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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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The late great John Le Mesurier
had as his death announcement 'John Le Mesurier has conked out' in the Times.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 18:54, Reply)
My Dad's was a surreally sad and yet fun affair.
"Land of hope and glory" from the last night of the proms on the way in, a cross of St George in flowers on the coffin and an atheist service with poetry and some great music. And, as the coffin was being taken through the curtains "Always look on the bright side of life", cue people whistling as they went to the wake. I got phenomenally pissed and had a great time!
It was pretty much as he wanted except that the editors at the coventry evening telegraph (our local rag) wouldn't let us announce his death with the words "Fell off his perch" as they thought it was inapproprate the self-righteous bunch of spaztards.
I only ever have to apologise for girth.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 18:24, Reply)
Unexpected Sinatra
At my paternal grandma's cremation we were treated to "I did it my way" loudly through the speakers for a couple of minutes before they realised that that musical request was for the slot at the same time the day before, and that my gran had actually requested silence.
We found it rather amusing actually, mainly because it's such a cheesy song.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 17:42, Reply)
Uncle James
I was only 6 when my uncle died in a helicopter crash. Not only was he my favourite uncle, but he was also my Godfather. The funeral was held in New Zealand, but we held a memorial service on the same day in England. It was a truly beautiful and moving service for an amazing guy.

I've not been to many funerals, but I've been present when people are dying or have recently died. It always amazes me how peaceful and dignified it can be. I went to an old couple the other week, where she had passed away in her sleep. Hubby found her dead in the morning. He told me how they had been sweethearts during the war and how they had just celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. They were so clearly devoted to each other, and he was so devastated that I ended up in tears as well.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 17:17, Reply)
Trendy Vicar?
Well there was the time when I was mistaken for the vicar. It was my Grandfather's interment, being held up North. I dutifuly trucked up to Skem (Skelmersdale) and stayed with a mate. On the day my chum gave me a lift to the church, but I was an hour or so early. What to do? I spy a hostelry and soon esconce myself within the 'snug' and proceed to get outside several large brandies. After a spell I slink over to the church, but still early, I take a stroll around the cemetary. Being a rather irreligious chap and somewhat the worse for the brandy I think nothing of skinning up a 'jazz cigarette' whilst I'm killing time. Finally I can put it off no longer and enter the church, only to find I'm the first and still early. The local vicar descends on me and starts quizzing me up about the ceremony. Now I have no idea what the chap is on about and why he's asking me, but it wasn't until he asked if I'd like to use his vestry to change in that I twigged. Apparently he thought I was some trendy London vicar. An easy mistake to make, since I'm wearing a shiny black suit jacket, stretch black jeans, sport a peroxide crop, and stink of Brandy and Puff!

Oh how we all laughed about it later at the graveside.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 16:07, Reply)
My best friend's funeral
Was the first I'd ever been to. Asked if I was really sure I want to go, I wasn't very well (It was a cold type thing bought on by paranoia that I had the same thing that killed her) and was told funerals are very very upsetting.

Sat through the whole thing trying my hardest not to laugh, I don't know why but the service just seemed hilarious. Wasn't made much easier by the fact that my friend sitting next to me kept trying to comfort me as she thought I was shaking from grief.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 15:05, Reply)
Malfunctioning service
At the crematorium, the words had been spoken and a sombre organ tune played in the background, as my godfather's dad's remains began moving towards the curtains to their fiery end.

However, the moving surface beneath the coffin got slightly stuck, and it began randomly shuddering towards the curtains. The music then started wawing as the tape it was being played from started to chew itself up. Then the curtains suddenly flew open, and the coffin jerked - nay, threw- itself inside, when before the curtains could shut a metal door clanged closed behind it.

The curtains slid elegantly closed again.

My godfather's mum could hardly stand by the end of it from a crippling giggle fit.

On a more sombre note, I'd also like to add that my school wouldn't permit me to attend the funeral of a family friend who had commited suicide. I was a bit miffed by that, as I was very upset by it. However, the widow told me this: after the funeral and the wake, she'd gone home to start sorting through cupboards, and found under some towels a random joint. Knowing it was probably one of the kids', the idea suddenly struck her to smoke it. So she did, and not having had any in her system for a good 20 years, was completely smashed by the end of it. This was fine, but then the doorbell rang, and she was faced with the officer who had been investigating the death. He stayed with her for half an hour, clearly aware she was off her tits, made her a cup of tea then left. After a munchies attack and a giggling fit, she realised just how kind the copper had been, and on ringing to make some kind of believable excuse, he said "don't worry love, it's not the first time - just have yourself some more tea and watch some telly". A lovely act of understanding at a very hard time. Sweet, really.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 14:18, Reply)
grandads funeral
my grandad was cremated and while his coffin was sitting there before it went behind curtains my dad said something I havent forgotten he said "remember this because this is the last time you'll see your grandad" what sucks is I hardly ever see my dad or my aunts any more which is good cos they are rude and stuff and the next time I see them will probably be at my nans funeral when she dies
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 13:58, Reply)
The funeral of a cousin I never met
a year ago March 17th (st Patricks day) my cousin died in a caravan fire outside his home (this was also my cousins birthday). After much too-ing and fro-ing with the authorities telling us they wouldn't be releasing the body until they'd ruled out foul play they released the body on the Sunday after he died, in Northern Ireland the body is buried within 2 days of it being released so we booked a hasty trip over there. When it came to the funeral the priest vicar type fella stood up with a sort of fixed smile on his face and proceeded to tell us that if you don't follow the way of the Lord then you will spend an eternity in hell and excrutiating burning fire. Now, I don't know about you but I would have thought that whatever you believe you wouldn't go on about suffering a firey death at a funeral of someone who suffered a firey death. My mum grabbed hold of me to stop me walking out. My cousins mother was inconsolable after it. Bloody Priests!
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 13:15, Reply)
I tend to snigger at funerals. Some sick part of me finds a large room of people desperatly trying NOT to look bored and big blubbing snot monsters amusing.

Anyway i was smirking my may through another service, one for my great half uncle or somthing, when a few old men stand up with big banners on long poles. This is apparently all that is left of his para regiment from WW2. One of them starts playing a bugle. As the converyer belt moves the banners slowly lower...

...And i start blubbing like a child whose lost its ballon. A relative i hardly know gives me a tissue. Other random semicousins come over to comfort me. Que me feeling like a right tosser.

The only funeral i didnt laugh at (other than my nan's) was the Catholic one i went to once. It actually put the fear of god in me, some one raised as an atheist, for a good hour and a half. Yikes!
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 12:40, Reply)
You can get the other half made into a diamond you say?
Ok, so possibly not entirely tasteful, but at least you get to point out her flaws..
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 12:31, Reply)
Funerals can be great, and they can be nasty.
A college friend died in a car accident when I was 17. The crematorium was packed out with just about everyone who knew him, to the point that the doors were left open at the back so that those who couldn't find a space on the floor inside could hear.

I remember very little of the service, just bits and pieces that don't really seem to fit together anymore, but I do remember looking around in that hall and seeing all those faces so shocked. I reckon for 80% of them it was their first funeral. It was a real celebration of his short life.

The next funeral I went to I filmed. I had been asked to - it wasn't a weird Peeping Tom thing. Apparently a member of the family lived in Australia and couldn't make it at such short notice, but wanted to see the service.

I understood that it had all been OK'd by the rest of the family, but to say I wasn't made welcome would be an understatement. Nasty glances all round, "what's *he* doing *that* for?" whispers etc.

I sat at the back with the camera, gave the guy the tape at the end, and legged it. I didn't wait around for the aftermath. It seemed a lot of people had it in their mind that the funeral should be a very sombre affair, and the camera ruined that (though it made no sound, or obstructed it in anyway). The negativity towards it helped to spoil it, and while I can sorta understand that, I don't agree with it.

And I feel real bad that I was partly to blame for those people having such a bad final memory of the deceased.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 9:34, Reply)
Funny thing, death.
A mate of mine was at a friday arvo drinks session in the Public service (civil service for you poms), and was introduced to some bloke from a different section. He was pissed by this stage, so my mate was talking lots of shit. As he shook hands, he said something along the lines of "Pleased to meet you, and your mother sucks cocks in hell, YEAH ha ha ha ha." The other bloke turned on his heel and walked out, a bit upset. Apparently he'd come straight from his Mums funeral to the drinks session to cheer up with his mates. Serves him right I reckon, getting the day off for a funeral then going back to work.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 6:13, Reply)
Not so much a funeral story but...
We were talking in the pub about what song we'd like at our funerals. The ususal stuff came up but Pauls choice of 'Living in a box' pretty much took the prize
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 3:23, Reply)
A couple of tales..
Number one: I was going to my uncles funeral, being driven by another uncle. He swore all the way to the crem as "them in front were driving too slow" (?!?!) but all the while I was convinced I'd be the next corpse as his driving was soooooo bad.
I had to beg a cousin for a lift home.

Number two: Mother in law's funeral.
The "non-denominational preacher" called her by the wrong name the whole way through.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 1:33, Reply)
I never particularly liked anyway, noticed I hadn't been there the day before, (at college) cue; "Where you been? Big fat durty skoiver. Been off smoking a fag? Go dahn the city? You big skoiving fatty skoiver. OMG, can't believe. Where you been, stupid? Oi. Oi. Where you been?"


And another time, not exactly a funeral,

A friend (who has a lot of cats) was looking down so "Ehhh, what's up? Did another cat die? Hahahaha."

"No. My best friend."

Apparently, the bitch laughed.
(, Sun 14 May 2006, 0:39, Reply)
a biker funeral, loads of bikers and a vicar. hymns, loads of people wondering WTF is the connection between what the vicar is quacking on about "a good man, loved by many" and the man in the box, who wasn't either

the sermon stopped, the music started, the curtain twitched and the conveyor belt started up.

his biker babe lurched forwards and screamed the immortal words "GET HIM OUT OF THAT BOX ! YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BURN HIM !"

they didn't get him out of the box, they did burn him and she, high on druqz, was hitting on me and other blokes at the wake. we all declined and she lived happily ever after on the insurance payout.

hi tracy :D
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 23:28, Reply)
piping cold
I was in a Pipe band in the early 90's, and one of the older pipers got himself killed in a car crash. The pipe major, another piper and I played at his funeral.

Bad move, in retrospect. Not only was it upsetting to his family, there was a practical problem: keeping the bag inflated is hard enough at the best of times, but a lump in your throat makes it nigh-impossible. At least I have a better idea of how my funeral will not be.
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 21:49, Reply)
Was at a funeral a few weeks back
A damned good friend died from a heart attack- he was a legendary hippy- loved him to death and miss his wit like crazy- truly, when they made him, they broke the mould- a total one-off. "Hey Squid, you're in Bizarre again" "I don't worry about that, I worry about the planet"

But he was a very big Hawkwind fan. So I went to the cremation and they played Kate Bush and stuff like that, but no Hawkwind (he went into the furnace to the sound of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb- good call, though I have already picked AC/DC's Highway to Hell for myself)
Following the service my friend Woody complained that there had been no Hawkwind played at the funeral, so I said "Which track would you like? Disappear in Smoke would be good" Went down badly- even though later it was mentioned "I hope the crematorium workers don't stand too close to the chimney when they actually burn him- can you imagine how high they will get?"
Afterwards we had a great wake for him in a local pub- so this is more a remembrance of the man and I doff my cap to him (there's more that isn't relevant here) and would politely ask you to charge your glasses and drink to the memory of Squid the hippy biker druggie comedian (all of those labels fit, but don't describe well enough)

And may the bastard rot in hell!
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 21:44, Reply)
went to my first funeral when i was about 4
didn't have a clue what was going on, i kept running around and bugging my older cousin for mints, and no one stopped me when i kept repositioning my late grandmother's hands while she was in the casket
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 21:21, Reply)
is it a wedding or a funeral
just informed my terribly religious
great grandma who has no sense of humour
that when i get married
i want to come in a hearse and be carried
up the aisle in a coffin.

if i tell her i was joking i think
she'll be the one in the coffin.
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 19:19, Reply)
Having been a Vicar for more than twenty years
I feel I ought to have more funny stories about funerals, but they have usually been quiet and dignified.

The hardest funerals to take are for children, where everybody, including me, just wants to sob our hearts out.

About three years ago I took Paul Sansom's funeral. He was the guitarist of a heavy metal band called Samson. They were about to sign a million pound recording contract when their lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, decided to join another band, by the name of Iron Maiden, which went on to be quite successful I understand.
The congregation was full of middle-aged men with long grey hair wearing sunglasses (it was raining). Paul had left instructions for the music for his funeral so we left the chapel to "The Laughing Policeman", which brought a smile to everyone's face.
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 18:41, Reply)
Laughing all the way to the grave
Lost my Dad 5 years ago to cancer, and it took him a long time. Never seen him so cheerful. Some of the things he came up with:

On finishing his last tax return:" Two things we can do nothing about, but let's minimise this one"

On my daughter farting thunderously at his bedside: "I hope that's not going on the death certificate" and then laughing like a drain.

At the funeral itself, my mum remarked: "That was lovely, I could do it all over again".
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 18:20, Reply)
my nans funeral was going ok untill we found out she had no money
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 17:31, Reply)
only one i can think of
was at my grans funeral. there was a moments silence abruptly punctured by a rather long and drawn out fart, from somewhere in the corner. gotta love gaseous interruptions
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 17:31, Reply)
Family going down to a funeral in Wales. Sheep shagging jokes all the way down. First hymn?

The Lord Is My Shepherd.
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 16:45, Reply)
My grandads funeral
Any way the priesty bloke was reading out the names of all my grandads relatives, my nan, my dad, my uncle, my aunt, my cousins, then he gets to my brother and my sister then me, only he doesnt mention me. This upsets me greatly, i then begin to cry like a little wuss for all of an hour.
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 16:35, Reply)
At the crematorium we were expecting O' Danny Boy for my Grandad's funeral. We got Greensleeves...

Oh the fun.
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 16:08, Reply)
Old enough to know better
Five or so years ago, my Dad and a friend of his were sat at the back of a church at the funeral of a mutual friend. The door of the church is open, and from outside they hear the bells of another church ringing in a fair imitation of a popular ringtone of the time.

My Dad looks over at his mate and says "It's for you".

His mate takes his mobile out of his pocket, looks at it and says "No, it's for you".

Cue two men in their late 50s collapsing into utter hysteria and having to leave the building.

My Dad died a couple of years later, but this is one of my favourite memories of him.
(, Sat 13 May 2006, 15:36, Reply)

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