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> Is it "okay" to decline being a pallbearer?, slightly depressing topic...
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shadow2009
post Jan 9 2015, 06:26 PM
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My Grandmother died last weekend and her funeral is going to be next week I think.

I have social anxiety disorder and while I haven't officially been asked to be a pallbearer yet, I most likely will be asked to be one. Now, I REALLY wouldn't be comfortable with this. My anxiety is seriously bad (I've spent the last week worrying myself to sleep about potentially being asked, I've been shaking, wanting to throw up etc) and I want to spend the funeral focusing on the service, thinking of my Grandmother and being at peace and having a clear mind and not spend it shaking, worrying and obsessing over the coffin carrying duties.

If I'm asked, I want to politely and respectfully decline the invitation (however I WILL push myself to try and lower the coffin into the grave) and I think my family would be okay with that and respect my decision but after asking for advice from some friends/various forums, I was told this was incredibly disrespectful, I should feel ashamed and my family will judge me and "rightfully so".

Can I just ask, what do you guys think of this? Would you judge someone for refusing to do it? Would you yourself be able to do it?
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jark
post Jan 9 2015, 06:34 PM
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It's not even remotely disrespectful and anybody with half a brain cell would understand, especially if your condition is known.

Can't you just ask your parents to have a word with whomever is making the decision? It really shouldn't be a big deal.
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shadow2009
post Jan 9 2015, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE(jark @ Jan 9 2015, 06:34 PM) *
It's not even remotely disrespectful and anybody with half a brain cell would understand, especially if your condition is known.

Can't you just ask your parents to have a word with whomever is making the decision? It really shouldn't be a big deal.


Nobody in my family knows of my anxiety, however, and I don't want to tell them about it. I'd rather say something like "I'm flattered to be asked and I wish I could, but I'd be really uncomfortable and I'm going to have to decline, sorry" but I fear I'll be pressured into it. I did tell one family member - from the other 'side' of the family, so not related to the death - and she said "oh you can't say no, that's an honour, do what your Gran would have wanted and just do it" which made me feel awful.
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Totto
post Jan 9 2015, 06:48 PM
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QUOTE(shadow2009 @ Jan 9 2015, 07:40 PM) *
Nobody in my family knows of my anxiety, however, and I don't want to tell them about it. I'd rather say something like "I'm flattered to be asked and I wish I could, but I'd be really uncomfortable and I'm going to have to decline, sorry" but I fear I'll be pressured into it. I did tell one family member - from the other 'side' of the family, so not related to the death - and she said "oh you can't say no, that's an honour, do what your Gran would have wanted and just do it" which made me feel awful.


Does she even know your gran would have wanted that ?
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Michael Bubré
post Jan 9 2015, 06:50 PM
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I'd say that your gran would surely have wanted you to be under as little stress as possible... I don't see why this should be a big deal in any way.

(sorry to hear about your loss BTW)
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shadow2009
post Jan 9 2015, 07:33 PM
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QUOTE(Totto @ Jan 9 2015, 06:48 PM) *
Does she even know your gran would have wanted that ?


No. However it's only been a week since the death so I'm afraid it may surface that she wanted her Grandsons (me and my cousin) to carry her coffin, and I'll look evil for declining. My male cousins are going to be doing it, plus my uncle and probably my Grandmothers brothers so it puts more pressure on me to do it.
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t=SpunderfulXmas
post Jan 10 2015, 02:17 PM
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Condolences shadow2009 sad.gif My gran passed last July (cremated) and surprised it's been nearly half a year since then!

I am a bit socially awkward too but my family friends etc. already know so I was never asked to do anything important at the funeral.

Assuming you don't 'have' to say anything which I think is one of the most pressuring things (like a speech) you might be OK but I don't know how your condition may differ to mine. If you opt out I'm sure your family would understand (and your gran probably would as well smile.gif), you can still mourn her just as much whether you are a pallbearer or not smile.gif


This post has been edited by SPINNING ADAM: Jan 10 2015, 02:19 PM
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Suedehead2
post Jan 10 2015, 02:27 PM
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QUOTE(shadow2009 @ Jan 9 2015, 07:33 PM) *
No. However it's only been a week since the death so I'm afraid it may surface that she wanted her Grandsons (me and my cousin) to carry her coffin, and I'll look evil for declining. My male cousins are going to be doing it, plus my uncle and probably my Grandmothers brothers so it puts more pressure on me to do it.

If your parents are still together, perhaps you should try talking to whichever one has not just lost their mother. You need not tell them to full reason why you don't wish to do this. If you also say that you are prepared to help lower the coffin, that should dispel any idea of disrespect.
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Cucumberella
post Jan 10 2015, 02:31 PM
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i think it's better to vocalise your issues, i was made a pallbearer literally ON THE DAY of my great uncles funeral when i was... 8 i think? something i wasn't prepared for and really didn't want to do for MANY reasons. it isn't selfish if it's bringing you to the brink. i suffer from bad anxiety too and i think there should be some understanding - you're not doing it out of a matter of disrespect, you're doing it out of a matter of health. i've known people who haven't turned up to funerals at all literally because they can't handle it - everyone deals with grief in different ways so only do what you're prepared to do darlin.
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shadow2009
post Jan 10 2015, 03:20 PM
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Thanks for the replies and advice guys, seriously.

There's a big family gathering tomorrow afternoon which i'm having to attend. I'm very anxious about this because I don't really speak to those relatives much and it will most likely be very uncomfortable and I'll be out of place and awkward, however it's probably to discuss funeral arrangements so it's best I do go. I'll most likely be put on the spot and asked if I'll be a pallbearer in front of the entire family so I hope I have the guts to politely decline it. sad.gif If they pressure me or emotionally blackmail me and I keep refusing it'll be a very, very uncomfortable situation so I'm really dreading it.
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Suedehead2
post Jan 10 2015, 03:32 PM
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QUOTE(shadow2009 @ Jan 10 2015, 03:20 PM) *
Thanks for the replies and advice guys, seriously.

There's a big family gathering tomorrow afternoon which i'm having to attend. I'm very anxious about this because I don't really speak to those relatives much and it will most likely be very uncomfortable and I'll be out of place and awkward, however it's probably to discuss funeral arrangements so it's best I do go. I'll most likely be put on the spot and asked if I'll be a pallbearer in front of the entire family so I hope I have the guts to politely decline it. sad.gif If they pressure me or emotionally blackmail me and I keep refusing it'll be a very, very uncomfortable situation so I'm really dreading it.

Good luck tomorrow. Is there anyone you can speak to before the gathering? If there is somebody to take your side (without necessarily knowing exactly why you are reluctant to do it), that should help.
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