b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Funerals II » Post 1933053 | Search
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

« Go Back

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)
I'm sorry, I sniggered at "Bubba-Ho-Tep doing an Elvis sneer impression"
My mate Alex look like he was severely beaten - apparently the lividity combined with his body being handled after death.

My mum was in an open casket - I kissed her on the noggin when I said goodbye. She was cold and they had thoroughly slathered her in petroleum jelly.
They did a good job of getting her dentures in tho.
(, Sat 13 Apr 2013, 11:57, closed)
Don't be sorry, enjoy the moment!-)
Fascinating stuff, the preparation of the dead, full marks to those who do it.

And isn't the cold the weirdest thing?
(, Sat 13 Apr 2013, 12:15, closed)
The cold in the chapel of rest as well as on the body. @ringo, also kissed a deceased loved one goodbye. It feels the right thing to do doesn't it? Doesn't matter they're deadif you loved them.

(, Sun 14 Apr 2013, 20:38, closed)
that seeing or touching the body is what you need to make it all real.
(, Sun 14 Apr 2013, 21:33, closed)
It feels really strange, I remember touching my Mum's hand the day she died, that was just surreal.

(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 11:04, closed)
I had the opposite reaction
After a quick glance, I avoided looking at my mother's body, and certainly had no desire to kiss her. Not squeamish, just didn't want that to be my last memory of her.

By the same token, I declined the offer to watch my kids being delivered by caesarean -- why would I want the image of my wife with her body hacked open to cloud that joyful moment?

Maybe I'm just weird.
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 11:31, closed)
Just 2 sides of a coin I guess.
I made a real effort to see my mates Alex's body (whom I've mentioned this week). It was a real need for a sense of "closure" & altho it wasn't a good experience it was my chance to say goodbye. I didn't have that with the other bloke I wrote about and I think that's one of the reasons the grief from his death still lingers so much for me.
(, Mon 15 Apr 2013, 23:38, closed)
The response to a death,
Is perhaps always going to be directly proportional to the nature or depth of relationship to the deceased.
We behave at that time, as we would if they were still there to witness it, and therein lies our personal closure, or at least the definitive part that is our comprehension of their passing.

And we're all weird, in the same way that we're all normal:-)
(, Wed 17 Apr 2013, 20:39, closed)

« Go Back

Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1