I missed Gay Gordon's funeral service.
I fell asleep on the couch and woke up in my uniform with a pair of surgical forceps poking into my nether regions.
I was annoyed at missing it, for I suspect it would have been an interesting bun fight.
I have only been to one funeral service that could have been described as entertaining. It was the funeral service of a nursing colleague which had been choreographed by a talented humanist speaker who knew just how to balance pathos with mirth. He had the congregation eating out of his hand.
Most of the other fifty or so services I have attended have promoted feelings which have been a mixture of profound sadness, dissatisfaction and disappointment ( I shall explain this in a bit) and of duty and respect.
A few have been somewhat surprising ( for all of the wrong reasons ) one, I remember was gut wrenching and overwhelmingly emotional and one ice cold memorial featured just two mourners ( including myself) and three crematorium staff.
I have given eulogies at three funerals and was slightly drunk at one other after too many nips from a friend's hip flask. I have been present when in a family funeral car we were sideswiped by a lorry a minute from the church and I have walked into the wrong service at a crematorium in Sheffield which ran two ceremonies at the same time.
Abide with me has, I think, been the most common of hymns sung.
The funniest piece of music played, I remember hearing was the theme from The Benny Hill Show and at one funeral of a long term psychiatric patient I once nursed, the order of service was almost halted by strangled laughter after another patient kept yelling IS HE DEAD? continually through the prayer section.
The worst funerals, I always think, are those that fail to capture the essence of the deceased. I often blame sub standard clergy for this one, vicars that fail to do their homework before opening their gobs.
One Priest, who looked as if he was doing the congregation a favour, said of a long standing and successful nurse I once knew that her life " was full and interesting because she enjoyed the archaeological tv show " Time Team" and crossword puzzles!"
I could have bust him in the mouth for that one.