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Pall bearing and women

(34 Posts)
kim147 Fri 27-Sep-13 21:36:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Sun 06-Oct-13 21:23:48

Kim - You do 'know' me, but I namechanged because I got accidentally outed (maybe I should PM you my old name).

I am so sorry to hear about your Grandma. I hope that things with your family went ok and that you are ok with your father's comments.

Going on to your actual question, I think it is traditional for men to carry the coffin in the same way many things were traditionally the realm of men in the past. Women were probably expected to be too small, too emotional and unsuitably dressed.

Why hasn't it changed - I would guess a combination of the fact that there are physical issues in total equality and, at a more feminist level, because the rituals and traditions around death are comforting and familiar. And the last thing one wants to do at a funeral is make things worse by making a political point. So no one questions the tradition and it continues.

DrCoconut Sun 06-Oct-13 19:43:14

EduCated, my grandma didn't attend my grandad's funeral in 1995. She was from a very traditional and old fashioned way of thinking that lasted until her generation basically. She fretted about what to wear after too, was a particular thing ok for a widow of 8 months or whatever, it mattered in her day when mourning attire was strictly observed. She was also shocked that the couple next door weren't married when they first moved in.

SockQueen Wed 02-Oct-13 00:09:47

I carried my Grandma's, together with my Grandpa, Dad and his two brothers, and my eldest male cousin. I am the eldest grandchild by several years, and I actually asked to do it; they were going to have one of the other younger male cousins but I argued that he was a)only 13 and b)considerably shorter than me, so I was allowed. We didn't carry it on our shoulders, just by our sides using the handles, and it worked well. I think even if we had gone for shoulders it wouldn't have been too bad as I'm 5'9 and could add a couple more inches with some sturdy heels. I was really glad I did it, felt very right at the time.

When Grandpa died 5 years later, the male cousins were all grown-up enough that I couldn't use that argument again so they did it. I hope I don't have to worry about this for my parents or anyone else for some years yet but it's certainly something I'd do again.

Sirzy Sat 28-Sep-13 20:19:08

I carried my Grandmothers coffin and was going to my Grandfather coffin but I had flu so was only just able to be at the service let alone anything else.

I couldn't carry my Nans coffin as her 6ft tall son was one of the pall bearers so me being just over 5 ft would have made it very difficult.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 28-Sep-13 20:15:42

My experience is similar to Bue's. I am in the US and I can't remember the last time I saw a coffin carried into a funeral. It is always on a rolling bier that is escorted by pall bearers, many of whom are now women.

My condolences, Kim, and to everyone else who has lost someone.

WhentheRed Sat 28-Sep-13 20:03:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EduCated Sat 28-Sep-13 19:35:37

Wasn't it traditional in the (distant) past for women to not attend funerals at all? I may have imagined that.

Bue Sat 28-Sep-13 19:28:57

Also I'm very sorry for all the losses expressed on this thread.

Bue Sat 28-Sep-13 19:26:36

Maybe this is only a Canadian thing but over there we tend not to carry coffins anymore, which eliminates the need for strength and similarly-sized people. You actually roll it in on a cloth-covered roller thingy. Certainly not as dramatic, but it makes it much easier for differently sized people to be involved. At my grandmother's funeral the female grandchildren escorted it in and the male grandchildren escorted it out. I loved that set up, it felt very special.

Queenie73 Sat 28-Sep-13 19:23:22

At my daughter's funeral, my husband carried the coffin, and I walked behind him. I probably couldn't have carried it because I'd only given birth to her three days before, but it hurt me that I wasn't given the chance to at least help. I feltl dismissed, somehow.

Whatdoido5 Sat 28-Sep-13 12:40:21

I will carry my dad and mum. With dd on the other side, if she's old enough.

If my brother dared to turn up I'd hope he wouldn't have the balls to want to do a lift.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sat 28-Sep-13 12:37:08

Hi kim, just wanted to say sorry for your loss, and for everyone on here who's lost someone.

chibi Sat 28-Sep-13 11:52:52

i helped carry my grandfather in august. so did the other grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. three of us were women.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scallopsrgreat Sat 28-Sep-13 11:40:33

Oh Kim sad Sorry about that.

I wasn't advocating skirts and heels btw.

BrennieGirl Sat 28-Sep-13 10:06:20

When my Granny died a few months ago four of her daughters and two of her grand daughters carried her coffin in and out of the church. She had no sons although there are plenty of men in the family.

I think her daughters wanted to do one last thing together for her. However I wouldn't let my mam participate. She is 72 and has back and shoulder problems. My sister took her place instead and mam lead the procession.

I don't think it's something to be entered into lightly male or female. My poor sister was in floods of tears.

nicename Sat 28-Sep-13 10:02:31

My niece is in the emergency services in the states. She is part of the league of honour, so carries caskets and fires rifles at colleagues funerals. Thankfully is doesn't happen very often.

She is a strapping 6-footer and is treated same as the blokes cos she is better than them and scary.

peggyblackett Sat 28-Sep-13 09:57:50

And so sorry for your losses Kim and Angel.

peggyblackett Sat 28-Sep-13 09:57:00

The pall bearers at my step granny's funeral were my step siblings. I would want to do the same for my grandmother, and will when the time comes.

perplexedpirate Sat 28-Sep-13 09:40:38

When my nan died, my brother wanted to carry her, so the others had to be picked to match his height, which ruled me out. My DH and our friends did it.
I did a reading though, because he was too choked. We all played to our strengths.
So sorry Angel. thanks

kim147 Sat 28-Sep-13 09:36:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ModeratelyObvious Sat 28-Sep-13 00:58:25

Sorry for your losses Kim flowers and Angel flowers

scallopsrgreat Sat 28-Sep-13 00:11:43

Angels I'm so sorry sad.

I agree that thinking about this won't be on top of anyone's priority list when planning a funeral.

AngelsLieToKeepControl Fri 27-Sep-13 23:43:35

I carried by son and daughters coffins. I am fairly sure that the undertaker suggested it both times.

I would assume that anyone that wants to do it would ask. I guess in the haze of grief people do tend to fall back on what's traditional and expected because it's easier than having to think when there is so much else going on.

mamakoukla Fri 27-Sep-13 23:41:43

In my family there is a tradition that at the graveside the women carry the coffin if it is a deceased female family member

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