| Register  | FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:17 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:33 pm 
Offline
Dislikes Rick Santorum
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
Posts: 5298
Location: United States of New England
my supervisor at work's father passed away over the weekend and apparently the entire accounting dept is planning on going to the wake tomorrow night which means i have to go or look like a crasshole.
i have really bad social anxiety and the whole idea is giving me a panic attack.

im not sure if ive ever been to a wake. i think ive only been to funerals.
the three funerals ive been to (all grandparents) are jumbled in my mind so im confused if maybe one or more was an actual wake (usually there is both right?)

anywho....what i remember is being in a big room at the funeral home with the casket and all of the children of the deceased and the spouse (if still living) lined up in a sort of receiving line and you went by the casket to say a prayer or a moment of silence or whatever and then you moved down to the line of people for hugs and crying and stuff.

is this what i can expect tomorrow?
im completely uncomfortable with this. i dont know the family at all so i feel weird being like "hi im a complete stranger, sorry for your loss"
i know going is the right thing to do but it's not helping me get over sheer amounts of panic.

_________________
Unimpressed Baby Blog


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:37 pm 
Offline
Mispronounces Daiya
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:38 am
Posts: 1487
Location: Rochester & Albany, NY
There may or may not be a line - I think it's very much up to the family. We didn't have one for either of my grandparents. As far as stopping at the casket, that's also very much up to you. I think it'd be completely appropriate to pay your respects to your supervisor and leave it at that.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:37 pm 
Offline
Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:43 pm
Posts: 10668
Location: Astoria, NY by way of San Diego, CA
the wake is like the "party" after the funeral, so you'll just be milling about talking to your co workers and telling people you're sorry for their loss. there will be appetizers or possibly catered food that is probably buffet style. you're just going to show support for your boss, who will appreciate your presence. if you show up, talk to your boss and your coworkers for a little while and then leave, that will be fine. if you end up having to talk to people you don't know, all you have to say is that you work for your boss and that you're sorry for their loss. they'll understand you didnt know the deceased and that you're there to show support.

_________________
I am not a troll. I am TELLING YOU THE ******GOD'S TRUTH****** AND YOU JUST DON'T WANT THE HEAR IT DO YOU?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:44 pm 
Online
WRETCHED
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:54 pm
Posts: 8540
Location: Maryland/DC area
I think a wake is actually before the funeral? Growing up catholic, I'm not too familiar with them as we usually have rosaries instead. Usually the night before a funeral.

_________________
You are all a disgrace to vegans. Go f*ck yourselves, especially linanil.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:44 pm 
Offline
Dislikes Rick Santorum
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
Posts: 5298
Location: United States of New England
thanks guys. im worried there could be a line. sometimes i feel really hollow and disingenuous saying the sort of standard line that's expected and it feels awkward but in the end what are you gonna do? you're just trying to be nice.
i guess in the end it doesnt matter. just suck it up and be respectful to show support for my boss in a difficult time.

im glad a whole group of us are going.

_________________
Unimpressed Baby Blog


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:45 pm 
Offline
Dislikes Rick Santorum
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
Posts: 5298
Location: United States of New England
linanil wrote:
I think a wake is actually before the funeral? Growing up catholic, I'm not too familiar with them as we usually have rosaries instead. Usually the night before a funeral.


this is how it is in my mind too.
usually the wake happens the day before and it's for anyone who wants to go and pay respects or whatever and the funeral is usually for family and close friends?

im not sure since ive been to so few funerals but i seem to remember my parents going to wakes for people and not the funeral.

_________________
Unimpressed Baby Blog


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:50 pm 
Online
WRETCHED
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:54 pm
Posts: 8540
Location: Maryland/DC area
Yeah, you don't actually have to go view the body. You can just go and let them know how sorry you are in a show of support type thing.

_________________
You are all a disgrace to vegans. Go f*ck yourselves, especially linanil.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:13 pm 
Offline
Should Write a Goddam Book Already
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:37 pm
Posts: 1084
Location: Western Mass
I went to a wake recently and had a lot of anxiety, too. I had to take something to quell it, but when I got there, it actually wasn't that bad. There was a line, and we gave condolences to the family, and that was it. The way this one was set up, we could either stay and talk to everyone that was there or leave.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:24 pm 
Offline
And you never will.
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:41 pm
Posts: 4364
Location: Memphis
ijustdiedinside wrote:
you're just going to show support for your boss, who will appreciate your presence. if you show up, talk to your boss and your coworkers for a little while and then leave, that will be fine. if you end up having to talk to people you don't know, all you have to say is that you work for your boss and that you're sorry for their loss. they'll understand you didnt know the deceased and that you're there to show support.

All of this has been my experience as well.

Just don't do this:

Image

_________________
Sometimes I think, it's really my lack of cybernetic implants that keeps me from being truly human. - Mars
One vegan baker to another: "Dude, do you even sift?" - FootFace


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:25 pm 
Offline
Dislikes Rick Santorum
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
Posts: 5298
Location: United States of New England
I just peed a little!!!

i hope that doesnt get stuck in my head tomorrow ;-)

_________________
Unimpressed Baby Blog


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:27 pm 
Online
Dr Bronners, MD
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:58 pm
Posts: 4717
Location: Santa Cruz whoop whoop
Yeah, a wake is usually more of wandering around talking to people, telling stories about the deceased, drinking (depending on the social group...), laughing, being sad, laughing some more, being sad some more, generally showing support and remembering them. If it's your supervisor's father, you're pretty much there to support the supervisor, pat them on the back, say you're sorry for their loss, listen to stories (wakes are for stories), nod knowingly, and punt before it gets too weepy and (if it's an Irish wake) before people start singing "Danny Boy".

There shouldn't be a viewing or anything-- that's just the actual funeral part.

Wear black and be polite when aged relatives of the deceased want to tell you what a good boy he was or about that one time he did a thing when he was a kid and you'll be fine. Expect awkward hugs.

_________________
"Trolling an internet message board, The Greatest Activism Of All." - pandacookie
Вы такие сексапильные, когда злитесь


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:11 pm 
Offline
Bought A BRAND NEW CAR!
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:47 pm
Posts: 2160
Location: Western North Carolina
Sign the book and lurk in the back and wait for your boss to come to you. I've not always gone through the line. I've been to a surprising number of them though I guess not as an adult. However if you just show up during the viewing in the middle some time you may be able to skip the line and just for the milling...

_________________
Evolved a vascular system, so I went from bryophyte to lycophyte.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:11 pm 
Offline
Addicted to B12 Enemas
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Connecticut
I've been to many wakes and funerals. The wake is held before the church mass or the burial or the cremation, usually the day or perhaps several days before. Sometimes a family member or a clergy person will get up and speak. I've also been to a memorial service where the deceased had already been cremated and their urn was present at the front of the room and people got up to speak. It's been my experience, however, that a wake specifically refers to pre-burial/cremation time, and is for family and friends to pay respects while the body is present. The casket may or may not be open.

The atmosphere really depends on the crowd. I've been to wakes that have been very social with a lot of groups of people standing around and talking, telling stories, and laughing. I've also been to very solemn affairs, where you could hear a pin drop. There is always seating, so if you don't want to get in line because you're uncomfortable, you can just take a seat for a while.

So it usually goes like this: Go in to the entry way and sign the register and hang up your coat if you want to. Go into the viewing room...the casket will be at one end of the room surrounded by flowers people have sent and there will probably be chairs set up in rows filling up the rest of the room. There might be some music playing softly in the background.
A lot of families will assemble photos of the deceased and sometimes there's even a video slideshow of photos to look at.

If the family has a receiving line you will spot it easily...they'll be lined up after the casket. If you choose to go through the line, you'll probably walk past the casket first and then to the family. Some people just stop and look, others might kneel to pray. Many times the family of the deceased will put objects with the person's body, like favorite trinkets or things that represented their hobbies or interests. There might be a small stand up near the casket on which to put sympathy cards. Some family members might want to know your affiliation with the deceased and chat briefly, but others might just smile and shake your hand. After the receiving line, some people find others to talk to or might check out the photos, and some just take a seat.

When it seems that everyone who is going to come is there, there might be a person who gets up to talk. Depending on the family, it might just be friends and family telling remembrances, or it might be a clergy person who might work in some Bible stuff. The talking usually isn't very long though. After that, people might still hang out for a while.

All of the funeral parlors I've been to have always had lots of places to sit outside the viewing room so you can get away if you want to. Lots of tissue boxes and usually a water fountain. I have been to places where there have been multiple viewings going on at the same time in different rooms, and if that looks like that's the case, just make sure you have the right room.

Sometimes after the wake the family will invite everyone who wants to come to a restaurant or event hall or someone's home for "the after party" where there's food and drink and it's a lot more relaxed.

I hope this has been helpful! My coping strategy is to go through the receiving line first to get it out of the way (which you do not have to do) and then focus on talking to other people I know, because I am really bad at NOT crying, even if I didn't know the person! If you do go through the line, go with your coworkers because then you will be part of a group and you might be able to speak to the family as a group instead of just yourself.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:15 pm 
Offline
Should Write a Goddam Book Already
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 1053
Location: Minnesota
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.

I have both Protestants and Catholics in my family, and yes, we're all Irish.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:11 pm 
Offline
Memorized Veganomicon
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:18 pm
Posts: 91
Lots of good advice already. I've had a lot of funerals in my family recently and have gone to visitation for a couple of coworker's spouses.
-if by "wake" they mean what we call "visitation" then yes, it's just all milling around, saying you're sorry for their loss. I've only been to one with a receiving line, but it may just be that my family doesn't do them. I know the urge is there to say something more meaningful. You don't need to, really. "I'm so sorry for your loss" is what you mean and we have rote phrases like this for a reason. "I work with his son/daughter so-and-so" is totally reason to be there if anyone asks how you knew the deceased.
-if you're standing around feeling awkward (this happens to me even at relative's funerals) go look at the pictures. You can always go back and look again. If you need a bland topic of conversation, ask about picture X - If it showed him on vacation then you can ask where was it, it looked nice, did he go there often? Or obviously beloved pets. That sort of thing. Pictures are going to be the happy memories so they're pretty safe as a topic of conversation.
-If the bereaved takes you over to the casket to look at the body (unlikely but possible) then "He looks so peaceful" is always a good thing to say.

I have always skipped out after half an hour to an hour at the ones for coworker's relatives. Show up, sign the register, hug/otherwise greet the coworker, look at pics, stand around a bit chatting with other coworkers, go home.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:35 pm 
Offline
Sick of Cupcakes
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:35 pm
Posts: 6692
Location: Norristown, PA
I think it's okay not to go to a funeral. Lots of people don't go to funerals for all sorts of totally legitimate reasons and it's nobody's goddamn business why someone chooses not to go. Personally, I would not go to something like this if I did not know the person who died very well, and in fact I'm not even sure I would go even if I did. It's just too much of a trigger for me, and if I'm losing my shiitake I'm really not going to be able to be that supportive to anybody. I would offer to cook the family a meal or send a sweet card or something, acknowledge the death in some way that is safe for me and meaningful to them, but I definitely would not go to something like this just because "everyone else" was if I knew it wouldn't be healthy for me (which, for me, it totally wouldn't).

This is not to say that I think you shouldn't go; I'm not trying to talk you out of it or anything. Just putting the suggestion out there, that you don't have to go, and there are other ways you can be there for your supervisor and their family without going to this thing.

_________________
Man, fork the gender card, imma come at you with the whole damned gender deck. - Olives
Did you ever think that, like, YOU are a sexy costume FOR a diva cup? - solipsistnation
blog! FB!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:42 pm 
Offline
Sick of Cupcakes
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:44 pm
Posts: 6817
Location: Modesto, CA
My sister's wake we held it in a park with food since my sister would not want anything to do with a church. Also there was not really a funeral, just we had a few family members at the cemetery when we placed her ashes in the niche.

My boyfriend and I are not social people. We send cards and go to family funerals. I personally feel that these types of things are for those that were close to the person who passed or their families. I found it rather odd my aunt invited her neighbors to my sister's wake and a super Catholic uncle decided to start a group prayer...So not cool.

_________________
The Stay At Home Girlfriend: A zine that focuses on
vegan recipes, cat love and living with OCD.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/missmuffcake


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:52 pm 
Offline
Asked Santa for a pony
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:29 pm
Posts: 3075
Location: Portland
I've been to a few "viewings", which is basically the Texas Baptist version of the wake before the funeral. Sounds like you're going to something similar. It's sort of a social event before the funeral. I remember a big room at the funeral parlor and the body being there in an open casket. People bring flowers, spend time with the family, there's food, and people get in some final, personal moments with the deceased.

_________________
The Noochy Noodle, my personal obsession with discovering the worlds greatest vegan mac and cheeze


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:15 am 
Offline
Should Write a Goddam Book Already
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:05 pm
Posts: 1028
Location: Willamette Valley, OR
My grandma's wake was the night or maybe 2 nights before the funeral. It involved an open casket and triggered the beginning of my inability to cope being in the same room with a dead person.

I have since attended another, more traumatising wake (5 siblings who died), where I flat-out refused to view the bodies and hung out in the foyer and visited with people instead (and tried not to completely freak out).

Hope you survive! (I realise I'm totally not being helpful...)

_________________
Glad wrap! ... it's just a nice, friendly name. Like a suffocating, plastic hug. - Erinnerung

http://toocheapforpinenuts.wordpress.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:14 am 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:03 am
Posts: 1308
Location: Nova Scotia
LisaPunk wrote:

im completely uncomfortable with this. i dont know the family at all so i feel weird being like "hi im a complete stranger, sorry for your loss"
i know going is the right thing to do but it's not helping me get over sheer amounts of panic.


Speaking from the family's perspective, lots of people who came to my parents' wake/visitation were strangers to me but they knew my parents, so the family probably won't know or care who you are (except for your supervisor). As other people have said, if there is a line say sorry for your loss, hold their hand for a second if you/they are comfortable with that, and then go with your group. If the line is moving slowly or you think it is appropriate you can tell the family who you are. You do not have to view the body if you don't want.

However, you shouldn't go if you think you will panic. Get a card for your supervisor and unless he/she is a crasshole then he/she probably won't care that you didn't show up at the viewing. Hopefully the family has more important things on their mind than who did or did not attend the wake.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:21 am 
Online
Seagull of the PPK
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:46 pm
Posts: 7995
Location: Brasil
i think you're really nice for even being willing to go.
We had a viewing for my dad [which i would have called a wake but since we're not catholic anymore i guess it's a viewing]- and we didn't do a line or anything, since we were all wrecks and couldn't do it. it was lots of milling around and telling stories. some people came and sat for a while without talking, and that was fine too.
I don't think there's a bad thing to say- it's an awkward situation. Just a person's presence at one of these things is enough to show that they care, and I personally appreciated it a lot.
People came to this wake that I didn't know and had never heard of, and they all knew my father. A motorcycle gang came to pay their respects (we had no idea who they were). Everyone wanted to tell me how they knew my father, or how they had pulled pranks with my father, or how they had been involved with Jimmy Hoffa with my father [no, Hoffa didn't appear at the wake] even though we didn't know each other and would never see each other again, and they made me smile and get through a really horrible day.
since you didn't know the deceased, i imagine it's more of a meet your supervisor, let him know you're there for him, and that's about it.

_________________
Buddha says 'Meh'.--matwinser
I'm just a drunk who likes fruit. -- Desdemona


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:02 am 
Online
WRETCHED
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:54 pm
Posts: 8540
Location: Maryland/DC area
Yeah, I'm not sure I'd be willing to go, I'd just send a card or something...

When my husband's uncle died, I didn't go to the funeral but he didn't really know him and he really wanted to go for his parents. It would've been difficult for me to juggle my schedule to go but I hate, hate funerals. I went to way too many in my teens due to quite a few of my relatives dying.

_________________
You are all a disgrace to vegans. Go f*ck yourselves, especially linanil.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:09 pm 
Offline
Bought A BRAND NEW CAR!
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:47 pm
Posts: 2160
Location: Western North Carolina
missmuffcake wrote:

My boyfriend and I are not social people. We send cards and go to family funerals. I personally feel that these types of things are for those that were close to the person who passed or their families. I found it rather odd my aunt invited her neighbors to my sister's wake and a super Catholic uncle decided to start a group prayer...So not cool.


Yeah, I wanted to speak up but knew I couldn't @ my ex's grandfather's viewing/wake. The whole family was catholic (except my ex is now a UU minister with catholic leanings; they are definitely amongst the liberal-catholic set), but the grandfather was well known as an atheist. At the wake they had a priest talk and he even mentioned that he was atheist but decided to break with usual catholic ideology (he was actually pretty cool, the family's favorite priest; I think its the same priest that recently told my ex that despite being both UU and transgendered, God should have no qualms with him receiving communion, and he has no qualms with offering) and say that he being received by God, yadda-yadda etc. I guess he is actually a bit of a Universalist Catholic priest. I dunno, I still wanted to say something but it wasn't my place!
They had humanist readings as well, and then there was the tearful heart-breaking Danny Boy, of course.

I really wished I coulda met my ex's grandfather before his stroke! I was told all the time that we would have gotten along super. He was a big gardener and had even been in the CCC!

_________________
Evolved a vascular system, so I went from bryophyte to lycophyte.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:34 pm 
Online
Dr Bronners, MD
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:58 pm
Posts: 4717
Location: Santa Cruz whoop whoop
So, LisaPunk, how did it go?

_________________
"Trolling an internet message board, The Greatest Activism Of All." - pandacookie
Вы такие сексапильные, когда злитесь


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: what exactly happens at a wake?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:51 pm 
Offline
Dislikes Rick Santorum
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
Posts: 5298
Location: United States of New England
hasnt happened yet! it's tonight at 5 ET.

_________________
Unimpressed Baby Blog


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AutumnVegan, Google [Bot], linanil, lutin, Norelle, torque and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer