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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.

speeding along...
At the funeral of my late father-in-law we were travelling at a somewhat sedate pace along a dual carriageway in Luton. His widow piped up: "Well this seems a bit ridiculous, he never drove down here at the speed limit, let alone as slowly as this". Very rare to get a moment of complete amusement but the laughter that ensued was very genuine.
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 20:23, Reply)
Funeral parlours
When we were looking for accommodation for our daughter, who was about to start at Goldsmiths, we drove the surrounding townships in That London! Never seen anything like it! I'd heard and read about drive-by shootings down there, but didn't realise that you could go drive-by shopping for your own casket!!! Seven in one High Street. Grandmother would not have approved!

Ye Gods and Little Fishes, I'm glad I live Ooop North!
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 17:50, Reply)
In Nottingham there's a Funeral Director's called "Rob them of their jewellery then say they were not wearing any when they came in & Keep a collection of Polaroids of the genitalia of corpses"
True story. Must be a hoot when they answer the 'phone.
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 16:28, 7 replies)
In Twickenham there's a funeral directors called "Wake & Paine"
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 15:19, 3 replies)
omg it was jus soooooo funny!
i LITERALLY died!!!!!!!!!111!!!!1!
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 15:02, 2 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)
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)
There used to be two funeral directors near me called "Bakers" and "Skinners". What a choice!
Now Bakers' daughter has apparently married, so the company owners' names are "Bakers and Tanners".

I think there's a Cooks, too.

Afterthought: why do funeral directors offer an "Emergency Service"?
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 10:24, 8 replies)
Blimey, this week has been a fucking hoot, hasn't it?
Who's coming to qotw's funeral then?
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 9:56, 3 replies)
Everyone should leave their body to science.
It's just meat.

There's no point in getting all emotional about it - the person is dead.

Since there's no god or heaven or hell, nothing's going to happen but it rot, so you might as well use the body for education and experiments.

(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 9:41, 28 replies)
The family paedo was recently laid to rest.
So he finally died. I'm sorry that I can't say I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I want to know if he suffered or not. I'm sorry that we don't know if he was sorry. I'm sorry if I'm an ass about it-- it just seems like someone should be, and he took that power away from his victims.

The funeral service was small and private, just like most of his activities. A few of us attended, we agreed, just to make sure he was really dead. A small urn of ashes is all that is left of him. I don't know if it is better or worse that we didn't have one last chance to see him, and see him dead in his coffin, and know that at last they are safe from him. Damn!
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 9:39, 7 replies)
My Gramp died 4 years ago
Before he had a stroke, and lost his ability to talk, he had always joked with my Mum about his funeral arrangements.

Nobody was to wear black, everyone had to be as colourful as possible.

He was a big fan of Queen and had chosen two songs he wanted played:
'Who Wants to Live Forever' while his coffin was wheeled into the crem.
'Don't Stop Me Now' as his coffin was conveyed into the furnace at the end of the surface.

Unfortunately I missed the funeral because I was out of the country, but apparently it was a fantastic day. A real celebration of his life rather than a mourning of his death.
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 8:14, 2 replies)
Good old Mum
On the way to my father's cremation,in a rather dilapidated mourner's car, my mother innocently flicked open the ashtray and then said "Hmm, they might have emptied this after the last one". When we passed a lorry labelled "Chard Meat Company", it became too much for all of us and we had to take some time to stop laughing before arriving at the crem.
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 3:17, Reply)
Been to many the past few years.
Dads was a bummer, the state I was in. There was a piss up with relatives the night before, I got up early day of the funeral to tidy up for the old dear. There was shed loads of half empty cans and bottles, so I hoovered these up. Realised I was drunk, and with the weed and Valium I'd boshed, I could hardly stand, so it was marching powder for to get me walking in a straight line. so, sorry dad, I was out my fucking skull for your day in the crem. Still miss you mate.
At least I was reasonably sober for mums. Miss you too, like anything.
(, Sun 14 Apr 2013, 21:01, 2 replies)
My old bluray player just died.
Five years and two months.
It's tragedies like this that really bring it all home, eh?
(, Sun 14 Apr 2013, 20:03, 21 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)
A little known fact
You know that wooden platform the coffin sits on in a hearse? There's a compartment underneath for another coffin. If the funeral director has two funerals in a morning (or afternoon), they'll often load up with both the stiffs and surreptitiously pull the second one out after the first funeral (I'm assuming they do this at the crematorium or church, not in a picnic area somewhere). Efficient, you see.
(, Sun 14 Apr 2013, 15:16, 5 replies)
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)
Here's a little something I wrote elsewhere

Depressing as all get out

(, Sun 14 Apr 2013, 5:15, 2 replies)
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Our local cemetery has a bell tower from which reocrded carillon music is broadcast during the day, no doubt with the intention of creating a pleasant atmosphere for funerals, visiting loved noes and so on. I recently attended the funeral of one of our Legion members. Jack, who was a Navy veteran of WW2, had been cremated and his ashes were to be interred along with those of his wife, who had died a few years before. Jack wanted them to be buried at the same time so they could truly be together as they were in life. As we stood, heads bowed, beside the grave, the bell tower started to play - of all things - "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes". I had a very hard time keeping a suitably solemn expression. Jack would have loved it. Lest We Forget.
(, Sat 13 Apr 2013, 17:54, 1 reply)
updated pearoast - my dad
At the time of our dad dying my sister and I were pretty broke. He wanted a cremation and we chose a cardboard coffin for the job. Cheap, eco friendly and delivered to your door in flat pack.

After assembling it looked rather manky - a great big grey cardboard coffin shaped box slap bang in the middle of my living room. I am not sure of what we were expecting but it was miserable. Searching the cupboards I found a tin of lime green color emulsion and a few coats of that paint worked a treat. It brightened up the coffin to an almost luminescent glow. Then to finish it off I scanned some of his artwork and glued A4 copies to the lid and sides.

And sorry dad I know you wanted to be cremated staring at your paintings of your ex girlfriend's flaps on the inside of the lid but we just could not bring ourselves to do it.

Just to add: On the day of the cremation one of his brothers had a large 5 ft wreath the shape of a spliff made. The funeral procession through SE London was kinda eerie with that along side this painted day glow style coffin in the hearse.

At West Norwood Cemetery we played in with Jimi Hendricks "All Along the Watchtower", played Van Morrison "Beautiful Vision" half way through and finished with Bob Marley "Kaya". After that it was the standard wake, his pissed ex alcoholic gf making a tit of herself and the usual over apologetic relatives with various amounts of guilt tripping over themselves, but at least I think we did him proud. Still miss you dad.
(, Sat 13 Apr 2013, 17:01, 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)
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)
Probably more about the deaths than the funerals, but....+ a roasted pea with extra trimmings.
"Fuck off Gabe and put him on the phone"

I had spoken to my mate Alex on Thurs. he was gonna come to my place on Fri. arvo. He was going to come from the hospital pharmacy where he was doing his internship (a couple of blocks from mine and close to the city centre) and then we were going to head into town. On the piss. & what not.
@ about 1730 I rang his old mans place to query where he was. His brother answered. I asked where Alex was. He faltered & then said "You haven't heard"
"Alex is dead." "Fuck off Gabe put Alex on" says I, thinking this was 1 of many attempts by his bro to stir shit.
It wasn't.
He'd topped himself at his dad's house, after work. His old man had found him dead on the living room couch.
That moment of absolute horror and terror realising that someone I loved was dead will never leave me. You know that feeling when you're on a plane and it feels as tho your stomach drops - it's a lot like that except it's a lot more unpleasant. I was crying as I typed this.
The funeral was at Pinnaroo - it was fairly formal and a lot more religious than Alex probably would've wanted. His old man and siblings had recently been born-again, hence the religious overtones. Whenever we go to visit my mum's grave I always drop by to say g'day. And my daughter (even tho he was dead 9 years before her birth) always makes sure she saves some sparkly sprinkles to throw on his grave.
"The Sleeper must Awaken." & I miss you Little Geek.

Risnd scratched my anchor.

A couple of years ago my best friend "Ron-As-In-Later" killed himself (probably accidentally - I still don't know, when I found out I didn't endear myself to many of his other friends by going on a rant about how selfish he'd been in making his own quietus).
It was the day that he'd quit his job to start studying, he was heading over to the UK with his ex and kids for a holiday a few weeks later; he'd been separated (very amicably) for a couple of years and had spent a lot of that time regressing back to teenage-dom. He managed to sow the last few of his remaining wild oats, drank bottles of bourbon like he was 17 again and partook in all sorts of recreational drugs.
But he was 37.
At 17 your body can probably 'bounce back' from a lot of that sort of behavior. 20 years on, not so much bounce as splat!
The 2 things that sadden me (aside from the obvious loss) - I think he just celebrated too hard and accidentally overdosed. Also, the week before Christmas FFS! The least he could've done is do it on 29th of Feb. That would've been vaguely cool.

He used to treat me as his 'confessor' which meant that every time he'd had a hit or fucked some random girly I was the one that he told about it, often in fine detail - he was very careful about 'compartmentalizing' information. So anything I knew, he made sure that other people wouldn't.

His cremation was fucked. Lots of people wondering how he died (including me) and a "nice" service with a vaguely local celeb feel. I squatted up the back crying. I got the feeling that everyone was staring at me.
Like I could give a fuck.

Burying my two best friends - sucks doughnut?
(, Sat 13 Apr 2013, 9:15, Reply)
When my aged parents moved to sheltered accommodation - a gorgeous flat in a prime location - Ma noticed that a house across the road was often on fire.
It came up in convo one day so I took a look, and concluded that it was the town crematorium chimney in the next street.

As Mother is computer-savvy, I showed her the local Funeral Diary online. She was spellbound: she could now look up, if she wished, the identity of whoever's smoke she saw drifting across the rooftops. And she does.

Not ghoulish at all.
(, Sat 13 Apr 2013, 0:17, 2 replies)
Good mate of mine...
Schoolmate of a long time sadly passed away quite a while ago after losing his battle with leukemia. He was a great guy, after leaving school he worked for a clothing company concession. Had it all, plenty of cash, natural honest charm and a god-given gift with the ladies.

One day he just decided that things weren't quite right with the world and gave it all up, I lost contact at this point as he moved away. Next thing I heard he was living in tents, protesting against the destruction of the countryside and stuff. Fast forward a couple of years and he was back home after being diagnosed. Saw him a few times, always upbeat and happy. Was praying that he would come out the other side but alas not :(

On the day of the funeral the church service was attened, all dressed in standard attire. When we arrived at the cemetary his friends from his protesting (hippy?) days were there. Dressed what most people would call scruffy, dirty, trampy etc. Not an eyebrow was raised and they were the most polite, nicest people you could wish to meet.

I miss him to this day, Martin you were a legend.

TL;DR Mates funeral, hippies turned up an no-one said anything.

Off for a cry now :-(
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 21:52, 1 reply)

(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 21:49, 2 replies)

I know a couple who a few years ago purchased a house in a (very) rural part of the south west. Tiny little country lane to their home, no neighbours for at least a mile in any direction, not even any light pollution.

After they had been there a couple of years a private company applied for planning permission to build a crematorium about 200 yards away. Despite their nimby behaviour – writing to the council etc. to lobby against the planning, permission was granted. The crem’ was built and opened. They reckoned that the value of their house declined by about £200,000 if anyone would ever want to buy it and live that close to a body oven.

The only revenge that could be thought of? That the funeral instructions in husband’s will stated that he wanted to be cremated there when he died. With a stick of dynamite shoved up his arse.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 21:02, 2 replies)
The family afflicted
An old work colleague aptly called the Mekon (he had a head a little bit like this) used to work with us a few years ago. Well I say work, he was off sick more than Jade Goody and most probs had holiday photos of the office as he only spent what seemed like 2 weeks a year there. It was usually excuses with his back that got him off work, then he suddenly and unfortunately had to attend a funeral. Then another. Then his grans. Then his grandads. Then his other grans. Then his uncles. Then his auntie. Then his other grandad. This was over the course of about 3-4 months.

HR got a bit suspect when he announced that he had to attend his gran's funeral again, making it 3 times (maybe they do things differently in Carmathen, the biology gets a bit clouded past Ammanford). He made some excuse advising it was a nickname they gave a friend of the family and took it off anyway.

So either he was the Carmarthen Ripper or running rapidly out of excuses. In the end he changed job and got employed with the Carmarthen council; apparently he turned up for the first day of work wearing a neck brace.
(, Fri 12 Apr 2013, 20:39, 1 reply)

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