It's one of the hardest things to have to bury your child. It feels like it goes against the natural order of things. It can be hard to find items that suit a young life being cut short and help you to truly remember the spirit of the child you are burying. This site has a collection of ideas and thoughts that can be used when coming up with memorial services that celebrate the short life and personality of your child. It can be a useful resource for family, communities or schools plan sympathetic funeral services for children and their loved one.
To be asked to serve as a pallbearer at a funeral is a bittersweet honour. Yes, it's touching to be asked, but this service can only be requested under sad and solemn circumstances. The specifics of the role are fairly uncomplicated, and it's essentially you and the other pallbearers carrying the casket in and out of the funeral service, and sometimes from the vehicle to the grave for the burial. And yet, what might you really need to think about when you're formally asked to be a pallbearer?
The Physical Demands
Are you up to the job? There's a small amount of physicality involved in being a pallbearer. A wooden casket can weigh approximately anywhere between 45 and 113 kg, with a metal casket weighing from 90 to 181 kg. A reinforced casket can be even heavier. The overall weight will increase even more when you factor in the weight of the remains inside. There are anywhere between six and eight pallbearers, so the overall weight of the casket and its inhabitant will need to be divided between six and eight to get an idea of how much lifting is involved. If you feel you're not physically capable of the labour involved in being a pallbearer, it might be best to respectfully decline the offer, although you should certainly give your reasons. Perhaps some sort of workaround can be figured out, allowing you to still participate.
Dressing for the Occasion
Even though the deceased is the guest of honour at the service, all eyes will still be on you as you transport the casket in and out of the service. This means that appropriate attire is essential, and this can be traditional funeral attire, or it can mean following the dress code that was suggested (such as if the deceased requested that everyone attend wearing a certain colour). You don't want to be the odd person out amongst the pallbearers.
It's not as though you would schedule other commitments on the day of the funeral, but pallbearers need to allow more time for the service than other mourners. You need to arrive slightly early to prepare for the arrival of the casket, and you will also need to stay a bit later to carry the casket to the hearse at the conclusion of the service (and potentially also from the hearse to the burial site). Arriving early is extremely beneficial for a first-time pallbearer. The funeral directors will be on hand to make their own preparations, and they'll be happy to answer any last-minute questions you might have because they have done this all before.
So while it's an honour to be asked to be a pallbearer, you need to make sure you're ready and able to carry out this honour.Share
29 January 2020