Jump to content

Menu

Small funeral etiquette conundrum. Ideas please?


FaithManor
 Share

Recommended Posts

Some of you may remember that two years ago, I did a 1 semester gig at a private school as a part time chemistry teacher/school guidance counselor. It was for me personally, a disaster as the school was HORRIBLE educationally and professionally. So bad in fact that I became a proponent of it needing to close it's doors.

 

Well, one of the young men in my science class who also took ACT prep with me suffered a terrible tragedy this week. His mother committed suicide. He graduated the year that I worked at the school so I didn't know him for a long time, but he's been friendly, happy to see me really, when out and about in the community so I feel that I should attend the funeral.

 

But, the family has asked for no personal contributions to their finances and cash gifts made in her name to the school which did not close but which is on the precipice. Dh and I can not in good conscience give this entity a dime. Not.a.dime.

 

I've always hesitated to give flowers because it seems like at every funeral I've attended, the family is inundated with flowers and then it becomes a real hassle deciding who is taking what arrangement and transporting them home. There will be flowers everywhere. I can't imagine that being very meaningful to this young man.

 

Suggestions? I had intended on a check in a card. Since that's not going to work, I feel like I'm out of ideas. Normally, when the funeral is for someone I know well, I provide the music for free as my gift. I'll play preludes all through the viewing prior to the funeral, do the service, and play postludes afterward a service that normally costs $50.00 -100.00 through the funeral home. But, the pastor of the church where the funeral is being held did not think I would be available on a school day morning (11:00 a.m. Tuesday) and did not call and ask. He lined up someone else already. So, that idea is out the window.

 

Got any great ideas?

 

I don't know if they landscape or garden. I thought about a memorial brick or a tree. But, that's no good if they would not use or appreciate such an item.

 

Thanks,

Faith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's absolutely fine to just send a card without anything included.  Does the young man attend a college?  A small donation to his college in his name could work too if you absolutely felt you needed to do something.  But given your relationship, I think a card and showing up at the funeral is totally fine. 

 

I'm so sorry.  :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure why you feel you need to do anything beyond attending the funeral.

 

You weren't particularly close to this family, and funerals aren't obligatory gift-giving occasions.

 

Where we live, you would probably just attend the wake, and that would be enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure why you feel you need to do anything beyond attending the funeral.

 

You weren't particularly close to this family, and funerals aren't obligatory gift-giving occasions.

 

Where we live, you would probably just attend the wake, and that would be enough.

Well, I was just trying to be generous because when he was attending the school, they were having financial problems. I kind of thought that the funeral expenses were going to be very difficult for them. But, it seems as though I was wrong.

 

ETA: He wanted to attend college. However, the school is so horrible academically that most of their graduates score below a 19 on the ACT and very low on the COMPASS. Most do not go on to any additional education or trade school training because of it. In six years, only 2 students have gone on to college. (63 graduates in six years...very tiny school). Not the best odds there.

 

He has worked in his dad's business so he's learned the ropes there. His sister (one of the two above graduates) took remedial courses for two years at the CC and then went for another two and got an A.A. in business and works somewhere else. He is a volunteer firefighter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I was just trying to be generous because when he was attending the school, they were having financial problems. I kind of thought that the funeral expenses were going to be very difficult for them. But, it seems as though I was wrong.

 

ETA: He wanted to attend college. However, the school is so horrible academically that most of their graduates score below a 19 on the ACT and very low on the COMPASS. Most do not go on to any additional education or trade school training because of it. In six years, only 2 students have gone on to college. (63 graduates in six years...very tiny school). Not the best odds there.

 

He has worked in his dad's business so he's learned the ropes there. His sister (one of the two above graduates) took remedial courses for two years at the CC and then went for another two and got an A.A. in business and works somewhere else. He is a volunteer firefighter.

I think it's very kind of you to want to do something special for the family, but I don't think you need to stress about doing it immediately.

 

I'm sure the family is still in complete shock right now, so it might be a better idea to wait a while and then send something in the mail. It would be a nice surprise for them that someone is still thinking of them and wanting to do something nice for them. Families get so much attention at first, but after the day of the funeral, everyone else's life goes back to normal and the family can feel like they've been forgotten.

 

I feel so sorry for that young man. He sounds like such a great kid. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He is a nice young man.

 

Thanks Cat, I think I will take your advice, write a note, and leave it at that. I'll try to do something in the future just to let him know that I'm thinking of him. It will be a lot easier than trying to come up with something between now and Tuesday morning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I was just trying to be generous because when he was attending the school, they were having financial problems. I kind of thought that the funeral expenses were going to be very difficult for them. But, it seems as though I was wrong.

 

ETA: He wanted to attend college. However, the school is so horrible academically that most of their graduates score below a 19 on the ACT and very low on the COMPASS. Most do not go on to any additional education or trade school training because of it. In six years, only 2 students have gone on to college. (63 graduates in six years...very tiny school). Not the best odds there.

 

He has worked in his dad's business so he's learned the ropes there. His sister (one of the two above graduates) took remedial courses for two years at the CC and then went for another two and got an A.A. in business and works somewhere else. He is a volunteer firefighter.

I'm so sorry to hear about her death. It hits very close to home for me.

I'd give a donation to the VFD in his mom's name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IF you feel you need to give something, I second the idea of the VFD. Or, if the church where the funeral is being held is one where they attended regularly, I'd consider giving a gift to the church in her name. The other idea would be to wait for awhile and see if there is something the young man needs to which you could contribute.

 

I agree with others that a gift is not needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second the idea of a meal. In the days after the funeral, people sort of disappear, but the family is still grieving and trying to function. My family experienced this same kind of loss years ago. Food people brought was much appreciated. Also, just visit them and be there. Let them talk if they want to. Your presence will mean a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my daughter died I really appreciated all the cards we received. They trickled in for a couple weeks. I also appreciated all the meals. It was months before I could really function at any semblance of normal level.

 

Plants and flowers were nice and I appreciated the lovely pictures I have of her viewing and graveside. The plants that were delivered to our home(we buried her in another state) slowly died all around me in the coming weeks etc. food was better but I appreciated anything anyone did :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...