In our culture we honor the dead by carving their names in stone, staging celebrations of life, and personalizing any and all funeral accessories from the casket to the urn.
In contrast, here in the Bible Belt, I’ve attended a few services that where the body is on display (usually in a church) but the ceremony itself is actually an altar call for the “lost”.
In talking with Native Americans I’ve learned that in their culture, it is forbidden to mention the name of the deceased for fear of disturbing and disrupting the journey of the spirit.
Recently, a friend in Texas attended her neighbor’s funeral and was saddened that the minister never mentioned the deceased, only HIS relationship with God.
We never learned anything about his mother. We didn’t learn where she was born and grew up, who she married, or the names of her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We didn’t learn if she had any hobbies, or if she had ever belonged to any church or community organization.
I’d like to think this was a culture clash and not a minister with a captive audience. We just have to hope the family was satisfied with the service.
The message here is, depending on your beliefs and desires for the funeral service DON’T ASSUME that your pastor or family member will know what you want for your loved ones. Write it down, ask questions, or communicate your wishes to the funeral director handling the service.
Today’s Tip: Celebrate Life
My aunt recently asked me to be the executrix (which is a super-cool word, in my opinion) of her estate, since she’s not on particularly good terms with her children. The initial conversation was basically me agreeing (after a surprised pause, I totally didn’t see this coming) and then we segued into assuring one another that of course this wouldn’t be necessary for many years to come… I definitely need to follow up on a few things, though, particularly seeing what she’s got in mind in the way of funeral arrangements.
I’ll be sure to fit it in during a conversation about far more cheerful topics, though 🙂
Good idea, get it all in order. It’s a difficult topic to broach, but it will make your job easier in the end, especially considering she has children. Already sounds sticky…..
Her kids are mid-twenties and she’s in her sixties — frankly, I hope she just stays in good health for a while and patches things up with them, because that would be easiest for all of us in the end. We’ll see how things go, though. All that’s certain is death and taxes…