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yellowval
06-07-2004, 02:39 PM
I don't go to many funerals outside of my own family, so I'm asking for help on this one. My husband and I will be going to a visitation tonight to pay our respects to a long-time friend of the family. I'll be bringing a sympathy card, of course, but my question is about putting money in the card. Is this customary, or is it okay for us just to give our sympathy to the family and give them a card? If we should include money in the card, how much? I guess part of me doesn't understand the point of giving the family money. Is it just to help out with the funeral expenses, etc? Help me understand! Thanks.

aruvqan
06-07-2004, 02:43 PM
Well, theoretically you give *flowers* in some sort of suitble funerary display, that are delivered to the funeral home or the persons house. Some people give *berevement* gift baskets. Many people in the announcement say no flowers, please donate to some charity that the person was favored of [or died from, like diabetes, heart disease, whatever=)]

Money itself is sort of not really done, per se..it isn't a birthday or wedding....

Did the notice say no flowers? Did it say to make a donation in the name of X to Y charity? If not, you might consider getting a small suitable arrangement from a florist delivered, or even call and ask if the dead person had a favorite charity=)

FaerieBeth
06-07-2004, 02:45 PM
I don't think I have ever heard of putting money in a Sympathy card. I think, if it were me and I wanted to give money, I would send the card with a nice plant or flower, and then take the designated family member in charge of proceedings aside at a later date and offered to help out monetarily if needed, or give the money as a gift at the next gift giving opportunity.

Money in a sympathy card...just doesn't feel right to me, but of course YMMV.

FB

yellowval
06-07-2004, 02:55 PM
It doesn't seem right to me either, but my grandma got me worried about it. She was talking about another funeral, and that she was going to send money in the card. Since that person had died of cancer, I recommended to her that she make a donation to the cancer society in the area where they lived.
I just talked to my mom and she said she, my sister, and my grandma had already sent flowers. Nice of them to ask me! She said it's fine if we just go and bring a card.
Thanks for your help.

yellowval
06-07-2004, 03:01 PM
Okay, now she just said "get a card and put some money in it," and I asked her why. She said "I don't know, that's just the way we've always done it." She thinks that they used to do it to help the family because they wouldn't have enough money for the burial. I told her I thought it was kind of bizarre, and she agreed. I'll see about finding a charity to give the money to.

delphica
06-07-2004, 03:05 PM
This might be one of those regional things, in my neck of the woods of upstate New York (the venue for most of my funeral-going), money is common, provided of course it is within the means of the sympathy giver.

First, just a card (no money) is always appreciated. Obviously, the most important thing to the grieving family is to know that you are thinking of them. They're not really out to make a buck.

However, if you have the means to do so, money is nice. This can be either a donation to a specified charity (information will be in the listing in the paper, and also provided at the funeral home), or with cash or check directly to the family. Both would probably be overkill. The family will put this money toward funeral expenses (well, it's expected, I guess you don't know what they will REALLY do with it!), and if there is more money than expenses, the extra will either go toward: a fund for children or the widow, or the family will make an additional donation to the charity of choice in memory of the deceased person.

If you/the deceased is Catholic, you also have a third option, which is the Mass card. This involves a modest donation to the church -- I guess the assumption is that a donation to the church is always an option even if it isn't spelled out as a specific charity.

My general rule of thumb is $25 or so from Mr. Del and I, unless there is some horrific and pressing financial circumstance, like five orphaned children all under the age of 10, in which case we will try to give a little bit more if we can.

This is not really related to the flowers, IMHO. Flowers are often given in addition to money. I often see the "donations requested in place of flowers" or "flowers gratefully declined" and then show up and see a lot of flowers anyway, in my experience they have usually been sent by people who also made donations/gave money.

Kalhoun
06-07-2004, 03:13 PM
Well, theoretically you give *flowers* in some sort of suitble funerary display, that are delivered to the funeral home or the persons house. Some people give *berevement* gift baskets. Many people in the announcement say no flowers, please donate to some charity that the person was favored of [or died from, like diabetes, heart disease, whatever=)]

Money itself is sort of not really done, per se..it isn't a birthday or wedding....

Did the notice say no flowers? Did it say to make a donation in the name of X to Y charity? If not, you might consider getting a small suitable arrangement from a florist delivered, or even call and ask if the dead person had a favorite charity=)
That's what I thought. When my FIL recently died, my sister-in-law remarked that there was only $80 in "the box." She said that she was taught by her MIL that you give money. I believe this is a carry-over from the olden days before insurance. I would say the rule is that if the survivors cannot afford a funeral, it would be best to make a monetary donation. Otherwise, do as the family requests, i.e., donation to medical research, flowers, a favorite charity. I also think it is perfectly OK to just give a card.

StGermain
06-07-2004, 03:16 PM
I think money isn't necessary, because it indicates that you think the family is unable to handle the expenses on their own. Now, if they really are unable to handle the expenses, a donation would probably be appreciated. I've always liked plants or charitable donations in leiu of cut flower arrangements, which just die. Being Catholic as my family is, having Masses said is always special, but YMMV.

What we have done for folks we know pretty well is to buy a deli tray and take it to them. Very often they'll have family in town, people stopping by, and visitors never seems to think that they should help kick in for food. The immediate family of the deceased person usually isn't up to thinking about that stuff right then, so having food magically appear can be a big help.

StG

scout1222
06-07-2004, 03:29 PM
I don't think money is necessary.

In fact, my uncle died and we held his memorial service on Saturday. We received some cards from his coworkers, and one of them had $350 in it that I presume had been collected from various people.

We had no idea what to do with it. The inner child in my head wanted to go out and blow it on something stupid, of course. My mom didn't want it at all - his cremation expenses and the service itself were very inexpensive, and the money wasn't necessary for us to cover expenses. In the end, we felt real awkward for getting the money.

We've decided to donate it to the American Lung Association. My uncle lived life with no left lung, so it seemed fitting.

So if you don't want to give money, I don't think you'll be looked at weird for giving an empty card.

yellowval
06-07-2004, 03:32 PM
What we have done for folks we know pretty well is to buy a deli tray and take it to them. Very often they'll have family in town, people stopping by, and visitors never seems to think that they should help kick in for food. The immediate family of the deceased person usually isn't up to thinking about that stuff right then, so having food magically appear can be a big help.

The food has already been taken care of too. I know that there has already been tons of food brought to the house ... my grandma and my mom were two of the people who brought food, and my mom is making dinner for the family while they're at the visitation tonight.
Like delphica said, the money in the card must be a regional thing. Kind of like those big graduation parties we have around here. It's interesting to me that what seems bizarre in one region seems perfectly normal in another.
To my knowledge, money isn't a problem for the family. The lady in question was 93, and had been a widow for many years. All of her children, and grandchildren, are grown. Only recently had she gone into the nursing home.

GoodGrief
06-07-2004, 05:40 PM
Oh boy, I guess I'm in the minority about giving money. I've done it several times, usually just $10 and figuring they can use it in a memorial, or however they wish, really. That's easier for me, since I live in such a rural area, and work hours that make it next to impossible to get to a decent florist.

My mom has done it quite often as well (probably where I got the idea, huh?), so I've never thought anything of it. I guess I didn't realize it wasn't really the thing to do.

Khadaji
06-07-2004, 06:24 PM
I got a check in the mail last year when my Dad died and I thought it odd in the extreme. I knew the woman well and knew that she just wanted to find a way to make me feel good and didn't know how. I donated the money to the ALA in my Dad's name.

No, I wouldn't put money in a funeral card...

jastu
06-07-2004, 06:25 PM
I have never heard of giving a monetary gift with the sympathy card, which in my opinion is perfectly fine on its own.

If flowers are expected (i.e. if the funeral notice does not state "No Flowers by Request") they should be sent to the funeral, addressed to the deceased. The request for no flowers to be sent does not extend to friends who may wish to send flowers to the bereaved, which should be sent to the family home. Donations to a favourite charity may also be requested.

This is standard funeral etiquette where I come from but customs may differ in your area.

DrDeth
06-07-2004, 06:42 PM
Never heard of it, either. Well, unless "no flowers but donations to xxx in the name of the deceased..." and in that case the $$ has a specific purpose.

Ringo
06-07-2004, 08:44 PM
I've never heard of it, either. The most important thing, in my little world, is acknowledgement of their bereavement, most easily done by sympathy card or a phone call, or, if you know the survivors well, a visit. I remember to this day in a good light the professional colleague who sent a card saying only, "Sorry your Dad died."

While it was not my intent, I solidified forever a friendship by tracking down a friend in New York state whose 20 year old son had killed himself that night with the combination of a telephone pole and a car. I just got him on the phone to ask how he was handling it.

I don't know how I would have absorbed it had somebody stuffed $10, $20, $50 in a sympathy card.

Well, I hope that helps. I would be confused by a monetary gift. The signal gift you can give is to touch that person with your recognition of them when they feel alone by virtue of the now-forever absence of a part of their life.

matt_mcl
06-07-2004, 08:49 PM
Don't go for flowers; there will usually be too many already. I think sending them money would be slightly tacky (sorry your mom died, here's $20) unless you knew them to be in difficult financial straits.

The gifts we most appreciated when my dad died were the charitable donations (to the hospital where he died, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, if you're interested) and the food. Food was key. They do NOT want to cook.

Also, phone them, say, two weeks after the funeral. The bereaved may be starting to feel very alone and unlistened-to after things get less intense.

carlotta
06-07-2004, 08:56 PM
I wouldn't put money in a sympathy card, but I might anonymously send money to a bereaved family if I suspected they needed it.

I had a daughter who died and somebody anonymously gave us $200. I was so grateful. Not only was the funeral a stretch for us, but her preceeding illness had really drained our bank account.

I was also extremely grateful for every sympathy card. I ws surprised by how much they meant to me.

Lissa
06-07-2004, 11:49 PM
Food was key. They do NOT want to cook.

Before you give food, you may want to talk to someone close to the family and make sure they're not already drowning in it.

When my aunt died this spring, my grandma was bombarded by a deluge of cassaroles, meat trays, pies, and other assorted dishes. I was able to intercept a good deal of it before it was delivered and pass it on to her husband's family, but we still had way too much-- it was actually a bit distracting and stressful trying to figure out what to do with it all.

In our case, we asked for donations in leiu of flowers for my aunt's infant daughter who was basically impoverished. (No insurance, bankrupt, and the child's father is on disability.) Usually, if a family is open to that, there will be some discreet wording in the announcement, or a box near the register book. However, if there's no need for the money, it can become a bit of a burden deciding what to do with it. (A lot of people would feel funny about, say, buying groceries with it-- they feel like it should be used for a purpose.) The last thing a grieving family needs is more decisions they have to make and worry about.

Mr. Moto
06-08-2004, 12:42 AM
My grandparents had a freezer, so when my grandfather died, word went around for people to give my grandma casseroles and meals that would freeze well.

She only had to do light cooking and microwaving for several months, which was a godsend for her.

Strangelove
06-08-2004, 03:09 AM
Stamps. No really. My dad died a couple years ago, and someone gave us 2 books of frst class stamps in the sympathy card. We had no idea how many thank you cards and notes we were going to have to send out and it was so nice to have those stamps there. It sounds stupid, but between drowning in food and plants/flowers, that simple but extremly thoughtfull gesture was wonderful.

swampbear
06-08-2004, 07:51 AM
Strangelove that's a unique and thoughtful idea. Stamps would be a good thing. You're right about the amount of thank you notes. When dad died in April there was tons of food, flowers, notes and cards at home. When I returned to my home I had a ton of sympathy notes and cards. Being as I was raised to be ever the gentleman, thank you notes were sent to everybody. I bought a roll of one hundred stamps and dang near used all of em just writing my share of the thank yous. Mom and my sister did pretty much the same.

I've never heard of getting money in a sympathy card or note. Then again, it does vary by region so if that's what's done where you live, then it's acceptable.

Fortuneately my mother has a large freezer. Many many casseroles were frozen which made it a little easier for her for a few weeks afterwards because she didn't have to worry about cooking. Heck, she even sent a few home with me. I don't know what the deal is with poppyseed chicken casseroles (there were a lot of those) but they sure were good!

yellowval
06-08-2004, 09:22 AM
I didn't put money in the card. Frankly, I didn't have any, so that made my decision quite easy! I was happy that we went to the funeral home for visitation. I was able to speak with the woman's daughter, who has long been a close friend of my mom's, and son-in-law, granddaughter (a close friend of my sister's) and her husband, and her grandson's wife (he was at dinner). I feel much better about doing that than I would have about putting $10 or whatever in a card.

sugaree
06-08-2004, 01:01 PM
My family always gave money to the next of kin when I was growing up. It was, of course, in addition to going to the viewing, making casseroles, and sending flowers, not a replacement for those things. This was among working class people in Western Pa.

Nowadays, if I'm unsure whether or not the family will think that money is tacky, I always try to discretely check with someone close to them. I either call or pull the person aside at the viewing. This is pretty sad, but I've never known a funeral where the next of kin didn't need the cash.

I've only ever spoken to one person IRL who had never heard of this custom.

Scarlett67
06-08-2004, 01:20 PM
The responses to this thread have surprised me in that very few of you seem to have heard of this practice, even those in the Midwest. Here in WI it seems almost universal for an obituary to include the line "A memorial [fund] is being established." This calls for a check made out to "[Name of Deceased] Memorial." I've never been on the collecting end, but I believe that most people do include memorial donations in the sympathy card. I read somewhere (probably Miss Manners et al.) that this is inappropriate, because it combines the tender expression of sympathy with cold cash. The recommendation that I recall (and follow) is to send the check under separate cover, addressed "To the Family of X" in care of the funeral home. They will see that it goes where it should.

It seems to me that the money would be helpful, whether the family needs it for all the various twiddly expenses that come up and perhaps can't get access to accounts yet, or doesn't need it and simply adds it to a charitable donation in the person's name.

(And of course, a sympathy card always contains a handwritten note expressing personal condolences and perhaps a memory of the deceased, rather than only a canned preprinted verse and a signature. But you knew that.)

medstar
06-09-2004, 07:00 PM
I was raised Catholic, so the Mass card was the first thing I thought of. However, I've also heard that money is often given in a sympathy card because sometimes insurance doesn't kick in immediately, and joint bank accounts might be frozen until the deceased's estate is settled, leaving the family destitute for an undetermined amount of time.

Runs With Scissors
06-09-2004, 09:32 PM
It seems to me that if the funeral notice says something along the lines of, "In lieu of flower, we request a donation [insert charity here]" then it's appropriate. That's quite common.

My dad just died, and the notice said to donate it to his church. One night I sat down with my mom and we opened all the sympathy cards. Hardly any of them didn't contain some amount of money. Neither my mom nor I thought anything about it, but we were touched at people's generosity, no matter how small or large the gift.

StGermain
06-09-2004, 10:19 PM
I asked my mother about this issue. She said that often joint accounts are frozen directly upon a death. SInce there are many things that are needed during that time, she said the money she received came in handy until everything was resovled.

StG

Montgomery Burns
06-10-2004, 12:12 PM
This has been an interesting thread for me as last night I attended a memorial service for my wife's cousin who died over the weekend at 47 from a severe infection. As Scarlett said, in Wisconsin (the part I'm from anyway) almost everyone puts money in the sympathy card. It's the standard thing to do and I kind of assumed it was done that way all over. It is surprising to me to hear people think it is tacky.

Often the family will have a line in the obituary specifiying a charity or organization for the memorials to be sent to or what the memorial money will be used for. I know my wife's great-grandmother's memorial money helped purchase a cross that hangs on the outside of the front of the new church her congregation was in the process of building when she died. If not specified, I guess the family can use the money for whatever they want.

Kalhoun
06-10-2004, 12:23 PM
I asked my mother about this issue. She said that often joint accounts are frozen directly upon a death. SInce there are many things that are needed during that time, she said the money she received came in handy until everything was resovled.

StG
I've never heard of that. My parents' account wasn't frozen. Neither was my girlfriend, mother-in-law, brother-in-law...I thought that was the purpose of a joint account...so the money is always available to both parties, no matter what. I can sort of understand a private account being frozen, in case there's monies due to various parties.

MsRobyn
06-10-2004, 12:30 PM
I asked my mother about this issue. She said that often joint accounts are frozen directly upon a death. SInce there are many things that are needed during that time, she said the money she received came in handy until everything was resovled.

StG

It's possible that a joint account might have to go through probate, but a probate court would not leave survivors without a means to live while the estate goes through the probate process.

Robin

tammon71
09-18-2012, 07:16 AM
In my family this has always been a tradition. To give money in a card. Exspeacily in a untimely death of someone two young or that may not have had life insurance. In my moms passing she was 54 years young & my dad and her had small coverage to cover funeral cost so we had donations go to the hospice center she received care at for the last few weeks of her life. But to be honest altough my dad was ok money wise my sister n i both with 4 kids each n having to find places gor them to go the last 4 months n eating fast food, hospital food, gas, missed work etc.. because our mom had been in the hospital probably could have used a little of that to pay electric n water at home because we wipped out our accounts having this 3 -4 months of xtra. Dont get me wrong i would have spent a million to spend that time worh my mom o er n over. Im saying for the fact of this post n the reason people sjould give! But for so many Get dropped from coverage or there term life ins policy runs out and they get a life threading diagnosis and are uninsurable. Who is left with that burden. Not to mention a lot of people are acting as of people are going to get rich off a few 20.00 donations. What about gas and child care for making arrangements. And hotel if they live out of town. We have had 3 deaths in the last 3 months. 1 a single aunt in her 60's cancer 2 married uncle in his early 70's had cancer but fell from his tractor n had injuries he couldn't survive n just 2 days ago cousin in his early 50's cancer. Each of these were different cancers different situations but someone in their imidiate family had to drive anywhere from 20 to 2000 miles to be here. Not to mention funeral cost n the fact that each had been in hospital & they had missed work paid for food etc that is more then normal! I come from a large family n my dad has always been a huge giver I may not beable to do what he has in his life but if I can hand my cousin, my aunt or my 2nd cousin a few bucks to help them get by with finances when everything else seems like its crashing in around them! Then I will. Right now my 2nd cousin has got braclets made with my uncles name to help raise money for his funeral cost so yes! As a matter of fact when u walk in n sign the guest book just like at a wedding there usely is a basket for cards that's why. It's the same. N the way I see it if u would rather not give me a wedding gift or a bday gift my whole life 20.00 for gas for my kids n grand kids would be appreciated! Yes right now I have life insurance but when this term runs out n I survive it I probably won't find a company to insure me when I have already had tia's before 40! Tu for letting me post! N I should mention that this isn't to take the place of flowers n I'm not saying everyone has to give. I'm saying y my family has n always will! N I hope maybe in some way these areas that seem like they are from different worlds that have never heard of this see the point. We are a Christian family n u can't take it with you!

tammon71
09-18-2012, 07:22 AM
Oh n on the account being frozen thing, that depends if a person is getting social security a pension or some kind of thing like that. Because yes they do Freeze your account to make sure u can pay them back if they paid something within so many days of the person who recieces its passing!

Missy2U
09-18-2012, 09:46 AM
When my grandmother died, and my dad died, there was not money involved in the cards we received. That's just not how my family does things.

When relatives of my husband's died, there was always money involved in teh cards. That's just the way of HIS people.

We're both from the midwest. My family is Lutheran, his family is Catholic.

Sahirrnee
09-18-2012, 10:41 AM
I've never heard of or seen money put in sympathy cards.

If I know the family well and know they are financially stressed I'd give them some money on the side, discretely.

Taomist
09-18-2012, 10:43 AM
Giving money sounds like a good idea to me. As stated already, there are both unexpected expenses and sometimes no way to access funds. And for many people, a loss is also a loss of income. So as cold as it sounds, money seems a lot more useful than flowers.

But in the card itself? Nah. Let that stand alone. Find another way to slip an envelope to them, somehow. If you can do it anonymously, even better.

The Second Stone
09-18-2012, 11:32 AM
I've never put money in a sympathy card. If I wanted to help people who were burdened by the expense, I'd probably put it in a separate envelope, but I'd feel really weird about that.

Chief Pedant
09-18-2012, 11:48 AM
I slip a check into the casket, discretely, under the feet.

But never any money in the card.
If the family needs help, I'd do that on the side.

jayrey
09-18-2012, 11:48 AM
What a timely thread. My cousin Alan's wife died very unexpectedly last week. I was talking with another family member and she said she and her brother both would be giving Alan money at the memorial service this Saturday. I was flabbergasted. Giving money stuck me as really tacky (tho' I can see the benefits to Alan and his family). My other cousin, the one I was speaking with, is married to a Hawai'ian man. She said that it is the standard custom in Hawai'i. I'd never heard of it before.

I could either fly down for the services or send money, but not both. The family wants me to be there, so no money in the sympathy card for me. Don't know if I would feel right about it even if I had the cash. :confused:

Zsofia
09-18-2012, 11:59 AM
Isn't it amazing how you suddenly realize that things you thought were universal are actually regional? I've never in my life heard of giving money at funerals - donations to charity, flowers, food, but money? I'd be confused and we'd probably talk about you bemusedly.

InsomniaMama
09-18-2012, 01:29 PM
I slip a check into the casket, discretely, under the feet.

Wait, really? Do they get cashed?

alice_in_wonderland
09-18-2012, 01:46 PM
Wait, really? Do they get cashed?

I'm pretty sure that was a joke.

When my dad died last year mom received quite a few cards with $$ in them - none from our family, but many from military people my dad had served with or their widows sent $$.

My mom thought it was nice - I think she pooled the money and went shopping - something she hadn't been able to do for a long time while providing hospice to my dad.

That being said, mom was also please with just plain old cards, and with every message on the funeral home's website, and with the flowers, and donations to the charities she chose.

Really anything is appreciated, I think.

InsomniaMama
09-18-2012, 01:57 PM
Oh. Well. Ha ha ha. :)

You'd think this thread would be full of zombie jokes by now. I'm a little surprised at the lack thereof.

Pai325
09-18-2012, 02:45 PM
I had never heard of this until my father died in 1978 when many of the sympathy cards had money in them saying "for the family." It was strange, but I think people's intent was to help pay for all the incidentals that go with a death. I might give a donation to a cause mentioned in the death notice or have a Mass said for the person, but I still feel strange putting cash in a card.

Bass Chick
09-18-2012, 03:15 PM
I've done it. I think it's just practical. There can be unexpected expenses that pop up like printing obituaries, long distance phone calls, gasoline, food, etc. I figure the family knows what they need better than I do and it makes me feel like I helped.

PandaBear77
09-18-2012, 07:37 PM
I received several cards with money in them when my mom died. All of the cards were from family members, though. I had to rent a truck to haul all of her stuff several states away and they knew it was going to be expensive.

You can never go wrong with cash, ever, I don't care what the situation is.

Taomist
09-18-2012, 07:53 PM
Oh. Well. Ha ha ha. :)

You'd think this thread would be full of zombie jokes by now. I'm a little surprised at the lack thereof.

D'oh :smack:

batahir
11-09-2012, 02:56 AM
I am a Catholic and our family just dealt with my mother's funeral. We had about 250 people in attendance. Of all those envelopes received plus envelopes from out of town -- I would say that almost 98% of the envelopes contained checks. Some of the people wrote on the card "for Masses for the soul of your mother", others wrote "for the family", and still other wrote "as needed".

Now I have no idea if this is a Cattholic tradition, or a Midwestern tradition or what but I know I was taught from early on that you put "something" in the envelope. Also whatever you put in the envelope is in addition to flowers sent.

batahir
11-09-2012, 02:57 AM
I am a Catholic and our family just dealt with my mother's funeral. We had about 250 people in attendance. Of all those envelopes received plus envelopes from out of town -- I would say that almost 98% of the envelopes contained checks. Some of the people wrote on the card "for Masses for the soul of your mother", others wrote "for the family", and still other wrote "as needed".

Now I have no idea if this is a Catholic tradition, or a Midwestern tradition or what but I know I was taught from early on that you put "something" in the envelope. Also whatever you put in the envelope is in addition to flowers sent.

Bullitt
11-09-2012, 05:36 AM
Interesting thread. My initial take was to answer the OP with, absolutely not, no money! I thought it would be impolite.

Now, I'm not so sure.

Ashes, Ashes
11-09-2012, 11:41 AM
I've never heard of money in the card either and I come from a very Catholic part of so cal. Money in wedding cards, money trees *and* multiple money dances are very common.

For a funeral, for my part, I bake a few pans of fancy cinnamon rolls (my specialty!) when I know the family will have guests to feed. Often there are dishes for lunch and dinner and then breakfast for a crowd is hard to rustle up.:

VOW
11-09-2012, 06:14 PM
I have included a check for a small amount ($10-$25, what I could afford) in the case of the death of a small child. There are IMMEDIATE expenses, and insurance often takes its own sweet time to pay.

Losing a child has got to be an incredibly overwhelming experience, and my intention was to try to make daily life a little easier for the family.


~VOW

PunditLisa
11-10-2012, 08:29 AM
I've never done it, but in some cultures it is expected that you give the widow a condolence card with cash. It's definitely expected in the Mob, if the Sopranos is to be believed. ;)

minlokwat
11-10-2012, 08:49 AM
Marylander checking in.

Not only have I never, ever heard of placing money in a sympathy card, the practice strikes me as genuinely bizarre.

Not knocking it having read the testimonials here. But I honestly had no idea people would think to do such.

Brynda
11-10-2012, 09:51 AM
When I lived in Detroit, one of my co-workers was murdered. Within days, friends of hers were selling memorial t-shirts to raise money for the funeral. I bet their tradition is to put money with the condolence cards, too, and now I feel bad that I didn't. In my defense, we don't do that in my family. No one gave me money when my husband died, although several people made charitable donations in his name.

minionkat
11-10-2012, 11:13 AM
When my brother died, there were some cards with money, cheques or grocery store gift cards. The first one I opened, it seemed odd to me, but as the days went on and we were just so busy/exhausted/distraught, it started to make sense to have some cash on hand. Before this, it never would have occurred to me, now I see that it is practical and thoughtful. Tacky is not a word that crossed my mind, then or now.

There were a lot of people in and out of the house, so the food that arrived also came in handy. A lot of people brought food and specifically said to throw it in the freezer until we needed it. It sure came in handy.

The best thing was my best friend from high school swooped in and took over. She didn't call and ask first. She just dropped her kids off at her mother in law's, walked in and took over for us. I was so grateful. She answered the door, made coffee, kept things flowing. She stayed at the house while we went and did funeral planning, etc. It was wonderful to have someone there to look after things, especially when we had to be elsewhere.

There were a lot of flowers and plants too. I have a huge peace lily in my home that we received when my brother died. At the time, I thought it was a bit, I don't know, morbid, but I really like it now.

BillJ
08-31-2013, 03:01 PM
Yes , I am the people you are hiding from with talk of 20 - 50 $ at funerals . Get REAL ! If a dead person was in financial trouble ... you know it ! Or you dont know them , send flowers . Hey Man , This family needs help ! Granted I asked for it by clicking on an etiquette button but if you guys are the answer I'm glad ' not to know ya !' Since you don't know I'm going to tell you MY plan . Widows expenses paid . That's it PERIOD ..!!!! You paid your ex $2000/ Mo ... Got 1/2 that for your best friend ?House too big ? We can't save that . College loans too big ? Sorry ! No . Room and board ( that means a roof and food ) Ok , she needs 10 s of thousands and a friend who can advise . Be the guy who knows ! Yeah ... Responsibility sucks ! do it.

johnpost
08-31-2013, 03:37 PM
double zombie or no

does the dead person still have their wallet?

InternetLegend
08-31-2013, 06:33 PM
I kind of wish all the zombie revivals by newbies could be like this one: mainly incomprehensible, yet oddly compelling.

Rhiannon8404
08-31-2013, 07:53 PM
I am really fascinated by how there is always a space before the punctuation. I have never seen that before.

jackdavinci
08-31-2013, 08:48 PM
I had never heard of the money thing, but I had only been to funerals as a kid. When my father died, I did get some cards with and some without money. The funeral was expensive and I was unemployed, so the money was very appreciated, but I didn't think any less of people who sent flowers or a Mass card or just a nice note or food or just showed up. If you are especially close to the bereaved or happen to know that they have a great need, you might want to give more, but I wouldn't say anything particular is expected.

Strangeland64
08-31-2013, 09:17 PM
My son passed away at age 32 in April. He had no life insurance and the money we received which I think came to maybe about 1,500.00 was very much appreciated and certainly not tacky at all. The funeral cost was around 8,000.00 and we kept it very conservative. No one around here cremates, although I personally wish it was more available/socially acceptable.

Most folks I know who have the money or life insurance spend anywhere from 10 to 15,000.00 on the funeral, but they usually buy vaults, which we would not have done if we had have had the money. But that too seems to be sort of a social expectation thing , I guess people feel they are honoring their deceased loved one .

I am surprised at how many people thing it's tacky. I truly have never thought of that. At least I don't think it's considered tacky in these parts as long as it's known the family may not have the money for burial or the loved ones left behind may be left in hardship.

It is also common to send flowers, bring food, donate to charities ... or just show up or send a card if that is what you want to do or all you can do.

I asked the funeral director what happened if a family didn't have the money to pay for the funeral, and she said usually someone in the family will find a way to come up with it. It's a pay up front deal, no financing. If we had not had the money and the ability to borrow a couple thousand we were short, I have no idea what they would have done with his body, but I do know I had to be ready to write out a check the morning following his death the previous afternoon.

Then of course there is the flower arrangement for the casket. Now we are going to save for a headstone after my husband returns to work following surgery.

Sorry for the long post. This touched a sore spot. I am so grateful people were so kind as to help us financially during such a difficult time.