Aaron Hernandez Funeral Etiquette: Should Grieving Fans Send Flowers?

The country was shocked when it was discovered that Aaron Hernandez committed suicide.  It was first thing in the morning here in Seattle when my husband sent me the text.  I glanced over the headline and had to slow down and read it again.  I guess the first time I read it, I didn’t want to believe it.

“I was going to send him a card,” I told my husband. And then the tears came.  The next day they came again.  And the next.  And I know they’re not done.

I never met Aaron and my grief is totally unexplained.  Perhaps it has something to do with being from New England.  Maybe it has something to do with growing up in the Patriot’s culture.  Perhaps the fact that I grew up just fifteen minutes from where Shayanna now lives with her daughter and most of my family still live there now also has something to do with my grief.  For whatever reason I feel a connection, the fact is that there is a connection.

I’m not the only one with these feelings.  My mother, a New Englander her whole life, asked me why she was feeling grief over Aaron. “He was a convicted murderer. Why do I feel this way?”

“Because you’re a mom.  Because you have empathy.  Because Aaron’s story is tragic. Because Aaron deserves our grief.”

Snoop Dog is another.  He took to social media to express his sadness for Aaron’s death, but some of his fans didn’t like this.

When Aaron received life without parole for the murder of Odin Lloyd, I thought it was a death sentence. To not offer parole – ever – is to take away someone’s hope.  By not offering parole, the justice system gave up on Aaron – permanently. 

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When people judge me for my compassion for Aaron and his family, I remind them of the Apostle Paul, the man credited with the spread of Christianity.  Paul was a murderer before he became a Christian and he loved to murder Christians in particular.  If a murderer like Paul could completely change his life around and follow Jesus then anyone has a shot at a second chance.  In fact, every one deserves a second chance – and forgiveness. Aaron is why Jesus came here.  Aaron is why Paul had an awakening on the road to Damascus.  Jesus never gave up on Aaron and neither did God.

And now that brings me to the question of how fans can grieve for Aaron’s passing.    Should you send flowers?  A sympathy card? What is the funeral etiquette?

Aaron will be laid to rest on Monday at a private ceremony in Bristol, CT at the O’Brien Funeral Home.  I imagine some of his former teammates, like Tom Brady, will send flowers.  But what about the rest of us who actually didn’t know Aaron but are feeling grief over his death?

While the family has asked for privacy, I don’t think there is anything wrong with sending flowers to the funeral home in memory of Aaron.  If this will help you with the grieving process, I say call the funeral home and ask them what to do.  Another idea is to make a donation to your favorite charity in Aaron’s name. My church supports a mission in India so I sent an “In Loving Memory” offering and this really made me feel a lot better. Otherwise, you can see about visiting his grave or a memorial marker, if he is cremated, sometime in the future after the ceremony to say your goodbyes to Aaron and leave flowers in his memory.  I know I will.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Aaron Hernandez Funeral Etiquette: Should Grieving Fans Send Flowers?

  1. I want to be able to go to his grave site and say my goodbye as well after the family has there time he did have supporters who want to do that.just not sure how to go about finding the place where he will be buried. If i put two and two together something tells me it will be same cemetery his dad is in in same city bristol

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  2. Funeral home is where you should call about sending flowers…they point you to either the florist or if the family requested donations to where they want in lieu of flowers…the family request should be what you honor.

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  3. I feel the same exact way, and I don’t know why. I’ve thought about him a lot since the first trial begun. The morning he died, my fiancé woke me up and told me. He laughed because he said he never seen me jump out of bed so fast. I felt so many emotions, why? Why now? How could he do this to his family, especially on his mothers bday, how could he do this to his supporters? I felt empty inside, and I still do. It’s weird. I hope one day Shay can put this all behind her and be happy one day, she deserves nothing but the best, they all do.

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  4. I can definitely relate to the comments written. I, too, couldn’t figure out why I was grieving for a convicted murder. But, as people wrote in their comments, I’m from New England. I’ve been a Patriots fan for over 40 yrs. after my Dad took me to their training camps. My heart goes out to the family, friends and fans of Aaron. And also to the other families involved, who lost their love ones. No one knows what really happened. But I agree that people deserve a second chance. No one came out a winner in this chain of tragic events. I, too, would like to visit his grave or send a card. I still would like to believe that he didn’t commit these crimes. R.I.P. Aaron

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  5. RIP AARON HERNANDEZ U WERE ONE OF MY FAVORITE PATRIOT FOOTBALL PLAYER God rest your soul may u RIP JUICTICE WILL B SERVE Praying for your mom and daugther, wife and the rest of his family Amen

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  6. REST IN ENTERAL PEACE~ YOU ARE FREED FROM ALL THE NONSENSE AND A INNOCENT MAN, BUT MOST OF ALL NO ONE REALLY HAPPENED. THAT IS BETWEEN YOU & GOD AND MAN OR WOMAN CAN PASS JUDGMENT ON YOU~ ALWAYS REMEMBERED AND NEVER FORGOTTEN

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  7. AARON, I NEVER MET YOU BUT YOU WERE MY NUMBER 1 PLAYER MAY YOU RIP AARON HERNANDEZ GOD HAS CAME FOR YOU TO TAKE YOU TO PARADISE CAUSE HE NEEDS YOU ALREADY NOW YOU WILL BE WITH YOUR DAD AN FROM HEAVEN YOU WILL WATCH OVER YOUR BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER AVIELLE HERNANDEZ GOD BLESS

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  8. I never meet him ,but I love him,I’m a mother of a boy the same edge and he loves Aaron since he plays for the Gators.we are from Miami.RIP we are not to forget you always in ours prayers.God bless your princess and your entire fam.

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  9. This is such an interesting and very deep subject to be discussing.

    I’m interesting in human thoughts and emotions to the highest degree.

    Hernandez is a celebrity. When you have a high degree of passion for a sport or a musician so to speak and you hear their name and see their photos more than you see your own brother or parents, then of course you are going to have grief. When Your hopes and expectations are at the highest level for this guy then they literally can only go down!!!!

    Unless you are his best friend or livebwith him or are a very close family member, none of us have a clue whether he was a good human that cared about others and did not hurt others or whether he was a molester, rapist or a murderer.

    So it makes sense that everyone that had very high hopes and very high expectations are going to get very high negative stimuli to the brain that causes them to feel a lot of emotions. It does not mean that you love him or that you care deeply for him. That is not possible unless you know him very well.

    From a humanitarian and compassionate point of you of course we love others because they are human and we should love each other because that is how you develop compassion and empathy and create habits of treating others well.

    Hernandez was already involved and other murders and was acquitted. That does not mean he did not murder both of those other man. He did. But he was acquitted.

    Then with premeditation he gets a group together to murder Lloyd.

    Instead of being completely remorseful and turning himself in and grieving he hires a team of house cleaners to cover up any evidence of his own property.

    This is not a loving human and the complete opposite of a humanitarian.

    For everyone that believes we all deserve a second chance that has to be taken to some degree. It’s not black-and-white.

    If you had a boy that was raped and molested by his uncle for a few years in a row and then he became a Christian, or vowed that if you let me out of prison I won’t do it again. Would you let him spend private time with your little boy again or other children? No. He can get a second chance and while he is on death row he gets a chance to change his thinking and ask god for his forgiveness and ask god what he can do to repent before he hangs for his sins.

    Maybe he can write letters and help others that are like him and want to change that are not on death row. That would be a beautiful thing for a horrible person to do that was convicted of that. Then he can hang knowing he helped others be human:-)

    So it is possible, for all of you that feel emotions in this case for a guy that is inhumane in the deepest sense, that stimuli that triggered your brain into creating chemicals that make you feel sadness and empathy can realize that is normal and it has nothing to do with how you feel about Hernandez. You don’t know Hernandez !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    for all of you that feel empathy and compassion, maybe the best lesson might possibly be to realize that if all of us mandate that children need to be taught compassion and empathy before graduating elementary school and it enhanced and engraved into their membrane so that we eventually end the output of school children and young adults without compassion, love and empathy.

    Now THAT worldly change is reason to cry. Not for this guy.

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