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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.

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)
My brother's best quote
Milling around moderately aimlessly outside a crematorium, murmuring "lovely service" and such to one another, didn't quite fly with my elder brother after my great Aunt's funeral.

On spotting the crematorium's chimney suddenly belching out a pillar of black smoke, he turned to me and said "Thar she blows!"
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 19:50, 5 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)
I just prodded a dead snail through some hose pipe with a tent peg.

(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 19:07, 3 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)
Granny in law
I was never close to my grandparents. My Dad's mum died when I was six, and his step-dad was a cunt, so nothing there. My mum's dad died when she was ten and her mum then went nuts, so the only contact I had with her was at Christmas when we visited her in the home. She obviously had no idea who my brother and I were (she barely recognised my mum), so the yearly visits were canned after I got to about ten years old.

When other people talk about all the fun times they had with grandparents I have nothing to give to that conversation. Nothing.

Anyway, this is about my granny-in-law. My girlfriend and I had known each other for about 6 months before I was introduced to granny. What I was introduced to was a demanding, attention seeking old dodderer who was cantankerous to the last, yet somehow revered by the whole family. She even had the balls to proclaim that she 'stole the show' at her own daughter's wedding. She used to shuffle so slowly that death crawling on broken glass might have caught up with her. One time when I was waiting in perfect, painful silence with her in the lounge at the family home, she jumped off a chair and picked up a pound coin on the floor with a youthfulness that belied her grand old age. Just two minutes later, in view of the rest of the family she was complaining of being 'in constant pain' and would need help to go to the bathroom.

Things got steadily worse, her heart was failing and then the incontinence started. Think of the worst piss you have ever had after a night out, then double it. I could see when she was abut to realise she was in trouble and I became the family piss canary, whenever I was there. I thought incontinence was a completely involuntary thing, and a person would have absolutely no clue as to when the flaps would give out, but I suspect it was done on purpose. The 'piss cushion' (my words) was then rushed out at the slightest nod of the head from myself.

Anyway, she carked it. Boo hoo all round, blah blah. The funeral convoy was driving slowly down the high street, which we all watched, before we were to get in our cars and drive to the crematorium.

Then it happened.

It was so obvious that it was a funeral; people in black watching, big black cars driving slowly, etc, but this was too much for two wide-boys driving brand new minis. Instead of winding up their windows and following at a respectful 5 mph, they decided to overtake the hearse while accelerating, with drum and bass booming out of their windows.

All the women in the party were reduced to tears, and the anguish did pour. It was then that I glanced at my youngest brother-in-law, who hated granny. He hated her from the very first time he laid eyes on her, and upon his face was the broadest grin I have yet to see at a funeral.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 17:32, 1 reply)
The saddest death & largest funeral I’ve ever known
When I was a kid my family had Sri Lankan friends who lived in the UK. The father of this family, Joe, was on a business trip to Spain when he was shot & killed by the Spanish police, in front of his daughter, who was accompanying him on the trip as it was half term. This was in 1986 and she was 13.

Apparently they were travelling by taxi from Seville (I think) airport to the city centre when the taxi was stopped by the police. Joe went to undo his seat belt to get out of the car to find out what was going on. A policeman shot him in the neck, the bullet passing in front of his daughter. Later the police officer claimed that he had thought that Joe was reaching for a gun, so shot him in self- defence.

His daughter, my school friend, was flown back by the British government to a private airport in the UK. Joe’s body was brought back separately and he was buried a week or so later. I cannot begin to comprehend the trauma she must have gone through witnessing her father killed, particularly given the way that he died. We’ve lost touch now but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was still having therapy now, nearly 27 years later.

The reaction of the media to Joe’s was disgusting; not in what they reported, but the lengths they went to in order to obtain photos of his wife and daughter. They lived in a flat on the second floor & tabloid photographers established scaffolding on the pavement to get to the same height as the flat in an attempt to take photos of the family through the window. This was before there was any legislation about right to privacy or media intrusion.

Joe was well known in the town, he was active in his church and in other aspects of the community. He was from a large family – at least ten brothers & sisters, all of whom came to the UK for the funeral. One of his brothers was an Anglican minister and he conducted the service. Me and my family were amongst more than 500 people who attended the funeral. 500 pairs of eyes focusing on this 13 year old girl who had watched her father die in a gruesome way. It must have caused additional distress to the family that Regional TV cameras were outside the church together with a large number of the press. There were so many mourners cars that the council chose to close the town one way system to allow all the cars to go from the church to a cemetery a couple of miles away. He was an uncomplicated man and it was an uncomplicated service.

Following his death the local MP got involved to find out exactly what had happened and why. The diplomatic relationship between Spain & UK wasn’t too brilliant at the time, but the MP found out as much as he could and pushed the British Foreign Office to press for justice. The policeman was jailed for just six months for ‘unintentional manslaughter’ and lost his job. The family sued the Spanish government and received around £500k for the loss of Joe’s life. Even if it had been 100 times as much it would never have compensated my friend for the loss of her dad.

As this happened in 1986 there isn’t much detail online about what happened, but I’ve put what links I have been able to find as a reply to this post in case anyone is interested.

(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 16:21, 2 replies)
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)
Monty Python
My dad: looked a little bit like and acted very like a certain John Cleese. So we got the organist to play "Only look on the bright side of life" at his funeral :oD lot's of people thought it was bad taste, my family and I just giggled our way through it
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 14:38, 3 replies)
One thing I would like when I go is the opportunity to make my last words
"The treasure is buried at ... erk!" or similar.

"The secret bank account number is ... erk!" etc.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 14:14, 1 reply)
I want Albinonis adagio in G minor played at my funeral.
It's actually a very funeral like piece of music, but it goes on for a good 10 minutes, which will piss my wife off horribly.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 14:00, 3 replies)
At my funeral
I want people with sharp sticks walking up and down, poking everone in the ribs. If they fail to cry, time for the pepper spray.

Then I want my ashes to be scattered in Alan Shearer's mouth. Maybe save some for Lee Evans too.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 12:57, 3 replies)
I aspire to my passing inspiring the amount of vitriol Thatcher has.
Sadly I imagine it will be a lonely affair, and will probably require forensic analysis.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 12:30, Reply)
A risky gambit
My mother died suddenly a few months ago. Luckily, if that's the word, my sister and I were visiting at the time, so could help my father with the arrangements. The funeral director came around to discuss the various options.

After we'd helped our father make his choices, we were just chatting with the funeral director before he left. I can't remember how it came about, but he started talking about Harold Shipman - the doctor who was Britain's most prolific serial killer. Now, given that our mother had just died unexpectedly in hospital, I wouldn't have thought that that was a subject that should be casually brought up!

As it happens, none of us were offended, but that was a conversational gambit that could have gone very, very wrong for him...
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 11:22, 1 reply)
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)
I've told the family
that when I finally snuff it, I want a George A. Romero theme funeral. Nobody turns up without looking like they've just clawed their way out of their own grave.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 9:15, 2 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)
Oh yeah?
Probably the strangest funeral I've ever attended was for my grandfather, who passed near the end of October, and as fate had it, the service was given on the evening of Halloween. We had driven nearly 1000 miles to make the service, with our four young children at the time, between the ages of 6 and 10 - the very ages that revere Halloween trick-or-treat as the single greatest annual experience of over-the-counter hallucinogenic treats freely given by strangers for the casual use of minors.
They were actually angels about the whole thing, a surreal, Haloween-eve fire-and-brimstone wrath of God service given by a southern-Kentucky Christian fundamentalist minister, complete with open casket and a fair contingent of "touchers" (gotta touch the body, ya know) o_0
On the way back home we let them do some Halloween shopping to cheer them up, not that it helped that much. I did eventually get some smiles when I told them, "Look; If anybody in school asks what you did on Halloween, just tell them you went to see a dead body."
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 3:50, Reply)
my nan's funeral.
my nan was a proper Cockerny - born within the sound of Bow Bells in 1914. She died at the age of 79 and her funeral service was in Rochford.

As the vicar started the bit about how lovely my Nanny was, he elaborated on how she would 'knit blanket squares for the poor'. Now, dear old Nanny would rather have choked on 20 Rothmans than help the 'poor'.

Cue my sister and I legging it outside and weeping with laughter over that poor Vicar who had someone else's notes...
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 22:54, 7 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)
Twice cooked this one - no cremation jokes.
My mum's funeral.
The taste of roasted pea - dig it up when I cba.
We'd had the churchy bit (according to her wishes - liked to cover all her bases did my mummy) and then we all flew down the freeway behind the hearse to Pinnaroo - the local "stick-em-in-the-ground" spot. My besty Ron-as-in-Later (who has since chosen to do the mortal coil shuffle himself) was supposed to be 1 of the pall-bearers.
He managed to get lost. On a 10 min. freeway run. Behind the hearse and entourage.
After we waited for about 10 mim., shuffling our feet and the like I decided to pull the pin. I sequestered Ron's dad as fill in and told the bloke to get on with the burial uttering the immortal line -
"I know that mum wouldn't want to be late for her own funeral".
Lead balloon.
Ron turned up a couple of minutes later and at least he thought it was mildly funny.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 22:16, Reply)
At least funerals are better than weddings
Look at it this way:

1. You still get free food
2. They're much shorter
3. You don't have to buy anyone a present
4. There's rarely a godawful disco afterwards

Cremations are a bit depressing because of the production line system; as soon as the service is finished, the next family is waiting to get in. You don't get enough burials these days.

I'm going to put £5,000 behind the bar for my wake. Even the people who hated me will think I was a good bloke, once they've had 10 pints.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 21:52, 2 replies)
Family funeral hypocrisy ‘fun’
My family are a very strange group of people, hence why I haven’t had anything to do with them (apart from my grandmother before she died) for a very long time, other than basic contact and only when completely necessary.

My mother had refused to have anything to do with her mother-in-law for nearly 20 years & wouldn’t have her in the house. My father is an only child, so my gm had no other family. This meant that my grandmother spent a lot of time alone as she lived about 80 miles away (I did what I could when I could), including every Christmas alone for 20 years. My father, who has the backbone of a blancmange, went along with this so as not to upset my mother.

When my grandmother died at the age of 95 four years ago I found out after a couple of days that they were planning on my mother reading the eulogy at her cremation.

WTF. There are lots & lots of strange things that have gone on with my family, but this was fucking appalling.

I had gone along with all the other choices, helped my father with the arrangements (it’s a strange thing helping your dad chose a coffin for his mother), but there was no way I was going to allow this to happen. I called my father and politely told him that the hypocrisy of this was unacceptable. I understood he was too upset to speak at the service and said I didn’t mind who else would do it, but it just wasn’t on. In the end we agreed that the vicar would do the eulogy instead.

To this day I cannot believe that bare faced hypocrisy.

Tl;dr – my family are cunts, even when it comes to burying the dead.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 21:22, 12 replies)
At my uncles funeral
well, not my real Uncle, my parents mate who they had known forever, that sort of Uncle.
He and his lovely wife, who had died before him, were active members of the church and knew the local priest well.
The priest delivered a moving tribute including heaping praise on him for the love he had lavished on his 2 children who they had so kindly adopted and cared for as their own. I looked at my brother and had to do everything to stifle my entirely inappropriate laughter, and ended up having to slide down the pew to get away from the look of horror on his face.
It was a bit of a shock to everyone present really as he definitely had 3 kids, who were all there, and most of the congregation had witnessed both the baby bumps and subsequent little ones just after they had been born. To both parents.
The crematorium didn't help either as he was being rolled away behind the curtain my brother looked at me with a face of utter confusion and mouthed 'Why the hell are they playing the theme tune from Z-Cars?'
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 21:13, Reply)
Officiating at a funeral
The priest officiating at my grandmother's funeral was a transplant from Ecuador recently beamed down into the parish. He followed a written script with personal pronouns replaced with (he/she), so the text could used for someone of either sex. Predictably, my grandmother's sex flipped back and forth erratically throughout the service.

My cousin's funeral was held last month while the conclave in Rome was being held to choose a new pope. The officiating priest stated that my cousin was such a good man that the new pope would choose my cousin's name as a gesture of respect. Didn't happen, but I liked the thought!
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 20:20, 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)
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)
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 mate's dad wanted Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer played at his wake as he was a Welsher.
What he probably didn't want, but which the DJ apparently thought was close enough, was this:

(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 18:08, 5 replies)
Tempting Fate!
Told to me by a good friend and fellow Headteacher, and although truncated, is nevertheless true.

One of her teaching staff came to her to ask for some time off for her mother's funeral. Nothing wrong with that you think. As a Head, I never refused anybody time off for a funeral. If they felt they had to go, they just had to ask. And I never stopped anyone any pay. What? Oh, the story. She'd had a week off the month before................................... for her mother's funeral! Questions, needless to say, were asked, resulting in a disciplinary hearing later that term. Turns out she'd fancied a week off, only for her mother to meet a very sad, and untimely, end soon after.

Sometimes it doesn't do to tempt Mrs Fate, she has a nasty way of getting her own back.
(, Thu 11 Apr 2013, 18:08, 3 replies)

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