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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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Funeral songs
Picking your own funeral song is self indulgent wank and rather insulting to the people you leave behind.

Therefore I would like Scott Walkers 'Funeral Tango' played at mine as it would really piss off my family.

Haaahahaha-ha ha-haaaa!
(, Thu 18 May 2006, 14:00, Reply)
warts and all
the last funeral i went to was my lovely mother's, which was so recent and so tragic that i can't really bear to think about it yet. although there were over 700 people there and more lining the streets for the hearse like at a royal event.

but when my grandfather died a few years ago, it was much more expected. my dad was one of the pallbearers, and at the time was suffering from what he called a "great big ugly wart" (think strong yorkshire accent) on one finger.

this thing was huge. and crusty. and downright disgusting. he had been to the doctor to have it iced off 3 times, but to no avail; he had taken creams; he had done everything, but the bastard kept growing back.

as they slid my grandfather's coffin out of the hearse, it bumped and sliced the waaart right off my dad's hand. the blood was pouring down his wrist and into his sleeve the whole way down the aisle, and by the time he sat down, he was very very green indeed. he spent the rest of the day with his hand wrapped in a hanky and then a bandage.

the thing never grew back though. so clearly getting chopped by a coffin is the way to cure a great big ugly waaaart!
(, Thu 18 May 2006, 14:00, Reply)
funeral songs
songs i wish played at my disposal service...

'straight to the light' fields of the nephilim

'wail of sumer' also the nephs

and the best?
'everybody hurts' REM. watch the buggers break hehehe

oh and the pirate captains song from 'muppet treasure island' to end on the right note
(, Thu 18 May 2006, 13:38, Reply)
was on the way to a cremation... In the official funeral car, my friend turns to me and asks (in all total seriousness)

"can anyone else smell burning?"

Couldn't stop giggling all the way through the service.
(, Thu 18 May 2006, 10:45, Reply)
Very english day
The journey to some barely known family members funeral was pretty damn odd,but also great fun,and made me feel very english!

It was me (14 at the time,day before i lost my virginity actually) my mum,my uncle and my nan,all crammed into a tiny car,with my mum driving. We were in kinda Mildenhall area (basically,lots of farms,countryside and inbreds) and it was pissing down with rain.

We werent upset about the funeral,but it seemed a bit improper to be too cheery,so we were listening to The Smiths and having a good sing along.

Driving along,in the pissing rain,in the countryside,howling along to the Smiths,whilst off to a funeral. Fucking beautiful...
(, Thu 18 May 2006, 7:21, Reply)
Slug heaven
My daughters, aged 4 and 3, are very much in to insect funerals at the moment. The other day they found a dead slug in the garden, popped it in a matchbox, buried it in the herb patch, prayed a bit and sang a little fairy song in honour of it.
i dunno if that's cute or slightly weird.
(, Thu 18 May 2006, 6:17, Reply)
Wardrobe malfunction
My father dropped dead extremely suddenly, just three days after the grand opening celebration he'd held after finally going into business for himself, leaving my mother enormously indebted and my school-age sisters and I berift.

As you can well imagine, in the midst of this dire tragedy, there was very, very little humor.


Until the day of the wake. Several of the family, including my sister's boyfriend, Paul, are in the car driving to the wake. As Paul exits the car, he suddenly looks startled and uncomfortable, and quickly grasps my sister's arm and stammers something into her ear, at which point she immediately bursts out laughing.

He'd managed to COMPLETELY split the seat of his suit trousers exiting the car.

An embarrassed crablike shuffle to the gent's room and a few scrounged safetypins later, he emerged looking chagrined.

Spent the rest of the wake trying to keep his back to a wall.

Also: My father had stated, often and vociferously, that when he died he wanted to be cremated and placed in Tupperware, as urns are a waste of money.

So. We did. Each of us is getting small plastic Tupperware container of dear old da'.
(, Thu 18 May 2006, 4:07, Reply)
I had to laugh at my grandfather's funeral

I didn't like him.
(, Thu 18 May 2006, 3:02, Reply)
Once, when I was at school
My teacher, Mr Jones bawled me out in front of the class for being late. He really laid into me about turning up on time, so much so, that I started to cry.

Obviosuly realising he'd gone too far, Mr Jones started to go easy on me, but by now I was in floods of tears.

"But I just wanted to know why you were late?" he said as he passed me a tissue.

"Be-Be-Because my Granddad got burned." I said through stifled sobs

"Oh My God!" he said, "Not badly I hope?"

"Well," I replied "they don't fuck about at the crematorium"
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 23:39, Reply)
This qotw is about fun funerals, most posts read like a Peter Kay joke.
More "eventually we pulled the carrot out and could finally fit her in the coffin" please!
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 23:39, Reply)
At my uncles funeral I had to laugh,
everyone was crying and my uncle was dead and we'd never see him again. And he was a top bloke when he was alive and we all loved him very much.
Fucking hilarious.
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 21:47, Reply)
Gran this is Mary... Mary this is my Gran...
my gran on my dads side kicked it a few years back, and it had been a long time comin so it was no surprise to the us. at the funeral though when the priest was reading out the names of her children (my faithers brothers and sisters, 9 of them) he started the list with the name thomas... cue puzzled looks all round as my dad and my aunts and uncles think 'thomas?'. it turns out my gran had had a thomas who died when he was 8 b4 any of the rest of them were born and never bothered tellin any1. mass hysteria ensued.

so that was a bit of shocker for them, but then the priest continues by telling us my gran was born out of wedlock, another fuckin shocker for everyone seein as how she was a total right winger and she had freaked out when my parents had me b4 they got married (they still aint).

anyway, after the cremation my aunts ask me if i'll pick up the ashes from the undertakers in a coupla days cos i stay the closest! way too much pressure but i cant exactly refuse. right?

so i do it. but as im on my way home i have to walk past my girlfriends work (she was a mangeress in poundstretchers at the time) so i decide to introduce them as they had never met. i had warned her i was gonna do it but she thought i was at the wind up, so as i stroll in, box containing urn under arm, her face drops and she turns white. her assistant manageress who she must have told about my 'wind-up' sees me and screams the place down while pushing me out the door.

"but dont you want to meet my gran? she wants to meet you"

apoligies 4 length and shitness. its my first time.
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 21:29, Reply)
my grandad died
..last month, i think? maybe before. anyway, everyone cried at the funeral but me. well, that sucked. the only good parts about the day was the story about my cousin's baby puking on him in the bath and nan saying that it was better to put grandad to rest than keep him 'shoved in a drawer somewhere'. that would have made him laugh. the correct term is fridge.

the moral is; damn you, cancer!
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 21:11, Reply)
A mouthful of mum
The club we go to hosts an annual boat trip on the Firth of Forth with full sound system and about 300 twatted party goers bouncing round on a small bucket with a bar called Maid of the Forth. The second year we went, we're having a beer a the pub in South Queensferry (it's just below the Forth rail bridge if you're interested) when a young lady who looks like she might have consumed a smallish to medium amount of recreational pharmaceuticals speaks to my mate.
"Great this club trip heh? I've brought my mum!"
Said mate replies "Oh yeah? She like clubbing?"
"No but she always loved the sea and I cremated her five days ago and I've come to sprinkle her ashes" she says waving a beautiful burgundy mock velvet bag from the crematorium containing the container with her mum in it.
Anyway we set of to sea and head out into the Forth with just a wee breeze blowing and loud loud dance music blasting out the sound system and a few hundred party goers consuming large amounts of alcohol and various other substances. The contingent could easily be described as somewhat twatted as the young lady with her mum climbs to a the highest point on the top deck where people are mingling and dancing and without any ceremony, opens up the tin of mum and throws the contents into the air - where it is swiftly taken by the wind and blown back over the party goers, many getting a good gobful in the process. E and mum - yummy! Not for nothing is the club called Mingin'
Me? I was down at the bar getting more beer and missed out on tasting mum's remains.

Mark (the baldy one)
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 20:29, Reply)
How many can you do in a day?
Our family funerals always tend to be quite jolly affairs in a way as we all seem to have quite a matter of fact attitude towards death and dying. So there we are in the pub after my dad's funeral, me doing the eldest son bit buying the drinks for all the family and friends who are reminiscing about my dad and generally getting rat-arsed and having a great time. Then my cousin who I hadn't seen for years turns up and grabs me. He's very apologetic for not making the service and I say not to worry, I'm glad he came anyway. Seems he went to the local crem down the road from where my parents lived at just the right time for the service and snook in at the back. However we were thirty miles away in another crem close to where my dad kept his narrow boat and where all his friends were. Seems cousin Pete sat through three funerals before he worked out he was in the wrong place. My dad would have had tears rolling down his face - and I have to admit to having a wee snigger too.

(, Wed 17 May 2006, 20:18, Reply)
Music at funerals.
Tricky one this. Like a lot of the suggestions, and for a long time I wanted to go out to 'Song from under the Floorboards' by Magazine. (You lot will all be too young to remember.) Anyway I reckoned it would stir a few guilty hearts.

Still, a story puts me off the idea. Way back lost in the mists of time I attended the funeral of a close mates brother (also a mate) after an unfortunate incident involving a bus and a tab of acid. (The bus was totally straight, believe.) Anyway the deceased was a bit of a hippy and his bro was too, and the tune was 'Goat Willow', a Hawkwind instro from the early 70's. A nice enough piece, and poignant and all that, the moment spoiled only by one of the deceased's buddies - another stoned hippy - coming to his senses mid-track and announcing loudly:
"Oh wow! The 'Wind man! This is soooo cool, I'm so glad I came."

Don't think the family were any too impressed. Perhaps we should be very careful with the tunes then?
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 18:44, Reply)
Barbie and Ken
When my grandma died, we were not quite sure how many people would come to the funeral and how many would come to the house after. So my uncle (her son) went out to get some extra plates and cups and stuff.
He came back with disposable (paper) cups and plates....

Oh yeah, Barbie and Ken, the Little Mermaid.

It was like a scene from a Fellini movie.
Double breasted suits and hats, and a colourful table filled with fairytale characters.
bye grandma
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 18:00, Reply)
Every funeral from here has been downhill...
My Great Aunt's funeral was held in the tiny welsh village where she lived, in the middle of a freezing January and in a church halfway up the side of a near vertical hill. The climb nearly killed us so there was no way the pall bearers were going to make it with a coffin. Fortunately, the funeral parlour had clearly been through this before and had sent with the coffin a large stainless steel trolley to roll it up the hill.

To be fair to them, they were almost at the top before one of them slipped on an inevitable patch of ice and lost his grip on the trolley. The three other pall bearers promptly went to help their mate, leaving the coffin to roll backwards. This was at first gentle, but you would be amazed at the speed a coffin on a trolley can pick up on a steep gradient. It wasn't nearly as bad for us (who had never liked her that much anyway) as it was for the poor woman whose front window looked out onto this winding road and was presented with the sight of a coffin on wheels racing past, followed by four swearing men in full mourning dress.

We don't go back often these days. Pop, squirt and all that.
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 17:26, Reply)
Thank's you lot
In both the sarcastic and literal sense. Lost my old man to alcoholism last year and the first anniversary is coming up. Been thinking about it more and more so decided to look up b3ta for some light relief. Rock on Tommy! what a time to read the quetion of the week..

I didnt go to my dads funeral, so reading these stories, knowing he would have pissed himself at a lot of them..I dunno, but somehow you've helped me out so cheers!

1st timer long time lurker generic length and girth comment
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 16:47, Reply)
acrobatic mother
It has been a long standing joke in my family when my mother fell head first into an open grave in the 60's .. A couple of years ago I was at a funeral in the pouring rain with her, as she approached the grave to throw the obligatory handful of earth onto the coffin I and the rest of the clan waited with baited breath. Yes she did. Again.
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 16:40, Reply)
Top 5 favourite funeral songs
Well I thought I was a bit of a morbid freak for occaisionally contemplating my top 5 tracks to be played when my time comes.
However, having broached the subject during a few coked-up nights of unwarranted sincerity, I find I'm not alone in self-indulgent navel gazing - my mate Dave often has this conversation with his dad when the whisky's out.
I reckon this should be the subject of a new QOTW, so to get the ball rolling, here are my top 5 with reasons:

1: The Jam - Going Underground

I picture the look of sudden realisation on the faces of the congregation when they realise what they're tapping their feet to, but the opening line "some people might say my life is in a rut" is a killer

2: The Smiths - Asleep/ Radiohead - No Surprises

A shameless attempt at inducing mass wailing and gnashing of teeth- two heart-rendingly sad songs guaranteed to induce lacrimosity among the gathered mourners, if not outright guilt, shame and regret. Not sure about this one- I wanted it to be a joyous event, but sometimes the urge to shout "it's your fault I'm dead" is overwhelming.

3: The Jam - Town Called Malice

Such a great track- can't not have it. Even the most wizened old gimmers will be kicking away their zimmers to dance on my grave. Oh yeah, and it features the line "I'm almost stone-cold dead"

4: Roy Harper- When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease

I was pleasantly surprised that John Peel made a pact with John Walters that whoever went first, the other would play this at their funeral. A beautiful song conjuring up the rose-tinted vision of an England which never really existed, but you really wish it had. Haaven't played cricket since school, but that hardly matters does it?

5: I'm going to leave this one blank for now- I invite you to post suggestions.....

length and breadth- ask the undertaker why he couldn't get the lid on
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 14:45, Reply)
Country Funeral
At only 17 one of my close friends John lost his father. We all attedned the funeral at the smallest church I have ever been in, in a tiny and remote Norfolk village. The Vicar was very old and got Johns name wrong throughout the whole service. He also did not approve of his fathers choice to divorce and 'live in sin' with another woman, albeit for 11 years, and so completely ignored his fathers bereved long term partner throughout the proceedings. For me the most emotional part of any funeral is when the coffin is being lowered into the ground, and finally the earth is scattered on top. The second the first handful of earth was thrown on to the coffin John ran at top speed towards the trees. Everyone at the graveside broke down completely, poor John, it must have been too much for him to bear, and he had been so brave throughout the whole ceremony. Still blubbering I looked up a few moments later to see John appearing from the trees zipping up his flies... he had been desperate for a piss throughout the whole service and couldnt understand why prevously fairly composed friends and family had all crumbled. Too many pre-funeral beers meant he had been concentrating so hard on not pissing his pants he hadnt even noticed the Vicar called him James all morning.
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 14:32, Reply)
my gran's funeral was a number of years ago. she died in the middle of summer which made the day less bleak than it could have been. except that my cousin is scared of all insects, and there were four butterflies in the crematorium. after a while, Bec, white faced and in tears, although i'm not sure if they were tears of emotion or butterfly terror, has had enough. she legs it up the aisle and out the door we'd come in, as opposed to the signposted exit, straight into the next coffin that was waiting to come in. i'd love to say that the body fell out or something but i think she was scared enough already, poor lamb.
but jesus, who's scared of butterflies.
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 12:39, Reply)
Traveller funerals
Probably the most incredible thing that can happen in your life. I would recommend them to anyone.

My great grandmother was part of a "travelling" family, we called her gypsy gran, and she died last year. Most of my cousins and uncles only went because we wanted to show support our granddad.

The Gypsy half of the family show up 3 days before the funeral and all 9 of them move into my great-grans tiny two bedroomed flat. They then proceed to take everything of worth out of the flat and leave the junk.

Not only that but at the wake my cousins and I got so irritated with their constant gypsy rubbish that we left to go get rubbered and play pool down the road, our parents joined us very soon after.

Not funny, but definately an experience.

Whoop, first post!
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 12:10, Reply)
Dead roomates.
We're currently looking after my Grandad's dog while he's on holiday in Spain. It was also my Grandma's favourite dog.

Said dog is staying in my room because my sister's room is too small, and my Dad hates the thing.

All ok and that, until Mum announced to me that she'd be going over to Grandad's today to pick up my Grandma's ashes so that she could 'Go on a little holiday with her favourite pet'

So I get to room with my late Grandmother and her dog. Not really a funeral story, but slightly unnerving nonetheless.
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 10:04, Reply)
Torquay to Paris in a battered flowermobile
My Grandmother used to live in Paris. She died quite suddenly, and I really wanted to get to the funeral. Not only was she a very important person to me, but due to my Mum and Stepfather being wierd, I'd had very little to do with that side of the family, and hadn't seen my Dad (who lives in Hong Kong) for years.

We arranged for some friends to look after our two older children, 'phoned the passport office, who assured us that our youngest - one and a half at the time - could travel on his mothers passport.

We booked the ferry crossing online, and set off in our elderly diesel peugot 205 (which had recently been painted purple with multicoloured daisies) and started bombing up the motorway towards Dover.

The plan was that we would cross over to Calais and arrive in Paris within a day, and see my Dad and other rellies for a bit before the funeral.

a couple of hours after dark, we noticed that our lights were getting dimmer. Then they started going out intermittently. Then, all of a sudden, the engine died totally.

My wife had just enough warning to pull over into the little triangular bit between the main motorway and a slip road coming onto it.

We were towed to the nearest service station, where an AA man told us the alternator was playing up. He replaced a bit of it, and away we went again.

Unfortunately, he was slightly wrong, and we broke down again before we got to Dover. Another AA man got us going again, but when we got to Dover and tried to get on the ferry, they laughed at us for trying to take our son without his own passport.

So we had to go to London to get him a passport rushed up, which involved phoning the friends who were looking after our other 2 kids to find his birth certificate etc and go to a shop to fax them through.

After breaking down another couple of times, we got to the ferry with the passport and they allowed us onboard. Of course when we got to Calais, we had to bumpstart it, but we were ready for this, and had parked near the top of a ramp.

In Calais we had planned to find a garage to fix the dodgy alternator, but it was a holiday, so we had to take the risk of setting off up the motorway to Paris with no cover, and knowing that if we broke down we'd be arrested. We slept in the car before setting off in the morning and, somehow, we got there OK. Only the directions were awful and we got lost.

So instead of arriving 3 days before the funeral looking wuite smart, we arrived 3 hours before, looking like street people and bloody knackered.

To be greeted by my nutty aunt, who I hadn't seen since I was 10, in her undies. Her and my Dad were feuding somewhat, and both pretty drunk.

However, we somehow got ready and to the funeral on time, which is more than can be said for my cousin, who rushed in 15 minutes after the service started muttering about trains.

But it all came together in the end for an amazing service, held in the high anglican church she'd been a part of for about 30 years, which was, for some reason, underground. I'd visited it numerous times as a kid, but the atmosphere was just right for her funeral.

But then, of course, we had to get home again. I counted a total of 9 breakdown there and back. But it was worth it, even if I am still paying for it.
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 9:05, Reply)
They are not caskets
They are COFFINS

************* merkins
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 8:50, Reply)
Fish, Funnies and Funerals
Typical of me to finally think of this one just before the question closes, but here goes...

My family is the kind that make a joke of everything if it helps avoid having any real emotions, and the tone was set for my Grandad's funeral by my Auntie and my dad having an arguement about what food to serve at the wake. The climax of this was my Auntie deciding "It should be salmon, Dad always loved a nice piece of fish." and my father retorting with "Well he doesn't bloody care! He's dead!".

Yeah, my family are odd, sorry. Anyway, me and my cousin were talking about getting the dreaded giggles. My Granny had picked some godawful Harry Secombe performed hymn, which the old boy liked, to play at the funeral and my cousin is certain she'll crack up as soon as it comes on. So we're sitting next to each other and after the vicar, who came to the damn house and got a vague outline of my Grandad's life so he could personalise the service, stood up and described someone completely bloody different, me and the cousin were already biting our lips. Suddenly he announces the hymn to be played and I hear the Goon start warbling out of some dodgy old speakers. I'm so desperate not to laugh I've got my hand thrust deep into my pocket and I'm prodding myself in the bollock to shock myself into sobriety. Something catches my eye and I look round to see my cousin hunched over, shoulders going up and down at a rate of knots, head buried in her hands.

This sends me over the edge, but I'm not too worried about that. Whereas I'm the atypical black sheep, my cousin is well respected in the family so if she can crease up then surely so can I. So half way through the hymn I just can't stop myself anymore and let out a huge laugh. I expected everyone else to turn round in shock (and I've mentally prepared myself to lecture them all at the wake that different people have different responses to grief). What I'm not expecting, however, is for my cousin's head to whip round and see the tears streaming down her cheeks and to realise that they sure as hell aren't tears of laughter.

It sounds really dim now to say it never occurred to me that she might actually be overcome with emotion and cry her eyes out. It certainly didn't occur to me that the tart would do it at exactly the same moment she prophecised that she would be laughing her arse off. I think the cow did it deliberately. Strangely I was quite unpopular at the wake. Which was fine, I stood by the buffet and nicked all the salmon.

Cheers Grandad. Still love yer.
(, Wed 17 May 2006, 8:45, Reply)

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