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Ain't no easy way to ask so here it goes

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Jogeephus

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This is my third attempt at this post. I can't seem to get the words right so I scrap it. Have tried sugar coating it but can't find the words. So here it goes. When you die, do you want the casket to be opened or closed or none of the above?

Reason I ask is this year I have seen more than my fair share of friends move on. I recently celebrated my cousin's 99th birthday with her only to return home to find one of my close friends is non-responsive and may move on any day. As per his wishes, I opened the instruction envelope listing the things he wants me to take care of. Viewing the detailed thought he put into this "manual" made me think how nonchallantly I have planned for my own farewell. While I think I have most of the monentary stuff worked out the part about the casket has got me confused. I had a conversation with someone about this and he said that some people think it was important for some family members to have an open casket for reasons of closure. While this may be true for some people, I personally don't want to remember someone in this condition as I prefer to remember them as they were in life - their smile, their laughter, their wit, etc.

Last month I was at my fifth funeral for the year. I can't tell you how many people said, "he looked like he was sleeping". BS. He looked like someone had made a wax manequin of him and laid him in a box. I don't want people gauking at me like that. Anyone who has ever seen me sleep knows I'm in my drawers and I dang sure don't sleep in no suit - well maybe if you sit me upright in a pew. But that ain't me. Lay me in the shrubbery or under a tree and say, "wow, he looks just like he's passed out". Now that would be more appropriate.

I'm thinking more on the lines of a party without me being there. Maybe a video tape of me thanking everyone for showing up and telling them about the open bar and the BBQ. Maybe I could make a grand entrance as a plane or something dusts everyone with my ashes. I don't know but I just don't think I want people looking at me and remembering me in a box. Of course, I will do it if it is what I have to do for the sake of the family.

Any ideas?
 

mitch2

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Jo - When the day comes, it is still your party. Plan it the way you would want it... the ones who know you and attend the party, will know EXACTLY, that is what would put the smile on your face. This party is in remembrance of you. It is to be a celebration of your life. People mourn at a funeral not so much for you, but for themselves, and how they will continue on without you in their lives. Unless a life is cut drastically short, which in itself is terrible, so we wont go there. But the people who have had a productive life, and the funeral is full of laughter and stories, are some of the best funerals to attend.

My opinion only.

Michele
 

Fred Belknap

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Joe funerals aren't for the deceased but for the survivors and friends. I personally think it should be a celebration of the deceased life, but also it needs to be a sort of closure for everyone. "yea that him, he finally up and died". Yes I think you should allow for an open casket funeral just for the sake of the family and friends. I don't like suits, the only time I ever seen my dad in a suit was in his coffin. Work pants and a plaid shirt would look a lot more like him.
Fred
 

Alice

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Jo,

Make certain you specify how you want the end to go and be sure the funeral home folks know it!!!! It's your ending...and anyone else will have to deal with it. I go along with Michele on this one.

Alice
 

donnaIL

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More and more people getting cremated here. My Dad didn't want a service at all, but we had one, he was cremated and his ashes in a box in the front of the parlor, we had a picture display, with pictures of him at different ages. Then we had food at the church, the interment was private.
My husbands Dad and Grandparents just graveside memorials. I've seen alot of memorials only in the past 10 years. Some people still want the viewing and now from what I understand you can do a rent-a-casket type service, and then be cremated..to save on cost. I worked at an apartment building for seniors for 8 years (left this summer) and so I have seen alot of types of arrangements.

I've also been to funerals down south where they take the body to the church open the casket, take the body to the funeral home open the casket, a dear friend of mine they even opened the casket at the grave site. Lots of touching and people putting things in the casket. Little different than the way it was when I grew up.

Husband and I don't plan on having a viewing, just cremated, really don't want a service or to pay for a land/vault to be placed in...but those things will be handled by someone other than me. I don't think our children will want a viewing, and that more people are not having one.

Bottom line is funerals are for the living. Its a way for people to feel the finallity of it and to express their support to the family.
 

Alice

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donnaIL":vecnqq3k said:
More and more people getting cremated here. My Dad didn't want a service at all, but we had one, he was cremated and his ashes in a box in the front of the parlor, we had a picture display, with pictures of him at different ages. Then we had food at the church, the interment was private.
My husbands Dad and Grandparents just graveside memorials. I've seen alot of memorials only in the past 10 years. Some people still want the viewing and now from what I understand you can do a rent-a-casket type service, and then be cremated..to save on cost. I worked at an apartment building for seniors for 8 years (left this summer) and so I have seen alot of types of arrangements.

I've also been to funerals down south where they take the body to the church open the casket, take the body to the funeral home open the casket, a dear friend of mine they even opened the casket at the grave site. Lots of touching and people putting things in the casket. Little different than the way it was when I grew up.

Husband and I don't plan on having a viewing, just cremated, really don't want a service or to pay for a land/vault to be placed in...but those things will be handled by someone other than me. I don't think our children will want a viewing, and that more people are not having one.

Bottom line is funerals are for the living. Its a way for people to feel the finallity of it and to express their support to the family.

OMG, Donna!

My aunt arranged to be cremated and "rented" the casket. We had to delay the service by a day for there to be a viewing...the rental casket was in use! However, she left express wishes on how the service went, including a viewing, and that's what we did. I miss her so very much.

Alice
 

HerefordSire

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How old are you geephus? Sounds to me like something spiritual is working on you...to do something that you are scared to do and not related to funerals.
 

TheBullLady

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Depresses me too, but let's face it, we're all going to have to get there someday!

I think the smart thing to do is make the arrangements yourself (with your family of course) before the time comes.. that way you don't have to worry about family members trying to figure out what you would want. You can go to the funeral homes now and take care of it all up front. A smart idea!

For me, no WAY for an open casket. I agree that no one looks "natural" or like they did before they died, and I think it's creepy besides.
 

1982vett

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Mom and Dad did the pre-arrangement deal. Caskets were bought, arrangements made and paid for in advance. She left written instructions as to what she wanted to happen. Her dress was hanging in the closet along with the suit that Dad was to be buried in. Made things easier to deal with, only planning was the timetable for my sister and her family to get in from Florida.

But you do need to allow for some last minute changes. With Mom, when we left the church to go to the cemetery, the funeral director said their was a problem and they didn't get the tent set up at the grave. Well, that didn't seem to be a huge problem, but the real surprise was, not only was their no tent their was no chairs or grave dug. They forgot to call the gravediggers. :oops: 15 months later when Dad went the weather had been bad, cold and wet, had been raining for weeks (I guess we are paying for that now) this time the funeral director said not to worry, the tent and the chairs are their but don't be alarmed that the grave isn't dug, It is just to wet and muddy and would be better to be done after. I thought that was a pretty good idea.

Then I had an uncle go. He had planed to donate his body to science and then be cremated afterwards. His plans didn't work out because he died suddenly and laid out in the summer heat overnight. Science couldn't use him, family had a closed casket and then had the body cremated.

Make pre-arrangements for what you can and let your family know what you want. They can follow them or not, but don't be surprised if the unexpected happens.

As for myself, I really don't care at this point. Kind of like what they did for a buddy of mine. He had just a graveside service.
 

Angus Cowman

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Here goes Jo Had this all typed and ready to send and the power went out so here goes again

As some of you on here know I lost a son 2 1/2 yrs ago he was 18 that was the hardest thing my wife and I have ever been thru and hopefully ever will go thru

Here is what we did we had a private veiwing for the family at the funeral home ,The funeral home set it up so we could come as we wanted and they had a list of who could go into the private room (this is because we didn't want everyone making a spectacle out of it) then we had a formal visitation the night before the burial at the funeral home with a closed casket then we had a graveside service at the cemetery This is because I felt going thru a full service and then the burial would be too hard on my wife and daughters .because we had over 500 show up at the visitation alone

If I had it to do all over again that is the way I would do it today it is also how I want mine to be done I don't beleive in having an open casket service for everyone I think a veiwing should be for family and a few special friends
As in the case of our son, his age and the circumstances of his death I didn't want it to be made into a circus side show .
he was killed in an auto accident so people made all kinds of remarks about him being decapitaed and stuff which was a lie.Everyone here who was raised in a small town knows how things get started
So I hope this helps Jo
 

cfpinz

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Don't much care for funeral home/family nights, much rather prefer the graveside only funerals. Don't really care for long-winded services, either. The older I get, the more cremation is attractive. I'll be dead, why would I need a box and real estate? For me, whatever's the cheapest. Thought about donating my body to science but I'm afraid they'd clone me.
 

Victoria

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When I was about 15 I had a close friend died. At his funeral they had an open casket and everyone filed by, so I did too. I hated it, he looked like a bad wax figure. I still remember how he looked. It didn't provide closure it was horrible.

My grandfather died when I was 17. My aunt's long time live in boyfriend used to get people ready for funerals so he wanted to do my grandfather, for him it gave closure. The family agreed but the viewing was in a side room at an earlier time. I did not go. When my grandmother died she gave explicit instructions that she did not want to be done and we respected her wishes. I wondered if what turned her off of it was seeing my grandfather. Some people found they didn't get closure, some people gave a sigh of relief because they didn't have to feel bad they didn't go to a viewing.

I would prefer not to be viewed when I am dead just because I am cheap. I want to be creamated because I find no reason for my family to spend a lot of money on me when I am in Heaven. I just want a nice church service with Agnus Dei sung and Amazing Grace played on the bagpipes. I do like the idea of writing everyone important to me a letter or doing an individual video for them. To me that seems like a good way to say good-bye and give closure without looking like a wax museum display piece to do so.
 

dun

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After too many funerals and coming way too close to having one of my own, I've decided that as long as they don;t drag me out back for the critters to dispose of me I don;t really care what happens.
 

Keren

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You know Jogee, I understand your thinking about whether to have an open casket or not.

What do you think about a bit of a compromise ... having a viewing in maybe the funeral home ... so that those that feel they need to see the deceased for closure can go and see them ... but then have a closed casket at the actual funeral so that people like you who wish to remember them they way they were, dont have to deal with seeing them gone. You could put out notice for the viewing as well as the funeral ... as in, viewing will be held at this time, this place for those who wish to say goodbye in this manner, funeral with closed casket will be held here at this time, for all family and friends. Something like that.
 

Ryder

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Jogeephus":2ob5cnhn said:
I don't know but I just don't think I want people looking at me and remembering me in a box.

Any ideas?
Solution is simple. Close the box but have enlargements of your various avatars on display so people could remember you as you chose to appear. ;-)

On second thought, remembering you in a box is probably better. :nod:

But on the other hand it might be better if they didn't remember you at all. :lol2:

Makes me feel really good to be able to offer good advice :banana:
 

hillrancher

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Ryder I do like your response.
As for me when I die call the dead wagon haul me to the furnace return the little vile of ashes to Granddaughter she will throw them into Keels Creek when the water comes within 3 feet to the top of the bridge. When this time comes you are spent why bother other people and take up space that cannot be useful.
 

Lammie

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My best friend was killed in a horrible accident that basically destroyed her body. I was shocked that her parents had an open casket. They had rebuilt her face from a picture, complete with wig, which looked nothing like her at all. I was shocked. It was 25 years ago and I can still see her today. I decided then, at 18, that I wanted to be creamated. It made a lasting impression on me. I didn't believe it was her. Same with my BIL, who accidently shot himself and had to be iced down for a day to try and make the swelling go down. He, too, looked nothing like himself.

At the funeral home where my son works, they have a rental casket, but it is real expensive to use. I would rather have my relatives see me and then send me off to become garden mulch. I would also like a party. BBQ, I think, if that's not to morbid, with some nice desserts and maybe a keg.

My parents have their burials arranged, also. All I have to do is choose what they will wear. I think that was darned decent of them.
 

john250

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Jogeephus":351gjval said:
I'm thinking more on the lines of a party without me being there. Maybe a video tape of me thanking everyone for showing up and telling them about the open bar and the BBQ.

Knowing my friends, I don't think I can afford the open bar.
 
OP
Jogeephus

Jogeephus

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Thanks for your responses they are all good and give me something to think on.

HerefordSire":2v41ev2u said:
How old are you geephus? Sounds to me like something spiritual is working on you...to do something that you are scared to do and not related to funerals.

Nothing like that, its just I have been asked to oversee the wishes of 3 people this year and am now in the process of fulfilling one of these requests. While I'm honored by the request, it has forced me to think about things that I normally would not be thinking about since several doctors have said I must be too hard headed to die.

Beef08":2v41ev2u said:
This topic and conversation kinda depresses me..

Yep, that's why it was so hard to post it. Its not something that you want to think about or dwell on. I hope to get a ideas on what people feel and then make out my wish list and move on with life.

Keren":2v41ev2u said:
What do you think about a bit of a compromise

John250 wrote
Knowing my friends, I don't think I can afford the open bar.

That would depend on who made the liquor. :lol2:

I could do this. I'd prefer viewing to be semi-private for those that need this closure. But I really like the idea of the photos of the person at various ages of life. With the digital age, I think this would be a good way to remember someone's life. I just really don't want to be remembered as a wax figure.
 

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