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Discussion Starter #1
In the past 6 months, I have been faced with many funeral attendance possibilities. Yes, it would have been appropriate for me to have shown my face and pay my respects to the family.

I can't go. I tell myself I am going to go, but I can't. It's too intense. I found that I started running a fever this past Sunday and felt generally ill.... right up until yesterdays funeral was over. Then I miraculously recovered.

My neighbor, she says it's sad, but it doesn't bother her that much. Me....? It sucks the life right out of me. It's like I can feel everything the people around me are feeling and I crumble inside. I'm a real mess.


I really don't know what to do about this. It's kind of a problem.
 

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Nobody likes going to funerals. Well, except maybe Herman Munster. I go not because of how it makes me feel, but rather how it make the family/friends of the deceased feel. I'm not there for me; I'm there for them.

When my dad died in 2006 and I saw that friends had come great distances to show their support and love, it was one of the most touching tributes to him I have ever experienced.......
 

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Our culture makes the death and dying part of life, difficult for the living. We dwell on the loss. There are many cultures that treat death as a celebration of a new beginning or a celebration of the person's life.

I find it very difficult to go wakes and funerals. Traditionally in our family, it is more of a celebration. The New England Irish tend to celebrate the life of the departed more than dwell on the loss. It's starting to change over the years, primarily as each generation becomes more removed from our traditional family customs.

I dread going but ultimately I'm glad that I get a chance to pay my respects
 

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I wonder if the dilemma some people face when it's funeral time is "Should I really be going? Did I really know this person or their family well enough to insert myself into such a deeply personal and emotional setting? Am I being a hypocrite? Did I ever go around criticizing this person without much in general to say in the way of good? Would God smite me for that? Will people see me there and think I ought not to be?"

As Dan said, ultimately attendance is only to quietly pay your respect to the family who suffered the loss.
 

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I am too Shanna.

Part of my problem is, "Not enough socialization." :p I feel hopelessly awkward and inadequate. I get really nervous that I won't say the right thing, and the nervousness and anxiety always seems to seal the deal that I actually do say something inappropriate, then end up dwelling on it for months afterward, kicking myself repeatedly.
 

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Well, except maybe Herman Munster.
No Dan, Herman Munster doesn't like funerals. It's Lurch that loves to go to funerals.
 

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AngusFangus said:
I am too Shanna.

Part of my problem is, "Not enough socialization." :p I feel hopelessly awkward and inadequate. I get really nervous that I won't say the right thing, and the nervousness and anxiety always seems to seal the deal that I actually do say something inappropriate, then end up dwelling on it for months afterward, kicking myself repeatedly.
For the most part, there really is no *wrong* thing you can say at a funeral.1 a) the family is focusing on so many other things at that time that they really don't remember what you've said individually2 and b) A simple I'm sorry is more than enough.

1Unless it's something totally off the wall like, "Well, Uncle Fred always *did* smell like mothballs, so thank God at least that stink won't be ruining any more family reunions!"

2 IBID #1

And Herman DID like funerals -- it was his career, remember? He was a grave-digger, IIRC........ ;D
 
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I don't like to go but if it's a close friend's loved one or someone I was close to who has died I will go and say that I'm sorry for thier loss and give a hug. I always cry when people get up and talk about them and tell stories of how they lived life. It makes me cherish my friends and family more.
:angel:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Okay.... let me see how to describe this.

No one likes going to funerals... and if you do... I guess to each his own. Once upon a time I was able to go to funerals in much the way everyone else does. It is very sad... and you cry.... you sincerely sympathize for the family... and pay respects. Now, there seems to be a dimension of this that has gone a few steps further. The pain for the family that I feel is becoming overwhelming. It's like experiencing a close family death of my own, and it's not my immediate family.

This is really hard to explain. I need some therapy. That's it! I just need therapy. :p
 

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I always go if I can. Nobody likes to go. It meant so much to me when friends came to share their condolences. Suck it up and go.
 
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Shanna said:
Okay.... let me see how to describe this.

No one likes going to funerals... and if you do... I guess to each his own. Once upon a time I was able to go to funerals in much the way everyone else does. It is very sad... and you cry.... you sincerely sympathize for the family... and pay respects. Now, there seems to be a dimension of this that has gone a few steps further. The pain for the family that I feel is becoming overwhelming. It's like experiencing a close family death of my own, and it's not my immediate family.

This is really hard to explain. I need some therapy. That's it! I just need therapy. :p
I get you here Shanna. I have had the same thing happen since my Dad died. It's raw. It brings it all back for me.

A good friend's brother died at 40 of a brain tumor and during his memorial at the church they showed a slide show presentation of his life and family - set to music - and I thought I was going to pass out it was so emotional and overwhelming. Now they all seem like that to me. I have no insulation at all.
 

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I think if it makes you physically ill then it's a little beyond suck it up and go. Honestly, if you were at a funeral for a family member would you be thrilled at having a guest puking her guts out?

"Did you see Shanna barfing in that urn? How utterly tasteless! Couldn't she just have sent flowers and a card?"

If it has begun to have such an effect on you, I'm sure there are other ways to pay respects to the family.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
deezeldog said:
I get you here Shanna. I have had the same thing happen since my Dad died. It's raw. It brings it all back for me.
Maybe that is it. I cannot recall this happening before my step-dad died this past November. Since his death, there have been 4 deaths/funerals that I could have... maybe should have attended. Can't do it. The one yesterday, I had every intention of going. I needed to be there. Instead, I started getting sick... fever and all. I thought it interesting that as soon as my neighbor came by to report on how the service went... I suddenly felt fine. Now, when I saw the limos out front.. before she left... I pretty much so felt like my heart came out of my chest, I ate it and swallowed it. I could have fainted.

It's all psychological, but I wonder what exactly is transpiring there... and why.
 
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Shanna I can somewhat understand what you're saying. I'd never had to go to a funeral until I was 20. The first one ever was for my little brother's best friend, killed in their car wreck. My brother was still in ICU, and it was the kid we were burying that was driving. It was the single most gut wrenching horrifying heartbreaking public event I've ever experienced.

I've never been able to go to anyone's funeral since, barring my grandmother's and that was just 8 people (all family) at a graveside in California. God bless simple Jewish funerals. I'd never have made it otherwise.

I don't know that I'll ever be able to go to a funeral. Even thinking about one makes me remember that day in July, seeing that casket and thinking about that 16 year old kid we'd known his whole life...and knowing how close my brother came to being in a pine box too. Makes me feel like throwing up, even 11 years later. If I was faced with one, no matter how important I don't know if I'd have the intestinal fortitude to get myself in the door and stay through the service.
 

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I have read this thread twice, and have debated on whether to reply. I'm afraid I will say too much. This is a very tender subject right now for me.

If you can't bring yourself to go to the funeral, there are other ways to show your concern/love/sympathy. You can take food to the family--no one likes to think about cooking at such a time. (Especially small casseroles that can be frozen.) You can offer to babysit relative's children that are too young to attend. You can supply chairs at the home afterwards for visitors. You can offer to go to the house and serve food for those who come by after the funeral. You can call and offer to walk their dog. You can just supply an ear to listen. You can offer to mow their yard, trim shrubs, etc. Or to run errands that the deceased would normally have done.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
JeffersonsMom said:
I have read this thread twice, and have debated on whether to reply. I'm afraid I will say too much. This is a very tender subject right now for me.

If you can't bring yourself to go to the funeral, there are other ways to show your concern/love/sympathy. You can take food to the family--no one likes to think about cooking at such a time. (Especially small casseroles that can be frozen.) You can offer to babysit relative's children that are too young to attend. You can supply chairs at the home afterwards for visitors. You can offer to go to the house and serve food for those who come by after the funeral. You can call and offer to walk their dog. You can just supply an ear to listen. You can offer to mow their yard, trim shrubs, etc. Or to run errands that the deceased would normally have done.
Ah... I totally agree and have done. I am not lacking etiquette skills. I have taken supplies to the family (paper towels, paper plates, plasticware, napkins, toilet paper, bottled water) for the week that all the family was in. Then, for 3 days prior to the funeral, we provided breakfast for everyone. I have chatted with the young girl and offered to take her shopping if she needs a girls day out and spoke to the widow for grocery lists and such. THIS is not what plagues me. It's funeral day where I drop the ball. I simply do not like this about myself. If I know more about the core of what is causing it, I have a much greater chance of rectifying this issue I am having.

It's funny how much you mention there that we did do. We loaned our mower for their nephew to mow... he wanted to. We also did offer to do set up after the services at the house, but the church had already taken care of that.
 

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I'm with Jefferson's Mom and Jinx, you shouldn't force yourself to go if it's making you physically ill, but show your support in other ways. Those were all awesome ideas too.

My Mom started to react the same way you do after she was with her grandmother when she had a heart attack and passed away. Folks in our family know that she can't attend, and that it's not because she doesn't feel like it, it's that she just physically can't do it. Plenty of people feel that way.

Personally, I don't want a wake or a funeral. I want a huge party where everyone should eat, drink, and tell stories about how nutty and silly I was. They can plant me in private (or cremate me for all I'll care) but celebrate how much fun I had in life rather than mourn my passing.
 

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[/quote] Ah... I totally agree and have done. I am not lacking etiquette skills. I have taken supplies to the family (paper towels, paper plates, plasticware, napkins, toilet paper, bottled water) for the week that all the family was in. Then, for 3 days prior to the funeral, we provided breakfast for everyone. I have chatted with the young girl and offered to take her shopping if she needs a girls day out and spoke to the widow for grocery lists and such. THIS is not what plagues me. It's funeral day where I drop the ball. I simply do not like this about myself. If I know more about the core of what is causing it, I have a much greater chance of rectifying this issue I am having.

It's funny how much you mention there that we did do. We loaned our mower for their nephew to mow... he wanted to. We also did offer to do set up after the services at the house, but the church had already taken care of that. [/quote]

If you have done all that, you don't need to bash yourself. Maybe if you forgive yourself for "dropping the ball" and don't have the internal argument with yourself about whether or not you did in fact "drop the ball," the next time, you will not make yourself sick. I wouldn't try to force myself to do this thing that your body is telling you that it can not perform.

Re-reading this I'm not sure if that made any sense. Basically I'm trying to say--quit beating yourself up!!
 
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