A man whose family asked him to attend his own 'living funeral' before his death has branded it ‘emotionally devastating.’
Reddit user radarblaze shared his story on the popular subreddit r/AITA, which stands for (Am I the A**hole). Users share their experiences on this subreddit asking for advice and seeking to know whether they made the right decision in that scenario.
The man is in his 60s and was diagnosed with a fatal genetic condition. However, when his family arranged a 'living funeral' for him, he found that idea disturbing.
He said on the thread: “The doctors have confirmed a few months ago that the end stages had set in and I began making the arrangements. I’m dealing [with it] just fine, I don’t need sympathy.”
This is when things start to get a little crazy though.
The man continues: “My family very badly wants me to participate in a thing called a 'living funeral,' or 'pre-funeral,' where you gather (on Zoom in this case) as though it is the actual funeral and give speeches and such but the subject (me) is still alive to witness it all.
“They’ve put a lot of thought and care into the planning of the funeral ceremony and apparently seem to feel it would be much more therapeutic for them to do the main portion while I am still here.”
Naturally, the man was very put off from the thought of watching his own funeral, and labelled it ‘emotionally devastating.’
“It would rip the peace I’ve made with everything I’m leaving behind right out from under me.”
With the pandemic, his family are still very much pushing for a pre-funeral as they believe a lot of people won’t have seen the man for a good while before he passes
“They want to take the opportunity to give a forum to people to say what they need to say to me and make peace with me and commune with me and feel it won’t be nearly as cathartic if I am not there as it would be to do it while I am still alive.”
He took to the internet to see what other people thought of the situation, and whether he was in the right or wrong for refusing.
“I could really benefit from some insight here. Because there’s a really valid argument that I’ll deal with the fallout of the pre-funeral for a few months at worst, and they’ll deal with the emotional fallout of not having had one for years.
“Am I the a**hole for refusing to participate in this nice ceremony they’re trying to put together for me?”
The man's family say the 'living funeral' would be cathartic if he was there to witness it
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Well, the people of the internet have spoken, and for those who aren’t aware of this thread, let’s take a look at this handy key:
You're the a** hole (& the other party is not) = YTA
You're Not the a** hole (& the other party is) = NTA
Everyone sucks here = ESH
No a** holes here = NAH
Not enough info = INFO
The responses to this thread got pretty heated, with many Reddit users branding the idea of a pre-funeral “morbid as f***” and “performative.”
One user responded: “NTA. If the person dying suggests it, fine. But come on, leave OP alone. If they care about him and want to express love, why can't they have dinner and drinks via zoom and celebrate?
“Why not have fun instead of subjecting him to something undoubtedly traumatic as he prepares to pass?”
Another user agreed: “NTA first off. I am so sorry for what you’re going through and why wouldn’t your family run this thought by you before preparing something like this?
“I would think if anyone has something they want to say to you it could be done in private and not on a freaking zoom call.”
So there you have it, it would seem that in this case, the man is not the a** hole for not wanting to attend his own funeral. Definitely not surprising at all, maybe just stick to a zoom call next time.
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