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I don't want to go this this "memorial" service

(188 Posts)
whatever17 Tue 17-May-11 22:30:22

I am 42, have never been to a funeral at all. My Dad believes that women and children should not attend funerals and I have gone along with that. I wanted my first funeral to be my parents.

Anyway, my best mate's sister has died. She died in USA - I only met her a couple of times. My mate made me phone her and send her flowers and gifts whilst she was dying.

I did it for my mate. Now she wants me to go to the memorial.

I don't want to, I didn't even know the woman.

working9while5 Tue 17-May-11 22:31:14

Ah sure God love you hmm.

whatever17 Tue 17-May-11 22:32:26

No - God probably doesn't love me - and I am creeped out by the whole thing.

Jonnyfan Tue 17-May-11 22:32:29

You are 42 ????
My mate MADE me phone her...


femalevictormeldrew Tue 17-May-11 22:32:37

I think this would be something you should try and do, for your friends sake. If it means a lot to have you there for support, then as a friend you should.

I don't get the bit about men only attending funerals though. What happens if your Granny / Aunt / Uncle dies? Do you not go?

HRHShoesytwoesy Tue 17-May-11 22:33:57


AgentZigzag Tue 17-May-11 22:34:01

You wouldn't be going for your friends sister, you'd be going for your friend, to support her.

MsHighwater Tue 17-May-11 22:34:11

You know your mate, though and she wants you there, presumably for emotional support. Do you go along with all your Dad's views?

Most people, by 42, have long since formed their own views about most things.

millie30 Tue 17-May-11 22:34:16

It's not really about you, it's about your best friend needing your support.

whatever17 Tue 17-May-11 22:34:30

JonnyFan - by which I mean - she said - "my sister is dying and would so love to hear from you, this is her number, she is probably going to die in the next couple of days".

HappyAsASandboy Tue 17-May-11 22:36:16

The men-only bit seems very odd.

That aside, either go for your friend, or explain your reasons to her. If she is a good enough friend that you sent her dying sister gifts despite not knowing her, surely you can talk about this?

AgentZigzag Tue 17-May-11 22:36:55

Nobody likes or wants to go to funerals or memorials, people go out of respect for the person who's died and their surviving family.

AgentZigzag Tue 17-May-11 22:38:15

No women went to one of my GPs funerals Happy, just a tradition in that area.

squeakytoy Tue 17-May-11 22:39:25

Go to support your friend.

I think you also ought to go to funerals if you (this really doesnt sound right but I know what I mean).. get the opportunity, because waiting till it is your parents is going to be one hell of an awful experience.

MumblingRagDoll Tue 17-May-11 22:40:46

AgentZ.....a tradition? In an area? Surely you mean a country...not a part of the UK?

Jajas Tue 17-May-11 22:41:03

Ok that's a bit odd. Go for your friend though if she really needs you.

I can't believe you have got to 42 and not been to a funeral?! Lucky I suppose or have you known people die and just not gone to them? How strange to be still taking notice of your dad's peculiar views too?

whatever17 Tue 17-May-11 22:41:30

Agent ZigZag - I didn't particularly know my mate's sister. My mate showed me a "memorial book" from where she had a memorial already in the USA. It was signed by people like "Johnny, Janitor from the 3rd Floor".

At my funeral I only want people who truly loved me and if that equals 6 so be it. I don't want the binman there.

I think that is my problem.

My Dad's thing is just an old fashioned protective thing - he thinks women and children should be in the church and only men to the graveside to see the body in. A bit Scots/Irish.

ohfuckohfuckohfuckduck Tue 17-May-11 22:42:01

Where I am in the UK, it is still not unusual for women to go to the church service, but only men go to the graveside.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 17-May-11 22:43:40

whatever17... I'm the same age as you and have never been to a funeral either.

Out of interest, what is the reason why women/children don't go to funerals or to the graveside?

AgentZigzag Tue 17-May-11 22:45:19

It is a country in the UK mumbling.

What you want at your funeral is irrelevant whatever17, maybe your friend wants to know people cared for her sister and she had an effect on the people around her, even the janitor.

She just needs to know her sister mattered to the world and will be missed.

Vallhala Tue 17-May-11 22:45:59

Happy, men only is an idea held by some older people. Grandad wanted that when he was losing his battle because he'd seen how I, my mother and aunts were affected by Nanny's funeral.

We all explained though that hurt as it might we NEEDED to be there to say goodbye. Uncle said, "Daddy, you cannot ask me to tell my sisters that they can't pay their respects to their own father, you just can't.". Grandad acce[ted that and we ALL said goodbye at his funeral. It's about the living, about showing and sharing grief, about mutual support.

However it's also about the living WANTING to do so and feeling that it's right. If you don't feel it's right OP, say so and don't go.

Hell, only recently I was asking on here if it was appropriate to accept my best friend's invitation to join him as guest at his brother's wedding... not only because he has a partner, albeit that she doesn't want to go (hates weddings) but also because I'm 46 now and haven't seen the brother of my pal of 30 years since I was in my early 20s.

OP if it makes it easier plead childcare/work issues, send a compassionate letter and make your apologies.

whatever17 Tue 17-May-11 22:46:08

Jajas - I don't think my Dad's views are peculiar. The only people I know who have died are my godfather when I was 12 and my father said - "no children". I actually think he is right, it is just a bit old fashioned.

Not, "no funerals" just "no graveside".

If we have some Irish here they could probably help with the tradition.

emanno Tue 17-May-11 22:46:41

My first funeral was someone I didn't know (parent of a friend). I went to support my friend but also in hindsight I think going to a funeral where I had no emotional connection to the person who had died made it a lot easier when I then had to go to a funeral where I did have that connection - it meant I know (a bit) what to expect.

It's up to you but you might want to think about going for your friend (how would you feel if the situation was reversed? and also from a more selfish point of view it might help you know what to expect in the future - especially if as you say your first experience of a funeral might be one of your parents (hopefully not for a long time)

amistillsexy Tue 17-May-11 22:47:25

But this isn't the graveside, it's a memorial remember and celebrate the life of the deceased. Why would a woman not be allowed to go to that?

DontGoCurly Tue 17-May-11 22:47:59

My Dad's thing is just an old fashioned protective thing - he thinks women and children should be in the church and only men to the graveside to see the body in. A bit Scots/Irish.

Sorry it's definitely not Irish. Everyone goes to funerals in Ireland even small children.

I'm not really understanding why she wanted to speak to you on the phone in her last days if she didn't know you?

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