Do I Have To Go To Funerals?


Q: do I have to go to funerals? A few years ago, My father in law died of old age. I didn't go to his funeral. My mother was upset and the rest of the family was to. I had one excuse to to go. I was on a vacation. My wife and I made reservation to stay at a cabin in the mountains. On the day we were packing and getting ready to go. The bad news arrived hours before we were supposed to walk out the door. I went to see my mother and told her i want be coming to the funeral. She and my sister insisted that I drive down from the mountains and go to the funeral. I said "Ok, maybe". 3 days later, the day of the funeral, I didn't come to the funeral. I really didn't plan to. So my family claims I didn't care about my mother and thought it was so selfish of me not to show up. I don't recall anything in the Bible that say I have to or should show up to a funeral. I asked some and they thought I really didn't have to go since I had already planned that week. Could someone advise me and show me where in the Bible that funeral are necessary for certain individuals? I need some quotes to study on or just your option on this in case another family member dies like my grandmother.

A: Why would _we_ know what it says in the Bible? Funerals are for the living, not the dead. I wouldn't have gone either, but my parents didn't have funerals... I don't think it's such a big deal but how can you not go to the funeral of someone close to you? The cabin in the mountain will be there tomorow...your grieving freinds and family will most likely not... Dow, I just lost my mother last week, so I feel really qualified to reply on this. Funerals are never fun or entertainment, nor are they meant to be something we enjoy. Not only that, they are not something planned around our amusements. Life is full of things that we do for the benefit of others which don't have a lot of big payoff for ourselves, but if you have compassion for others, you do it. I was so incredibly grateful for the friends and relatives who did show up. Whenever someone dies, no matter how old or how sick, there are people who loved that person and it is always unexpected. It is always a shock, always sad, and if it is someone like a mother, or a wife, or another close relative, it is unbelievably painful. Naturally the deceased doesn't care or relate, but those who are left grieving sure do. After the viewing and the funeral and all of that, we had a lovely get together at my mothers home, sharing memories, photos, and simply being close to the rest of those who loved her. It was priceless. There was a real sense of closure and peace and a sense of adjustment to the change. It was also a great family party, although with a sad theme underneath. Someone is gone forever, and the whole world shifts around a bit. Changes are always painful. Can it really hurt that much to show up for a few minutes and say a few kind words to those who are deeply grieving? You and I are all going to die oneday, and there will be those who will grieve us too. Would you deny them the comfort of friends and relatives at that time? Of course not. So you go through the motions. It won't kill you, and it will do a lot of good. It is compassionate and kind, and this kind of situation calls your mahayana attitude and bodhisattva committment to task, to put your "money where your mouth is" about your committment to other living beings. Believe me, no matter how inconvenient it is for you, you will be glad you did it, and someone will be comforted by your presence.

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