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Old 08-19-2004, 06:43 PM
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Question Death & Funeral Etiquette Question

This afternoon, my SIL's MIL passed away after a long illness. SIL is DH's sister.

Although I have heard many stories about the MIL (all good!), I never actually met her.

My question is this...since I never met the woman and I am not close at all to SIL, BIL or their children, should I attend her wake? I feel kinda funny going to it given that I didn't know her but then I don't want to seem callous or cold-hearted to SIL's family.

DH plans to go to the wake with his Dad whether or not I go along as his Dad just got out of the hospital on Monday and is not fully recovered. DH is going to drive him and keep an eye on him.

This is a situation that I have never been in before.

I do plan on cooking some food tomorrow to go drop off for the family.....though I am not sure yet what I'll cook.
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Old 08-19-2004, 09:15 PM
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I've gone to a coworker's mother's viewing, even though I had never met her mom. Several of us from work went because we'd heard her daughter speak so lovingly about her, and we wanted to show our support and respect for the woman we worked with. She was naturally very upset, and we wanted to be there for HER, not her mother, if that makes sense. Funerals are really for the survivors, after all, rather than the person who's passed on. I guess that's why businesses used to close for the day when an employee had a funeral in the family -- a sign of respect for the dead and respect & caring for the ones left behind. My work friend told us later that it meant a lot to her to see so many of us there. If your presence at the wake would be a comfort to your SIL, then I'd say, "Go." Just my 2 cents....
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Old 08-20-2004, 12:25 PM
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I think you should go. It will provide your sister in law with the support she will need to get through this.
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Old 08-20-2004, 12:52 PM
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You remind me of a dear friend. She had never been to a funeral and had no desire to go to one ..... and she would find every reason as to why she didnt need to go. Once she realized she was just very nervous in attending, she went on to the funeral.

Folks, go to funeral out of respect and affection for others. One's presence, gives such a loving support. Until you have been the survivor of one that has passed away .... you may not understand the great support it gives.

As far as the foods to take by their home, casseroles, homemade soups, breads are very nice to take as well as cakes and such.

You and the family will be in my prayers.
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Old 08-20-2004, 03:55 PM
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Yes, Please go

OK.. First of all take this from a non-Christian perspective... Who knows if I'm missing something.. But my advice comes from a humanistic viwepoint, and would guide my behavior. Remember we don't have "wakes" in my religion.. we do our visitations after the funeral. However my DH's family, and many of my friends do hold wakes, and I have attended more than I can count. That said, I feel you should attend this one as your husbands "escort"... for lack of a better description... Because more than your presence will likely be "noticed".. Your absence will be definately be conspicuious....

It is far better to go, offer civil and sincere condolences to SIL and BIL on the loss of someone truly dear to them, and just be there for your DH as he provides whatever comforthe needs to offer his DS.

I think You'll be glad you did it in the long run..


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Old 08-20-2004, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by GrannyBJ
Until you have been the survivor of one that has passed away .... you may not understand the great support it gives.
Oh, I've been in their shoes when both my grandmothers passed away and also my MIL....also my first DH passed away when DD was almost 5 yrs old.

I've just never been in this particular predicament before. If my SIL & I were even a little bit close, I wouldn't even question going.

Quote:
Originally posted by Lifestar
Because more than your presence will likely be "noticed".. Your absence will be definately be conspicuious....
I think either way I go, my back is going to be against the wall so to speak!

Quote:
Originally posted by Lifestar
I think You'll be glad you did it in the long run..
I sure hope you're right!




The family is having a difficult time finding a place in town to hold the wake and viewing before the day of the funeral. We only have one funeral home in town and her last wish was to NOT be sent there. So, an out of town funeral home is taking care of all the legal stuff. BIL's family requested to use the church for viewing, the wake & the funeral. Of course they said yes to the funeral mass but no to everything else.

BIL's brother is in Eqypt and his sister is out of state.....both on business. They are both trying to get back. Looks like viewing or the wake will not happen before next Wednesday.
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Old 08-20-2004, 05:03 PM
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Okay, possible silly question but, you mentioned a wake, a viewing and a funeral. What exactly is a wake?

I am familiar with a viewing and a funeral, but not sure what a wake is.
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Old 08-20-2004, 05:19 PM
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GO. My mother has always said that even if you don't know the person? Go and support your husband or friend who could use a good shoulder. Go for your husband and not because you don't know the decease. The decease doesn't, she might, know you are there, but it the living that will remember who was there in their time of need. If anything? Go and enjoy the buffet they always have. The funeral I had? Was very upbeat and the widow very thankful to know her friends were there for her.
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Old 08-20-2004, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mom2-4
Okay, possible silly question but, you mentioned a wake, a viewing and a funeral. What exactly is a wake?
This confused me too when I first moved here. This is how they do it here:

Viewing - from the time the deceased is laid out until the wake begins. Viewing beings again the morning of the funeral day until time for the funeral to begin.

Wake - held the evening/night after the deceased is laid out. It is during the wake that the rosary is said. People get up and talk about the deceased...people that might not get a chance to speak during the funeral mass.
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Old 08-20-2004, 06:27 PM
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A wake is an old fashioned term for sitting with the body to make sure it really is dead. This practice kind of got thrown out with the 60's and flower power. Pretty much if you hear of a wake the south does still, according to some religions, do sit with the body until the day of the funeral. Mostly though, the widow, with the help of close family, will sit until then. I believe she is referring to the funeral and that it entails. My mother attended a wake and I believe she was 12 when she sat with her cousin for a couple of hours while the widow took a break.
I find it freaky to sit with a dead corpse for several hours.
I think it will be the final viewing, the service, the cemetary and then the buffet and meeting of the family. This is according to the 5 I went to in month. Yes, folks, 1 month of 5 funerals. It did get comical after a while.

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