Monday, September 1, 2008

Ask the Undertaker: Female Pallbearers

Dear Pat,
Is it okay to have female pallbearers? I think it would be nice if my daughter could be a pallbearer along with the other grandchildren when my mom dies.
-Alice N.
Dear Alice,
Being selected as a pallbearer is an honor and a way for close friends or relatives to participate in the funeral service. The short anwer to your question is 'By all means, Yes!' women should be selected as pallbearers just as men are. With that said, some things you should consider before selecting a pall bearer of either gender are:
Are they strong enough?
Do they have any injuries or medical conditions that may make carrying a casket difficult of dangerous?
Will they be able to attend the service, and be there in time to receive instructions from the funeral director?
Pallbearers of either gender should remember that cemetery grounds are often muddy, slipery and unstable, so sensible shoes are a must.
-Pat McNally, Undertaker


Anonymous said...

I just served as a female pallbearer at my Grandfather's funeral. I was honored to have been asked and happy to serve.

John said...

About a week after my wife's funeral, the director brought the cremains home. It was a warm August day, but I could not restrain myself. I gasped and said, "They're still warm." He about fill through the floor.

Anonymous said...

My family is planning my grandpa's funeral & just asked all the grandchildren to be pallbearer's except me as I'm the only female grandchild. I'm hurt especially as they will still need to find one more person.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather died this morning. All 5 grandchildren have been asked to be pallbearers, and we have accepted. Three of us are women. It was a shock to me, at first, to be asked, but it is an honor though it will be emotionally difficult. One of the other women is pregnant; that is my only concern other than finding proper footwear.

Anonymous said...

My cousin and I are going to be serving as pallbearers in tomorrows funeral.

Rachell said...

My grandpa passed away and I informed them that I was going to be a pallbear. I'm tall and slim, but very strong. I awas also wearing heels. That thing was HEAVY. The rest were my g-pa's brothers and a couple of friends of the family. My mom tried to tell me I shouldn't push the issue, but I didn't care. He's my #1 grandpa and I wanted to honor him. I'm so glad I did it. I'm sorry that you weren't asked, that's BS. You should have DEMANDED if the remaining grandkids were asked. You loved him every bit as much and you deserve the same opportunity. Be ready for some heavy liftings, but you don't have to go far, so you can usually deal with it. I love my grandfather forever and ever and it was an honor to see him to his final resting place.

Anonymous said...

my grandmother just died recently and I asked the family if they had no objections, i would like to be a pallbearer. the rest of the grandchildren were asked, even the two ten year olds to carry. it was one of the last things i wanted to do for the only grandparent i had, or had ever known. i had pushed her around in her wheelchair more than any of the grandchildren ever did, considering they never did at all. it all went fine, even though we were not strong people. flat shoes are a must for any girl.

Anonymous said...

My Grandmother recently passed away and it was an honour and a privilege to be one of 7 female pallbearers that carried her to her final rest. The ministers both commented on how rare this occurrence was but all in attendance just found it to be a very special moment, as she was a very strong woman herself. It seemed very fitting.

Christina said...

I had a similar experience. I asked if I could serve as pallbearer as the only granddaughter but instead, a friend of the family fulfilled the duty. While I am grateful for his being there for our family I wish being female hadn't disqualified me.

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