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Siblings dispute / funeral

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  • This topic has 10 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Jhad.
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  • #1097830 Reply

    Hi all,

    A Mother has died leaving 4 adult siblings. Relationships between the siblings are fragile / acrimonious due to various fall outs over the years. Discussion between the siblings can end in explosive arguments and on top of this there is now the extra emotion from bereavement.

    At a funeral it is customary for one of the immediate family to speak a eulogy in church ie a few minutes talking about the life of the deceased. The church format allows only one person to do this – so if two or three siblings want to do this important role what is the best way to decide which sibling should do it? It needs to be one of the siblings it can’t be an uncle, aunt, neighbour etc

    #1097832 Reply

    “We’ll be having two (or three) people saying some words.”

    Not a question.

    Not asking permission.

    This is how it is.

    The format is there to help provide structure to make it easier on bereaved families. If it is causing extra strife, it’s doing the opposite of what it is meant to do.

    #1097836 Reply

    The majority of funerals I’ve attended in recent years have had multiple speakers. If there is a surviving spouse and 4 kids, they very often all speak. If the venue for the funeral doesn’t permit this, and the four of you want to speak, then find a different venue. This is your funeral to say goodbye to your mother and to share what she meant to you. At least in the area where I live, it is not at all difficult to find a venue that will happily accept this approach.

    #1097841 Reply

    “It needs to be one of the siblings it can’t be an uncle, aunt, neighbour, etc.”
    Says who? No church that I have ever heard of has restrictions like this. None. If the siblings are too childish to conduct themselves properly during their mother’s funeral, and it sounds like they are, then a different family member should step up and give the eulogy.
    Besides, if only two or three siblings speak, it sounds like that will kick off another war. Congrats, kids, your behavior makes you ineligible for any kind of ceremony. Good job.

    #1097844 Reply

    You can do the service the way you want to and all or none of you can speak.

    #1097846 Reply

    My experience with funerals is limited, but I was recently at my grandma’s funeral mass (Catholic). We had two people eulogize her. The church let us handle speaking roles as we wanted and everyone who wanted to speak/participate in some capacity (eulogy, prayers, readings, etc.) was able to have a role.

    Not sure if you’re one of the siblings, LW, but sounds like it’s time to put differences aside to make the day about honoring and remembering a loved one. I don’t think anyone wants their passing to turn into more fodder for adult sibling grievances/rivalries.

    #1097890 Reply

    Hi all this is very helpful advice thank you.

    re “It needs to be one of the siblings” – sorry I did not mean that this is a church rule I just mean that the siblings did not consider asking an aunt / neighbour etc to be a good solution.

    The priest (RC) is elderly and maybe a bit bossy / not as flexible as some younger priests so I can see now that I was being too deferential to him and what he will “allow”. Also he perhaps assumes that we could amicably agree on one speaker and I think that would be true for many families – but not this one!

    So we just need to be assertive and respectfully say to him that in this case one speaker won’t work = problem solved / disaster avoided!

    Thanks so much…

    #1097892 Reply

    @George – I’m sorry for your loss.

    Before the service, find out who wants to speak and have them just walk up together. Being up at the podium when you’re an emotional wreck is hard… having a sibling there to hold on to helps. The priest won’t stop them for fear of looking like a jerk.

    #1097901 Reply

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

    #1097926 Reply
    #1097960 Reply

    If you all stand up together, with one person doing the main speech and everyone chiming in as they want, I can’t imagine you will be kicked out of the church.

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