funeral etiquette

spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
Funerals and weddings aren't exacly my forte.

So my bf was invited to a funeral. He comes from a big family. One of his mother's sisters is married to a man (uncle thru marriage) and that man's mother just died. It's the grandma of three of his first cousins. He spent time w/ those cousins growing up and got to know their grandma bc she lived near her three grandsons.

So she died and one of the cousins told him the funeral is tomorrow at 6pm. I asked him if it's the actual funeral that starts at 6pm or the viewing/visiting hrs. He clarified and said the viewing starts at 6pm and the actual funeral starts at 7pm.

He really wants me to go w/ him. He knows he will get emotional and he wants my support. He is also bringing his 12 y/o son.

I reluctantly agreed to go but would rather go to the visiting hours. I don't know these ppl at all and attending the funeral just seems too personal. Plus, I will have to bring my two kids (7 and 10) with me and I will have just picked them up from day camp; they will be wet and dirty and sweaty and my son no longer fits into his summer dress shoes.

I want to be supportive but attending the actual funeral seems inappropriate and not the best idea. Visiting hours sound more reasonable to me.

What's the best thing to do?

Comments

  • BotticelliBritBotticelliBrit Registered Users Posts: 2,075 Curl Neophyte
    I recently went to my great aunt's funeral (my first funeral) and a couple of people bought their SOs who we didn't know very well. It didn't matter in the slightest to any of us; it was just nice the people that mattered turned up. I can't imagine anyone would be offended that your boyfriend wanted his girlfriend there for moral/emotional support.

    Saying that, I think it gets tricky when you have to bring your kids. If you don't know these people at all and then you're coming along with your children, that could be a bit awkward and raise a few eyebrows. Also, it probably won't be very nice for your children to have to attend such an emotional thing, especially for someone they didn't even know.

    I'd say, since the children are involved, visiting hours might be best.

    ETA: You should just explain to him that you wouldn't feel comfortable and with your children it would just be very awkward and possibly emotionally confusing for them too.
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  • JosephineJosephine Registered Users Posts: 14,408 Curl Connoisseur
    I would definitely go with him, that wouldn't be a question for me. I would say don't bring the kids but I'm not sure how that part works.
  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 10,904 Curl Connoisseur
    To me the funeral is always less personal then the visitation. I'm terrible with that sort of thing though, and never know what to say. You can sit and watch, then there is always some everyday chat at the reception over church lady sandwiches.

    I understand him wanting you there, I don't think you should go with the kids though. If there is absolutely no one who can take them for a few hours, I would skip it.
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    The kids would have to go with me. There's no one else they can stay with at that time, and it would be too long to leave them alone.

    I'm not worried about them being confused or upset by the funeral or by death or by strangers or anything. They really want to go; they have never been to a funeral before and are interested to see what it's like.

    I'm more worried that the family might find it intrusive that they are there, imposing on their difficult time. And also they won't be looking very neat.
  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 10,904 Curl Connoisseur
    Is there anywhere they can tidy up a bit before going?

    I don't think there is any issue with them being there (and I would assume you're kids are probably pretty well behaved!), but camp dirty is hard to look past.

    Just a clean pair of jeans and a nice top, they don't needs suits/dresses or anything like that.
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
    Audrey Hepburn
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 20,731 Curl Virtuoso
    In this case I would not go. It would be nice to support my boyfriend but I think it would be uncomfortable for me to take my kids since none of us know anyone and they probably would feel especially awkward if they aren't dressed appropriately. If it was my own family, sure, I wouldn't care how they were dressed, but in this case I wouldn't go and wouldn't make my kids go.
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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    To me the funeral is always less personal then the visitation. I'm terrible with that sort of thing though, and never know what to say. You can sit and watch, then there is always some everyday chat at the reception over church lady sandwiches.

    I understand him wanting you there, I don't think you should go with the kids though. If there is absolutely no one who can take them for a few hours, I would skip it.

    I could not agree more. Visitation is more personal. You go thru the line, meet everyone, talk to everyone coming out of the line... The funeral itself is not that personal.

    I really do not know or understand why everyone says do not being the kids or it may raise eyebrows, etc. I have been attending funerals since I was a toddler, literally. Kids always attended when I was growing up. It was nothing odd or unusual. *Most wakes used to be held in homes, with the children there start to finish, no matter the age. Sometime in the mid to late 80s people started saying kids could not sit still for one hour (though they can play video games all day and so t in church or school) or handle the "trauma and emotional abuse" of a funeral. Hyper parenting.* Death is a very natural part of life and I see no point in shielding them from that or acting like funeral homes are no place for children. *My youngest nephews, who are in their teens, did not come to my dads funereal because their mom did not find it appropriate. Complete crap!!! Their mom could end up in a funeral home at any moment and sadly, children die too. You cannot pretend to avoid the subject.

    *Everytime I try to finish this I have to stop. That said, it's up to you Spider. I get feeling off about it because you don't know them. If my boyfriend was upset and asked me to go, I would go. I understand being worried about the kids clothes if you pick them up straight from camp. (I actually think going to the service of someone they are not that close to first is better). Anything more laid back/casual they they could take with them and change into just before? Doesn't have to be a suit and tie. Polo shirts and pants, button up shirt and pants, cool and comfortable slap on dress, etc. One can get away with sandals in the summer.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • BelleBohemienneBelleBohemienne Registered Users Posts: 375 Curl Neophyte
    My first question is how long have you been dating. If it's over a year then you might feel close enough to the immediate family to attend. Less than that, maybe not. My father explicitly told me that he did not want my boyfriend of 7 months attending my grandmother's funeral. "It's just for family, "he told me. I understood that.

    Also you're bringing your kids to a funeral for people they don't know and they will be inappropriately dressed. Honestly, I would say bring them if they could be properly dressed and well behaved. You do not necessarily need to meet with family members or go to the coffin to pay your respects. Though it is respectful to do so, it isn't always necessary.

    I would say if you can properly dress your kids and they can be well behaved at the funeral and if you have been with your boyfriend for an extended period of time (by this I mean you aren't just "fooling around," for instance this is a long term thing) then I'd say it's ok, but if not it may not be appropriate for you to be there with your kids.

    ~Belle Bohemienne
    ~Belle Bohemienne

    "If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present." -Lao Tzu
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    My first question is how long have you been dating. If it's over a year then you might feel close enough to the immediate family to attend. Less than that, maybe not. My father explicitly told me that he did not want my boyfriend of 7 months attending my grandmother's funeral. "It's just for family, "he told me. I understood that.

    Also you're bringing your kids to a funeral for people they don't know and they will be inappropriately dressed. Honestly, I would say bring them if they could be properly dressed and well behaved. You do not necessarily need to meet with family members or go to the coffin to pay your respects. Though it is respectful to do so, it isn't always necessary.

    I would say if you can properly dress your kids and they can be well behaved at the funeral and if you have been with your boyfriend for an extended period of time (by this I mean you aren't just "fooling around," for instance this is a long term thing) then I'd say it's ok, but if not it may not be appropriate for you to be there with your kids.

    ~Belle Bohemienne

    Yes, it's the sentiment that your father expressed that concerns me; some ppl think they're just for certain ppl.

    We've been together for going on a year and a half. He introduces me as his fiancée (but technically I'm not) and as of next week, we'll be living together. I know some of his family but certainly not all...so I guess maybe it's time to start meeting more of them.

    I think i'll pick the kids up early and stop off at home so they can change clothes. Maybe bribe them with...I mean pick up some McDonald's on the way there to ensure good behavior.

    This normally wouldn't be that big a deal but my bf was orphaned as a child and takes it really hard when anyone's mother dies...and this particular uncle was good to him after his (bf's) mother died. It means a lot to him that I go w/ him for some reason. I don't really understand it but I want to be supportive.

    Thanks, everyone.

    I agree w/ you. Fifi.
  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 10,904 Curl Connoisseur
    Sounds like a good plan :)
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
    Audrey Hepburn
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    That does sound like a good plan and I'm glad you agree. I hope to see more people taking their children. Some have been pushing for a reversal or a change in heart for years (I think it's hyper parenting with some and possibly a class/culture thing with others). I hate seeing people who were not allowed to go to their own parents or grandparents funerals and are still upset because they did not get to say goodbye or be a part of the grieving process 15-20 years later. Most who work with children on the issue of death say only a few hands go up when you ask who has been to a funeral BUT a forest of hands go up when you asked who wanted to go but was not allowed to.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • BelleBohemienneBelleBohemienne Registered Users Posts: 375 Curl Neophyte
    Well, if he's introducing you as his fiance and you're moving in together, I see no reason you shouldn't be there along with your kids. It's also ok to bring coloring books or something quiet to keep them occupied if necessary.

    Fifi, I have never heard of kids not going to funerals. My great grandfather passed 3 days after I was born, so I'm sure I went to that one, but the earliest I remember were my preschool teacher's funeral when I was 2 and my cousin's when I was about 3. When my grandmother passed in 2006, all her great grandkids were there and they were all around 5 or 6 at the time. I don't understand this stigma society places on death, it happens, circle of life, kids need to learn how to act and understand when death occurs. Not be sheltered from it. That could probably just be more detrimental.

    ~Belle Bohemienne
    ~Belle Bohemienne

    "If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present." -Lao Tzu
  • JosephineJosephine Registered Users Posts: 14,408 Curl Connoisseur
    Wait a hot second, yall are moving in together? Has this been discussed? So things are going reallyy well. Does he have kids? Sorry I don't remember, but I think I've asked that before.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    Josephine wrote: »
    Wait a hot second, yall are moving in together? Has this been discussed? So things are going reallyy well. Does he have kids? Sorry I don't remember, but I think I've asked that before.

    Wait, has what been discussed? LOL
    He has a 12 y/o son.
    It's just kind of the next logical step. And it's really the only way I would ever feel comfortable enough to consider marriage again. (Still traumatized).

    ***

    I picked up a new outfit and shoes for my 7 y/o and I will be leaving work early so they can change clothes. Hoping for the best. Dreading this...
  • AmnerisAmneris Registered Users Posts: 15,117
    LOL, I know y'all are not Caribbean to even consider going without everyone, kids included, dressed to the nines, especially for kids' first scrutiny by future in laws!


    Hope it all goes well.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • scrillsscrills Registered Users Posts: 6,700
    How did it go?
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    Amneris wrote: »
    LOL, I know y'all are not Caribbean to even consider going without everyone, kids included, dressed to the nines, especially for kids' first scrutiny by future in laws!


    Hope it all goes well.


    Funny you should say that bc when it came down to it, the real reason for my reluctance to go was that my son just didn't have anything to wear. He outgrew his nice stuff and I hadn't gotten around to buying him anything else yet. And I didn't want to tax myself w/ that chore for another few weeks bc I've been sooooooo busy w/ other things. But I caved and bought him an outfit and picked them up from camp early enough so that we could go home first and change. And bf decided to skip the visiting hours and just do the funeral, so we had even more time to get here.

    Funny how we sort of dance around and rationalize things we just don't want to deal with (clothes shopping for son).

    It all worked out well. I'm glad we went. It was a nice service.

    RIP

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