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Elderly parent doesn't want wake or funeral

  • 21-11-2022 12:06pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,951 ✭✭✭

    A couple of Christmas's ago when the family was together my mother announced that she didn't want a wake or funeral when the time comes. We half laughed it off saying she has many years ahead of her.

    She's not well now and I'm thinking about what she said.

    What would no wake or funeral mean practically? Is it possible? What about normal family and friends expectations and paying respects?


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,167 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    Really sorry to hear that, OP.

    Mind yourself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork

    I'm very sorry to see this OP. Take care of yourself and make sure you have no regrets.

    Going back to your initial question, you know your mother better than anybody else. If she isn't the sort of person who likes to make a fuss, it's understandable that she mightn't want a wake or a funeral. Maybe you could split the difference and have a quiet family-only low-key blessing rather than a funeral mass. That's assuming your mum had a religious faith. I agree with Hilda who has pointed out how important the funeral ritual is. You're going to learn that for yourself in the coming days - how the support of other people in your family and community help the bereaved family. If you and your family opt not to have a traditional funeral and wake, try to organise something to remember your mum in the coming weeks.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork

    That reminds me a bit of neighbour's father who donated his body to medical science. The family had some sort of small, private funeral or blessing (not 100% sure exactly) before he was collected and taken away. The next night, the family organised a memorial ceremony in the church. His remains were later cremated and returned to them

  • Registered Users Posts: 96 ✭✭midnightblue

    Thank you for sharing this Larbre34. I've recently signed up to do the same with RCSI.

    Post edited by midnightblue on

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,593 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    Thanks on behalf of humanity and science!

    I don't recall if it was RCSI that received my Aunt's remains, but it was them or Trinity and it was all handled with utmost dignity and respect.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    My mother passed in June and we had no wake. My father is elderly, there is only my sister and I. We decided it would be too arduous for us also a wake is a great excuse for some people to get hammered, and I didn't want that kind of drama as part of my memories of her.

    My mother had said she wanted to be cremated months ago. So we went down that route. There was one family friend who was miffed that it wasn't a catholic service. No-one else invited had any problem with it.

    As for afters, we met in a nearby pub/restaurant, and had a drink and some sandwiches. However, because people had come from allover the country, Galway, West Cork, Kerry, to the crematorium in Shannon, no-one was keen on staying long. To be honest, I think my mother would have been very happy with all the proceedings.

  • Registered Users Posts: 56 ✭✭Sigyn

    I don't want any of the fakery when I kick the bucket, no wake and especially NOTHING to do with the church.

    I want to be cremated and my ashes dispersed at my favourite spot. It's all down in writing, my son and husband know about it and agree with me.

    What I really want is illegal ;).

    Homo homini lupus est.

  • Registered Users Posts: 336 ✭✭NiceFella

    My mam passed away in July and we didn't go ahead with funeral as a number of us got covid. We had the wake though and it was a great comfort to me and my family. So many turned out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭Toby22

    Hi, I want to be cremated and my ashes dispersed in two places. I have no interest in a Catholic funeral. However I have told my adult children I don’t mind what they do, I won’t be there to object once my wishes regarding cremation are respected.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭Baybay

    My mother totally disregarded my fathers wishes when he died & did what suited her. She had no regrets & neither do I as I didn’t exactly adhere 100% to her wishes either.

    I believe funerals are more for the living more than for the dead so whatever helps is what should be done.

    Hope you’re doing ok, Heighway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 83 ✭✭murphydublin

    I would be of the same opinion, as little fuss as possible

    Saw this last week and it piqued my interest -

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