What kind of funeral do you want?

  1. As many of you know my uncle passed this week and yesterday I attended his funeral (thank you for your thoughts ans prayers).. This event got the wheel turning and I began really evaluating the whole funeral procedure. Most of the time the service is conducted by someone who never knew the person who died. It was all so procedural and by the book , it just made me nauseaous. I know there has to be some structure or things would get unruley and everyone would be standing around twiddiling thumbs. Maybe it's because I was so upset cause I even zero'ed in on the music.. Why play sad music it just makes everyone cry and feel worse than they already do. It just burned me up when we were done at the grave site and the director said " Well this concludes our service if the people in the back want to come up and visit with the family for a minute you may do so now". I have done some checking with this particlar funeral home on the laws about burying someone and found out , you do not need a funeral home or church even to conduct a service. For any funeral I think that it should be personalized as much as possible, off course cry it is a sad event but, celebrate the life of your loved one. SO I am in th process of developing a non tradition funeral for after I kick the bucket. I was wanting some input , how do others feel about funerals and the funeral procession. Do you find it stagnit? Do you feel it should be a personalized event celebrating life or do you feel it is a event soley for the mourning of the family? I will post some of my thoughts about my own funeral after I get back from taking my kids to school....
  2. 46 Comments

  3. by   sunnyjohn
    I read an article the other day about turning cremated remains into a high grade blue or yellow diamond.

    That is what I want. I want part of my ashes to be scattered over the ocean and the rest to be turned into a diamond.

    I also want a gospel choir and my high school marching band to play at my funeral!

    Oh, and the drill team with batons and the drum majow with the stick!

    Everybody will have to wear a fancy hat like they do at Royal weddings...

    Yup, I've given it lots of thought....
    Last edit by sunnyjohn on Oct 19, '05
  4. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I recently helped write the funeral procedings for a family friend who passed.
    We had it held in a Unitarian Church, and they were pretty easy-going about what we said and did. A couple of us who really knew the person got up and spoke about the person, fun times we'd had, quirks the person had, and so on. Another friend and I each read aloud poems we'd found that we thought were approprate to the person, and played some songs we thought he could identify with. During one of the songs, a few people started bawling- then wouldn't you know it- someone's cell phone rang, which actually broke the tension, and we all laughed. BUT- the person then actually answered the call, and had a short conversation. That pizzed me off.
    We also talked about how the person who passed was not perfect- but how he had tried to overcome his faults. He had had a lot of faults, but was still a very loving person, so we spoke a lot about that.

    When a very close relative died, some family members insisted on the usual eulogy given by a stranger, who didn't know the person and knew nothing about him. So, we split the service: after the stranger spoke, some of us who knew the departed got up, spoke about him, our times together, what was important to him in life, and such. Then we asked if any of his friends would like to say anything. A couple of them did and it was nice. We then put mementos, letters, notes, cassettes of favorite songs and such into the casket with him before it was lowered. We released a big balloon symbolic of his spirit rising from the earth. It was very nice.

    I personally would like to be cremated. You know what they say about real estate: "They ain't makin' it anymore." I see no reason to take up land with dead bodies on this crowded earth. Plus, I don't like thinking of departed loved ones in the ground in a coffin: I don't like that creepy image. Ashes are innocuous.
  5. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from sunnyjohn
    I read an article the other day about turning cremated remains into a high grade blue or yellow diamond.

    That is what I want. I want part of my ashes to be scattered over the ocean and the rest to be turned into a diamond.
    Here's the website.

    I thought it was a cool way to celebrate someone's life, but when I told my relatives about it, they thought it was gross.

    As was the idea to be cremated and then split the ashes and make lockets for relatives who so desired.

    So I guess my body's gonna be cremated and dragged around in a jug after I'm gone.

    But me?

    I'm gonna be in Heaven. While I want to live a life that's meaningful enough to have people miss me, I want them all to know that there is a Hereafter and I'm looking forward to seeing them all again later on.

    I would like a Memorial Service that reflects that, too. I like gospel music and would like to have uplifting, hopeful gospel songs sung at my funeral.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Oct 19, '05
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    Funeral plans are usually developed with the families input. Some are dark and somber, some are joyful celebrations of a persons life. As with nursing, you get out of it what you put into it. Historically, sad somber music was used out of respect to a persons life as considered a solumen occassion that one did not want to "dissrespect" a person, hence all black clothes for the widow for a year in days gone by and periods of mouring. Many persons however, don"t want to think about death and avoid funeral planning at all costs; often their ceremony is based on tradition.

    Coming from a large extended family, having worked hospice and home care, I've must have been to about 50 funerals. They have certainly evolved over the years. Each exposure to funerals, usually leaves one with an impression. I've seen my families funerals go from 3 days of wake to just viewing night before then burial next day with gathering afterwards.

    My husband got quite a jolt when his cousins had 40's swing music played softly at the funeral home along with pictures of Aunt Kate through out her life. She exuded life in person and that's how they wanted to celebrate her life and death, remembering all the good times.

    My maternal grandmother "invited" her nurse (my friend) to her funeral a year before she died. She left verbal instructions what songs she wanted played at church along with monies for a lunch with instructions not to serve hot dogs. Picked out her rosewood casket. It was a very uplifting celebration of her life.

    My parents were out of state on vaction when paternal grandfather died in winter, and traveling between locations in days before cellphones. Founding member of local fire company, they carried Pop-Pop's casket on the firetruck. I took pictures of this along with family at gravesight and at gathering to help ease his and grandmothers grieving. Some found that too morbid. However, my grandmother found them priceless and told me they helped her grieve knowing her oldest child not available for burial.

    Now is the time to jot down your thoughts, songs, what your desires are to helps your family planning. It will certainly help ease their grief knowing they could follow your final wishes.
  7. by   NRSKarenRN
    check out too aging with dignity's five wishes website

    the five wishes document helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. it is unique among all other living will and health agent forms because it looks to all of a person's needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. five wishes also encourages discussing your wishes with your family and physician.

    five wishes lets your family and doctors know:
    • which person you want to make health care decisions for you when you can't make them.
    • the kind of medical treatment you want or don't want.
    • how comfortable you want to be.
    • how you want people to treat you.
    • what you want your loved ones to know.
  8. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Throw my ashes into the breeze on an AZ spring morning in the desert, with "I'll Fly Away" playing.
  9. by   txspadequeenRN
    I think that if I had to be in a funeral home for some reason . I dont want a preacher that does not know me making a sermon. I really dont want a preacher that knew me making a sermon either. I am dead and at my final destination praying for me now isnt going to make a difference if I meet my maker. If a preacher wants to console the family later ... have at it. I would like people to stand up and tell funny stories and memories that happened during my life. I dont want sappy music but someone better get Redneck woman on. Personally I would like to have my body near a dance floor somewhere , put a cig in my mouth and give me a bottle of rum and put on the honkeytonk music. Just something that is not so by the book....
  10. by   Annor
    """"Throw my ashes into the breeze on an AZ spring morning in the desert, with "I'll Fly Away" playing.""""

    I love that above...that is what I want....

    For me...Sprinkle me on the beach , on a beautiful sunny day and I will be happy.
    Do not put me in the ground....I dont want the bugs to eat me....


    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    Throw my ashes into the breeze on an AZ spring morning in the desert, with "I'll Fly Away" playing.
  11. by   sugabuga
    I'm with Angie O'Plasty. I'm going to be in heavan. I could care less what they do with my body. Don't waste money. Creamate me, do what you wish, then throw a party because I'll be way better off than those still stuck here!!
  12. by   DutchgirlRN
    I want to be creamated and my ashed spread half in the US and half in the Netherlands (Holland). And I'll leave that up to my immediate family. I would like to afterwards have a ceremony celebrating my life with friends, co-workers and family doing eulogies about what I meant to them or how I influenced them. That's it.

    I couldn't find the link to the diamonds to I googled it: I think it's a cool idea. I'd have to see if it's something my daughter would be interested in wearing. I think I would like it because my Mom is such a Jem already!

    A US firm says it will turn your cremated ashes into a diamond for the loved ones you leave behind to cherish.
    LifeGem Memorials of Chicago charges $4,000 to $22,000 for a synthetic diamond that a family member can wear when you are gone, made from the carbon you leave behind.
    If it's done slowly and with a great deal of care, one could have a reasonably high-quality diamond

    Avrum Blumberg,
    chemistry professor

    "The LifeGem diamond is more than a memorial to visit on the weekends or place on a shelf," the company's web site says. "It is a way to embrace your loved one's memory day by day."
    Company head Greg Herro has spent three years working on the process, in which the ash is purified at 3,000C before being further heated and pressurised into a diamond in about 16 weeks.
    "We're building on the simple fact that all living creatures are carbon-based and diamonds are carbon-based," said Mr Herro, who launched his business in July.
    Several US funeral homes are listed on his web site as places where interested customers turn to if they want to order diamonds to be made.

    Growth market?
    Chemistry professor Avrum Blumberg of DePaul University in Chicago said the process made scientific sense.
    "If it's done slowly and with a great deal of care, one could have a reasonably high-quality diamond," Mr Blumberg said.
    Mr Herro said his diamonds would be certified by the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL), which examines diamonds worldwide, but a US spokesman for the lab would not comment on LifeGem.
    "At this time, EGL USA does not have enough information about this new product to comment about the use of the EGL name in conjunction with it," said EGL USA director Mark Gershburg in a statement. While only 28% of Americans opt for cremation, Mr Herro said he hoped his product would cause that number to grow closer to Japan's cremation rate of 98%. Synthetic diamonds - ones that are manmade, rather than found in the ground - have been used for a variety of industrial processes since being invented in the 1950s.

    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Oct 19, '05
  13. by   Daytonite
    as a kid i was absolutely fascinated about embalming. i think it probably goes back to a former life when i was probably one of those egyptian embalmers. i actually read a book (with pictures) about embalming when i was in the 11th grade. as it was always something that interested me, i got a chance to observe an embalming when i was working at a nursing home. :smiley_aa i was in seventh heaven! and got all my questions about embalming answered. i do feel that it's a rather harsh thing to do to a body. and, in case there are readers who don't know this, embalmers go through an aa program and have to take a state licensing exam just the same as we nurses do. now, my personal thoughts on this are that i cannot stand thinking about my body being buried. i don't want someone digging me up a hundred years or so from now and examining it to see what i was like. to me, that's about as humiliating an invasion as any. i don't want to be a smelly, old body hanging out on earth long after i've died. the idea of any kind of creepy crawly thing eating me up actually makes me feel nauseated although with the load of formaldehyde they inject into a body during the embalming i don't think any self-respecting bug would want to get a taste of that! now, i understand that i would be dead and never know it was happening, but do we really know that? hmmm, maybe this is a question i should ask my spirit guides in my meditations. i should also ask them what would happen if we ran into one of our old dead bodies while in a new incarnation. would we recognize ourselves? :angel2: i think cremation is more sanitary and puts a final end to things.

    my mother had an uncle who owned a funeral home. it is a business like any other. the markup on caskets is highway robbery. if anyone has ever sat down with the people in a funeral home setting up the details of a funeral for someone you would know that they are like any other salesmen except they are very sympathetic. when they show you the bill for their services you will realize that. burn me up and put my ashes in the garden--bone meal is always good for the spring bulbs especially. :yeahthat:and, it's much cheaper. average, run of the mill funeral is just under $10,000. cremation is less than $1,000.

    (my apologies to anyone who i might have offended. i was trying to be a bit humerous.)
  14. by   Daytonite
    Quote from hellllllo nurse
    iyou know what they say about real estate: "they ain't makin' it anymore." i see no reason to take up land with dead bodies on this crowded earth.
    ooooh, that's a good point. what happens when we run out of cemeteries? and whatever happened to the people who were buried 100 and 200 years ago? every time i see poltergeist that questions comes up in my mind.