My mom is at home in hospice (end stage cancer) The social worker suggested going to the funeral and doing prearranging as it would be a bit easier earlier than closer to the time. Made sense, and I did. As time gets closer I (mom's only caregiver other than those we pay) cannot even imagine going through the ordeal of it all. I feel I've taken care of my mom with no support (not even emotional) from anyone who would be at this funeral. My brother (who lives in another state and has no relationship with mom and never did) says it is for closure for those left behind. I will be THE ONLY ONE LEFT BEHIND!!! And a funeral will certainly not give me any closure.My mother had no close relationships with anyone who would be there. To hear all that "sorry for your loss" I wonder sometimes why do I have to put myself through that. As someone said to me: everyday of my life is my eulogy to my mom. Someone else said: You are giving her the flowers while she is alive. What do others think? If you think I need to do this Please help with the motivation part.

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My mother died in June. It was a long four years of watching her body give up at 97. There were only three elderly relatives 1000 away left and an estranged brother who never called for 30 years. Mom did not have a lot of money, and I just retired. I talked to my cousin up north and to my oldest daughter.
And came up with the best solution.

Mom wanted to be cremated and buried in the backyard. She had last rights from the Catholic Church a week before she died and was aware of what was going on. I had her cremated. I created a small garden in my backyard. I mixed mother's ashes into the dirt when I was alone saying prayers and singing her favorite hymns. I planted a magnolia tree and azalea bushes. The tree is evergreen and the azaleas bloom all year with pink flowers.

A month later, all my children and grandchildren came to town. We invited my husbands family, neighbors, our Doctor, and my closest friend. We had a celebration of life at a local restaurant. I made memory cards, guests wrote down their favorite memory, and we saluted my mother while a slideshow played that I created. I also wrote thank you notes to each family telling them how they touched my mother's life. We had a wonderful time, and it was better than any funeral I had ever attended.

I also have a tiny bag of ashes left to distibute on the Las Vegas Strip at her request. Do what is in your heart. We did not even have enough people to be pall bearers. Do not go into debt to please other people. The only pushback I had was from my husband's family. Everyone who attended our celebration loved the way I handled it.
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In my book, a funeral (like a wedding) is whatever you want it to be. You don't need to have a service.

One of the nicest funerals I went to was a graveside service conducted by a man's two daughters. There were maybe 6 of us all all together, each sister spoke for a few moments about her memories of her dad and a grandchild said a blessing. The casket was lowered, and as is the Jewish custom, we shoveled in the earth. Would something like that, for you and YOUR friends work for you?
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Emily, I think you should do what you feel comfortable with. Since you're the caregiver, and apparently there isn't anyone else involved, it's your decision unless your mother has expressed her wishes to the contrary.

Funerals are for the living, but by that time any goodbyes they wish to offer is too late; the person is already gone. My feeling is that, unless there was an accident and accidental death, people and relatives have had ample time to express their concern and assist the caregiver. Failing that, I don't care what they want or say.

I understand the concern about "what people will say", but so what? If they weren't around when the person was alive, they have absolutely no standing to make any comments whatsoever.

I also find it offensive for people to come to funerals and blather on about how much they cared for the deceased person. If they did, where were they when he or she really needed help?
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My mom is currently 79. I am an only child as is she, also I have no children. She never had many friends and at this point has one friend 3 hrs. from here that is about the same age and one other friend several states away that is 80 at present. She will probably outlive both of them. Where she wants to be buried is 3 hrs from where we live now and frankly I don't see the sense in a funeral as I will be the only one left. There are no niece, nephews, siblings, cousins to attend,again she will probably outlive the 2 "friends" she has.My thought is I was there when it counted, when she was alive.
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When my dad died, he was cremated and that was it. I still have his ashes. It will be the same for my mom. Neither wanted a service and neither wanted an obituary. My folks moved away from where they'd lived for 35 years (to come near me), so they have no friends here. At 95, mom only has two friends left, one is in a nursing home and one is states away. So they couldn't come to a service if they wanted to. I've taken very good care of both parents, so I couldn't care less what others think. I've done my job as a caregiver and have done it well.

So do what you feel is the right thing to do and don't spend a minute worrying about what other people think.
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We decided to just not have a funeral
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I've been mulling over the same question, too. Pop had a fancy funeral and reception. But that's years ago now. Mom has outlived most of her friends. She wants me to ship her body 3500 miles back to 'home'. Has not expressed interest in a full-blown funeral for herself. I'm thinking of cremation and burial in her plot back home with a grave-side service. One family member besides me has been here to visit her. I'll be sure to invite him. If somebody wants to organize a reception afterwards, they are welcome to do so. I won't do it. I have honored her with years of assistance, that will have to do.
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Emily, all you really need to do at the time of death is make arrangements for her remains. Later, if you decide that you need the "closure" of a service, you can schedule a memorial service. I have seen this happen several months after a death. If anyone questions you about this you just respond that you were overwhelmed at the time and needed to wait a while.
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I think you should do what is right for you and forget everyone else. They've not managed to do the "right" thing by her in life so they've no legitimate axe to grind in her death.
My bil wants to be cremated and his ashes put on a river that goes into the sea. As his own family can't be bothered to stay in touch I shall have a cremation with the people who help me with his care.
He loved all things Viking so I've had a wooden ship made by a friend, I made the sails. When the time comes because I'm too disabled to manage alone, a friend who helped with his care will take me to a river we've selected.
Mac's ashes will go on the boat along with a couple firelighter sticks.
My friend does archery and he'll send a burning arrow onto the boat.
I told Mac while he was still lucid and he was thrilled that we would send him to "Valhalla."
I will have outlived the important people in my life so I've requested a no funeral.
Just burial in a bamboo coffin (no embalming) in the New Forest next to my SO with a Rowan tree planted instead of a headstone.
If friends want to do "something" I've asked them to bring a picnic to the New Forest and rather than eating their own picnic, everyone share together. An "Agape" feast in my memory.
If people want to have flowers then I've asked them to donate to the Woodland Trust and buy a tree in my memory.
For me a much better use of the money.
Helpful Answer (27)

Something I just remembered. When my sister died, word was spread around the hospital where she worked, and many of her co-workers I had never met came to her funeral.

There also were people she had worked with on a volunteer basis, such as those from the Big Sisters organization, including several young people who told me how much they had been influenced by my sister's involvement. I was completely unaware she had even been involved with that organization.

So that was very therapeutic and consoling for me to learn that there was a part of her life that provided so much hope for the people with whom she worked.
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