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This last weekend I went back home to bury a very close family friend. She died because of drugs. It was a Catholic funeral and if you've ever been to one then you know just how miserable they are. It seemed most of the time was spent praising Jesus instead of talking about my friend. It's getting harder and harder to keep my mouth shut about such issues. Does anyone else have this problem?

Jeremy77 5 Mar 14

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10

I'm sorry for your loss, and from the point of view of the church that is the perfect time to spread their message, they have a captive audience. First it is a worship service, and second it is a funeral. I've actually heard that discussed at church. Weddings were the same way. Churches are in the business of keeping business coming in.

I couldn't say it betterπŸ™‚

Most funerals in the south land are like that.
One even asserted that my partner's (at the time) aunt was in hell.
He should have been violently tackled.

@BufftonBeotch You're kind to only suggest tackling. I'd have wanted to boil his balls in oil. Sometimes preachers are just stupid. Well all humans are, but he's in a position where he is supposed to be comforting instead of judging and agitating.

Not only do they have a captive audience, but a vulnerable one.

9

My heartfelt condolences for your loss. 😟

Yes, I bite my tongue a lot. When my spouse died they did the same shit. I agree with @hippiechick58 -- they've got a captive audience, and I'll add that many take advantage of people's vulnerability.

6

I had a cousin die. He was just a kid. It's hard to sit there and watch a preacher use a childs death as an advertisement for a church. I guess he didn't know any better.

Any time you go to a religious event, they stress the importance of the church. It made my stomach turn to hear him insist this kid was in a better place. My thought was, "no he isn't. You can't say that. You're taking this away from us. Let us realize what really happened. We may never see this kid again, and that's why it hurts."

6

When we buried my younger brother, he was murdered, it's was almost 30 years ago. People kept saying how he was in a better place, he's with Jesus now, he's happier now, he's with our heavenly father, I say Fuck that. I told everyone that he wasn't in a better place and if he had his choice, he would stay with the living, how God is a myth. The church was packed with 300+ people, I knew everyone of them. I would have to say that 90% stopped talking to me....you want to know something, I'm good with that, I don't need to hear all of their bullshit

I am so sorry for your loss, and I admire your initiative of telling the truth. Those who stopped talking to you are not a loss, not your loss.

6

First, I'm sorry for your loss; all the more because of the reason. It's so difficult to get real help when it comes to substances these days as well, that losing loved ones is becoming more and more common, which is especially sad. And the rhetoric you hear is the worst - 'He (or she) 'isn't suffering now', or 'is in a better place', or 'it happened for a reason', and on and on... puh-leeze.

I recall all the people who told my 9-yr old son that he had to take care of me and was the man of the house now and couldn't cry, etc, when his father died. It made me so angry. And the "God will watch over you" or "God will help you" because "we'll pray for you" got me a little ticked. I was so glad that I had talked with him beforehand, and explained to him that he would hear people say some pretty weird things, just because they didn't know what to say. But yes, The focus is frequently not where you would think it should be. It's as if they stop thinking, too.

6

The incense makes my entire family go into an Asthma attack. That alone means that these are not my favs.

Yes when they drone on and on and it's nothing to do with the person it is so annoying.

I always figure I'm there for the grieving folks - not the person who passed.

Condolences on your loss.

6

My Dad's girlfriend passed away in January. The pastor wanted us to believe he and she were well acquainted yet he could not remember her name. He spent more time going on about God than getting any of the details of her life from his notes right. Even so probably not as bad as that Catholic funeral.

5

My POV: Their beliefs. Their funeral.

You can speak up all you want about atheism at your own funeral and all you want about your friend at the wake or the bar or the next friends reunion or wherever...
... but if you are going to attend the families funeral, it shoud be to respect how they (not you) wish to honor their dead and not as a chance to proselytize atheism.

4

My mum's funeral was at a crematorium rather than in a church, but the service was overseen by a Catholic priest. I actually rather liked the service. He didn't talk about God or Jesus much, if at all. There were a couple of hymns (that I didn't join in with) that probably did.

One thing he said that stuck with me was that the service wasn't about her. It was about helping those of us left behind to move on with our lives. And I think it did for me, even though I'm not religious.

As long as it brought you peace and helped you move on, that's all that really matters. I also lost my mom. She had a non-religious memorial at the funeral home before she was cremated. Even though she had "found Jesus" not long before her death, I think she would have approved.

4

Years ago, I attended a clump of over a dozen funerals in less than a year, for people close to me, all religious worship services, with the "insert name here" for the deceased, and ending with more worship and praise to Jesus. No crying, no laughing, no feeling of a personal final goodbye or anything positive to take away from the service. Just numbness.

For my mother's service, the Catholic Church denied my mother's last wishes that 2 particular songs be sung at her funeral. They were seen as "pagan" love songs about the poetic idea she would meet my (deceased) dad "Beyond the Reef" which would have brought us all to tears.

In any case, at the end of that clump of funerals, it was a secular funeral I attended, for someone I barely knew, that had me bawling, learning about this persons passions and the legacies we all could continue to champion for her causes. I came to understand this to be a humanistic celebration of life, and I told myself right then and there that's what I wanted to learn to do for others.

So, I became a certified celebrant specializing in creating humanistic funerals and life tributes. I have not attended any traditional funerals, since. I guess because I'm now invited to contribute a little something to the services, even if it's just a little something for an ash scattering or commital.

Since the funeral for your friend has already taken place, is there something you could do, such as an informal celebration of life with other friends or relatives who might be open to it? (Either in person or online?) It could be something simple like everyone writing a letter they wish they could have read to your loved one, or sharing stories and memories of the good old days, or some good habits or qualities you all learned from her. Maybe something bordering on inspirational/spiritual but in a more humanistic naturalistic way, rather than lacing it with supernatural deity worship. Find ways to keep her name alive and with you always.

I want to do that, become a certified celebrant. How do you do that?

Here is the celebrant training I attended many ago, 2005 I think. They still offer seminars.

[insightbooks.com]

[insightbooks.com]

It was so thorough, I actually attended it twice to feel more comfortable I’d grasped it all. (Refresher course was offered at half price for previous attendees, space allowing.) They give you helpful material and a good foundation upon which to begin creating your own tributes.

There are likely other organizations that train celebrants too.

If you pursue it, you'll find it’s challenging work, but satisfying when the family and friends really feel you hit it just right. The first funeral I ever did had 400 people bawling and laughing at the various anecdotes I was able to share, provided by her loved ones. Weeks later, people who attended that funeral came up to me and said it was the β€œbest” funeral they had ever attended. I didn’t know that was a thing, but it was gratifying that my hard work was appreciated.

Sorry about the loss of your mother. Your decision to become a certified celebrant was a wonderful one. I'm sure you've helped the people you've served to work through their grief in a less painful way.

4

I went to a Catholic funeral the other day and all I can say is my knees hurt

3

Yes, I surely do! Sorry about your family friend. I was at the memorial service for a dear friend, at the Unitarian Universalist Church and everyone who wanted to say something about her was invited to speak. A young man, who was a relative to my friend, got up and told the audience, that he was there to tell us about Jesus, and he hoped that the people there would come to Jesus. It was sad and embarrassing all at the same time! He could not...for just a moment celebrate the life of his Aunt, who had been a college professor!

3

If you don't want to go to a gym, just go to a Catholic service. You get all the exercise you need with the constant kneeling and rising.

My grandfather had a Catholic funeral. It was 30yrs ago and all I remember was how boring it was.

3

Meh. funerals are for the people who are still here. if it's YOU who needs to speak out about what your friend meant to you then I'd suggest a group or a donation to charity or an editorial letter. Let her grieving family find whatever comfort they may in the religion of their choosing. thats the best karma anyway man.

3

It's part of the reason I've quit going to weddings and funerals.
I can't take having to keep my mouth shut and tolerate the hypocrisy and abject
stupidity of it all. I was raised catholic. I always knew it was bullshit. Granted, it's
a pretty bunch of bullshit, the stained glass windows are true works of art. But, it's
all still bullshit, nonetheless.
Sorry for the loss of your friend.

2

I was an addict the 80's. Meth, before it was a national problem. Every Nam vet I knew used meth, whites or dexidrine. (I am not a vet, just worked with a lot of them) I was working 60 hours a week raising my son alone. That being said, I had no excuse to abuse it, it just happened. Quitting was the hardest thing I have ever done. Now, when I see an addict, user or a victim I feel a need to help in simple ways. I cook at homeless shelters and provide food. I do not judge, I do not expect them to change their life or quit although I express hope they will quit. I put my hand on their shoulder and tell them I believe in them and I am their friend, no matter what. No, I don't bring them home or give them huge amounts of money, I am aware of their lifestyle, I just want them to know I believe they are worth something to someone. I am sorry for your friend, I am glad you still cared for her, I am sure she knew this.

2

Sorry for your loss Jeremy. I used to wonder if some sort of spontaneous combustion would happen when I entered a church. Nope. Nobody home. LOL.
Maybe have your own private ritual where you celebrate your friends memory to help you say goodbye.

2

My 1 month old baby died of cot death 38 years ago....because he wasnt christened he wasnt allowed to be buried in the churchyard that my family had attended for years.

And that pisses me off to no end. What "sin" can a tiny baby commit.

I would love to know where they came up with that one. Its as bad that only Catholics can be buried in a Catholic Cemetery. And the list of these just gets more ridiculous and almost barbaric to say the least. In the middle ages they could condemn one to death and then turn you over to the State for execution because "Thou shall not kill" was a commandment.

2

I don't go because I care as much as im ever going to care about someones death as soon as I hear about it. id sendflowers or something maybe but funerals have so many assholes at them for many more reasons than caring especially the money hungry people doing the stupid service pretending they give a fuck. weddings are like funerals without the corps. I think we should be recycled when we die.

2

Yeah...I've been to huge orthodox Catholic cathedrals for funerals in Haiti, and observed Buddhist funerals as well.
Any ceremonies can be annoying and I have to force myself to tolerate most of them, religious or not.

1

I stopped going to funerals and/or memorial services for that very reason. I've always felt that any kind of service should be a positive, joyful tribute and/or testimonial to that person's life. Not a chance to show the world what a good, religious person you are. Of all the human failings I can think of I believe hypocrisy is one of the worst - and it seems to be in abundance everywhere, including funerals. The last one I "skipped" was for a long time friend - a man who professed to be a devout Catholic - but yet committed suicide.....a sin according to that religion but they (reluctantly) buried him in the family's parish cemetary anyway - one of the nuns took that opportunity to severely lecture his widow about his transgression causing her to faint dead away. ?????? It still makes me shake my head when I think about that whole dog and pony show.

1

Sorry for the loss of your friend.

Yes, the religious ceremonies are hard to deal with. I find myself avoiding them more and more. I'm 58 yrs old and I just don't have time for that crap anymore. I'm happy for those who can take comfort in their faith, but I don't feel like I have to attend. I will go to the reception after the wedding or visitation before/after the funeral. That works better for me.

As for dealing with the loss of your friend, try to remember the good times, happy memories, and the person she was before/without the drugs. It won't make the loss any less painful now, but as time goes on, you will find it harder and harder to remember the bad times, and you will find her memory to be a treasure you can hold in your heart forever. Peace be with you.

1

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and sorry to hear about the complete disregard and disrespect of your friends life by the Catholic church. I was raised catholic. It is a cult. A death cult.
While discussing my atheism with my mom, trying to explain what it is, not the false impression given by the church, she demanded that I not speak about it any more. I will comply. She also said she did not want me to go to her funeral when her time comes. I was saddened to hear her say that but I will comply with her wish again when the time comes. I will remember her for the good things, not colored by the image of her life painted and stained by the Catholic cult of death. In fact I have decided to never attend another funeral conducted by a religious person or group. They make me sick to my stomach and feeling bitter. The hypocrisy is nauseating. Religion divides family yet religion claims to be a unifier. Makes me sick.
Again sorry to hear about your loss.

1

I am so sorry for the pain of your loss.

Betty Level 7 Mar 15, 2018
1
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