Is it just me and my specific bad personal experiences of funerals. Or do people dislike funerals in general ?
For me the whole experience leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
From being invited,. By people I haven't met in years. The two faced comments by neighbors, the social interaction at the funeral and the list goes on and on.
I will write specific details after breakfast.
I hate funerals too. I only went to my grandma's and have declined every other invite, including to my grandads in Jan.
I find it incredibly creepy that tradition dictates that we follow a rotting corpse being driven around the streets to the funeral location. The rotting corpse is then placed in a room whilst everyone gathers around it for the ceremony. At my grandma's all I could think about was her rotting flesh. I don't do large gatherings so missed the wake and went to a spinning class instead. Luckily my family take you as you are and don't care if you follow tradition just because most of society does.
Never liked them, and I've been to a few now - including my father's and, last year, my mother's. Exactly as you say. I've written about it in my book. Here's the short excerpt, if you don't mind...
'It was a sombre journey. Stilted chit-chat again. I told Phyllis about the previous evening and how special it was. There was no acknowledgement from anyone else. We spoke about the day and the weather. We kept it all civil and polite. But I sensed a tension, nonetheless. When we reached the Crematorium, I got out and went to say my hellos to people. Sue had managed to get Barbara there [mum's closest neighbours], which I was hugely pleased about. They were on their own near the entrance - Barbara in her wheelchair now. Lynn's mother and her partner were there, neither of whom I'd seen for years. Nicole and the girls, plus husband Warren. Lynn's sister and her partner, both of whom I'd always liked - though I understood they had fallen out with her family over something. Uncle Derek and cousin Lorna. Joanne and Jack, her husband - who, again, I got on with, though Lynn and Russell both didn't. Russell's son, Carl, and his wife. Old faces. And like all funerals, it felt a little awkward. Weddings and funerals. Times that people came together - in some cases, perhaps, because they felt they needed to rather than because they wanted to. I picked up on a few people who were studiously avoiding others - some shifting feet, awkward gestures, averted eyes. I was glad that I wasn't really a part of any of them - in a social sense, anyway. I alone felt like I was there alone. And mum was there. She was who I'd really come for. She was the reason. Joanne came straight up to me and gave me a hug, which I knew Lynn and Russell wouldn't like. I didn't care about that.'
I just don't really understand them. I mean, by that point the person in question has gone. I would rather remember them than remember a bunch of people standing around a box .... yeah, often being two-faced. That has nothing to do with the person who has gone. For me the people who have left this world before me are just "in the next room" and I think of them often, but as they were when they were in this room with me.
The best part of my mum's funeral - if you can refer to a 'best part' - was the night before. I arranged (against my brother's wishes) for mum to be returned to her home that night, so that her neighbours could come in and pay their last respects. Also, I stayed there with her that night, keeping vigil. So it was just me, alone, with this most special person in my life. I even read to her, as I used to as a kid. By contrast, the next day just felt awkward and embarrassing. And here were people who hadn't even seen mum or phoned her for years. It all felt like a stage show - false, put on... and an excuse for people to drink afterwards. The 'right' people (those I liked, and whom most of the others didn't) came up to me afterwards and acknowledged what I'd done in caring for mum during her last months. The others didn't even mention it, or even talk to me much - though I tried my hardest to be social, as they 'expected.'
Now that sounds rather beautiful to me. Just the two of you, saying your farewells .... And at the end of the day, you know you did right by the person you loved the most in this world, both before and after her death. That's all that matters.
More details about what I dislike.
I think it's the social side I don't get. Like when the gossiping in church. When one of my unusual neighbors passed away. Other neighbors at the funeral calling him a nutter and saying we never even knew his name. They just saw him power walking ten times a day. I kept thinking if that's how they feel, why did they bother even coming to the funeral?
Then the formal reception after the funeral and less formal pub get together. I hate both.
I don’t hate funerals per se, I just don’t particularly like large gatherings but even that’s not true, because I’ve been to some really large gatherings and loved them and I’ve also been to some funerals and loved them, the ones they have in Bali are the best I’ve seen so far but the ones in India are interesting too when they set the bodies on fire on a raft on the river.
I like funerals for the way they bring people together that haven’t seen each other for years and I prefer them to weddings. At weddings people are often all about the outfits and food etc whereas at funerals people are less bothered about those things and are happy to simply reconnect with people they haven’t seen for years, share stories about the loved one that’s passed and generally just enjoy the bringing together of friends and family to honour the dead persons life and give thanks for what they brought into our life. I feel like it’s an opportunity to say a special thank you to the person who died for being in your life and to just spend some time thinking about them and reliving and enjoying the memories and it brings me comfort to see others there who are also showing their love, gratitude and respect for the person. It’s not the only way to say goodbye and thank you, some of us find different ways but I do kind of like the way a funeral brings everyone together to share memories and stories together and to support (if they want it) the people who were maybe the husband or wife of child or whoever. It’s a nice feeling to know we all made the effort to honour the persons life but of course that doesn’t make a person heartless if they don’t feel comfortable doing it that way.
I’m sorry, I had to giggle at that. Maybe the people who you wondered why they bothered going might wonder why you bothered given that you hated it so much! Lol! Funerals, like people, can be funny some times. I’m happy people went to his funeral though, that makes me happy and I never even met the guy, but nutter or not, I like him. I’m glad you were a there to give him a little send off.
The only funeral I've been to when I didn't feel 'bad' was an ex neighbor who I haven't seen for 40 years. I went with my sister who had kept in touch with that family. And people at the reception had good experiences to share about her.
What I dislike is small petty and unpleasant gossip.
I've been counting. I have only been to 8 funerals in my life. I went because I was invited. Knew the person And had the time.