A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Who else has had sad duties, at the end of a life?

Post 1

Rev Nick - give me poutine, or give me death

As a pre-teen, I was altar boy at the funerals of both of my father's parents and his baby sister. I also served in this role for at least a dozen funerals of community members.

In later years, I was pall-bearer for my mother's mother, my father-in-law's mother, another of my father's sisters, and a complete stranger ( a military funeral ).

And still military related, I served in the honour guard of perhaps 5 military funerals. No one that I knew, fortunately, but seriously heart breaking and difficult to stand like a carving of granite while the surviving family is totally distraught.


Who else has had sad duties, at the end of a life?

Post 2

Rev Nick - give me poutine, or give me death

And somewhat related . . .

I have been very familiar with death and funerals since perhaps the age of 4 years old. A few times, I have been entirely surprised to be with people well into their 30s who had never attended a single funeral. They varied from confusion as to what to do, what to say, to completely terrified to attend proof that lives do end.


Who else has had sad duties, at the end of a life?

Post 3

Orcus

Pall bearer and funeral-arranger (alongside my brother) for my father so far.



The saddest I've had to deal with though was in my capacity as a personal tutor here at my University. A few years ago I had an excellent student, well on course for a 1st class degree when, about 5 months before her finals exams, her little 12 year old brother was killed in a hit and run incident by a moron only just released from prison. She was walking him home from school at the time so had to watch him die. I had to work to keep her together in her studies and support her at such a terrible (and very highly publicised in the press) time, with - as is typical at university, no training at all to deal with such a hard situation.
Desperately sad. I was absolutely delighted when she manage to still sneak a 1st in her exams, which took place the next year due to the emotional troubles this caused.


Who else has had sad duties, at the end of a life?

Post 4

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

I was a pall bearer for my grandmother and my mother.

I wet to a military funeral for a deceased friend last year. Sadly, not many people liked her. There was only one other person present. smiley - sadface I've been to a number of memorial services, which I like better than funerals. And if at all possible, I like to visit people who don't have long to live, so they know that they are loved and appreciated. It seems heart-breaking to me that anyone should die alone and unappreciated. smiley - cry


Who else has had sad duties, at the end of a life?

Post 5

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

I'll almost assuredly die alone, so I better get that will written having my body sent to a body farm, or maybe liquefied and used for plant food, or maybe just tossed out to sea. All I want, if anyone does bother memorializing me is a NO CLERGY! I don't want anyone blathering about fairy tales of an afterlife. I'll be just dead, and while I will not be in any shape to care, I just don't like the idea of being memorialized with B.S.




Oh, yeah... I just remembered I AM clergy! smiley - laugh

I'm an ordained minister (Church of Subgenius).

Alright, so NO OTHER CLERGY! I'm jealous and don't want to share.


Who else has had sad duties, at the end of a life?

Post 6

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

I'm with you n that. I have nothing to prove regarding the possibility of life after death. I take comfort knowing that Wittgenstein had no patience with philosophers who tried to make sense of death. Our duty is to make sense of *life* if we can. Death is not properly the province of philosophy; we have no abilities in terms of explaining it, so it's best to focus on living.

smiley - smiley I don't mind watching depictions of heaven or hell when I'm at the movies. Those scenes are fantasies.


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Who else has had sad duties, at the end of a life?

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