Tuesday, February 05, 2008

On Dying and Family (or Lack Thereof)

THis Friday I have a second funeral for a person with no survivors (this year).

In a community this small this is rare. Most people have some family around. But in January I had one through the Legion and this morning I got a call from the funeral home. Death, no family (or no family willing to get involved), funeral home would like some rite at the graveside, could I help.

Of couse the answer is yes. But this evening I am struck by how sad that circumstance is. I suspect there will be some friends at the cemetery, and there were last time. But to have nobody who will automatically take a lead role in arranging your memorial. That is sad. Even if not family--after all in our nomadic society we sometimes get separated from family, and family just means we are related-not that we get along--some close friends, someone to arrange something.

IT just strikes me as sad. People should not be allowed to die alone or unmourned.


  1. It is sad. It's good you will be there to send him on his way.

  2. I think I can safely say that dying alone without family is right up there amongst my greatest fears. I cannot see past the sadness of it.

  3. I once did a funeral for a gentleman who died alone, and the only folks that turned up for the grave side were me and the two funeral directors ... the crew that prepared the grave walked out and said ... "This ain't right, no one should go out alone ..." and stood there while I (at THEIR) insistence performed a full grave side service ...

    I've always thought that if I can afford it ... one day I WILL put a head stone on his grave ...