Planning your own funeral?

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Jobam

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
282
Location
Thessalon, Ontario
Your funeral arrangements may be a morbid topic. Do you have any plans made for your funeral? Things like, where will it be held, in a church, funeral home, somewhere else? Will there be music? Your favourite hymns or songs? Is there anything you would like to have done at your funeral? Have you thought about this?
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2014
Messages
29,140
Location
BC
No. Once I’m gone I won’t care. People can mourn however they want to, if they need to, if anyone does. I used to imagine who might show up, or not, and it was depressing. Maybe I’d just ask that donations be made in my honour to a cause I support. Maybe I‘d suggest that to somebody before I die.
 

ChemGal

One with keen eye
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
13,406
Location
Edmonton
Thought about it. See no point in planning now 15 year old me would want something different than 25 year old me who would want something different from 30 year old me etc.
I don't think it would be down to details just a general want. Chemguy and my parents have very different ways of doing things although they do get along - I actually think my Dad and him have a lot of similarities that sometimes get masked by what my mom does. I think just giving some direction can help.

I think there can also be a hindrance at times. My mother in law had said things like cheap as possible no big thing etc. It made some decisions easy for the family. It made conflict with actually planning the aspects for a grieving process though. I tried to gently meditate some of that by saying she wouldn't want a big fuss over her but if she could see the relatives grieving she would be in support of a gathering for those who needed each other's support. The slideshow put together wasn't just about her it was the family. I think it's something to build into the direction - what others would want and reducing conflict.
 

Mrs.Anteater

Just keep going....
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
4,846
Location
Nova Scotia
Yes. I have written down some ideas a few years ago and the review is due now because back then I was part of the UCC and now I am not. I have two basic ideas- it should be inexpensive and it should give my son a place of remembrance, if he feels he needs one. For a while I had thought to have my ashes send to Germany for my mother to bury next to my dad, but that’s no longer needed, because she won’t make it to the cemetery anymore.
In our family, we plant people a plant- tree or bush- in memory in our yards. The last was a pear tree for a good friend in my son’s yard and a Rose of Sharon in my yard. The beauty bush I had planted on my old property when my ex-father in law died 20 yrs ago was 12 ft high and I was able to move it to my new place because the new owners wanted to get rid of it. The cherry tree in memory of my dad couldn’t move but it is still standing and I have a cherry tree in my place, too. I had the idea from an old farmer, who has planted a tree for each major event in his family’s life- birth of kids, marriages- and he even has put plaques on those trees.
 

Mrs.Anteater

Just keep going....
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Location
Nova Scotia
What I find equally important is to have a living will and a will and to give away the stuff you want to see go to certain people. For my son, I have on my to do list to assemble information about German history and his German family , as we see them too seldom for him to actually know who is who.
 

Lastpointe

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Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
4,009
Location
Toronto
When my father in law died it was a massive job sorting his apartment. He had it totally stuffed with things. We actually started putting stuff in the halls and other elderly people came along and took things they wanted. It was quite sweet.

but one thing I discovered was this huge stack of death notices. In Croatia the old tradition was to post a black bordered notice in the town square so everyone could read it. He had about a hundred of these black rimmed pages and a list of addresses. So for a couple of weeks I wrote out addresses and mailed all these notices to his friends. We got several letters back from friends of his thanking us. So while not funeral plans, it was a thoughtful guesture on his part
 

paradox3

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Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
11,304
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Yes I have been thinking about it and have some preliminary figures from a funeral home. We have also purchased interment rights for two urns in a church cemetery.

It is a very expensive proposition. Cremation is a cheaper option than full casket burial but it still costs plenty.

My parents had prearranged and prepaid for a cremation in one case and funeral in the other. It was a wonderful gift to know who to call and what to do when the time came.

I don't think it is necessary to plan out all the small details but getting the basics organized in advance will be appreciated by your family.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
48,400
There are many implications to preplanning as a prior conspiracy that may not be carried out as intended!

As one that manages a cemetery I have seen some strange stuff ... urns travelling long and unmapped distances in the back of a working pick-up truck ... sometimes the urn simply goes missing ... another mystery.

Can one trust mysteries? This must be considered with great detain with someone you are tight with ... the options are extreme!

One time a word was sufficient ... now with the power of dissuasion ... things are altered ...

Free? No cost plus at least 10%! Unless you can con a church congregation ...
 

Jobam

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
282
Location
Thessalon, Ontario
This topic came up when my husband asked me if I had any requests for what I wanted when I died.

We have our legal/financial/medical all done.

I know that I want my wake and funeral service to be in my home United Church. Just like my parents. After the service, it is customary for folks to gather in the church parlour for a gathering of friends and family. I would like to have the social gathering outside the church, a pub/bar/local establishment.

Currently, I would like two videos shown either during the wake or during the service as these relate well to my life struggles
and joys

Hymns – must be upbeat or not at all. I want my passing to be a celebration. Enjoy life, love what you have.

Helium balloons everywhere. Rainbow flags. Wooden box casket. I want to be cremated.

Donations to Rainbow Camp
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
48,400
We had a woman have her funeral at our church because her church would not allow the exit music to be the William Tell Overture ... as all is being told in the overture of the act!

Dum-di-di dumb ...

It appears an "overture" indicates some sort of agreement ... (in a generally conflicted and disagreeable accrued form)!

More poorly understood word ...
 

paradox3

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
11,304
Location
Toronto, Ontario
It all sounds great @Jobam

I think those gatherings afterwards are very important. I have attended them in people's homes, churches, the Legion, a bar and in the reception center at the cemetery.

The sad thing about funerals during these times of Covid restrictions is there can be no reception after the service. Many people these days seem to be opting to delay services for their loved ones until the restrictions are lifted.

My father died recently and we held a private graveside service for immediate family only. It was meaningful and surprisingly lovely. Except for the low number of people in attendance, we were able to abide by all his wishes. A good feeling.
 

Pinga

Room for All
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
10,679
Location
Ontario
My parents funerals were also prepaid, the cremation and placement in the columbarium, and even the writing for on it.
They had previously told me that as the church person in the family, i was to plan the service and had listened to them regarding services they liked and hymns that they liked. Dad really loved a piper, so he had one. It was important to him, and you know, because of that, when it happened, people were touched.

Getting rid of stuff was also pretty well laid out, though things had changed as Mom died (got rid of a lot of cooking/baking/pretty things), then he moved into smaller & smaller locations and had disposed of most of his material goods prior to deaths.

It was relatively speaking, easy to know the asks for him.

So, have I done it. Dang, no. I likely should
 

paradox3

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Jun 10, 2014
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11,304
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Getting rid of stuff was pretty painless recently because my dad had downsized to a one room suite in a retirement home.

Previous moves were more difficult especially moving my parents from their house to a one bedroom apartment.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
8,122
Location
Ontario
My Dad pre-arranged many years ago. I don't know specific details, but I do have the contact info for the funeral home with which he has a contract & I know the burial location. Probably cremation, no funeral, no visitation.

We have not done any formal arrangements, but have spoken a bit together about preferences, which is helpful. Prob should make it more formal. The costs within the funeral industry are obscene I think.
 

paradox3

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
11,304
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Has anyone ever attended a secular funeral or memorial service? There was one for a former neighbor of mine a few.years ago and it was very well done. Much like a traditional service with readings and a reflection but no religious content. In lieu of prayer there was a minute of silence.

I have also been to celebrations of life which are really just gatherings (in my mind at least) of friends and family.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla-in-law
Joined
May 2, 2014
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33,210
Location
The Forest City
I have also been to celebrations of life which are really just gatherings (in my mind at least) of friends and family.
My wife's thesis supervisor (a UU) had one of those at the UU fellowship. Basically the reception without the funeral.

The other UU funeral/memorial services that I have been to tended to be the secular variety you talk about, though one had some religious content from the deceased's son, who had converted to Christianity. The deceased himself was a humanist of some stripe.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
8,122
Location
Ontario
Has anyone ever attended a secular funeral or memorial service? There was one for a former neighbor of mine a few.years ago and it was very well done. Much like a traditional service with readings and a reflection but no religious content. In lieu of prayer there was a minute of silence.

I have also been to celebrations of life which are really just gatherings (in my mind at least) of friends and family.
Yes - for best friend's father; no clergy presiding; a few readings & stories told; a celebration of his life for sure. Held in the funeral home chapel. And now that I think of it, several others too that were similar, also held in funeral home 'chapels'.
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
19,053
Our rev delivered a most memorable celebration of life for a dear friend of mine with nary a word about god, but with a deeply spiritual and moving spirit.
 
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