handwritten scribbles as and when, and someone will actually look for it and have it to help them out - even if it's not in perfect order.

Dicey

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2662 on: June 30, 2021, 01:06:27 PM »
Full Disclosure: I work with funeral homes & cemetery (but am not a licensed professional)

I think one of the worst trends is the "don't have a service for me" trend. I understand that in most cases it said/done as a gesture of help -- as in, "I don't want you to have to go through a funeral. So I don't want one." What they are misunderstanding is that grief happens whether there is a service or not. It's just that they are putting you through their loss without any support or rituals that might be helpful.

This doesn't mean that everyone should have a big, expensive funeral to deal with their grief. If you think it would be more helpful to your family to rent out the local event center, buy some food and drinks, and give people a chance to tell a few stories and hug and console your closest loved ones, then great - do that. (But set up some way to have this pre-arranged so that it doesn't fall on your grieving loved ones to have to plan an event in a few days.)

But honestly, if you are directly or indirectly telling people "don't have a service" or "just throw me in a ditch" then you are essentially saying to your survivors (whether you mean to or not), "I want you to suffer through your grief alone."

Since I'm one of the ones who said I truly don't care what happens, I'll address this.  I'm not telling anyone NOT to have a service.  If they want to sit in grief for 7 days, cool.  If they want to invite anyone I've ever met (and some I haven't) to an epic service with A-list entertainers and an open mic for "Villanelle was Amazing" stories, fantastic.  Or if they want to throw me in a ditch, that's wonderful, too.

But I also think your post somewhat shows your bias.
You deal mostly with the families who do end up doing something beyond a ditch, which creates a confirmation bias for "services of some kind are helpful" because the people you deal with are generally doing at least something.  I have no remaining grandparents and have lost my best friend of 30+ years, my Father in law (husband's dad), as well as a handful of other people close to me.  For all of them, there was either not a service, or I was unable to attend due to living on the other side of the world.  *I* didn't need a service to help my grief.  I didn't feel like a lack of service was "grieving alone".  There were phone calls and texts and stories shared and FB posts, and comfort from my husband and from local friends who didn't know these people but reached out to me, and all sorts of things.  A service is surely helpful to some people.  An informal wake, "Hey, come by our place on Tuesday night, BYOB, and let's honor Villanelle in that way", may be helpful for others.  But for plenty of people, the service isn't necessary and doesn't aid the grief, and a lack of service certain does not mean "grieving alone".  I wouldn't have grieved those people any "better", faster, healthier, whatever, if I'd stood at a gravesite and thrown dirt, or in a church and heard sermons and hymns, or in a living room and shared whiskeys and stories, or anything else.  And I certainly wasn't alone in my grief just because I didn't gather with other grievers.
I tend to disagree with the bolded. Other than occasionally planning a memorial service, I have no connection to the industry. I went to my first funeral when I was about 17. My boyfriend's mother died rather suddenly. The funeral was amazing in that I got to learn so much more about her than my teenage level of maturity had allowed me to notice while she was alive. It taught me a valuable and abiding lesson. Everybody has an interesting story or scores of them. In fact, in the years since, I've never been to a service where I haven't learned more about the person being remembered. Even my parent's friends told stories that I had never heard before. It is very cathartic. I suppose this makes me feel lucky that there is no one in my life about whom anyone says, "Goodbye, you miserable wretch."

Villanelle

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2663 on: June 30, 2021, 03:30:05 PM »
Full Disclosure: I work with funeral homes & cemetery (but am not a licensed professional)

I think one of the worst trends is the "don't have a service for me" trend. I understand that in most cases it said/done as a gesture of help -- as in, "I don't want you to have to go through a funeral. So I don't want one." What they are misunderstanding is that grief happens whether there is a service or not. It's just that they are putting you through their loss without any support or rituals that might be helpful.

This doesn't mean that everyone should have a big, expensive funeral to deal with their grief. If you think it would be more helpful to your family to rent out the local event center, buy some food and drinks, and give people a chance to tell a few stories and hug and console your closest loved ones, then great - do that. (But set up some way to have this pre-arranged so that it doesn't fall on your grieving loved ones to have to plan an event in a few days.)

But honestly, if you are directly or indirectly telling people "don't have a service" or "just throw me in a ditch" then you are essentially saying to your survivors (whether you mean to or not), "I want you to suffer through your grief alone."

Since I'm one of the ones who said I truly don't care what happens, I'll address this.  I'm not telling anyone NOT to have a service.  If they want to sit in grief for 7 days, cool.  If they want to invite anyone I've ever met (and some I haven't) to an epic service with A-list entertainers and an open mic for "Villanelle was Amazing" stories, fantastic.  Or if they want to throw me in a ditch, that's wonderful, too.

But I also think your post somewhat shows your bias.
You deal mostly with the families who do end up doing something beyond a ditch, which creates a confirmation bias for "services of some kind are helpful" because the people you deal with are generally doing at least something.  I have no remaining grandparents and have lost my best friend of 30+ years, my Father in law (husband's dad), as well as a handful of other people close to me.  For all of them, there was either not a service, or I was unable to attend due to living on the other side of the world.  *I* didn't need a service to help my grief.  I didn't feel like a lack of service was "grieving alone".  There were phone calls and texts and stories shared and FB posts, and comfort from my husband and from local friends who didn't know these people but reached out to me, and all sorts of things.  A service is surely helpful to some people.  An informal wake, "Hey, come by our place on Tuesday night, BYOB, and let's honor Villanelle in that way", may be helpful for others.  But for plenty of people, the service isn't necessary and doesn't aid the grief, and a lack of service certain does not mean "grieving alone".  I wouldn't have grieved those people any "better", faster, healthier, whatever, if I'd stood at a gravesite and thrown dirt, or in a church and heard sermons and hymns, or in a living room and shared whiskeys and stories, or anything else.  And I certainly wasn't alone in my grief just because I didn't gather with other grievers.
I tend to disagree with the bolded. Other than occasionally planning a memorial service, I have no connection to the industry. I went to my first funeral when I was about 17. My boyfriend's mother died rather suddenly. The funeral was amazing in that I got to learn so much more about her than my teenage level of maturity had allowed me to notice while she was alive. It taught me a valuable and abiding lesson. Everybody has an interesting story or scores of them. In fact, in the years since, I've never been to a service where I haven't learned more about the person being remembered. Even my parent's friends told stories that I had never heard before. It is very cathartic. I suppose this makes me feel lucky that there is no one in my life about whom anyone says, "Goodbye, you miserable wretch."

I'm not sure how that conflicts with what I said.  I didn't say (and don't think) that no one benefits from death services of some kind, and that in some cases they aren't very helpful.  I was disagreeing with the fact that not having them is a bad idea *for everyone*, and that not having a service necessarily means "grieving alone", as though the only way not to grieve alone is a death service of some kind.  Not wanting a service isn't telling people they must "grieve alone".  And some people don't need a service to help process grief.  Some do, and that's okay, too.  But I was arguing against the notions that everyone benefits from them and is better off if there is one, and that the only other option is some kind of unshared, solitary grief.

It's great that a service was of value for you.  I'm sure they are for many people.  But not everyone finds them helpful or useful in the grieving process. 

lhamo

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2664 on: July 01, 2021, 09:31:20 PM »
We had a lovely memorial for my mom a little more than a month after she passed. It gave us time to put together a nice slide show. My brother gave the eulogy and everybody understood when he broke down after mentioning her love of baking and hatred of other types of cooking (including some particularly unhealthy 70s casseroles that were on a very limited meal rotation).

But one of the best things I did was to have a separate little service at the assisted living facility where she spent her last few months. The staff and the other residents had been so kind, I wanted to acknowledge they had lost her, too. It meant so much to them. They said it was one of the few opportunities they had had to hear stories about their friends from their kids, and say goodbye. I was really moved by how touched they were. And bemused that somebody ran off with the family photo from my brother's wedding I had put out!