The widespread practice of a viewing of the body and wake at a funeral home is not helpful to me as it seems to be for so many people.  But I do need to say goodbye formally, in a memorial service.  As a person of faith, I prefer religious services; but some formal rite of farewell, some ritual recognition that a life has ended is still important, if the family is not religious.  It has always been important to mankind, and it is important to me.  My uncle wanted nothing, no service, no wake, no gathering.  He was in the Navy for 20 years, an enlisted man who retired as a Lieutenant Commander and a Vietnam War veteran.  He could have been buried with full military honors.  It is a beautiful ceremony, but he wanted nothing.  Looking back, it feels like anger, a denial to his family of an opportunity to come together to grieve, to remember.  I don't know.  We never talked about it.  He had a very complicated relationship with his son. But I think it was very wrong of him, and I would have tried to change his mind if I had known what he had decided.

My mentally challenged cousin had a memorial service at the church that he attended faithfully.  It was attended by 150 people.  One of his caregivers filled 6 poster boards with pictures of Paul for the service and the gathering afterward.  He was much loved, not just by me. 

I think there's a lesson here for us.  If we did not have the opportunity to formally say goodbye to those we have loved and lost, I think we need make our own ritual.  We need to say those goodbyes.  I think I am going to write a letter to my uncle and put it in a bottle and drop it in the Missouri River which is near where I live.  Hopefully, it will float out to the sea that he loved.

Views: 26

Comment

You need to be a member of Online Grief Support - A Social Community to add comments!

Join Online Grief Support - A Social Community

Latest Activity

eunice navarro joined Melanie Richmond's group
Thumbnail

Young Adult Parent Loss

For young adults 18+ who have lost a parent during this difficult, unique, phase of life.
7 hours ago
eunice navarro is now a member of Online Grief Support - A Social Community
8 hours ago
ash posted a blog post

.

i love seeing him in my dreams. See More
9 hours ago
Joe von Anjou commented on Joe von Anjou's blog post I lost my mother in April. It hurts worse now than then
"Different today. Hurts as usual, but not like yesterday. My stress goes through the roof at the slightest change in routine. I have to break free of the pattern, the ritual, of Friday nights and Saturdays. My mother died on a Friday. But I cannot…"
yesterday
Profile IconJeremico Cooper, Heather and Julia Metcalfe joined Online Grief Support - A Social Community
yesterday
Joe von Anjou commented on Joe von Anjou's blog post I lost my mother in April. It hurts worse now than then
"Today, I feel it. It has been like this every Saturday since June, since the nurse at the care home called me to notify me that I could pick up my mother's effects. My mother died in April. I am overwhelmed. I am crushed. I love you, Mom. I…"
Saturday
Joe von Anjou commented on Joe von Anjou's blog post I lost my mother in April. It hurts worse now than then
"Sixteen weeks ago today, my mother died. For some reason, I do not feel crushed today. But every Friday is going to be like this, a reminder that she is dead. Not quite the kick in the stomach reminder that she is dead that I feel when I wake up…"
Friday
Carla is now a member of Online Grief Support - A Social Community
Friday

© 2020   Created by Ninja.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service