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  #1  
Old 08-18-2003, 03:31 PM
Stephe96 Stephe96 is offline
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How Come You Never See Female Pallbearers?

Or do you?

Just curious...
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2003, 03:34 PM
Wartime Consigliori Wartime Consigliori is offline
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Granted, female pallbearers seem to be a rare occurance, although I have seen several examples of females being honorary pallbearers. I have also seen them actually help with lugging the casket (as two of my female cousins did at my Grandfather's funeral).
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2003, 03:38 PM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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At my mom's funeral, her six kids (3 male, 3 female) were pallbearers. The less atletic kids took the center positions.

Brian
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  #4  
Old 08-18-2003, 03:43 PM
bernse bernse is offline
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My sister has been a pallbearer twice... as have others in my family. Although, in my experience, not nearly as common as males.

Possibly because of the weight of the body and a modern, fancy wood or metal casket. I've been a pallbearer a few times and even when the body weighed 100lbs-ish, there was probably (DANGER-WAG AHEAD!) 80lbs per pallbearer to hold. While not too much healthy grown man, that might be a little too much for many women especially if they have to walk a distance (IE - several yards to down church steps and to the hearse, from the hearse to the plot).
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2003, 05:13 PM
emmaliminal emmaliminal is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by bernse
... there was probably (DANGER-WAG AHEAD!) 80lbs per pallbearer to hold. While not too much healthy grown man, that might be a little too much for many women especially if they have to walk a distance (IE - several yards to down church steps and to the hearse, from the hearse to the plot).
Especially if said women were to be wearing their best shoes. I can carry a reasonable amount of weight, but it would be dangerous for me to do so in any of the shoes I own that are nice enough to wear to a funeral. That's not a deal-brekaer as far as I'm concerned; it just might be a factor in why they aren't often asked to do this.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2003, 05:15 PM
emmaliminal emmaliminal is offline
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Or a deal-[b]breaker[/].
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2003, 05:51 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is online now
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I was asked to do it for my grandfather, but at the last minute, and between the dress shoes, icy sidewalk, plate in my leg, emotional upheaval, and the fact that I'd just driven 850 miles, I turned it down. Didn't think it was wise. I'm a bit gimpy when carrying significant weight under the best of circumstances, so I left it to my larger and better-rested father and male cousins.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2003, 07:10 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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I could handle 80lbs for a short distance... but not a long one.

I think you see fewer female pallbearers because, on average, women are not as strong as men and it's a real bummer if the casket gets dropped (which has been known to happen once in awhile)

And never discount the weight of tradition. That has an effect, too.

If most of the pallbearers are women it might be a good idea to use more than the usual six.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2003, 07:11 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Because women are immortal, and men like being carried by their own kind...
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2003, 07:18 PM
Iteki Iteki is offline
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Saw it about a year and a half ago at the high-profile funeral of a young woman in Sweden. Her coffin was carried by only female pallbearers. Granted it was at least partially to make a point.

http://www.llstiftelsen.se/bilder/uppladdat/020205.jpg
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2003, 09:24 PM
Rodd Hill Rodd Hill is offline
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Just happen to have a photo of female pallbearers (actually a mixed-sex group of Canadian military) at a Canadian military funeral in Belgium last May:

Passchendaele New Cemetery

This was the burial of three unidentified Canadian soldiers discovered last year at Passchendaele, killed in 1917 in the 3rd Battle of Ypres.

Admittedly the remains were skeletal, and therefore minimal, but the caskets were pretty substantial (deluxe maple models donated by an undertaker in Canada).
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  #12  
Old 08-18-2003, 10:04 PM
t-keela t-keela is offline
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The lightest casket I found online was 435 lbs. with the average casket weight at around 600 lbs.

add to that say 150 lbs for the occupant

we've got anywhere from 750 - 800 lbs. on average

Generally there are 6 pallbearers, I've seen as many as eight. My uncle was a large man (300lbs) with a heavy casket, we had eight that day and it was a load.
I've been pallbearer way too many times.

In my search I ran across several cites mentioning women as pallbearers though. One in particular referred to a lady in the 20's I believe had ten women as her p/b's.

BUT typically speaking, if you got six p/b's usually and 750lbs. (125#/person) to carry...it makes sense to use men. It gets a little crowded w/ more than six.
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  #13  
Old 08-18-2003, 11:15 PM
Askance Askance is offline
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One of the most popular funeral directors in Australia is White Lady Funerals, an all-female outfit. You can see an all-female pallbearer squad at :

http://www.whiteladyfunerals.com.au/services/
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  #14  
Old 08-18-2003, 11:51 PM
Agback Agback is offline
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G'day

435 lb for a coffin seems like a lot. A 7' by 28" by 24" box made out of solid hardwood 1" thick would come to only about 80 kg (176 lb), and I would have thought that that would be about what you would need.

The only time I've ever been a pallbearer the corpse was enclosed in a crate of welded steel mesh covered with sailcloth, and packed with an equal weight of cast iron sinkers. That left the four pallbearers carrying about 40 kg each, which made it a bit of a trick to get onto the boat in a dignified manner. I would guess that a 435 lb casket containing a 165 lb corpse would present a respectable challenge in deportment to six husky men.

Regards,


Agback
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2003, 12:08 AM
The Scrivener The Scrivener is offline
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Then again, we haven't seen the last of Hugh Hefner yet. I think they could arrange for a full complement of eight bearers just from his current coterie of blonde girlfriends. And if they ditched the 4" stiletto heels, they just might manage...

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  #16  
Old 08-19-2003, 01:10 AM
t-keela t-keela is offline
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Maybe so Agback if folks around here used wooden coffins. They are available and generally represent the lower end of the spectum. Although some finely made wooden caskets can be had, practically every funeral I have attended bronze and steel construction is more typical. They represent the middle section or "average" casket used in the US. People go for these because the sales pitch guarantees "eternal" peace.

The idea of a rotting wooden box...the visual image of your beloved being consumed by scavengers etc.

But for just a couple of more hundred $$$...yadda, yadda, you get the pitch?

Then we offer a crypt for the casket...waterproof, earthquake, flood, etc. "you can get for a few $$$ per/month"

I bought my best friends headstone last year. It's a goddamned shame, the prices funeral homes charge for everything


Oh well, whatcha gonna do?
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  #17  
Old 08-19-2003, 06:27 AM
sunfish sunfish is offline
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I'll second that, t-keela. My father and I had to pre-pay my grandmother's funeral arrangements earlier this year, prior to having her placed in a home (now that was a weird experience)... The funeral home's casket collection didn't have any wooden ones that were not terribly ornate or cost less than about $8,000. Basic caskets were all metal of some kind, and I would have no dificulty believing that they weighed in 400-500 lb. range. My grandma is a tiny lady - she must weigh less than 100 lbs at this point - and I'm capable of backpacking a fair amount of weight, but I don't think I would be able to carry my share at her funeral.
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  #18  
Old 08-19-2003, 07:43 AM
Agrippina Agrippina is offline
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I was a pallbearer at my great-grandmother's funeral. I was sixteen and was in the center while my cousins and uncles and father held it. I just pretended to lift it.
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  #19  
Old 08-19-2003, 08:52 AM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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I was a pallbearer at a friend's funeral over the weekend. Eight pallbearers in all, two of them women.
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  #20  
Old 08-19-2003, 09:07 AM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is online now
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My uncle, according to Jewish tradition, was buried in a very plain wooden casket. It was still pretty darn heavy, according to my dad (who was one of the pall bearers). I don't know how thick it was or whether there was other stuff inside (padding or whatever), because it was a closed-casket funeral.
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  #21  
Old 08-19-2003, 09:10 AM
Agback Agback is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by t-keela
The idea of a rotting wooden box...the visual image of your beloved being consumed by scavengers etc.
Well, it takes all kinds, I guess. I find the idea of preserving and storing corpses much more gruesome. And the idea of my family wasting their hard-earned on a corpse when they could be putting it into the children's education seems utterly grotesque.

Regards,


Agback
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  #22  
Old 08-19-2003, 10:14 AM
bernse bernse is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by t-keela
The idea of a rotting wooden box...the visual image of your beloved being consumed by scavengers etc.

But for just a couple of more hundred $$$...yadda, yadda, you get the pitch?
The sad part with that is that I'd far prefer to rot in a wodden box then, uh, liquify and ripen in a sealed container.

And you thought those leftovers you forgot about in the closed tupperware container in the back of the fridge was scary!
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  #23  
Old 08-19-2003, 02:25 PM
t-keela t-keela is offline
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AFAIC they can burn my ass and be done with it. Hell, even better, just donate my entire body to medical research and organ donations. I think I'll check into that. See if the UT Medical researc center would be willing to pay for memorial services and a marker for the family cemetery in exchange for a cadaver w/ all organs available for transplant immediately upon my demise. I live about two minutes from one of their hospitals.

I wonder what a cadaver would bring $$$ in the open free market /auction whatever.

I'm in perfect health at 41y/o...never even been sick, not since I was a kid. Eyes are perfect, all internal organs...etc. I know that when I do pass on (in another 40 years or so) maybe? That won't be the case but odds are there will still be many usable parts available.

Hmmm, could be a decent inheritance for the grandkids. Anybody need a good O+ kidney...? (just kidding) IIRC e-bay shut down a seller for that. Seems like the bids were in the millions $$$
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