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  #1  
Old 10-24-2006, 11:11 PM
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Damn, funeral tomorrow

Tomorrow I've got to take my 12 yr old daughter to a funeral of a classmate who died by falling off a ladder over the weekend. I'm not looking forward to it. Any advice?

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  #2  
Old 10-24-2006, 11:26 PM
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My parents are older and I went to a lot of funerals when I was b/t the ages of 5-9. My maternal grandmother died when I was 9 and I asked my parents, wtf (basically)? All of the funerals I had been to were open casket, southern fried weepy funerals. I told my parents that it was really bothering me. My good Calvanist parents gave me a buy on going to funerals from then on. Since that time, I have been to one--the wife of my former law partner who died at 36--shouldn't have gone, but was invited as a participant. I have put in my will that I am to be cremated, and there is to be an optional party afterwards during the spreading of my ashes in the Chesapeake Bay.

My gentle suggestion is to give her a choice as to whether or not she wants to attend. She doesn't have to go through some hallmark ritual to confront and be able to deal with death.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2006, 11:41 PM
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It was her idea to go. I knew the funeral was scheduled but had avoided raising the issue. At dinner she asked me to take her. She doesn't seem deeply affected by his death but he was a visual arts major with my daughter and it's a pretty small group at the school. I don't know how many other kids are going.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
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1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
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1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2006, 03:06 AM
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If there is a wake ceremony or something like that, perhaps take her there aswell. It will/might take away some of the emotional stress at the funeral service itself. In the old days, dying and burying involved lots of rituals. Much of this has disappeared, at least in this part of the world. These rituals however served to cope with the grief and sorrow, and that's my own personal experience aswell.

All the best.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2006, 03:12 AM
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funerals in general dont bother me too much. i actually enjoy seeing folks i never do usually. i often go to funerals of men who i work with. many times i meet their families whom i know only by referral in conversations. sometimes i meet wives that i have talked to on the phone for 20 years and never met. folks seem to appreciate and remember if you attend.

i am going to one today in fact. a man who died at 73 still working who i would have guessed would be puttering around til he was in his ninties. i have known and worked with him for 25 or more years and have never met his wife.

kid's funerals though are gut wrenching.

but they are a part of life. i would suck it up and take her for sure. the experience might help her to remember to be careful herself. her wanting to attend is an admirable thing. i would praise her for it.

take some hankies though.

tom w
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:09 AM
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Man Kerry, sorry to hear that. I'd say just follow her lead and just be there.
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:12 AM
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Take her. Turn your brain off and run on heart.

B
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2006, 10:34 AM
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My wife and I belonged to a church years ago where she was the choir director and I was the sole musician (small flock).

One of our duties was performing at the funerals held at the church. That was a HARD job, since the funerals were usually for close relatives of the church members. ALL were "open casket"...so lots of wailing and dramatic grieving!

Ironically, many of these funerals were scheduled on February 14th nearly every year of our marriage until we left and moved to Texas. After that, I buried my grandmother on Feb 14 a few years later, and on another year, my daughter broke her wrist in gymnastics on a Feb 14 evening...had to cancel dinner reservations at a swanky joint. I can't remember the last time someone near and dear didn't die on or around that time. The latest was a close friend, whose wife died giving birth to their second child.

Needless to say, we don't celebrate Valentine's Day at our house...in fact, we wait and pray that no one near and dear dies on that day...
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2006, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Take her. Turn your brain off and run on heart.

B
Excellent advice for more than attending funerals. Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2006, 12:20 PM
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Ditto

Good advice, Bot. Not just at funerals, either. When these things happen in life, they are great opportunities to know your child better and to be able to talk about the important events that occur in life.
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2006, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Take her. Turn your brain off and run on heart.

B
it's part of the process...funerals are for the living..
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2006, 05:43 PM
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A wake is sometimes less traumatic from an emotional perspective than the subsequent gravesite service.
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2006, 06:48 PM
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I think I was about 11 when I attended a viewing at a funeral home for a former neighbor who was 9 at the time of his death. It was an accidental hanging that took place while decorating the yard for Halloween... so the aniversary is upon me.
I remember, upon arrival there, seeing his older sister (a year older than me) who I was not particularly close to. She ran up to me and hugged as if we had been the closest of friends and haddn't seen each other for too too long. I will never forget that moment.
Just being there, crying and feeling rotten about the real tragedy that is death too young, was all that could be done, and all that had to be. That's about as bad as it gets for a family and it raises the hug threshold off the charts.
Chances are you will see more than one person balling there eyes out as grief stricken as they will ever likley be within a day or so, in their lives... and the chances are a hug would be appreciated.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2006, 06:57 PM
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death is a part of life.

i have made it a point to take my kids from the earliest age to funerals.

when their maternal grandfather died my son was about 6 i think. i remember him and the other kids roaming around inside the viewing area. the kids really dont feel it like we do and their presence, i think, is a great comfort to the folks who are feeling it strongly. it gives adults something lively to talk about... even laugh. i remember my son coming up to me and whispering that they had white wax in grampas nostrils. i never would have ever noticed that little detail.

their aunt, in contrast, a forty something adult stayed out in the lobby and only came in where her dad lay in state for a few minutes.

i like to believe when my kids are adults they wont feel afraid like she must have.

death is a part of life. being there helps us all move on.

tom w
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2006, 07:28 PM
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Just got back. Terrible experience for me, but my daughter seemed to handle it pretty well. The Cathedral was filled with kids and they all seemed to be taking if very well except for the deceased's sister. Just talked to a colleague who experienced a similar event in the 5th grade. He says he did not feel it the same way as he would now. I didn't know either the child or the family but I feel as if I have run a marathon. The eulogists were as erudite as anyone I have ever heard and while I would never want to produce a homily in these circumstances, the priests words, that we did not deserve the gift of the child to begin with and now God has taken the child back, seemed cruel enough to divert me from my grief. I found some respite by participating in a centuries old ceremony for dealing with death.

The first story I heard was that the boy died while decorating the yard for Halloween. Perhaps it too was an accidental hanging. Nobody is talking about how the death occured.

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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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