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This is a question Putting the Fun in Funeral

Some deaths come suddenly or too soon and can really hit hard, others seem to be a blessed relief. Similarly, some funerals can be deeply upsetting and sad, others can make you want to hug the world.

Mmm, don't want to bring you down or anything, but tell us your funeral stories...

(, Thu 11 May 2006, 9:31)
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This question is now closed.

All Things Bright and Beautiful...
...was a hastily chosen hymn for my almost atheist Nan's funeral, by my Dad and Uncle - a popular choice I imagine for those short of hymn ideas.

Having never really studied the lyrics, I was surprised to find the line "The purple headed mountain" contained in a verse. This led to me choking down my laughs at the double entendre, which was made worse as I looked down the row to see my brother and cousins doing exactly the same.

I believe my nan would have done the same so it was ok.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 12:29, Reply)
Uncle Ted
There seem to be a lot of these stories so far but I also seem to get the giggles at funerals - doesn't matter who we are burying. It must be something about not being allowed to laugh.
At my poor Uncle Ted's funeral (he was my favourite Uncle - you know, the one who stole your nose when you were little) I laughed so uncontrollably they wanted to send for a doctor. But honestly, it was because of my sister. She turned to look at me, crying hysterically to tell me "I can't believe Uncle Teddy has gone". She had a massive bogey hanging out of one nostril and looked like a panda because of her mascara. Not only that, but it sounded like she had said "I can't believe Uncle Teddy is a mong" because of how she was sobbing. Good times, eh?
Mum still hasn't forgiven me for ruining a "beautiful service". But I know that Uncle Teddy was pissing himself too.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 12:28, Reply)
The rise of the zombies.
I'm a serial killer.

So last summer I'm walking around on the streets looking for someone to do in. I find a young lady walking in a dark alley, and figuring I've hit jackpot, I move in for the kill. So it turns out she knows how to defend herself or something. I vaguelly remember getting the shit beaten out of me.

Then she ran away, and of course left me in my unconscious state, lying in a strange dark alley. After a while some rats start eating me. I was found in the morning with six broken ribs, a fractured skull, and a large hole in my abdomen where rats had fed on my innards (they were hungry). I was, of course, dead.

Being a serial killer, I didn't have many friends. I made it to my own funeral to see a spectacularily low turnout. A few distant relatives, the priest dude, and some randoms.

It goes about in it's usual fashion, and I am lowered into a grave. Now, for those of you who are not aware, god is dead, so instead of my soul finding heaven (god likes serial killers, read the Bible doofus), it is stuck in my decaying body. Damn.

I'm lying there for a few weeks gradually losing more and more of my wonderful body to various grave-dwelling body-eating things. Then all of a sudden, I hear a voice. A voice telling me to cast down the shackles of the afterlife and rejoin my body. I figure, why the hell not, lying in this coffin is getting pretty boring. With a sudden unexpected strength I break through the top of the coffin and start digging up through the earth.

My hand finally breaking the surface, I use it to pull the rest of myself up. In front of me I see the young lady who led to my death, wearing strange robes and chanting from a big scary book. I decided that revenge was in order so I slowly walked up to her and then took a big bite out of her head, breaking her skull to get to the brains underneath. It turns out that brains taste pretty good!

She agreed with me and to this day we roam the world eating brains and converting people to our righteous cause, as well as fucking like rabbits on the side.

We crash a lot of funerals and like to see how quickly we can turn them into zombie-orgies. My current record is five minutes and twenty three seconds.

And ever since that I love funerals. Best of all the animals.

edit: may not be a true story.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 12:16, Reply)
Sad, definitely not funny.
Nothing funny. My Dad died when I was 15 when I was away at boarding school - I'd seen him 3 days previously when he took me back to school.

Just didn't want to believe it - occasionally still don't.

The funeral was a catholic one, very long and very dull and full of the usual catholic rhetoric - I lost my religion that day and I'm quite happy without it thank you. My aunt also fainted at the cremation.

I don't remember crying much at the funeral or wake - just abject disbelief.

The nicest part was all the people coming up to me saying how good a man he was - this was over 15 years ago and my Dad clearly knew a lot of people who liked him as people I don't know still tell me that he was a good man.

The worse part is that I can't really remember him and I wish I could remember him clearly. But I don't.

(, Thu 11 May 2006, 12:13, Reply)
not a funeral, but funeral related
just started my new job its st patricks day weekend

a new colleague says he is off to dublin to see his mother for the weekend

me: oh thats a good excuse !
him: no really, i need to go out there to deal with my fathers probate
me:(trying to be funny) youre going to deal with your fathers prostate ?

silence - grim tumbleweed moment in office..

me: well, erm actually, i dont know what a probate is ?
him: its where you deal with the last will and testament and put affairs in order.
me: oh.
him: and what makes it worse, he died of prostate cancer a few days ago...

worlds biggest clanger ?

i offered him a running kick at my bollocks, but fortunately he declined.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 12:10, Reply)
How Ironic
My mate Tom is going to a funeral tomorrow, he told me in history this morning "I'm not here tomorrow, so I don't have to do the essay... YES!"... "why aren't you here?" "I've got a funeral to go to". Charming, at least he's getting a laugh out of it. Although apparently it's also "coloured ties" rather than the traditional black, how cheery.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 12:09, Reply)
Not so much a funeral as the interment
...and I could start in about locks on coffins (you know, boom boom, do they expect the deceased to climb out, har dee har har).

Weeellll, as a matter of fact - as we'd thrown our rose petals on to the coffin and it was solemnly lowered into the ground I watched from my priveleged vantage point of right beside the grave as one of the funeral directors bite her lip and say one very well chosen word ("sh(ip) it") as she stared down into the dearly departed's excavation in the ground.

As the coffin had hit the dirt, the lid had flown off almost completely, despite the triple locks along one side. Oops. Hoping no-one would notice (and since the rose-petal-throwing things were done), we were all shooed away as soon as was seemly (there must be an etiquette book on it somewhere). As my then boyfriend and I left the gravesite, I turned to look back to see the stereotypical wizened, bent over, old gravedigger attempting to thump the coffin lid back into place with a very long stick. Swearing all the while. ("Get back in place", gritted teeath and everything. It was pretty cool.

For the record, Mum was attempting to leap out to grab her sister - they hadn't spoken for decades and the mingy old boot only turned up for the funeral, probably to make sure she was really gone.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 12:08, Reply)
Ah yes
I've only ever been to one funeral, not the most pleasant thing for a five year old to have to go through... but oh well. One of the oddest things happened to me when I was seventeen though- I was out in Ireland running a shop on behalf of one of my Dad's tennants, and I'd closed up for the day because there was next to no trade, so I decided to have a nosy around where I was staying. Mooching about by the harbour, I start walking up the hill past one of the pubs, where a wake is going on. I was actually invited in, and felt very odd as I several sandwiches, and drank more than a few beers to the health of the person who I had never met, and to be honest, I never even knew his name...

Odd that...
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:59, Reply)
Father John at my local parish does not allow powerpoint presentations of the dead persons life to be played at funerals in our church.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:56, Reply)
I really was a Funeral Planner once. And this is what I saw.
I have appalling judgement. I talked myself into applying for a job as a funeral planner with a large and very old funeral company in Brisbane. The pay was ok and the overtime (going to pick up bodies) was fantastic. Well lo and behold I got it. First day I turn up and meet the crew. We had a rallying type meeting down in the storage area. One of the men opened up his morning paper on top of one of the coffins which was going out that day. We had a bit of a chat about footy and talked about who would be going to which funeral. These guys were ultra, ultra conservative. Later that morning I engraved a coffin plate for an old ladies coffin. The engraving machine was really old using the old metal slugs and the plate whilst looking very nice was actually plastic. I was shown the chapel and how they could play your fave tracks and do a webcast. They also showed me the various coffins. I quite liked a white one made in Grafton. They also do an economy model made of chipboard. They put a more ornate shell over it and remove the shell prior to the cremation. After lunch I sat at the computer and read through the company protocols and nodded off a few times - the afternoon sun was shining through the windows, I was employed and no one in the place was busting their arse working. I was sneaking the odd glance at the owners sister across the room. She was giving me a stiffy and I was able to give it a furtive rub through the trousers every so often. Soon enough the overseer came to me and took me on a guided tour of the coffin finishing area. They used to make their own coffins, but now imported them. A man who freaked me out totally was employed to line the coffins. He dead set got off on his job. He was a total ghoul. Even now I feel uneasy just thinking about him. He took great delight in showing me a babys coffin. Back in the office I was told I would be sitting in on a funeral planning meeting in the morning with a lady who had lost her 41 year old sister after a long illness. I was 41 at the time. I started to lose it. Strong doubts filled my head. I'd done it again. I cried on the way home in the car. Didn't sleep that night. I called the owner in the morning and said I didn't think i'd be back. He was incredulous, saying there was nothing to the job, that I was a quality person and he'd give me all the time I needed. Being a 3rd generation funeral guy, I think he was just blase. I cried again at the unemployment office - had to my benefits were jeopardised. Other interesting facts - the owner had the ringtone from that american funeral show. One of the other funeral planners was named Marion. He was a small bald man with a grey mustache. One of the less reputable funeral homes employs a big man with a shaved head which has eyes tattooed on the back. He actually attends services. Also they paid wages in cash out of a huge walk in safe.
The best thing to come out of it is I now enjoy wearing black dress shoes.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:51, Reply)
What a crappy funeral
A girl from the school my mum taught at was found dead in her house, (i think she was stabbed or took an overdose), and my mum had to go to the funeral service, along with many of the chavy pupils. Most didn't bother to dress appropriately and over half that did come kept leaving for cigerette breaks.
The Crazy Frog ringtone was played.
Enough said
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:45, Reply)
Irish Funeral Shame
I attended the funeral of a distant relative, but being Irish funerals in our family are memorable affairs, a gathering of clans, a time to remember the dead fondly and have a few scoops while you're at it.

This particular funeral was for a venerable old great Aunt and we'd all been drinking whiskey in the pub before setting off. I lurked late because I wanted to smoke one up before saying goodbye to Auntie Naimh, so I got good and loaded and wobbled off to the cemetary.

The thing about whiskey and weed is it tends to knock your head off. When I got to the burial grounds I saw the gathered mourners and sidled over. The Priest was doing his level best to be moving, tears flowed and I started blubbing as well as verses were read out over the grave.

Then I heard "Who the feck are you?"

Wrong funeral. Aunt Naimh was being buried on the other side of the cemetary and there I was stoned to the gills greetin my eyes out to who the f*ck knows? :-D
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:45, Reply)
Our school chaplain
once told me a story of having to conduct a funeral for a pupil at a boarding school he had worked at.

The poor parents were in the front row, very upset. He called for a moment of silence and reflection and asked people to kneel for prayers. Reaching under the lectern for his kneeler, he managed to ram a large splinter from the floor right up under his fingernail.

The parents were apparently deeply touched by his empathy and the tears flowing down his cheeks...
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:43, Reply)
My sister's friend's somthing or outher.
Now, like all the best stories of the playground, this one isn't mine, it's like my sister's friend's story. Not sure of who this guy was, though it don't amtter much.

So this old guy, him and his mate are best friends for years, always ahving a laugh even though they will be dead soon. One day, I'm assuming they were a little pissed, mainly cos the idea of pissed up old me makes me laugh, they decided "Who ever dies first, the survivor has to make a joke at the funeral." They make a promise to do it, and eventualy, poor old Mr Bacon dies.

Mr Bacons family are in on the gag, though they don't know when or what it is. Any way, the funeral is almost over and the old guy hasn't made his joke, they assume he's to upset. So the cremation begins, very sad, no one likes to burn their elderly relatives in public. After a little while, the old guy looks up from the floor and asks very loudly "Does any one smell Bacon burning?"

Bad taste? yes.
Bad pun? yes.
Proves that its funny when old people die? yes.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:40, Reply)
I go to a huge amount of funerals and memorial services.
Well, I am a pro singer; it's my job.

Funerals are always rather depressing; gloomy music, the dead man's* widow weeping in the front row, the dead man's mistress(es) weeping in the second row, and some evil bastard in the third row looking smug that he's survived longer than the deceased.

However, memorial services are another matter; they are for remembering the deceased, and celebrating the good parts of their life, not their death itself.
Memorable memorial services include:
-An old Master of the Hunt: everyone was in hunting clothes, the hounds were allowed in the church, and they played a bugle fanfare at the end.
-The founder of Amnesty International; it was an incredibly moving service, and really inspired me to do more for human rights. Annie Lennox sang a song. Unfortunately, it was on the same day at the London bombings, so got rather overshadowed, and Youssef N'Dor couldn't make it.
-Sir Ian Mills; actor and filmmaker. Contributors to the service, and people in the congregation included: Richard Attenborough, Michael Caine, Judi Dench, Crispin Mills (of Kulashaka fame!), that bloke from Grease 2...

Celeb-spotting, and I get paid for it! (And free alcyhol as well sometimes).

*I've only ever sung at funerals for dead men. I have no idea why. Perhaps old women just don't die.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:37, Reply)
Well....it was in a church
Okay, so it wasn't a funeral, but fuggit it was in a church.

Sombre Ash Wednesday mass at a well known New Zealand all boys Catholic high school. Myself and Josh Hickman are sitting near the front. Another guy from our year, Cameron, had to read a bit from the book. A bit about Gentiles. Cue Cameron's stage fright..

"and then Jesus did speak to the Genitals"

And only me and Josh noticed I think. Spent the rest of the service trying not to shit with laughter.

Immature? Fuck you I was only 14, it was funny as hell. Funerals? I spent my great grandfathers service quietly trying to convince my parents to let me read them a star wars story as they looked glum and I was sure it would cheer them up.

Too young then to have any concept of 'death'
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:30, Reply)
The Last
Funeral I went to was a very sombre affair, until we had to sing a hymn that is. On the page opposite the one we were reading from, there was a hymn about 'A fuzzy wuzzy little bear' or some such, cue lots of nudging, pointing and laughing (pretending to cry) for the whole rest of the service, plus, the vicar obviously didn't know the deceased so kept saying "I imagine she was blah blah", "I hear she was..." and "she was probably..."
What a way to go...

*edit: see below*

If I were a wiggly worm,
I’d thank you Lord, that I could squirm
And If I were a billy goat,
I’d thank you Lord for my strong throat,
And If I were fuzzy wuzzy bear,
I’d thank you Lord for my fuzzy wuzzy hair:
But I just thank you, Father, for making me “me
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:19, Reply)
I once had to attend the funeral of someone who I had effectively killed
I didn't attend the party-thing afterwards
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:17, Reply)
A larks arising
Not funny to the majority, but I felt so guilty about laughing during my Aunts funeral.

Many many moons ago my Grandad (RIP), 1 Aunt (RIP) and my other Aunt and Uncle (still alive) went to an open air concert. Somehow or another they got it into their heads that "a larks arising" (or something like that) was the most beautiful piece of music ever written.

Then sadly when my Grandad passed away my Aunt (the live one) decided that they had to play this soddin' tune. I came out of the funeral and asked my Mum "why did they play that?", she answered "I dont know, your Granded wasnt even taken by it, it was your Aunts (live one) idea), me "oh......ok".

A few years later my other Aunt dies, everyone goes into the funeral and the priests starts talking about how wonderful my Aunt was and how she enjoyed polo (Polo???? she was 4'10, nearly as wide and I never saw her walks stairs let alone ride a soddin' horse!) blah blah, well then they start playing some music, what is it I hear you ask. A larks a-soddin-rising!! Well for some reason that set me off, I had to stop myself from laughing for some reason.

Despite my Mum not going to the concert I still threaten her with that song being played at her funeral.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:15, Reply)
Friend of mine hung himself
many years ago now. He was about 16 at the time. Very somber funeral, lot's of tears then off to the pub. After a couple of hours everyone had a good drink but the mood was still low with one girlie crying hysterically in the corner. The wake was shattered however with one of the lads bursting out of the toilet covered in bloody shouting "I JUST SLIPPED IN THE PISS". The family were devistated and the lad had to be rushed to hospital.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:14, Reply)
I hate funerals.
Try telling a five year old boy he's never going to see his grandad that he loves again, but that he will rise again?

I guess this is a hard concept for a 5 year old to grasp... it was a tough time, but the odd thing is, I kinda feel he's still around watching out for me, making sure I don't do anything too stupid. Here's to you Grandad!
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:09, Reply)
It wouldn't happen these days
My Gran once told me a funny story about a funeral she went to a few years ago. The hole that had been dug for the coffin wasn't big enough and the coffin got stuck. The guys lowering the coffin in decided the best way to cope with this was to turn the coffin onto its side and lower it in that way - it was still a little bit stuck... so they stamped on it a few times. That did the trick apparently.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:07, Reply)
a good reason to cry
I don't do funerals any more. If I want to see a load of ladies cry, I tell them that I'm married.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 11:01, Reply)
not funny at all
last year my cousin died and so, as you would expect, arrangements were made for his funeral. On the day we all turned out, cars were at the church, flowers were there and everything. Only detail that hadn't been considered was 'who is going to carry the coffin into the church?'. Nobody had been organised, so six of us had to step in, at literaly the last second. I've never carried a coffin before, and let me tell you, I never want to again. Not only was I lugging my dead cousin around, at the last minute, but there was a fault in the coffin and liquid started to seep out. Turned out to be a mixture of embalming fluid and liquifying, decaying, human tissue. Needless to say, it stank. My suit trousers were getting soaked, my hands were covered and I damn near dropped the coffin to throw up.

To this day I can remember that smell. I think I'm going to be sick now....
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 10:59, Reply)
not my experience though
did anybody see the episode of only fools and horses when some bloke dies and del boy and rodney turn up to the wake ,accidentally, dressed up as batman and robin...was that really as funny as i thought it was?

never actually been to a funeral though...sorry
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 10:56, Reply)
posing brother
we all met at my grans house for her funeral; just before we were about to leave my brother stood by the side of the hearse, casually adjusting his hair, using the reflection from the glass as a mirror, while everybody else was avoiding looking at the hearse for fear of bursting into tears or something. Anyway, Dad went mad and that was it....giggles for the rest of the day. Including through the service. I had to stick keys into my leg to stop myself laughing out loud.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 10:52, Reply)
I only ever cried at one funeral, when I lost my baby daughter. Nothing amusing to say.
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 10:40, Reply)
Bastard Little Brother
When my Gran shuffled off her mortal coil I was brow-beaten into going to the funeral by my family.

Now I don't like funerals. I get nervous. When I get nervous I get the giggles.

Anyway - the funeral service was going full swing and my Grans coffin was sitting out front on rollers ready to go straight to the burning pit (she was being cremated). Service drew to a close, the curtains gently swished together hiding the coffin and there was a rumbling noise as my Gran went on her final journey.

Relieved that I'd gotten through the service without getting the giggles I started to relax when my brother nudged me.

"Any second now a little guy is going to stick his head through the curtains and say "Anyone got a light?""
(, Thu 11 May 2006, 10:32, Reply)

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