I don’t get it.

Last week a close friend of my Mum’s and a friend of the family (back when my parents were together and I still lived with them so you know, nearly 10 years ago) died suddenly.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this. I am sad for her family but I don’t feel as though it is connected to me. She was around as I was growing up but for most of my life she has been a friend of my Mums and nothing more.

Her memorial was today with her funeral next week. My Mum asked if I could go to the memorial and I said I couldn’t because we’re short staffed at work. I think she is quite angry that I didn’t go but I really didn’t see the point.

You see, I don’t get why we have funerals or memorials! What good does it do? Who does it help? Why? I ask! I don’t need closure or a feeling of goodbye I already know she is gone and have processed this fact so why?

I also don’t know how to explain this to my Mum in a way she’ll understand. I am happy for her to go if it helps her but I see no benefit in it for me.

So, my all knowing readers, if you have had to go to a funeral before, what were the reasons and did it help with your mourning? If not, would you attend a funeral if it happened?

Enlighten me!

9 responses to “I don’t get it.”

  1. I went to a funeral once, when my middle school French teacher died of breast cancer. That time I went because she was someone I interacted with daily, and was a significant presence in my life whether I liked it or not. She was a well-loved teacher and many of her students and former students went to her funeral. But for me, the event was a sort of shock more than anything else. I was not rendered immobile or anything like that.

    To me, a funeral is only there to honor the dead’s legacy on Earth one final time. If the late person was not close to you, then you probably will have no desire to go. So for your mom, this person was someone who she was close to, and for you, that was not the case. If she can’t see that, then she’ll probably be mad at you for a while.

  2. I’ve been to a couple of funerals. I don’t like them. I hate going to them. I tend to go to them because I feel like I have to. I know it’s a part of traditional, but I feel the same way you do. I feel like we all go through grief differently and having to sit through that is rough. I will probably continue to go to them because everyone just sees it as the right thing to do. But otherwise, I probably wouldn’t go. I would rather remember them the way I want to.

  3. I think of funerals as a way to celebrate a dearly departed’s life, but some people just use it as a way to mourn. I’ve been to many funerals and while they were sad, it was always nice to see what they’d accomplished in their life and to see family or friends.

    My best friend that I’d know since birth had died when we were only ten years old. Of course, she lived in Michigan while I had been living in California at the time, so I wasn’t able to attend her funeral, which I’ve always regretted. I feel like I never really got to say goodbye to her. It’s left an empty feeling for me. I was devastated by her death and it’s affected me greatly throughout my life. I don’t really know how a ten year old is supposed to deal with being told her best friend is dead, but I think if I had gone to her funeral I would feel a little more at peace about it.

  4. i have been to one funeral. that of my then partners father who was killed in a work related accident. a relatively young man in his mid fifties with three boys aged from 18 to 26… he, they, were devastated. a man so full of life, taken so suddenly. i do not feel the need for funerals. though i have not had very many people close to me pass away (both my pops are gone, one when i was about 14, the other only a few years again) … i don’t feel the need to mourn publicly either. it just is not something i feel the need to do. i do not want to reminisce with a room full of people i don’t know. i want to tell stories and look at photos, but i want to do it introspectively… not while being watched. i would not attend a funeral for my own benefit, because i see none (for me) in it.

  5. THANK YOU. I recently had to attend the funeral/wake of a dear aunt of mine who passed away. It was the first funeral I had to be a part of since I was a kid, and it was the first time I was faced with this kind of thing as an adult in general. It made me hate them even more. I just… don’t understand the whole tradition. I think it’s morbid and I feel like I shouldn’t have to be expected to go into a room with a dead body to grieve for my loss. I just don’t get it.

  6. I see funerals as a way to say goodbye if you didn’t get the chance, I mean, sure, the person is already dead, but it still helps with that mourning process. I believe in sprites and people looking over you etc, so I feel the lest you can do is say goodbye to them before they are put to rest. I don’t know.. that doesn’t make much sense I guess.

    Another reason why I “like” funerals, is that we have a HUGE family, all over NZ and OZ and some even further out, so it’s also like a family reunion. Now, I’m not saying I can’t wait for someone to die so I can see everyone again, I’m just saying.. er. It’s nice to see people.. even under bad circumstances.

  7. I’ve had to go to quite a few funerals and often not for people I knew well. The reason I was there in most cases was to support my friends who had lost someone they loved. For most of my friends the funeral was the way they said goodbye – the last time they ‘saw’ their loved one. So I guess I’ve always thought that the funeral was for those closest and grieving most keenly, with the rest of us there to show we support them and respect the dead.

    Personally I think a good wake is a better way to remember the dead, but a funeral that allows the same celebration of a life can be pretty ‘good’. Obviously if you’re religious – or more importantly if the deceased was – it has a whole different symbolism.

  8. I have been to two funerals, well cremations rather than the burial kind. I am not a particularly emotional person and I know that people will die. The two people that I have lost were both old, therefore it didn’t come as a surprise.

    My boyfriend’s Great Grandmother died and he asked me to go to the funeral, but I declined because I didn’t know the women. I would feel really weird being there and not knowing the women who had designed, I would feel as though I was treating it as a spectator sport.

    I do not like funerals because it is the only time that I see most of my family and it has a lot of those awkward “hey this your uncle x” hmm okay :/ And the last funeral, I went to my Uncle asked me to take the wrapping off the food as though I was the hired helped and as it was a funeral I couldn’t really tell him he was out of order and make a scene.

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