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This is a question Funerals II

It's been 7 years since we last asked for your funeral stories and what with Lady Voldemort's coming up, we thought we'd ask again.

The deeply upsetting, the sad and the ones that make you want to hug the world all have a place here on b3ta, tell us about them.

Thanks to Pig Bodine for the suggestion

(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:20)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Only Sleeping
My grandfather died. The funeral was a solemn affair, as these things usually are. My grandmother, naturally, was distraught. They'd married during the war, he'd been captured and sent to a POW camp, they then spent over fifty blissful years together.

We were chatting about my grandfather with her - laughing, crying, reminiscing - when entirely out of the blue she said, "One thing I won't miss is sleeping next to him. He always rolled over and nearly pushed me out of bed!"

A few years later she died as well. It's hard to carry on when the life you knew for half-a-century has been ripped apart.

As per her wishes, she was to be buried next to her husband. We dutifully trudged down to the cemetery, held a small ceremony, and escorted her body to the grave.

The double-headstone had already been half-filled with my grandfather's details. Underneath the blank half, a six-foot deep hole lay waiting. We slowly lowered my grandmother's coffin in.

It didn't fit.

There wasn't enough room in the grave for the bloody coffin! Despite being dug on the correct side of the grave, somehow my grandfather's coffin had conspired to shift under the earth and encroached on my grandmother's side.

The mourning party excused ourselves from the graveside while "adjustments" were made. All of us giggling about how granddad had rolled over in his sleep again.

Well, it was preferable to thinking the gravediggers were too stupid to dig a correctly sized hole in the ground!
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 9:20, 1 reply)
A lesson in business
At the time my maternal grandmother passed away I was working a fairly junior and not especially well-paid job in the midlands. I shared a house, I went out once a week, I couldn't afford a car.

It wasn't a shock when she died but of course it was very sad and it was important to me to attend the funeral. Only problem was, it was to be in Lancashire. My options were to get a train or hire a car, either of which was going to cost around £100, money I really couldn't afford. It sucked; I didn't begrudge my gran the money but I was upset enough already and resented having to suffer additional hardship just because the train companies wanted their pound of flesh. I wearily started making mental notes, cancelling in my head social events and purchases I'd been planning for the month so I could reach next payday without breaking my overdraft.

The problem, I resolved, was that I was stuck in a shitty job that didn't pay enough. Other employees got paid more, I was sure of it, and many had company cars with the fuel all paid for. The fact that I lived walking distance from the office was irrelevant - they could whizz about to all the funerals they wanted for free and meanwhile I was stuck shelling out money I didn't have for journeys that were going to take all day, harrumph.

They probably won't even notice if I don't come in for the day, I grumbled to myself as I filled out the leave request form. I was underappreciated, underpaid and determined to get straight onto monster.com as soon as I handed the form in.

My boss was distracted when I went into her office.

"Sorry it's short notice," I said nervously. "But can I have Friday week off for my gran's funeral?"

"Of course," she said, turning to face me. "I'm sorry for your loss. There's no need for this," she said, handing back the form. "I won't take the day out of your allowance. Where is it, by the way?"

"Blackpool," I confessed.

"Take the pool car," she said.

And with four monosyllabic words, she bought an extra two years of loyalty from an employee who was planning to quit.


The funeral was lovely, by the way, and I felt extremely grown up arriving in a suit driving "my" company car. Which helped my ego a lot because the coffin was insanely heavy and I wobbled like a rheumatic OAP when we first lifted it!
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 15:17, 12 replies)
His life and entire career revolved around the application of chemistry to destructive purposes - the web remains littered with his writings on scientific matters on patents and methods for deploying them in the most devastating ways possible. I can't even talk about half of it for fear of the Official Secrets Act.

His life had knocked any sentiment about religion out of him and his wish was that his body should be brought back to his house, some of his favourite music (brass bands) be played and if possible some loud noises made. Then he wished to be taken to the crematorium alone, with no service, no followers and no further ceremony.

So naturally a significant quantity of alcohol and fireworks were obtained.

Equally naturally this attracted the attention of the police and halfway through our difficult but joyful proceedings a police car arrived. Sound was cranked up to 11, explosions were going off at momentary intervals and his residential street was crammed with people drinking , laughing, crying and holding hands.

The discretion they showed attracted our appreciation - they blinked their headlights once to acknowledge us and reversed a few hundred metres back to be on-hand and clearly show a police presence but at the same time not to cause any added distress

It was a great misfortune that the largest rocket we had was next to be fired and something went wrong with it - it rose slowly from its launcher, fizzled, wobbled, and headed off sideways. Like a moth drawn to the flame it converged on the police car and exploded directly above it at a height of perhaps 10 metres. The driver had seen it coming and put his foot down but this actually brought them far closer than they otherwise would have been.

We should be very grateful to them - they didnt slow from their acceleration, and the driver waved a fist at us in comic style as he belted past and disappeared off, never to return.

One of the local cats had befriended him in the months before his death and visited him at home occasionally. This cat also turned up at our wake-cum-party-cum-funeral, wended around us for a few moments and then slipped into the hearse to rub cheeks with his coffin. After he'd gone it came and slipped inside my jacket under my arm and hid there for the rest of the day, alternately purring and resting its head on my lap in seeming bafflement

We also owe thanks to the funeral director who (unasked and unprompted) took a glass from the kitchen, filled it with red wine and placed it atop the coffin in his hearse. He drove off with it still there, completely unconcerned having said to my dad that the mess was a small price to pay for seeing such a great send-off

Cya round grandad. you were great.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 19:38, Reply)
My grandad
Was a member of the magic circle, a certified magician. He tended to do more children's parties than anything Blane-like, and was well-loved and respected for it.

He died a couple of years of ago, and my brother picked me up on the way to his cremation down in Brighton. It was pretty much the first funeral we'd been to and the atmosphere in the car was (as expected) quiet and sombre....

...right up until my brother enquired "Do you think they'll saw him in half first?"

At which point we had to pull over on the hard shoulder as we were laughing so hard we'd have probably caused an accident had we continued.

My Grandad would have laughed too.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 14:39, 2 replies)
The write way to go
An ex who died of a brain tumour, a beautiful and sensual hippie lady, asked to be buried in a white cardboard coffin and her son supplied boxfulls of multicoloured marker pens so we could draw messages and pictures on it. My message: "Thanks for all the sex and drugs babe". It felt like a way to connect one last time and it was strangely comforting.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 19:20, 12 replies)
Mrs Spimf and I...
tend to be late for most things. So it came as no surprise some years ago when we found ourselves running late for her very own grandmothers funeral. We bickered all the way to the church about who's fault it was and why we were delayed. We even hissed a few choice words at each other during the service. Then we had to get from the church to the cemetery, so very soon we're back in the car and very soon we're arguing (again). Even though i had no clue where we were going I still insisted on driving (as I am a man/arsehole, and this is the natural order of things). So after a few time consuming wrong turns we soon found ourselves barreling down motorway when the now sulking Mrs Spimf muttered 'you're going to miss your exit'. There was a lot of traffic in the slow lane with no suitable gaps so like any safe and considerate driver i simply put the boot down to overtake the lot and make the exit - only to find the slow moving traffic was actually the funeral cortege carrying dear old granny - I only realised this as I scythed across the path of the hearse, effectively cutting up a dead woman.

Naturally we arrived first at the cemetery where the entire funeral party processed by in a sedate and respectful manner allowing them plenty of opportunity to glare at us as we sat in my highly distinctive bright red sports car.

I still blame Er Indoors.

tl;dr - wanker in sports car cuts up dead woman on motorway
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 14:33, 4 replies)
Just watched Return Of The Jedi. Disgusted by the distasteful scenes at the end where everyone is celebrating the death of Emperor Palpatine. He may have been divisive, but he was strong and he made decisions and stuck to them, and I think he should get a bit of respect. He was, after all, a little old man who died, when you remove any other context whatsoever.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 18:15, 14 replies)
my nan
died 28 years ago and is not missed for many reasons.

during the wake, one of the pallbearers who hadn't seen her in about 20 years remarked to my dad "she must have lost a lot of weight, she was easier to carry than i thought she'd be"
my dad looked at him and said "that's because she had no legs."
(, Wed 17 Apr 2013, 16:55, 2 replies)
Little Wing
I sat next to her bed and held her hot, dry hand as I watched her chest gently rise and fall. I told her that I loved her and promised to have a Malibu and coke for her and kissed her forhead as I left, was it my imagination or did I feel her squeeze my hand ever so slightly, my confidante and comfort, even at the end. She held on until all of her friends had visited.

I sent her mother a card. Inside it read:

Dear L,

Firstly, I just want to how sorry I am that J lost the battle she’d been fighting for so long. She really did put up one hell of a fight. Not only that, she did it with dignity and humour. I’ll miss J very much – as you know she was one of my oldest and best friends, I always admired her enthusiasm for life, her complete openness and fact that she never judged anyone. Not to mention her perfect comic timing and hilarious one liners!

I feel truly blessed to have had J’s friendship she was a courageous, sparkly girl and I know it’s said you should never meet your heroes because they only disappoint, but J never disappointed. Anyway, I just wanted you to know how special I think she is.


I couldn’t quite grasp that she’d gone. My thoughts were circular and all of that unrealised potential broke my heart. I can’t believe it. I can’t. It doesn’t make sense. I can’t believe it. She was my best friend, I was going to be her bridesmaid, godmother to her future children, the old bat she went to bingo with. Injustice mingled with relief that it was over.

J’s Mum asked me to read my note at the funeral and on the day, I sat with her other best friend P and eyes fixed on the coffin, I couldn’t believe she was in there. A brief moment of hysteria when P and his fog horn voice came in too early on the verse of a hymn, flatly echoing around the church. We both made our way up to the lectern and I numbly gripped P’s hand as he sobbed.

As we stepped down, her favourite song started to play, Angels by Robbie Williams (overrated, but I still can’t listen to it). I feel this sharp lump of grief forcing its way out, my shoulders heave with the effort of holding it together, I hiccup sobs and my face crumples as tears pour out. Now I understand and the realisation of my own mortality weighs heavily.

It took me a very long time to get over it. One night I woke up sure that someone was in my room. In the darkness, I could smell cigarettes and her perfume, strangely comforted and a little weirded out, I eventually fell back to sleep and when I woke up the next morning everything felt a little better than the days before. I didn’t go for grief counselling but I wish I had. I would advise other people to take it if available, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 13:57, 6 replies)
Don't use musics from concerts at cremations
Back in 2001, for my grandmother funeral, my grandfather set everything up in the next 48hours after she died. Funerary, coffin, crematorium, no religious ceremony, urn, etc.

Everything except from the music played at the cremation. He ask my brother and I to find some old tracks from Yves Montand (Edith : and not Charles Trenet) she loved, and burn (!) a CD to play at the cremation. A quick look at the internet gave us only live performances. Songs were a quite sad, plus the 'live' effect gave some depth that fitted the situation.

All was fine until the doors start to close end the coffin begin to move toward the oven. Sad people, sad faces, tears. The artist concluded a (sad) song, a small blank. Then the crowd that was attending that concert burst into a cheerful round of applause...
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 10:53, 5 replies)
Pall bearers
My late uncle went to a friends funeral service at the local crematorium.
He waited patiently for the pall bearers to carry the coffin in and then attempted to follow in his wheelchair.

Bad news - no ramp, just steps.

He was wondering what to do when the pall bearers filed out again, picked up his wheelchair and carried him, emperor-style, into the crematorium.

Apparently he was heard to say "now you will remember I'm coming out again, won't you?"
(, Sat 13 Apr 2013, 9:23, 2 replies)
Wandering off topic a bit, but it's almost relevant.
One of only three funerals I have ever been too was my then girlfriend (now wife)'s Dad funeral.

The funeral wasn't remarkable, but the lead up to it caused some amusement.

He died of a mixture of Alzheimers, and cancer. Communication was, er, tricky.

I knew him for two years, during which time he only ever said three things to me.

- "Thanks for coming". Unexpected, I was a regular visitor to their house, and up till then he had always ignored me.

- "where's my gun?" on being informed I was his daughters boyfriend, and was taking her to the cinema (more than a year after I first met him)

- third thing . . . the GF was traveling on business, and he became ill during the night. I was phoned and asked to pick him up (with his wife and other daughter) and take them all to the hospital. Lack of ambulance part of a long story, anyway, this involved manhandling him into my car, and out the other end. A painful experience, unfortunately.

Having parked my car, I went back to the room he was in. He looked at me, the source of all his recent discomfort, and uttered his last words to me.

"Get out of here you cunt".
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 16:15, 3 replies)
Honest feedback
On a recent Easter holiday with the family, we visited an Island that was used as a convict gaol 170 years ago.

We had a walk through the old grave yard that had the bodies of the white officials and their family's who died on the island buried in it. Most of the ten or so graves where for babies. My youngest thought this was a bit rough and said he wanted to say a prayer.

My wife and I aren't religious at all but, religious freedom and all that.....

Dear God,
Thank you for the tree's and plants,
Thanks for the animals and food,

about these babies. I'm very disappointed with you about these dead babies.
I am sure you could have tried harder and I hope you will do better in future.
thank you.

He seemed to feel better about things after that.

bs/co - I don't have any funeral stories
(, Wed 17 Apr 2013, 10:35, 3 replies)
Not mine, but a friend of my old boss
Late to a funeral he put his sat nav in his suit pocket and ran to the graveside a few minutes into the service.

Cue several mourners holding back sniggers as "You have reached your destination" interrupted the vicar.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 9:00, 5 replies)
Reading Battered's post has reminded me of a little old man who was sitting in the snug of my local many years ago.
I'd wandered up with the wife for a quiet beer on a quiet night. In fact, there were only the three of us in there.

I went up to the bar for a refill and noticed L.O.M. quietly sobbing in the corner. So I asked if he was okay.

"I've buried my Wife today" Said he.

I came out with the usual banal imbecilic platitudes reserved for such occasions and he cut me short.

"I knew she was dying and it wasn't a shock.
It was going back to my place for the wake and being locked in the front room while my kids ransacked the rest of my home."

No doubt they were all muttering the mantra of the greedy.

"She always wanted me to have this".

(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 22:25, 21 replies)
My cousin died in a car crash just before his 21st birthday
and shortly before his wedding.

Tragic enough, but somewhat enhanced by the way the minister delivering the eulogy got the names of his fiancee and pet yorkshire terrier the wrong way round throughout, accompanied by heartrending wails from his bereaved mother each time he got it wrong.

Then they realised that the CD of Tina Turner's 'Simply the Best' was still in the cd player at home, rather than it's case. But the day was saved by the geriatric organist, who happened to have a copy of the sheet music! Never mind that she had to play it by sight, I'm sure he would have appreciated being sent off by his favourite tune being mauled at 1/10th speed through a bontempi with every third note wrong.

Yes, we had to laugh.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 19:17, Reply)
My Daddy, the Mummy.
When it came to the day of the cremation, we had the option to have dad in an open casket style send off. The morticians, however, admonished that thought with their welcoming words,
"We did the very best we could..."
Wavy lines- about a weeks worth

It didn't come as a surprise when the final stroke carried him off, a succession of them had come and gone over that decade, leaving his body and abilities diminished. It was obviously quite a major one, so he went quickly rather than hanging on even longer. Strength, confidence, ability. Attributes which were apparent in the lucid moments when he could articulate just how frustrating his condition was, slowly receded, leaving a shell into which his mind slowly crawled.

Bereavement affects us in different ways. I thought I'd got over some of the weirder gremlins in that week between death and funeral, but it had yet a final touch for me.

Now wavy line yourself back to the crematorium.

The words of the funeral assistant caused furtive glances between us as we went in to the viewing room, and I really was taken aback by what I saw.
The years of face-drop from the strokes had combined and been amplified by the rigor mortis, forcing his face into a grim rictus, gaunt flesh stretched over bone only increasing the effect. Imagine the mummy from Bubba-Ho-Tep doing an Elvis sneer impression and you'll not be far off, half his emaciated top lip drawn up level with his nose.

First impressions? Ok, I know that death isn't the prettiest of things sometimes, but fuck! Look at him! All those stages of bereavement went through me again in the space of a minute. Fear, horror, acceptance, denial, all finally defeated by the guilty humour that washed over me. I held back the laughter at the time, thinking it was a natural part of mourning- a method of dealing with what I was seeing, but now, many years later, I still find it funny. This man, sneering at death itself, not going out without a fight, if not defeating the illness itself, then berating it's method of deliverance. At least, that's what I tell myself.

So- He went in a closed casket, the curtains drew together, on him and his life, and I like to think that as the flames licked him, that mocking sneer scared the shit out of the reaper as much as it did me.
(, Sat 13 Apr 2013, 10:57, 7 replies)
My gran had 3 funerals, which is good going.
She left her body to medical science, so there was quite a different order to things.

She died (gawdrester), and then we had Funeral 1. This was distinctive in that she wasn't physically present. That being the case, there was no real urgency to get moving with it - no rush to dispose of her body etc. So we were able to wait a couple of months so that far-flung relatives could make the event. It was a humanist affair, as she wasn't of the religious persuasion, and really good - just a memorial to her and a good booze up.

Funeral 2 will have taken place at whatever medical institution benefitted from her mortal remains. Once they've finished with the cadaver they have a small do where the students/researchers pay respect to the people on whose bodies they have been working, prior to their cremation.

Funeral 3 was a good couple of years after she's originally died, when her eldest daughter received her ashes back. That was a much smaller affair - just her daughters, grandkids and great grandkids. We had a good barbecue lunch together, a good few drinks, then her two sons-in-law, who's always had a challenging relationship with her over their association, took great relish in placing a large stone over her final resting place in a quiet corner of their garden.

No punchline, just a (hopefully) interesting angle on the process.

Having some extra time to deal with things in the case of Funeral 1 was a real bonus - everyone had that much longer to come to terms with things, there was no frantic rushing around, and it was a much better celebration of her life than might otherwise have been the case. She was a great great lady and is still missed to this day.

Gotta dash - something in my eye.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 16:49, 1 reply)
As a lad, as I'm sure I've mentioned, I was in the Scouts. One of our Scout leader tragically died in a hillwalking accident, so we attended his funeral. We were at the tea afterwards, when there's coffee, tea and a smattering of biscuits and fancy pieces.

We're young and not too aware of mortality and have lots of energy. Conversation turns to films.

"What films have you seen recently, Chinaman?" one of my woggle-necked chums asked.

Without thinking I gave the honest-to-god answer (and keep in mind that this was about 1994). "Cliff Hanger. And Shallow Grave."
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:50, Reply)
Bit of pea roast.
When my grandma passed away I went with my parents and my cousin to visit her body in the chapel of rest. She'd been
in hospital for a few weeks after having a stroke and unfortunately it had all gone down hill from there.
We were shown to the room and I was slightly surprised to see a handmade card in my grandma's hand.
It read:
"Get well soon Nan"
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 22:22, 1 reply)
Shouldn't have gone to Spacesavers
A good few years ago I went to the funeral of H, I girl I had known through work. Lovely girl, v good-looking, v fit and only recently-married when, at the age of 29, she had a heart attack in her sleep and her poor husband woke up to find her dead in bed next to him. The funeral was as sad as funerals often are for those who haven’t had the chance to live a full life. Lots of mourners at the graveside, lots and lots of tears as the coffin was lowered slowly into the grave – and came to a halt halfway down.

One of H’s peculiar characteristics was that she had v broad shoulders – you would think she worked out if you didn’t know her. I remembered some talk of having to have a coffin especially made for this reason but hadn’t thought much about it. Sadly, though, no-one had thought to tell the council grave-diggers who hadn’t dug the grave wide enough and who were now scratching their heads. Wondering what to do. It was made even worse by the fact they couldn’t pull the coffin back out, either – it was well and truly stuck.
It all got a bit heated – poor husband walking round in circles, muttering to himself – as if things weren’t bad enough already. Lots of talk about how shameful, disgraceful and undignified it was, how those responsible should be strung up (at least they were in the right place for it). Tempers and emotions were running understandably high and it nearly turned into a mini-riot. All we could do was leave the grave-diggers to sort it out, so we all trooped off to the wake.

I was one of the last to leave and I swear, when I turned to look back from the gates, I saw one of the diggers jump up and down on the coffin to tray and force it into the grave. Fucking bizarre, but I always thought that H would have seen the funny side of it all. It was as if she was determined not to go without raging against the dying of the light in some small way.
(, Sun 14 Apr 2013, 11:56, 2 replies)
When my mate died
The wake ended with fifteen of us, despite our collective lack of physical fitness, somehow committing to run in the following year's Great North Run, which we did, raising £20,000 for charideeeee in the process. Incidentally, it would have been his birthday today. Happy Birthday Fluff, you're still missed.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 20:27, 1 reply)
The Old Man's send off
My old man's final send off was a bit of a disaster. My brother (he's a big fucker, over 6'5") and I (5'10") were pall bearers. For some reason the fat twat's coping strategy pre-funeral involved getting pissed beforehand, and then necking a generous hip flask of booze before we set off with Dad on our shoulders.

The first problem - the door to the church was too narrow for the coffin and bearers, so there needed to be some delicate manoeuvring to get through in a dignified way. I'm at the front (Dad's already feet down because of the height difference between ape-cunt and the rest of us), but the arsehole is already too pissed to notice what's going on, so he's fucking *pushing* from the back whilst the rest of us are trying to stop the coffin from popping into the church and crashing to the floor.

The second problem was getting the old fella into the ground. All the pall bearers are supposed to lower the ropes together so that the coffin comes to a dignified rest at the bottom, all straight and level. But when the vicar gave the signal, the stupid twat starts paying out the rope like he's letting out a sail and the coffin ends up at a very Jimmy Savillesque 45 degrees. To top it off, one of the mourners peers into to the hole to see what's going on and drops his fucking glasses in.

Classy funeral.

(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 19:53, 1 reply)
My youngest burst into tears when I told her we were going to visit Granny and Grandpa in Devon

...she thought I'd said Heaven.

Ironically, Granny did die shortly afterwards
(, Tue 16 Apr 2013, 16:08, 5 replies)
Short but sweet.

All dressed up to attend my god-daughter's husband's funeral, traditional black suit, white shirt, black tie. Now the bus stop is not too close to the crematorium and so a 1\2 mile walk was needed to get there. Turned out to be a lovely day and I took my time with a slow amble and a bit of an enjoy of the nice sunshine. That was to be my downfall. For many years I have had eye problems which culminated in prescribed dark glasses. Crossing from light to shade I went momentarily blind and walked straight into a lamp-post, gash to the forehead, claret everywhere and me attending the funeral looking like I'd just arrived from the set of Reservoir Dogs.

Do we still do length jokes? It was about 2 inches.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 17:51, Reply)
My father used to potter around town on one of those electric bikes. It was a menace. He fell off it regularly, causing traffic jams as people gallantly rushed to his aid.
Also, as he rarely charged it up it would go flat on him and various family members would have to go out and rescue him and the bike.

Once I drove over a very large steep hill and to my surprise spotted him halfway up the other side, slowly pushing the bike in the middle of the road, with a queue of angry motorists behind him, honking and gesticulating. I parked up, shoved the bike up the hill (on the pavement!) and sent him on his way down the other side. Somewhere I still have the video I made of him freewheeling away, waving one arm in the air. It always makes me chuckle.

Dad was not only stubborn and inconsiderate, he was also terminally sexist - to him women were a sort of subspecies who were incapable of rational thought. Dunno how we all put up with him, really.

Anyway… on the day of his funeral my brother, in the first car with my mother, suddenly pointed out that both the undertaker and minister were female, and wouldn't Dad have been FURIOUS about that!
My mother and brother giggled a bit, and then the other brother looked out of the window and pointed out how slowly they were moving. 'He's still holding the traffic up, then!'

At that point they all gave up trying to be serious and just belly-laughed!
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 16:05, Reply)
I hate to be somber and change the mood, but I am going to.
I've started to arrange my own funeral. I'm early 30's and have been diagnosed with a genetic disorder that has attacked my organs, in a not too happy clappy way; they're broken.

The thing is, I don't really like big ceremonies, and I am tight fisted, so I don't want anything more than a cardboard box and then to be cremated. I haven't decided where to have my ashes put. But I can't stress how much I don't want a song nor dance.

It's quite weird having to do this type of stuff, it's almost as though you're writing instructions for someone else. I hope everyone can remember me with laughter, but it pains me that people will be upset.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 15:47, 27 replies)
I'm planning my dad's
He's not dead yet but he's got a degenerative disease so it's best to plan ahead

I'm going to play the Ying Tong Song by the Goons and Jazz Delicious Hot Disgusting Cold by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band because they are impossible to listen to without smiling and he liked them. No point being completely miserable is there?
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 15:10, 8 replies)
It was a difficult time
for my Mom's side of the family. She had only one sibling and no cousins to speak of, and Fred's wife Joanna had only one sibling, a developmentally disabled woman who had spent most of her life in institutions.

Joanna had died of cancer. Both Fred and Jo were doctors, so they knew the real scoop almost immediately, and she chose to forgo treatment in favor of a morphine drip at home with her favorite foods. It took far too long for her to go, really, so when she went it was something of a relief.

Nonetheless it was hard for Fred and his kids, so Mom insisted that my sisters and I go with her to the memorial service in support of her side of the family. We did, of course, and it was a teary occasion. Their oldest son made a speech which was both funny and sad as he told of his dad having no idea how to cook and thinking that the microwave was some strange sort of TV. His descriptions of his mother taking most of her calories through hot fudge sundaes now that she didn't have to worry about getting fat got a laugh, leaving us all a bit misty, and even the sister stood up to speak a very few words.

After we went to Fred's house for the reception, and he was very happy to see all of us there. Mom was very supportive, even though she and Joanna had never really gotten along well- they were two extremely strong-willed women, so the clash was inevitable. Mom was a force to be reckoned with in her day, verging on domineering, which Jo disliked- probably because she was pretty similar.

As we stood there, Mom spotted Jo's sister in the crowd. She quietly said to me "I should go over and introduce myself, as she probably doesn't remember me."

I watched as Mom made her way to the sister, Mom smiling and showing a very sympathetic expression as she introduced herself. I saw the sister give a look of recognition and say a few words, at which point Mom's expression changed to something very odd. She recovered and smiled again and spoke, then made her way toward me with the same shocked expression I had seen across the room.

"Well? How did it go?"

"I told her who I was and she said, 'Oh, I know you! You're the one Joanna always referred to as the General!'" Mom said this in a deeply offended tone, rage starting to show through.

I looked at Mom's fury building and about pissed myself laughing. After a moment of shocked offense at me her expression cracked and she laughed harder than I had seen in years. We stood there gasping with tears running down our faces and holding each other up as the others stared in surprise.

Jo, I know that you didn't mean it to be funny, but thanks for that. Even Fred cracked up later when she told him.
(, Tue 16 Apr 2013, 18:51, 5 replies)
When my great grandmother died I was four years old.
My parents had nobody to leave me with so they took me to the burial. They didn't want to upset me so they left me in the nice big posh car and went to the service. Getting out of the car someone shut my fingers in the door. I would have made a brilliant mourner with all the weeping and howling I did.
(, Sun 14 Apr 2013, 19:56, Reply)

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