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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Short history: My wife's mum passed away last Saturday, in a nursing home, it wasn't expected but luckily she had seen a doctor within the two weeks previous to her passing away so no real need for an in depth PM.

She's in Barnsley, her and my wife and daughter used to converse quite regularly by phone, but I don't think they have seen each other since her nan passed away in 2014.

So: Her (passed on) husbands inlaws have been looking after everything really, it was they that placed her in the home because she needed some care which they couldn't deal with, being in their 60's anyway, effectively my wife and her brother have not really been involved in any of the major decisions.

But now, all of a sudden... Well. You know. Her mum asked that when she passed away there be minimum fuss, (most of her friends are gone anyway) a cheap casket, a cremation, scattering of ashes at Skegness where she met her 2nd husband. He was a coal miner, basically the Mineworkers Pension Scheme have looked after most of the costs, one way or another. My wife's brother confirmed that fact yesterday.

Now my wife and daughter are convinced she is having a "Paupers Funeral". They want a service, a chance to set flowers, somewhere to "visit" basically. Some closure because all of a sudden they feel guilty that they never went up to see her enough? I dunno. Nothing stopping them, they both have the means to get up there.

Whereas I see it as if that's what she wanted, that's what she should have funerals are for the relatives, the one who is dead doesn't give a monkeys really...

So I was planning on going up a day earlier, speaking to the Funeral Director, give them a chance to say good bye. But they don't want that either. So I'm in that usual "Rock and hard Place".


Can't win no matter what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The funeral is being dealt with by NR Funerals who do a very basic funeral, I just spoke to them regarding what their procedure is..

Found out the plan calls for using a Black Jaguar Estate. Well... I have a Black Jaguar Estate too, and whilst I can see some humour in dropping the mum in laws body off in a Black Jaguar Estate, I doubt my daughter or her mum would see it quite the same way...

In fact, the vision of a Son In Law dropping his Mother In Law's body off in the back of his estate car for cremation is very Les Dawson... I think if I hadn't asked, I would have probably cracked up laughing when the car pulled in...

So I've done the decent thing and asked them to "upgrade" to a Hearse, and to ask the inlaw family if this is ok, and if he wouldn't mind explaining why I've asked for it.
 

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Sorry to hear that. You have done the right thing:-?

Roger
 
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Lost It.

I have been through some of what you are now experiencing and I too had the odd moment of total surrealism - "Would sir like the Oak or Mahogany" (veneered chipboard) casket (I think coffin is a dirty word) quickly followed by "Would Sir prefer our assorted meat sandwich selection or would Sir like to include the vegetarian option ?"

I'm not making light of what, at the time, is a difficult and stressful situation, but I suspect you are able to see the slightly absurd side of events, and that's at least half, if not most, of the battle !!
 

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Lost It.

You are right when you say between the rock and a hard place. You can't win no matter what you do. I just hope you get through it OK.

I am talking from experience in this one as when my mother died my sister immediately took over and organised everything even though we have an older brother and we were not asked about the funeral. We had the usual crematorium service, a vicar who had never met her saying wonderful things. Only certain members of the family invited (the ones my sister liked) and a big party afterwards at my sisters house. My mothers side of the family were never invited because they were lower class than my fathers and we did not find this out until the day of the funeral.

The funeral was never about my mother, it was about my sister being the centre of the event. The three of us totally disagreed on what was going on but it was too late to do anything because she had already paid the funeral director, crematorium and organised everything else before we knew what was going on.

We (my brother and sister) have never spoken to each other again since (14 years ago) and this is what happens when people feel they are more important than the person who died.

As they say. You can chose your friends but not your family. My wife and I have both made it clear to our immediate family that we want the most simple cremation possible and no parties. As we will probably snuff it in a Buddhist country, I think our wishes will be observed.

I empathise with you and hope it all goes well.

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Basically what her mum said too. But I just know I would have burst out laughing when the Jaguar Estate pulled in.

Even more embarrasing, when I called them to ask what happened, I couldn't remember MIL's first name...
 

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Lost it. Excuse my Lancashire Frankness, no pun intended. You say you cant win no matter you do. Then the answer is simple. Do what your MIL wanted. After all its her funeral.

I do not know if I am alone in this but I believe that funerals should celebrate a life lived rather than morn over someone who has died. My sister in law always appreciated my sense of humor, or at least she said she did and we always had a laugh. She died 4 years ago and she asked for a bio-degradable wicker coffin/casket. I arranged for someone to collect stories about her life, particularly funny ones and for one of her acting friends to tell them. The music in the crematorium was from musicals she had performed in.
She arrived in the wicker basket, I said it was an old Harrods hamper they had spare. Also I stood up and said a few words. Wearing a horrid tie, she did say after all that I could wear it "over my dead body" so I complied. There were tears but laughs too. People remembered her for the nice bits. Of course we upset some who wanted a more formal funeral, but is it unusual for people to be upset at a these things? She always hankered after a large house. So we gave her one. Her ashes were spread on the grounds of Croome Hall, a NT property. Now she has a large house and gardeners etc.

Do what you MIL wanted. You can not please everyone so just please her. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Keep telling my lot, when I go, as they carry me down in the cardboard box I want the carry in music to be "Agadoo".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, the old XJ6 did us proud yesterday. 504 miles at an average of 30.2mpg. But I'm definitely getting too old to be doing 500 mile journeys in a day... 9 hours of driving... Only problem I have is a bit of "dead leg" on my left knee.
 

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Well, the old XJ6 did us proud yesterday. 504 miles at an average of 30.2mpg. But I'm definitely getting too old to be doing 500 mile journeys in a day... 9 hours of driving... Only problem I have is a bit of "dead leg" on my left knee.
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Long journeys like that are a drag sometimes Lost One, in any car.

I lose a day recovering.

4-5 hours is OK.

Better go shorter and enjoy the rest of the day.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm taking a day of rest.
 

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When our daughter Claire (43) died suddenly it was a VERY bad time. Claire had said in the past that if anything ever happened to her (she wasn't ill) she didn't want any "church or flowers or any of that clap trap". She said "just send me on my way, get down to the pub and have a pint of Guinness with me". So we did.
The funeral director looked a bit shocked when I said to him ......."humanist funeral and the cheapest coffin".

Mrs V's younger sister died a month ago, elder sister wanted the full monty funeral so muggins here was left to make the arrangements. Ye gods. £4500 later the ashes still haven't been interred so that will be another bill. Hell, it cost £700 for the 'knees up' after we'd been to the crem.

Believe me, the way to go is no church service, humanist funeral at the crem. and down to the pub.
 

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When our daughter Claire (43) died suddenly it was a VERY bad time. Claire had said in the past that if anything ever happened to her (she wasn't ill) she didn't want any "church or flowers or any of that clap trap". She said "just send me on my way, get down to the pub and have a pint of Guinness with me". So we did.
The funeral director looked a bit shocked when I said to him ......."humanist funeral and the cheapest coffin".

Mrs V's younger sister died a month ago, elder sister wanted the full monty funeral so muggins here was left to make the arrangements. Ye gods. £4500 later the ashes still haven't been interred so that will be another bill. Hell, it cost £700 for the 'knees up' after we'd been to the crem.

Believe me, the way to go is no church service, humanist funeral at the crem. and down to the pub.
I like that. Your Claire had the right idea! Thing is you never get over it. Time does not heal, just dims the memory a little.

I believe Funeral Directors, and I have one as a friend, have a customer who is in poor state who "just want the best" and would never dream of saying "how much!" The service has to go the way of the Estate agents. Bring in competition. When I go I want the cheapest job possible. It wont mean my friends think less of me, but just give them more to spend on a good knees up afterwards.

Quick update. Just remembered something. After my sister in law died I went to a very nice hotel local to the crematorium to book a buffet meal etc. They gave me a price for XYZ. As I left I mentioned it was for after the crematorium and thought no more about it. However when I got the confirmation of the booking etc the price had gone up 50%. Can they have a deposit etc. Thinking it was a mistake I rang the lady. Basically it was "we charge more for funeral groups". I cancelled. Found somewhere else.
 

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Believe me, the way to go is no church service, humanist funeral at the crem. and down to the pub.
That's me and the Mrs. Simple cremation, no ceremony and ashes scattered to the four winds. Let the living get on with their life while we find out what lays beyond.

Tony
 

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Why oh why do families need to argue over these events? I will never understand.

When my gran died there was no arguing.
The day after my dad heard his mum had died, he was into work early sorting out any loose ends that needed sorting out, and handing things over to some others. His colleagues straight away guessed what had happened. With basically no notice at all, he left work early that day, and went on leave. Work never batted an eyelid (OK, I accept that isn't possible for some). He was straight up to Oxford (with my mum) to support his sisters and help out.
At the time I was away at work and couldnt get back home for another couple of months. Apparently grandmothers arent immediate enough family.
But that never bothered anyone making the arrangements back home. It was agreed amongst everybody that the service would go ahead without me (for obvious reasons), but the ashes would not be scattered until I was back home. It soon became known that my gran had told one of my cousins a particular location where she wanted her ashes scattered. Right up in Scotland (she was Scottish). A long way away. But nobody was bothered. Nobody argued despite the fact this would be hundreds of miles from where her husbands ashes had been scattered nearly 30yrs previous. That was the request of the deceased so should be honoured.

Knowing I wouldnt be around for the original service, the friends and family in Scotland arranged with the local church to hold a second, small, service when we got up there for the scattering of the ashes. Not many from England made the trip to Scotland. As well as myself, it was just my mum and dad, and my two aunts. We picked the ashes up in Oxford, and took them on the long hike up to Scotland.
My brother had written a poem for the original service, but told everybody about it too late, so it couldnt be included. Instead, I read it out during the small service in Scotland. The Vicar gave in Scotland gave us some ribbons each as that was what they did there. We tied one each onto a tree in the church, and took the others with us.
My aunt tied hers to a bush where we scattered the ashes. Mine are still sitting in my livingroom, somewhere i can see them easily.

As far as I know, Im the only one to have gone back to Scotland since. I always try and get to where the ashes were scattered, and i always look out for the ribbons my aunt tied to the bush. They were still there last time i looked.

To me it went how a funeral should do. It was what my gran wanted, and everybody went out of their way to ensure nobody lost out.
 

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Lost It, sorry for your loss.

Have to say I agree with most of what has been said here, particularly about not pleasing everyone left behind, but adhering to the (reasonable) wishes of the departed.

On a slightly humerous note I attended the cremation of a good friend and ex-work colleague, and he went out to "Disco Inferno".
 
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