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http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/cops-medford-woma...

She lived two blocks away. My son went to school with hers. Minivan hit her while she was cycling, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

My son was not close to the kid. Different grades. Knew him. Maybe got invited to a few of the same parties. Said hi in the halls.

He doesn't know if he should go to the memorials or if he would seem like one of the dozens of girls who didn't know the woman or the boy yet are wailing in depression from the accident now. He hates that strange hypocritical mourning that happens not for the individual but the event.

I tried to explain it is for the loss to one's social circle, and you did not have to have direct contact to feel the pain.

He asked if I thought he should go.

I have no idea...

EDIT:
I posted an update below.
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Re: Memorial attendence
Better to go, to not pretend and to be respectful.
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Neil Carr
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Re: Memorial attendence
I'd encourage him to go. If he's in a position where he's wondering if he should go to a memorial then he's already at an emotional point to going. It doesn't really matter what others are doing, he's paying his respects.

If he doesn't go, years later I seriously doubt he'll be thankful he didn't attend, instead he'll probably feel a lot of regret failing to make a simple gesture that he cared about her and her family.
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Ken
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Re: Memorial attendence
Geosphere wrote:
He hates that strange hypocritical mourning that happens not for the individual but the event.


I don't know what this means. I can read a story about parents losing their children and feel immense sorrow for them without them even being in the same state as they are or remembering their names in two days.

Attending the memorial doesn't have to have anything to do with your son's feeling of loss. It be entirely about the importance he assigns to showing empathy for the loss to the people that did experience it. That makes a question of how much support he thinks he should show for the people who are in mourning and nothing else since it's not a loss he would mourn on his own.

Does he think it important to show the kid at school that he's got some support? If not, he shouldn't go. If so, he should. If he's unsure, an hour or two of your time to give support to someone that's lost their mother seems to rank in the lowest tiers of the "bad uses of your time" category. I'm sure the kid will appreciate it and being a good human is rarely the wrong answer.
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Paul DeStefano
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Re: Memorial attendence
perfalbion wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
He hates that strange hypocritical mourning that happens not for the individual but the event.


I don't know what this means.


There are teenaged girls literally - read that as literally - wailing in the street by their house.

Many of them are not from the school and showed up just to wail with their friends, who may or may not know the family. None of them are familiar faces. Its actually become a Facebook mob thing with people inviting people to go cry. Knowing the people involved is irrelevant.

It seems that teen girls have a strange need to be seen over-dramatically mourning.
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Ken
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Re: Memorial attendence
I guess all I'd say is - without knowing who these people are, aren't you reaching a conclusion about why they're there without sufficient information? I mean, they could be from church, a sport or team the kid was on, or an extended group of friends.

It doesn't particularly matter to the grand scheme of things, but if you're sharing this opinion with your son are you teaching something that perhaps isn't best for him? The grief they're expressing could be entirely legitimate.
 
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Re: Memorial attendence
perfalbion wrote:
without knowing who these people are, aren't you reaching a conclusion about why they're there without sufficient information


No.

My son asked the woman's son who they all were when we saw this the other day.

The kid has no clue.
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CHAPEL
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Re: Memorial attendence
Gamers. So logical and stoic a breed we are.
 
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Re: Memorial attendence
And I'm not kidding when I say on Facebook there are 'mourning mobs' being formed. Its like the cool thing to do. Knowing them is not a prerequisite.
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Re: Memorial attendence
Geosphere wrote:
And I'm not kidding when I say on Facebook there are 'mourning mobs' being formed. Its like the cool thing to do. Knowing them is not a prerequisite.


That is kind of weird. At least to me.

I get the "memorial" type of things that happen after dramatic events, even when they didn't know the person the "event" still touches them. Like candle light vigils for a car full of teens killed by a drunk driver etc. It gets a lot of local press, the degrees of separation between the mourners and the those killed is usually only a degree or two away (they are friends of a friend or went to the same school etc) and thus it takes on this "there but for the grace of God go I or somebody I do know/care intimately about" feel.

But it seems to me this story wouldn't normally spark that kind of fear/cathartic group release need. And Facebook meme mourning seems just really unsettling to me.
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Ken
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Re: Memorial attendence
Geosphere wrote:
My son asked the woman's son who they all were when we saw this the other day.

The kid has no clue.


Well, that's a bit odd, but it still doesn't necessarily mean they're just mourning 'cuz that's the new thing to do. Despite the degree of involvement I have with my wife & kids, they've got friends I don't know well or wouldn't recognize. My wife is part of a bowling league, plays canasta, and is a member of a book club. I'd be willing to bet I couldn't pick out half the people in those groups as her friends if I had to. Similarly, I doubt my family would recognize folks I've met through work if something happened to me and they showed up on our doorstep.

The FB mourning thing is definitely strange. Haven't seen it pop up myself and you're the first to share that particular meme with me, but I'll take your word for it.
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Re: Memorial attendence
perfalbion wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
He hates that strange hypocritical mourning that happens not for the individual but the event.

I don't know what this means.

Perhaps this satirical depiction of such mourning, from the story "The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs" in the October 1982 issue of National Lampoon, might shed some light:

Quote:
So me and Stiggs got this call from some girl we never heard of who was trying to convince everyone at school to go to the funeral, even though it would be on a Saturday and we wouldn't even get out of a class by going to it...

Even though about 90 percent of the graveside audience was from school, most of them went completely out of their way to affect some sort of ludicrously mature attitude, exuding great heaving black clouds of somberness and inconsolability, as if they actually knew the fuckhead who died...

Meanwhile the ludicrously grief-stricken burial audience was trying to make the best of Stiggs's remarks, which were extensive. "Even though none of us ever knew this guy or even thought about him," he began, in excellent counterpoint to my driving harmonica statement of, for the most part, "do-doo-do-doo" "it's still pretty good that everybody got themselves into a total teen funeral mode and came out here, even though we didn't get out of class."
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Re: Memorial attendence
That makes me want to knock over some lawn burros.
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Re: Memorial attendence
If the OP's son does decide to attend the funeral, let him know that plaster burros make great alternate headstones!

 
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Re: Memorial attendence
Geosphere wrote:
perfalbion wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
He hates that strange hypocritical mourning that happens not for the individual but the event.


I don't know what this means.


There are teenaged girls literally - read that as literally - wailing in the street by their house.

Many of them are not from the school and showed up just to wail with their friends, who may or may not know the family. None of them are familiar faces. Its actually become a Facebook mob thing with people inviting people to go cry. Knowing the people involved is irrelevant.

It seems that teen girls have a strange need to be seen over-dramatically mourning.


Back in high school a teacher died and I remember that the day the news spread around there were several girls that had never taken his class and had probably never met him yet would cry openly whenever in line of sight of enough people. The next day they all seemed to have forgotten entirely. It's a very weird phenomenon and it's doubly irritating because it can be very difficult to figure out who is in genuine need of support and who is just an attention seeking twat.

And before anyone jumps in, there were people that seemed legitimately upset and I'm not talking about them. The details are fuzzy at this point but there were numerous interactions that revealed the attention-seekers for what they were, it isn't just a blind assumption.
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Re: Memorial attendence
Oh yeah, as to the actual question tell him he should do what he feels like he should do. If he goes he shouldn't play it up but if he doesn't feel the need to be there in any form that is fine too. Everyone has their own way of dealing with these things and he shouldn't be expected to join in the ritual if he doesn't see a reason to.
 
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Re: Memorial attendence
One of my rules-of-thumb for living: "Not sure means no".
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Re: Memorial attendence
UPDATE

Wow. Apparently, it got real weird.

The family had to call police to get mourners removed from their lawn.

This happened Tuesday.

Packs of teens, mostly girls, were showing up. They did not ask to be let into the house to visit or anything, because it turns out they didn't know the family. When asked who they were and why they were there, they saw it on Facebook and wanted to show support.

The family asked for them to be removed. The cops told them to disperse.
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Re: Memorial attendence
Geosphere wrote:
He doesn't know if he should go to the memorials


Did you mean to say memorials?

If there's more than one for the same woman, it sounds like it's getting out of hand already. Be that as it may, there's no doubt it was a neighborhood tragedy and if he really feels the need to go and pay his respects, perhaps suggest to him to pick the service that will permit him to offer his condolences personally.

I don't get the Facebook mourning, either, but there's a lot of things about FB I don't get - learning solely from it a close friend was killed in a car accident being one of them - so that comes as no surprise.
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gamesterinns wrote:
Did you mean to say memorials?


With an S.

Yes.

Different groups. Now, with this FB crap, it is unclear if the family was even involved in them.
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Geosphere wrote:
gamesterinns wrote:
Did you mean to say memorials?


With an S.

Yes.

Different groups. Now, with this FB crap, it is unclear if the family was even involved in them.


shake
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RoverGuy wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
The family asked for them to be removed. The cops told them to disperse.


Shouldn't the title be "Re: Memorial attendence. Update: cops disperse random mourners at family's request"


I hate long thread titles... If you want info, read.
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What a strange phenomenon. I wonder if this happens all the time and I just had never heard about it before, or if there's something special about this death.
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rylfrazier wrote:
What a strange phenomenon. I wonder if this happens all the time and I just had never heard about it before, or if there's something special about this death.


I think its more a budding phenomena.

I've witnessed it on a smaller (pre-FB) scale, just like Clay mentions. It just spreads differently now.
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chaendlmaier wrote:
Here's a career opportunity for these mourning girls:

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/profession...

Inscrutable.

Edit: Can't embed video -- have to watch on youtube directly.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qle8mItqNvE
 
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