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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.

"They're heavier than they look, aren't they?"
"You think she was heavy ... you should have carried your dad."
"Christ he was fat."

At which point the world's most po-faced vicar stalked out of the church to find me and another pall bearer leaning on the hearse in fits of laughter. His mouth puckered up like a cat's arse.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 18:04, Reply)
Was there a funeral....
.....the day the music died?
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 18:03, 10 replies)
I went to a funeral where the one with the ears died and they launched him into the sun and ah no wait that was star wars wasn't it?

(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 17:58, 1 reply)
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)
Dress code optional.
I travelled for a bit down under a way back and spent some time picking various fruit in New Zealand, grapes, apples- all that '5 a day' stuff. You'd get covered in juice and god knows what, so you'd always wear shit clothes- hence the countless trips to charity shops to see what other people had deemed unwearable.

Having spent a good ten minutes searching the racks of T-Shirts (because if you are going to wear a crappy T Shirt, it may as well have an amusing slogan or a cartoon of a man having sex with a pig on it), I noticed a man opposite me rifling though a section devoted to vests. He already had some somewhat faded black jeans slung over his arm and had selected a charcoal vest.

We had made eye contact so I gave him the 'alright?' nod and he replied 'I hate shopping- I've got a funeral this weekend.'

I'm sure it was a classy affair that had coverage in the Times.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 17:35, Reply)
A 10th century Arab Muslim writer named Ahmad ibn Fadlan produced a description of a funeral of a viking chieftain. This is how I'd like my funeral to go:
The dead chieftain was put in a temporary grave which was covered for ten days until they had sewn new clothes for him. One of his thrall women volunteered to join him in the afterlife and she was guarded day and night, being given a great amount of intoxicating drinks while she sang happily. When the time had arrived for cremation, they pulled his longship ashore and put it on a platform of wood, and they made a bed for the dead chieftain on the ship. Thereafter, an old woman referred to as the "Angel of Death" put cushions on the bed. She was responsible for the ritual.

Then they disinterred the chieftain and gave him new clothes. In his grave, he received intoxicating drinks, fruits and a stringed instrument. The chieftain was put into his bed with all his weapons and grave offerings around him. Then they had two horses run themselves sweaty, cut them to pieces, and threw the meat into the ship. Finally, they sacrificed a hen and a cock.

Meanwhile, the thrall girl went from one tent to the other and had sexual intercourse with the men. Every man told her "tell your master that I did this because of my love to him". While in the afternoon, they moved the thrall girl to something that looked like a door frame, where she was lifted on the palms of the men three times. Every time, the girl told of what she saw. The first time, she saw her father and mother, the second time, she saw all her relatives, and the third time she saw her master in the afterworld. There, it was green and beautiful and together with him, she saw men and young boys. She saw that her master beckoned for her. By using intoxicating drinks, they thought to put the thrall girl in an ecstatic trance that made her psychic and through the symbolic action with the door frame, she would then see into the realm of the dead. The same ritual also appears in the Icelandic short story Völsa þáttr where two pagan Norwegian men lift the lady of the household over a door frame to help her look into the otherworld.

Thereafter, the thrall girl was taken away to the ship. She removed her bracelets and gave them to the old woman. Thereafter she removed her finger rings and gave them to the old woman's daughters, who had guarded her. Then they took her aboard the ship, but they did not allow her to enter the tent where the dead chieftain lay. The girl received several vessels of intoxicating drinks and she sang and bade her friends farewell.

Then the girl was pulled into the tent and the men started to beat on the shields so her screams could not be heard. Six men entered into the tent to have intercourse with the girl, after which they put her onto her master's bed. Two men grabbed her hands, and two men her wrists. The angel of death put a rope around her neck and while two men pulled the rope, the old woman stabbed the girl between her ribs with a knife. Thereafter, the relatives of the dead chieftain arrived with a burning torch and set the ship aflame. It is said that the fire facilitates the voyage to the realm of the dead, but unfortunately, the account does not tell to which realm the deceased was to go.

Afterwards, a round barrow was built over the ashes and in the centre of the mound they erected a staff of birch wood, where they carved the names of the dead chieftain and his king. Then they departed in their ships.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 17:33, 6 replies)
Thank god Thatcher came to power.
Or the graves would be still be un-dug. Millions of corpses rotting in the beds they died in.

God rest her soul.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 17:05, 4 replies)
The last funeral I went to made it into You've Been Framed!
Or at least the Wake did.


Made me £300 when I sold the video to MTV as well.

Fantastic piss up!
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 17:01, Reply)
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 student
at one of our older universities. We occasionally used to do pub crawls just around the bars of different colleges. It was a bit of variation without having to go to normal pubs, where they expected you to pay normal prices for a pint.

Anyone, one pleasant summer evening, after having a few rounds already, we decided to wander into one of our favourite college bars. It had a certain olde worlde charm and a good selection of beers, and a few arcade games. It was unusually busy that evening, but quite somber, and it didn't really look like a student age group. A couple of us went over to the machines in the corner and started a game, a few sat down, and I wandered over to the bar, with it being my round, to order several pints. Whilst waiting, I started nibbling on a sausage roll from a plate that had been left on the bar.

The barman drifts over, leans well over the bar so his face is close to mine, and whispers 'You do know this is a wake, don't you?'. At this point it penetrated through my fuzzled brain that there was a large portrait of a donnish looking fellow propped against the wall, that most people were dressed in black whilst I was wearing shorts and a polo shirt, and that my mates were playing a loud game of Virtua Tennis in the corner. There were also quite a few bemused looking people sat about the place.

Do you remember that episode of the Simpsons where Homer steps backwards slowly into the hedge and disappears, like this? www.gifbin.com/985954

I did that, but out of the door, then I texted my friends once I was outside.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 16:42, Reply)
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)
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)
5 years ago, my dad and three of his friends had a "pre-wake wake"
... based on the fact that someone always says "He would have loved it if he'd been here", so they thought they would be, and if anyone dies during the proceedings, then they've saved at least a quarter of the costs.

The morning of the party, I was sitting at breakfast with him, my sister and her three children.

Dad opened the morning's chatter: "I went to my doctor this week to have my cholestrol checked. He said at my rate I've got about a 15% chance of dying of a heart attack. 'Well!' I thought - 'I'm pretty sure that's how I'd like to go - urk! Dead before I've hit the floor', and then I thought to myself '15%?! That's far too low!'" and helped himself to some more cream in his coffee and butter on his bread.

At this Easter weekend, he invited us all to comment on any particular items of his we'd like him to label to reserve, to reduce any squabbling or anything being accidentally thrown out when he he finally goes.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 15:30, 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)
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)
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:52, 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)
The best funeral I've been to was of a colleague of Mrs Vagabond.
He'd escaped persecution under Castro to Britain, where he'd built a life for himself, never forgetting his roots.

He was a lovely, lovely man, and his funeral consisted of us gathering at a parlour, where he was in an environmentally-friendly wicker coffin. According to his wishes, his son did a quick eulogy of his relationship with his father, and we were then invited to listen to a track by Manu Chao that he was fond of and thought we should all listen to.

Then to the pub to drink the substantial tab he'd put behind the bar.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:44, Reply)
I have been to far far too many funerals of family and friends for my young age...
Or so I believe. 31 years old and attended 5, 3 family members, my sisters boyfriend after he killed himself and a very very close friend after an accidental overdose.

Tragic -yes. Funny - no. Sorry.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:40, 2 replies)
My Dad's funeral
Went off as per normal, hearses, crematorium, eulogies, back to the pub to get absolutely hammered etc.

It went a bit weird when my brother came up to me saying how he'd lost the little bag of weed I'd arranged for him (he'd come from out of town).

After a few moments reflection we realised it must have fallen out of his pocket while we were on the bouncy castle (did I not mention the bouncy castle)?

(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:40, 1 reply)
Having been a pallbearer at a funeral I can tell you that coffins are extremely heavy when full of dead person.

(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:37, 8 replies)
I went to my Nan's funeral.
I was sad because it was upsetting. But I didn't want to hug the world.

2 out of 3 ain't bad.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:35, Reply)
Can i have a day off work to attend
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:33, Reply)

(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:32, Reply)
STUPID TROUSERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:29, 6 replies)
i was dying to get this position
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:28, Reply)
... although I'm hoping to be a little late for my own

The last funeral I went too was a bit of a palarva. It was for this really old fat guy I knew called Charlie Macak. When I knew him he was going a little doolally but he insisted on one claim to fame - that shortly after war, when he was playing in this dance band in Canada, he had co-writen the lyrics to that popular playground classic the "hokey cokey". Anyway there was some confusion at the end of the funeral service as to who would be taking the coffin out to the hearse. Eventually six big burly blokes stepped forward to shoulder the casket and carry it out of the church. They'd only got about halfway down the aisle when one of them buckeled under the weight and the coffin dropped thunderously to the floor. The lid came off and out spilled poor old Charlie. Quick as a flash up jumped the funeral director and assorted ushers and set about getting him back into the coffin, but as soon as they put his left leg in all hell broke loose.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 14:24, 2 replies)

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