quote of the day

Not holding a funeral service can cause feelings of regret or guilt among bereaved families, and it will take longer for them to recover from their sorrow.


Yukihiro Sakaguchi, a professor at the School of Human Welfare Studies at Kwansei Gakuin University. Constrained by infection prevention measures and families’ fear of discrimination, undertakers are striving to help people say goodbye to loved ones who have died from COVID-19.

© Yomiuri Shimbun

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Or, it can be a massive savings of money. My Mother-in-law died and we did the ABSOLUTE Minimum (To keep my brother in law happy - grrr.). It still cost about 2 million. What a waste. Like we remember her more or less because we had a funeral.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Agree with GdTokyo. There are lots of ways to say goodbye. If you have the money and want a big funeral held, then all the power to you, and hopefully in this situation you can find a way to do it (or substitute), but this is the perfect chance to finally say "NO" to all the obligation and exorbitant costs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am hopefully many years from it yet, but I have explicit instructions to have the least significant funeral possible. Whatever can be used goes to science/research purposes, and just toss the rest. I, obviously, will not care what happens to my remains once I am dead. Any extravagance for the process seems anachronistic at best.

The capitalistic trappings that have grown around the death industry seem particularly insane.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Social events fulfill a need, the social aspect of human health is as important as the psychological and biological aspect. That said there are many ways where industries prey on people at a very difficult time of their lives with completely unnecessary things at exhorbitant prices.

Better than just throwing a lot of money for your funeral, plan with a lot of time and take into account the wishes of the people you care about. If you know they will have a hard time without some way to say goodbye there will always be some method to let them do it without investing a fortune.

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My mom had a binder with pretty clear instructions of what she did and didn't want, which was great, and I periodically update my own guidance/requests for (which I've had since the age of 19, when I took out my first life insurance policy). The goal is to make minimize cost and inconvenience while making sure everyone who should know can be informed and who wants to take part in something can. Insurance will cover body disposal (after any organ harvest, and a social).

Over the course of this pandemic, I've 'attended' more funerals than I probably have in my entire pre-pandemic life, thanks to streaming. Usually I miss all the hometown and extended family ones, as well as those of international friends around the world. I hope the streaming of funerals will continue post-covid.

The one I attended in person this year, was in Tokyo. I don't know if there has been any take up of streaming here. Has anyone here had any experience of streamed Japan-based services?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First quick reading… I really thought he is a funeral companies’ lobbyist. lol

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I can see both sides of the argument for holding or not holding a formal funeral service. I arranged both (Christian) services for my very practical parents who had made pre-paid cremation plans with a local company which was a great help to me. No fighting with the siblings. (That came after over the terms of the Will.)

In addition, both were members of a church which handled all the details of the service and the personnel to organize the reception. Of course, there were some choices to make and a small fee for that, but it was all humble and beautiful with much less stress than having to mount up all of that myself. Grieving relatives often are too distraught and do not have the skill set to do all of that, most especially during a deeply emotional time.

The value of a service (if done beautifully as ours was) is the contribution of the people who attend. My father mentored a great number of young men over his lifetime and the church was packed 200 attendees many of whom had traveled a great distance. One after another they spoke at the reception, sharing stories of how my father had touched their lives. In the case of my mother, it was mainly nephews and family members who spoke of her compassion during times of great stress in their lives, her many talents and the joy that knowing her had brought to their lives.

As children we seldom see our parents the way outsiders to the immediate family do. I cannot speak for my siblings, but I found the experience very comforting. No one likes to attend a funeral--especially a poorly planned and executed one--but if done properly the memory of the experience can be uplifting. When communities were smaller and rural this was an event shared by everyone who supported the bereaved in practical ways as well. In that respect, losing the opportunity to share in mourning adds to one's loss.

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