1. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    I apologise before I start for what is essentially venting my feelings of frustration and having a moan.

    First it was arranging dates for Mum's funeral and getting people to finally agree on a suitable time and date. They do have demanding work commitments and have to travel abroad but in the end I had to set an ultimatum to get them to come to an agreement as it was as if no-one wanted to give way.

    The next issue I am afraid leaves me speechless. Step-father struggles to arrange anything and does not like large family gatherings. He had not arranged a wake so I suggested that everyone who wishes goes to a local pub that is open for food all day and has a good range of meals and snacks. As it is late afternoon most people would only want a light bite and the landlady said they could accommodate a large group dropping in at short notice on the day. It seems this is not good enough for some who are very unhappy that a buffet had not been arranged and that step-father at first seemed reluctant to pay for it, but probably will. I don't live in the area, but suggested that the person complaining come to an arrangement with step-father and find out how many people want a buffet (it won't be everyone) and contact the pub. Not much to ask, but there is a complete back down by the person and a refusal to discuss it with step-father saying they would only argue.

    Is it just me that thinks people shouldn't necessarily expect the surviving spouse to pay for their food after the funeral. I thought the idea of a funeral was to remember the deceased and pay your respects, not get a free meal. If close relatives haven't gone through enough anguish having a loved one with dementia without this. I am afraid certain people have gone down in my estimation which is a pity.
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Oh dear, everyone has such different circumstances!! Funerals seem to attract bad behaviour. I think if people are travelling very long distances that it is quite common to provide some food - it is also an opportunity for people to come to together and remember the deceased and swap memories and can be very cathartic. If step dad's finances circumstances are such that it would give him difficulty do people not understand that and can immediate family not 'chip in'.

    Sorry you are having such a difficult time. We just went for brunch at a garden centre and I paid, we had a really great time time, my Mum would have been pleased but there were only 10 of us.
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    In Scotland it would be considered very bad form not to provide a drink and some food even if only soup and sandwich. On the other hand it is not usual to consult all and sundry. The family arrange the funeral with the undertaker and it is then up to others whether they fit in with those arrangements or not.
  4. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    No not just you as I couldn't agree more with you.:)

    It is all about respect and if people cannot be bothered then they do not deserve yours.
  5. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015

    It seems that with some people in England they also consider it bad form. I am afraid I don't agree that the spouse who has suffered enough already should have to foot the bill. I personally would never dream of asking for anything. If something is provided then it is a bonus and one should be grateful for it. It is not the place of others to judge the widower on what he provides. To me that shows a lack of empathy.
  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    I agree with marionq. In my opinion, if you invite people to a gathering, be it a wedding, a christening or a funeral, you provide some form of food and drink for attendees. People don't come for the free food but it's still expected that there is something there. It's not that difficult to arrange a buffet if you know the numbers. This really isn't worth getting upset about. Also, funerals are arranged by the family, either someone can come or they can't. Unless it's a very close relative and you absolutely want him/her there, the family arranging the funeral choses the date that suits them best and that's that.
  7. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    He probably will pay and can afford a certain amount, but I do not think people should expect it. They would have all eaten lunch and there is somewhere arranged where we can all meet and chat and get food if we wish. I think we should all be chipping in to buy him a meal if anything. I don't know what the agenda is but it seems to me there is a lack of empathy.
  8. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    I agree with Marion, it isn't usual to consult people about times and dates, and a small buffet is expected but not everyone who attends the funeral will gather afterwards so you won't need to cater for too many.
    Also, it's not expected to be a full meal....'light refreshments' I believe is the phrase.

    I don't like the established routine myself, so I understand your discomfort but it is an established routine, so don't hate anyone too much.

    Sorry you've lost your Mum, that's the important bit, paying respects and saying farewell.

    These times are always fraught with angst, don't think it's just you.
    Once it's done, it's done.

    Leave yourself with no regrets x

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  9. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    wise words garnuft, regrets are so upsetting and stay with you for years!
  10. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    I don't agree. You do not invite people to funerals - they come because they wish to pay their respects. But there will be something to eat if wanted but not pre-arranged. You will obviously not know the whole story behind this. I am afraid some people's attitude has been quite poor and I am not the only one amongst friends and family who have been astounded by it.

    Yes it was close relatives that had to be accommodated.
  11. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    I agree that a funeral is to pay respects and to remember the person. I have been to funerals where some people seem to have pitched up just for a free feed, and others where there had been nothing arranged for after the service so there was no opportunity to meet and express condolences to the family.

    At my dad's funeral we did provide a hot and cold buffet and a free bar because that was what my dad would have wanted, but equally if people thought so little of him that they wouldn't have bought their own butty and pint if we hadn't then I wouldn't have wanted them there anyway.

    I would do whatever you think your mum would have wanted.
  12. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Stepdau and I plus funeral director arranged OHs funeral. If you couldn't come, hard luck! We did provide a buffet, using caterers as a sizeable proportion of attendees travelled 1-2 hours to get here. I also found that some came to funeral but not buffet, some came to buffet but not funeral ( mostly elderly who did not like driving more than about 10 miles!).
    Didn't hear any complaints.
    The funds came from OHs money, it's one of the allowable expenses. Not that it matters, as he left everything to me anyway. My thoughts on caterers were that the funeral was much cheaper than I thought it was going to be and that I didn't need the worry of doing most of the food myself.
    All went extremely well, I'm thankful to say.
  13. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    yes, you can only do what you think the deceased person would have wanted but equally you don't want your step dad to feel uncomfortable when he is already grieving. Everyone is different and you must do what you think best. Everyone you ask will have a different opinion
  14. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    Thanks fizzie. The thing is that I am not 100% sure that step father will be at the pub anyway because he is collecting Mum's ex-work mate who has her own health problems and may have to be taken home straight away. This is one reason why I find the attitude of some difficult to take.
  15. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015

    Thanks Spamar, it is a worry that nothing will go wrong on the day.
  16. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    nothing will go wrong, everyone who comes will have pleased in one way or another to have been there. This is a very stressful time for you all, take your time, do what feels right to you and try to take care of yourself.
  17. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015

    Thanks Sue, yours are wise words! The trouble is Mum never expressed a wish. She was actually a very generous person. Makes me think everybody should make their wishes clear before the time comes!
  18. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    Differing opinions on this

    What an emotive subject. I never expected to get so many replies and different opinions in a short space of time.

    I think the overriding issue is that people should have empathy for the spouse and immediate relatives whatever is, or is not provided after the event. It is, after all, an opportunity to grieve and pay respects to one who is no longer with us.
  19. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    Well said Emily. I totally agree with your POV.

    When a cousin died her daughter arranged for a local cafe, run by friends, to be open for us as a private party. Each person paid for whatever food and drink they wanted. The daughter didn't want a wake as such, just a meeting place for friends and family after the funeral service. Nobody minded having to pay.

    When another relative died his close family were all travelling some distance. We booked rooms in the local hotel and had a private family dinner the night before. We treated his widow to her dinner and a taxi home. On the day of the funeral light refreshments were provided in the church hall, catered by friends. The widow paid for the hire of the church hall and the cost of the ingredients I believe.

    It is customary to provide refreshments, particularly when you've been standing outside for a burial. People want to greet and talk to friends and relatives, so it would be strange if there was as no opportunity for this. However, there is no rule that says the bereaved spouse has to organise and pay for it. I think it's very rude of these people to expect a free meal. :(
  20. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    A meal no but some light refreshment definitely. Surely it's good manners and shows respect for those that have travelled to say goodbye to the deceased.
    As already mentioned, it provides an opportunity for mourners to come together and share their memories of someone as in a traditional wake.
    Its's just part of the funeral and included in the cost.
    Not to have this would seem to me to be not showing respect to the person who has died.

    As for arranging the funeral, this surely is for the immediate family to decide.
    For my husband it was the day after he died when we met with the funeral director so there was no opportunity to discuss it with others who were then told the date and time and whether they came or not was up to them.
    It meant estimating the number attending both the funeral and the wake but I would imagine that is usually the case.

    As I am older, I probably favour tradition more than a younger person might but then, so are many of the people whose funerals are under discussion.

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