Respecting the wishes of the dead
I guess really the title should be NOT respecting the wishes of the dead. Has anyone been in a situation where you made a decision not to honor the deceased person's wish for funeral arrangements or anything else? Before my brother died, he wanted to be cremated, he had no religious affiliation or beliefs, and apparently did not want a public service. But my sister-in-law had a lovely, well-attended service in her church and, while he was cremated, had a viewing of his body by his immediate family (wife, children, and possibly a close friend.) She needed/wanted these things, and in my opinion, whatever gave her peace was best.
I have been encouraging a friend to think about how he will handle, when the time comes, the funeral arrangements of his mother, who is in her late 80s. At one time she wanted to be cremated, but lately has changed her mind to wanting to be buried. She is not opposed to the idea of cremation; she had her dogs cremated. She is at a mental state of mind that you can no longer have a real conversation with her. She will say, "This is what I want," but she can't or won't explain why - about anything. Carrying out her current wishes would be at my friend's expense because of her financial situation; she has no money, no insurance, and a lot of credit card debt. She has long said she does not want any kind of service or or to have a viewing. Her friends have all died and her family is very small.
I find the idea of traditional burial monetarily and (corrected to say) environmentally wasteful, and downright ghoulish when you think about it, and the idea that someone will be buried with no one to come to the grave later and mourn is so terribly sad. I have been encouraging the idea to my friend that he has options for how to proceed. But when I read articles about death, I never find anything about this aspect; everything seems written with the concept of carrying out the deceased person's wishes.
This post was edited by graywings on Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 12:20