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wheelchairman
10-24-2008, 04:37 PM
I've decided to start a thread on funerals.

By and large my reason for starting this thread is deeply narcisstic in that my example and timing has a lot to deal with the fact that I am visiting my grandmother tomorrow.

I've had to deal with grandparents dying before. but I've always been out of the country when they died. I've dated people who've recently had direct parents die so I was somewhat familiar with what would happen when such a loss of this type would happen.

Yet for the first time in my life I was a participant in a funeral for my own grandfather. I carried his body to the grave and lowered him into it. I must admit I was caught completely off-guard by how confrontational funerals were. I had no idea that the preacher would dig directly into the most painful areas of my heart and pull out the exact areas where I was most hurting during her preach.

I will admit that the aspect of me meeting him again in heaven was not comforting. I am unconvinced about heaven to be honest. I've never been more open to the concept since the funeral but something inside of me just doesn't like faith. To be honest I am not certain on this front, I have no opinion one way or the other.

The funeral was two months ago. My brother, father and myself are taking turns spending the weekends with my grandmother and tomorrow is my turn. this is what brings forth all these thoughts I have on the subject of funerals, as two months later I still notice I have these issues. I have noticed that I am more impatient with people online, and in noticing that fact I have tried to be even more patient. I am looking forward to seeing my grandmother but I can admit I still have open wounds still that directly relate to the loss of my grandfather. Honest to god I would have thought the process would be easier.

in essence, despite the fact that this stupid post is so long I honestly want to hear your experiences with regards to someone dying. I've been honest so I would appreciate some deep narcissistic egoistoic honesty from you as well. If only to satisfy my own guilt in what was maybe a too honest post. So by all means if you feel comfortable sharing your experience with this please describe it. :)

Sunny
10-24-2008, 05:07 PM
TL;DR ahead: consider yourself warned.

my memories of funerals i've attended are hazy and uncomfortable. it was either incredibly hot and sunny, or my heels were digging into the ground, or the rain was getting in my eyes. i do not recall having any feelings connected to the actual ritual, aside from the aforementioned discomfort. in most cases, i'd already cried for hours prior to the ordeal, so by the time we got to the cemetery, i was tapped out. so there's that. i remember the grief stricken faces, the dirt on the coffin, the smell of incense (maybe it's just Catholics that do that, i dunno), and a disquieting feeling of emptiness. omfg, this is starting to sound like a MCR song. anyways.

i am terrified of death and i have always been. i've always felt a great fear of losing people i love. the earliest i remember feeling like this was at the age of maybe... 4. for some reason, the understanding of impermanence has always... been there with me. sometimes this fear hits me out of the blue, and it's pretty intense, for the lack of a better word.

i lost a few of my close relatives in the past few years (grandma, grandpa, aunt, to name a few). grief is a funny and a tricky thing. i assume that i'm fine... then i come across something completely trivial that reminds me of them... a Christmas ornament, the smell of homemade chocolate pudding, the sight of an old watch... and i deteriorate into a total mess. as for describing grief, i personally don't think the "healing wound" is a good metaphor. it's more like a big ugly object on the sidelines... you manage to ignore it if you keep looking straight ahead, but sometimes something distracts you and you look to the side and BAM! there it is.

i remember an episode of Battlestar Galactica (nerdy AND emo anecdote, score) where the president has a vision/dream of the afterlife... being on a boat and being able to see your dead loved ones on a faraway island, waving to you, waiting for you, emerging from the fog as the boat approaches the shore. watching that bit was pretty painful and strange, because it made me realize just how awesome that would be... and how i absolutely have no faith in it happening. i mean, none whatsoever. i cannot begin to describe how much i'd like to believe in it.

losing people has changed the way i interact with my family. anytime i'm in my hometown or my husband's hometown, i make it a point to see all the relatives. say "hi" and "i love you" and spend time with them as if it was the last time. the twisted and horrible part is that every time i do that, i have the "this could be the last time" thought ringing in my head. sick. i try to make sure every experience with them is lived to the fullest; that i didn't let any of that precious time go to waste because i was too lazy or too distracted to spend time with people; that i always leave them knowing that i love them.

ugh. i need a drink.

Rag Doll
10-24-2008, 07:18 PM
I've never had a close relative die, so I guess I can't fully relate to you, Per. I've had many aunts and whatnot die over the years (including like 2-3 weeks ago), but I never knew them enough for it to matter to me or I was too young. However, a close friend of mine died when we were 16...which was pretty....jesus. At his wake (I wasn't able to go to the funeral...), I was a mess. My best friend and I were like...damn near hugging the coffin and crying like crazy. I cried for hours upon hours then. And even now...sometimes I just get super upset thinking about it and turn into a big mess, partly because he was SO young.



i am terrified of death and i have always been. i've always felt a great fear of losing people i love........for some reason, the understanding of impermanence has always... been there with me. sometimes this fear hits me out of the blue, and it's pretty intense, for the lack of a better word.

....say "hi" and "i love you" and spend time with them as if it was the last time. the twisted and horrible part is that every time i do that, i have the "this could be the last time" thought ringing in my head. sick. i try to make sure every experience with them is lived to the fullest; that i didn't let any of that precious time go to waste because i was too lazy or too distracted to spend time with people; that i always leave them knowing that i love them.


i've always had that fear too. i think it's because when i was three my mom was in the hospital for 3 months and i thought she died. so, ever since, i go through bouts where i'm just...terrified of dying and losing people. even now, i'll be laying in bed with my mens sometimes and just get this overwhelming fear of dying and him dying and i just start crying and i cant sleep at all.

and i always like...make sure i don't waste time too and i always think "this could be it"....always. i have become very conscious of it lately, for some reason. all my friends and my mens...i'll give them a long hug and kiss and do the whole "i love you" thing...and they'll be like, "uhh, i'm seeing you tomorrow"....but you never know. maybe you won't. maybe you'll get hit by an 18-wheeler driving home.

i'm crazy.

jacknife737
10-24-2008, 08:05 PM
Within recent years I have had two very close relatives die.

The first was my grandmother a few years ago. She died at around 92, so it wasn’t entirely shocking. I was a pallbearer at her funeral, and as I stood there on that crisp fall day, with all my immediate relatives, and strangers who I had never met before, it was almost surreal. And although she was obviously close to me, being my grandmother, that day, I watched my father, he was now an orphan, and as much as I tried, I couldn’t even began to understand what he was going through. A very strange experience.

Earlier this week, my Uncle died. Tuesday was the first time in years that I actually wept. He lived in the UK, and I didn’t get too see him too often, but I still felt really close to him. I am also unable to attend his funeral next week for obvious travel restrictions, and I am very upset over this fact. It isn’t the act of “saying goodbye”, which is silly in my opinion, I just feel as if I “need” to be there.

I have a difficult time dealing with grief (then again, who does?). I tend to become incredibly reclusive and I try not to communicate my emotions to anyone, even those who are also affected by the same loss.

The Talking Pie
10-25-2008, 03:24 AM
This won't be of any help, but in my experience, apathy makes it easier. Years of good old schooling really numbed me to people and their goings-on, so whenever people close to me died it didn't really affect me. Maybe I just didn't let myself get close because I'd learnt not to trust people?

I don't know how I'd cope now, though... the 'real' world's a bit more forgiving than Planet Teen, so I'm sure I've grown out of a lot of that useful apathy. No one's died on me for a good several years.

Bazza
10-25-2008, 06:45 AM
I'll keep this fairly short. For me, funerals bring up emotions that can't be described. When my grandfather died, 10months ago, I felt no real sadness to begin with, looking back it seems really bad. My natural reaction was to carry on with my daily routine and it didn't sink in at all, almost as if it didn't happen, I even went to work after hearing the news. This feeling carried on until the funeral, and at that point it really hit me hard.

It was seeing the coffin, seeing the grieving people, seeing my grandma upset. All these things really rammed it home to me that he was gone and not coming back, it still makes me upset thinking about that day.

I know a few people who have avoided attending funerals of loved ones, I guess they don't want to experience the sheer sadness of the situation. However, on a personnal level, I feel that it's an occasion one should really attend to give some form of closure. Maybe this is just me, I don't know.

Sinister
10-25-2008, 07:55 AM
Sometimes I get hit in the face by the thought that my father's parents are both in their 80s and thus presumably going to die soon, and then I just wish I can cut all contact with my family so I don't have to face it when it happens. I remember a cousin died in an accident and from the moment my mom told me and my bros to come and see her, I already knew there were very sad news.

Luckily I haven't had to deal with relatives' deaths much so far. But I'm only 19.

Sin Studly
10-25-2008, 08:08 AM
Faggots go cry. I been to so many funerals I can't keep count. They're all lame.

Tizzalicious
10-25-2008, 09:53 AM
I will admit that the aspect of me meeting him again in heaven was not comforting. I am unconvinced about heaven to be honest. I've never been more open to the concept since the funeral but something inside of me just doesn't like faith. To be honest I am not certain on this front, I have no opinion one way or the other.


This is exactly what I meant when I compared my grandmothers & uncles funerals to my grandfathers'.

My grandfather had his funeral in a church, whereas my uncle & grandmother were cremated in a non-religious place. After grandfathers funeral there was no closure at all. The things that were said that were comforting for the religious people there, weren't comforting me in the slightest. I don't believe his is in a better place now, I think he's just...gone. Of course I am happy that it gave my grandmother and aunt (she's mentally ill and lived with my grandparents all her life) comfort, but for me personally, it didn't do anything.

When my grandmother (the other one) and my uncle were cremated, it felt more like a proper goodbye. Family members talked about them as persons, how they would be missed, etc. I felt more like I had a chance to close it then.

ad8
10-25-2008, 12:57 PM
I've been to 2 funerals yet, but both were funerals of relatives who were not related very closely to my life. So I rather hated to be there because I felt displaced and not because it was a funeral. Maybe I'll feel different on a funeral for a friend/very close relative, but maybe I can also understand that the people will live on in my memories and nowhere else. That would be the way to stay calm for me.

emailmen0w
10-25-2008, 01:08 PM
"Maybe in another life
I could find you there
Pulled away before your time
I can’t deal it’s so unfair


And it feels
And it feels like
Heaven’s so far away
And it feels
Yeah it feels like
The world has grown cold
Now that you’ve gone away


Leaving flowers on your grave
Show that I still care
But black roses and hail mary’s
Can’t bring back what’s taken from me
I reach to the sky
And call out your name
And if I could trade
I would


And it feels
And it feels like
Heaven’s so far away
And it stings
Yeah it stings now
The world is so cold
Now that you’ve gone away"

Although short, a very meaningful song that expresses Dexter Hollands emotional reaction to the death of a loved one. I especially like, "And if I could trade, I would"

lost_nvrfound
10-25-2008, 03:51 PM
Funerals have been a pretty major part of my life in the last year and a half. I've lost count of how many I've been to, not to mention the ones I missed for various reasons. Last December, my grandad died. I was closer to him than any of my other grandparents. It hurt like hell when it happened and a couple weeks ago, they sold his house. I'm glad that its finally over with, but just knowing that I'll never get to see that house again where I spent so many days of my childhood has got me crying right now, however stupid and mushy that seems.

3 weeks after he died, my grandmother from a different side of the family died (I have 3 sides: my mom, my dad, and my step mom who has been my step mom for so long that her family is my family no ifs ands or buts about it). Because of some things that had happened in the year before that, I was not on speaking terms with her. Then, she got sick and died in about a week. No one was expecting it. She seemed to be getting better, but then BAM she was gone. I never got to see her again. She was at our family's christmas dinner, but I ignored her. And now I'll never get to see her to make things right. She didn't have a funeral, because she didn't want one, but we had a memorial service.

I've always been paranoid of death. All of the funerals in my family lately have only heightened it. Especially my 25-year-old cousins funeral 3 weeks ago. I always have the thought flit through my head about what if this or that person dies. And I know its really beginning to shape how I'm living my life. It seems like all of my family is dying off around me, and just as soon as it seems we might get a break from funerals for a while, someone else just up and dies. I'm so afraid that its going to be my mom or my brother or my dad or my sister or my step mom to go next. Or maybe the guy I'm seeing or one of my bestfriends. And it really sucks!

medi01
10-26-2008, 08:36 AM
funerals suck. its only ever sad. i dont want one.

wheelchairman
10-27-2008, 06:16 PM
Oh man I was so drunk when I made this post. Much like now. I'm finding it very difficult to concentrate. Much like then. I'm glad that my smiley at the end didn't arouse suspicion. Not to raise suspicions or anything. Whoa I had such a hard time spelling suspicion.

lost_nvrfound
10-27-2008, 07:31 PM
wow... must've taken you forever to type it up...

Cock Joke
10-27-2008, 07:32 PM
Mexican funerals rock!!!

Betty
10-27-2008, 08:34 PM
Ahhh... good old drunk posting. I wrote a drunk e-mail the other night and got onto the topic of death as well, I don't quite know why.

My grandparents all died within the span of a few years in high school. One of the most striking experiences for me was when my grandmother died, everybody in the family came to town (my hometown) and we knew she was going to die, just not exactly when, so we all took shifts staying with her in the hospital for a couple of weeks, 24 hours a day. Luckily I came home from university right away and went to see her and at that point she was still able to speak and she saw me and recognized me and said "OH MICHELLE!" and was so happy but then she rapidly deteriorated each subsequent visit. I guess some people are pretty used to watching a person die, but I'm not.

Funerals are sad. Sadder because everybody around you is so upset, mostly. It's just surreal. I've never lost anybody close enough to feel TRUE GRIEF myself, however, I don't believe.

JoY
10-28-2008, 05:48 AM
bah. I'm sorry for your loss, Per.

my grandfather (father's father) died very suddenly & unexpected when I was 9/10 & that made the whole situation quite.. different. he accidently drove his car in a canal. he was in coma for 4 days & then they stopped the treatment. I remember at the funeral I couldn't wrap my mind around him being gone, trying real hard to let it sink in, because this was the right moment to say goodbye, & generally worrying for my grandmother. there was no religious funeral service & that wouldn't have suited him either.

my grandmother (father's mother) died when I was 16, unhappy & lonely. she wasn't alone, but she felt lonely without my grandfather & had been feeling lonely ever since he died. when she died, I was in a concert. but it was alright, because she'd already said goodbye to me & that's what matters anyway. a week before she passed away, she'd been with us & at the end of the evening, we all gave her a kiss goodnight. when she left & the car drove out of our driveway, she suddenly stopped the car, grabbed my arm through the carwindow, looked me in the eye & said "Isabel, goodbye. goodbye". there was a cremation, also not in religious context & that was the way she would've wanted it.

my uncle (father's brother) died from a braintumor, so after a rather elaborate sickbed with plenty of chances to accept, let go & say goodbye. his funeral wasn't in a church either & like his mom & dad, he also never would've wanted a religious service.

my other grandfather (mother's father) also died when I was 16, while I was out of the country in Canada (also to play the violin). I was back just in time to be there at the funeral. he got an elaborate service in a church. he was a minister for all his life, so that was exactly what he would've wanted. I played something for him on the violin, staring at the coffin that he was lying in, just to make sure he knew, although I had been in Canada, I was here now to play for him. or maybe to make sure I realised the reality of it & took my chance of saying goodbye. of course there was a lot of "he's in a better place now"-sort of stuff & rambling about heaven. that's what he believed in & that's what I believe in for him. there's no use in thinking otherwise, because honestly, like I know what death is & what death means. it was his deeply religious life that ended; his life, his death, his afterlife & it will be the way he imagined it to be. if the man has believed all his life that heaven comes after death, then that's where he is.

I believe my own feelings towards religion are least important, when it comes to these things. I need to know the person who passed away would've wanted his funeral/cremation that way & the idea of that person agreeing with how the funeral/cremation was arranged, gives me peace. at a funeral or cremation, I need to recollect my memories of that person, I need to consciously bring those memories to life to order my thoughts & emotions. I wouldn't be able to do that, in a setting that doesn't suit the life of the person who passed away. & if ever possible, I hope to have some sort of last moment through those memories with that person. I want to be in the place, at the spot, where I know the one who passed away would be too, if he/she could.