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 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Thinking about you!

I'm reading through the thread because I was always confused at what a wake is. I know the viewing and the funeral, but I seemed to only read about wakes in Irish plays and they always involved drinking. I feel like what I've been involved with was even more broken down, like, viewing, funeral (at the funeral home, people talk) and then the burial ceremony. Then people bring casseroles.

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 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:19 pm 
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Around here, the wake is the viewing. You go to the funeral home, view the body, offer your condolences, cut out as fast as you can if you are uncomfortable. There is really no food or drinks to be had anywhere. I have not seen a receiving line to any wake I have been to. Usually the closest family can be found sitting on the first row of chairs, closest to the body. All you really do is mumble something and move on.

The funeral is the religious part, with the ceremony and the burial, where only the family usually goes. There are no casseroles to be found.


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 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:34 pm 
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i wonder if a wake and an viewing are kind of interchangable terms.
ive only been to one religious funeral in an actual church so im wondering if the other two "funerals" were indeed wakes and no funeral happened since there was no church piece.
id have to ask my parents because even though i was an adult at all 3 funerals i dont remember.i have a shitty memory and im sure i just blocked a lot of it out of my memory.

we leave in an hour and im getting panicky and i feel nauseous. the nausea is probably pregnancy related but it aint helping :-P

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 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:48 pm 
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You'll be fine! Just remember that condolences are always appreciated, even if the person doesn't know you. They know you're there for someone.

Also you're not obligated to do anything. It's nice of you to go, so just acknowledge your supervisor in some way, and then you can leave whenever you want.


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 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:09 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
hasnt happened yet! it's tonight at 5 ET.


Oh, okay! For some reason I wasn't sure when it was. I have no idea what day it is!

I hope it goes well, whatever that means to you.

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 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:49 pm 
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well it went ok i think.
it was such a production getting there. there were 7 of us going all in seperate cars so we could go home after.
right away we all got into a whole thing about when to leave. we had gotten permission to leave at 4:30 but the wake began at 5 and we were only like 15 mins away. some of us didnt want to get there early or right at 5 because we werent sure if the family had just gotten there and we wanted to give them time, etc. and some other people were like "meh they'll have been there for awhile" and left. the rest of us waited awhile but by the time we left it was rush hour so we were all trying to follow each other, in the dark, in the rain.
it was a mess. we lost someone immediately but luckily they followed someone else.
we all made it there somehow.
the wake was pretty much as i suspected. there was the dreaded receiving line and it was SUPPPPERRRR LOONNNGGG. there are 7 kids in the family plus all their spouses and the widow. the casket was there and open and pretty much impossible to miss. i ended up in a group with 3 of my coworkers and i tagged on at the end and was kind of ignored which is what i wanted. i shook a few peoples'' hands and said i was sorry for their loss. all the children seemed upbeat and ok. they all thanked us for coming. my supervisor appeared to be doing well. i gave her a big hug and asked her how she was doing, etc.
then everyone who had come from the office all stood around talking. three of the managers were there including the CFO who had just gotten back from Germany earlier in the day (we are owned by Germans) and i was just standing there thinking "Ok why are we standing her gabbing i want to go home" then we had to listen to the CFO yack and tell long boring stories about his flight to Germany and i was like "omg i want to go home what is the point of this?" then they were all telling near death airplane stories and all i could think about what how inappropriate a subject that was at a funeral home.
finally someone was like "ok you guys are all going?" meaning us peons. it made me think that something else was going to happen but i got the hell out. im thinking people would have sat down and anyone who wanted to say something would have stood up and said stuff but i didnt stick around to find out.

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 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:54 am 
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good for you for going and supporting your supervisor. i can only imagine how awkward the situation was for you, but she's lucky that you were there for her.

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 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:29 pm 
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rohai wrote:
My experience is the wake is before the funeral. The exception to this is an "Irish wake" which is a party afterwards, mourners in one room and partiers in another.


Not quite a "party" but the old timers do get together in a side room and reminisce, sometimes having to go out to the car a number of times to "check on" something, and that something is usually a bottle in the trunk that gets shared with anyone who came out to "help" the checking. At least that's how it would go at all the wakes *my* Irish family ever held.

And as you probably learned by now, the wake is before the funeral. The get-together after the funeral is the repast. It could be as simple as coffee and cake at someone's house or as elaborate as a full course dinner at the same type of venue one would hold a wedding reception. I try to skip these when I can because by then I just want to get rid of all the relatives and have some peace and quiet.


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