Social Question

Kraigmo's avatar

Why do people use GoFundMe for funerals? And why donate to such a thing?

Asked by Kraigmo (8045points) 1 month ago

Indigent people can get cremation for free from their local County.
So if one has no money, why the need for a funeral?
Why not just get the free cremation, and then host a potluck in a family member’s living room, or the local park… for FREE, and just use that as the funeral.
Why would someone with no money NEED to do something that’s not necessary? (eg paying a funeral home $3000 to $7000 for the “service” of having a chapel and a speaker).
Isn’t that stupid and selfish?
And why would anyone donate to such a thing?
Some people on GoFundMe actually need money for something urgent… such as medical care or paying the rent to avoid homelessness. Why waste money on something optional like a professional funeral, to the detriment of people who have actual needs?

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16 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Every time one sees a GoFundMe for medical care it is an indicator of how broken the medical system in the United States is.

But your approach is actually rather callous. One does not get free cremation if you are the survivor, you have to pay for it. If you don;t pay, you don’t get the cremains.

And people want a funeral to share grief and connect with their personal community. It is an ancient rite.

canidmajor's avatar

It matters a lot to some people. That’s why. Not everybody is as lacking in concern and compassion as your question would seem to indicate that you are.

hmmmmmm's avatar

They do it just to mess with you.

Seriously, why are you so misanthropic?

anniereborn's avatar

“Why would someone with no money NEED to do something that’s not necessary? (eg paying a funeral home $3000 to $7000 for the “service” of having a chapel and a speaker). ”

Conversely, why would people with money need to do such a thing? How is that feeling different if you are poor?

jca2's avatar

Someone I know got the free service in the funeral parlor and cremation from the County. It was very bare bones but it was what it was. I felt the same way when I arranged it for the person. I felt maybe people don’t know that if they call their county government, they can get this service for free. I know also, sometimes people want something big and fancy, and so they will take an offering at church or work in order to get this big, fancy funeral.

We, who organized the free service and cremation, were pressured by the funeral parlor to give more money but we didn’t. They wanted us to pay for the little cards that are where you sign the guest book. The funeral director told us if the deceased lived in another county, he would have gotten more money for the service.

@zenvelo: What you’re saying is inaccurate, at least in New York it is. We got the cremains from the funeral parlor without having to pay anything extra.

Inspired_2write's avatar

As to your question :
Society and or families place guilt on the living, so they spent on lavish Funerals of which I am sure that the deceased never expected , nor wanted.

canidmajor's avatar

@Inspired_2write: ”Society and or families place guilt on the living, so they spent on lavish Funerals of which I am sure that the deceased never expected , nor wanted.“

Really, an enormous number of people are capable of thinking for themselves, and making decisions based on their own beliefs and desires. Your general assertion that you you know what the deceased might expect or want Is silly.

jca2's avatar

In my opinion (just my opinion, nothing more), people wanting a fancy funeral when there’s no money to spare is based on the same societal pressures as people wanting a fancy handbag when there’s no money to spare, or people wanting to drink Hennessy when they can afford Budweiser. It’s “let’s show off and look like we have something even though we don’t.”

canidmajor's avatar

Well, most of the people I know don’t tend to compare an expression of grief for the loss of a loved one to a purse or a cocktail.

hmmmmmm's avatar

We all might have different opinions of what we want to happen to us when we die. But that is really irrelevant to this topic. Every culture has certain norms related to mourning the death of loved ones. And it seems to me that ceremonies or cultural/religious rituals that mourn death are crucial to what it means to be human. These activities are not for the dead – they are for the survivors.

The cost of even the most basic of services (embalming, casket, funeral, plot, headstone, etc) are so expensive that the act of honoring loved ones is prohibitive. Since most people don’t have thousands of dollars, they are faced with either fundraising via GoFundMe or providing a cultural/religiously-inappropriate mourning ceremony for their loved ones.

This might not matter to those who don’t think the poor or working class should be able to live and die with dignity. But it should. People shouldn’t have to beg for money at a time when they are suffering from loss.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@canidmajor
Relatives should look at what is written about what the deceased may want or not want..and that “if” it is written or discussed .

hmmmmmm's avatar

@jca2: “In my opinion (just my opinion, nothing more), people wanting a fancy funeral when there’s no money to spare is based on the same societal pressures as people wanting a fancy handbag when there’s no money to spare, or people wanting to drink Hennessy when they can afford Budweiser. It’s “let’s show off and look like we have something even though we don’t.””

Keep in mind that “fancy funeral” likely just means the absolute basics. Most people can’t afford the costs of these things. So, just like having children or going to college or having the ability to go to the doctor, people seem to think that being poor or working class means that these things are just not available to you – and shouldn’t be. It seems to me this is a dehumanizing of people based purely on class.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@Inspired_2write: “Relatives should look at what is written about what the deceased may want or not want..and that “if” it is written or discussed .”

Of course they do. But what if a mother felt it important to have a proper funeral and burial, yet her children were unable to provide it due to cost? What kind of effect does this have on her survivors? What does this say about our culture and economic system? What does it say about a society that looks down on someone who is grieving and wants to fulfill a parent’s wishes?

canidmajor's avatar

@Inspired_2write: Did you mean to tag me in that last post of yours? It doesn’t have anything to do with what I said about your previous post.

If you did, you can’t possibly know in general what other people’s loved ones’ wishes were, or how they were expressed.

Cupcake's avatar

Cremation is not acceptable to all individuals or religions. It is common for money to be collected within a family or religious community. The platform for financial contribution has just moved online. Participate or don’t… that’s the beauty of gofundme. You are not obligated and no one is taking money from other “more righteous” causes.

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