Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Going Gently






"Sky News presenter Colin Brazier has asked people not to wear bright colours at his wife's funeral, telling mourners to "leave their Hawaiian shirts at home" and wear black."

This banner headline caught my attention the other day

On the surface it was a personal plea by a grieving husband to have what he saw as a respectful and perhaps more traditional funeral for his wife, a move away, or so the article suggested , from the modern day phenomenon of the " happy funeral"

I've attended both kinds of send off over the years and I guess it's a case of to each his own to what is preferred. A celebration of the life or a mourning of the lost...with every permutation in between, the simple answer is the choice is whatever gets you through the day.

Mind you I think Brazier does have a point when it comes to grieving children, for he suggests the cognitive dissonance put into play may be damaging in itself.

"Maybe grown-ups can handle the cognitive dissonance required in 'celebrating' a life rather than, you know, being all morbid. But I seriously doubt children can."

Brazier also added this comment,

".... wearing black gives people a "licence" to get upset, and to "treat a funeral like Ascot's Ladies Day" not only trivialises death but moves the spotlight of consolation away from the family."

Like I said , each to their own.

The best funeral ( best?) I ever attended was led by a humanist speaker . I suspect he was an actor too, and he did what most vicars don't do well at funerals, he did his homework

He knew everything about Janet, a colleague of mine who had died after a short illness, he knew her friends, her wishes, her humour and her life. He breathed life into what was a tragic and sad situation and got the balance just right between mourning and celebration.
Like I said before, it's whatever gets you through on the day that's important .

117 comments:

  1. I don't know if he is correct, it's possible that a grieving child is so distraught they wouldn't even register any cognitive dissonance involved with a "happy funeral" but his reasoning is sound and after the loss of his wife, I respect his right to protect his children in any way he knows how.
    I have been to a lot of funerals and forgotten most of them but I have noticed that the best are always the ones for people who have spread love quite generously through their lives

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, each to their own.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Personally, I'd want to celebrate the life and the love and the laughter.
    But that's just me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi John, a very personal take for each individual. I will say that most of the family funerals I have been too and more particularly on my mother's side due to the fact that there were so many of them have always been respectful with tears, and sadness but it has also always been a celebration of life and that particular person. I am fortunate that on my mother's side our family is the type that doesn't see you for yonks and when we do eventually meet up its as though we had only been with them the day before and are catching up on a conversation. The family arms are wide and always opening which I cherish.

    The funniest funeral I went to was my Aunty J's She was a bit of a livewire and quite feisty at the best of times. As is her daughter my cousin. There is a long history of mixed religions, divorce, abstract poverty etc. etc and my Aunt was predominantly brought up in the Catholic faith. My Great Aunt I who was 96 at the time of my aunt's death and was horrified, mortified and did not know what to do with herself but she was clearly an unhappy bunny. My cousin had arranged for a Humanist Service. The vicar had done his homework and got my Aunty J off to a tee. One of the pieces of music which the funeral ended with when the curtains closed round the coffin was "Bat out of Hell" by Meatloaf. We all saw the funny side because that was my Aunty J was like but my Great Aunt bless her heart did not. There was a frosty silence for somewhile between my cousin and Great Aunt. However as you quite rightly say each to their own and what I must say is that my Aunty J would have loved it! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is funeral I would have wanted to attend.

      Delete
  5. I like and want “a celebration of life” memorial rather than a funeral. I prefer that my family and friends remember the best of me rather than the sorrow. Fine wine and high calorie food will be served. I have always liked a party.

    ReplyDelete
  6. A wake after a Welsh funeral was an eye opener for me, the tears and upset of the service was replaced by a full on celebration of the lost one. Very strange and different.

    ReplyDelete
  7. At my father-in-law's funeral, the vicar had read-up about him, made scanty notes, then managed to get most of it wrong at the service. It would have been better had he not said anything. We were all dressed in dark clothes; no Hawaiian shirts for him!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You certainly picked the perfect photo for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Why this funeral talk? Hope you’re not thinking about going, gently or otherwise. Please don’t x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I was just interested in Braziers ideas

      Delete
  10. Being considerably closer to this subject than many people at the moment, you’ll know exactly the sort of funeral I want, the full Wuthering Heights. I at least want people to make a pretence of sorrow - they can save the laughs and the funny stories for the pub later. Black all the way for me - preferably with veils!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll fling myself on your coffin , sobbing hysterically

      Delete
    2. John, I've actually been to a funeral just like that! When I was a child, I was up front with my Mom, right next to the casket being lowered, when lo and behold, I hear this unholy, terrifying, anguished wail, and suddenly, a woman comes flying out of the crowd and lands on the coffin! The straps start to buckle, people faint and others scream, then the coffin with that hysterically screaming woman plummets down the grave and lands with a loud bang!

      The coffin held. The woman was the wayward daughter who just learned her mother had died. My Mom leapt into action and took command, issuing orders to get that insane woman out of the grave, see that the fainted were taken care of, and check to make sure the coffin was secure, and the rest of the guests were fine.

      She was able to reel in the crazy and the funeral proceeded an hour later with no more problems. It was the most dramatic and exciting funeral I had ever witnessed, and it has been the standard by which I measure all other funerals.

      Delete
  11. And I want no funeral/memorial at all. I'll just be gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. Tony is under instruction to ship me off to the crem without service or ceremony and scatter my ashes in a particular spot that I love.

      Delete
    2. Me sorta of...
      No service but a huge dinner with lots of good food, wine and plenty of deserts !

      cheers, parsnip

      Delete
    3. Same here .. cremation, no service, no point in making any fuss. Be kind , thoughtful and loving while I am alive, I won't care after I am dead.

      Delete
  12. We had a humanist funeral for my dad. We played Sinatra, we remembered funny stories from his life. He had taught all us children and grandchildren how to make paper air planes, so we made them and gave him a fly past at the graveside. It was a grand send-off. Afterwards, my son said 'I don't expect grandma's funeral will be anything like that.' He's right. It will be a full-blown catholic service where the words will twist the knife in our pain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the plane idea, simple andeffective

      Delete
  13. I'm a mardy old traditionalist. I feel upset when young people (women) turn up at church or chapel in mini skirts, low cut tops and bling, even if it is black clothes. I do wear colour if that is what is wanted but I prefer dark because I am mourning that person and that is how I feel. At my late cousin's funeral (in a church) the last piece of music was the Muppets Mahna Mahna, it was 'his' song and it was fabulous.
    I wasn't allowed at my sister's funeral. It was 1973 and I was 10, despite holding her hand as she passed away with only me in the room. My parents were too stupid to realise how ill she was (and never ever asked me how, or whether, it had affected me). I will never forget it, I loved her so much.
    How are you and your pets holding up in this heat?
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a few generations away from common sense back then

      Delete
    2. It's cooler here today

      Delete
  14. Cremated me, scatter my ashes over the ocean and partaaay! Just don't send in the clowns. I hate those suckers!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Here, we have something called a "visitation" which occurs on the day and the evening before the funeral, set up at the funeral home where the family forms a line and visitors make their way down the line shaking hands, introducing themselves and saying "I'm sorry for your loss.". It feel awkward to me, but it is very much a tradition. For both of my parents, we had extremely low key, small gatherings where people were invited to get up and tell stories and memories (my father loved a good story),and people ate and gathered, and relatives got caught up with what was happening in each others' lives. Ashes were later scattered in places where they grew up and had happy childhood memories. Each to their own. -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At my mother’s funeral we had the receiving line and that’s how I met the woman who came every week and cleaned their house. This took courage as not only was she the only black person at the funeral, but most of the attendees were bigots, my father especially. When she got to me she held my hand and told me how kind my mother had been to her. It softened all my memories of my mother and I will be forever grateful for that.

      Delete
    2. Weaveinfool,
      That is incredibly moving a reads like a wonderful film

      Delete
  16. My Dad’s funeral was pretty perfect and suited him. A very small congregation of just his three daughters and ex-wife, a small sprinkling of childhood friends and man he vaguely knew from church. We (me and my sisters) each spoke about good things, and my sisters played cello and piano. We all cried through our speeches, and wore black.
    That evening my sisters and I sat in a restaurant slagging my dad off (there was plenty of material) and marvelling that both the speeches and what we had to say in private was all true. It was cathartic to do both things, and both happened in the right places.

    I find it very difficult not to cry at funerals, even when not very close to the departed. Even when the family are holding it together just fine, I can be sobbing. Embarrassing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the key element you outline is sharing. The sharing of the experience

      Delete
  17. No funeral service/memorial for me - they can remember me each in their own way. Then cremation, and my ashes scattered here in the Atlantic where they can join the Gulf Stream which will take them home to float through the English Channel, and past my beloved Devon!

    I always wear black to a funeral and am often appalled at what some people turn up in. At one a month ago for a lovely lady taken suddenly and much too soon, some men were actually in shorts, younger women dressed more for a wild night on the town.
    Another recent one was for a wonderful 93 year old Italian-born local chef who was still cooking at his family restaurant until the end. Everyone wore traditional black mourning including the young children, and it all just felt special as a funeral should be.

    .........meanwhile life goes on and we make what we can of it.
    Enjoy the day dear John.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, I try to look smart and subdued at funerals. It's a sign of respect

      Delete
  18. I agree wholeheartedly 'each to their own'. I've been to all sorts of funerals and I really think it's best that the funeral suits the deceased. Mine will be everyone that is comfortable wearing them wears jeans, no bloody Lilys, me in a cardboard or wicker coffin covered in daisies and Spring flowers and every one leaves the crematorium to the belting strains of 'I want to break free' 🙂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and all my darling hubby had to say about my plans was 'no doubt you'll pop off in the dead of Winter and the flowers will cost a fortune' 🤣🤣🤣

      Delete
    2. Sue,
      When a much loved Uncle of mine 'shuffled off', my Aunt briefly considered a wicker coffin, but decided they look like laundry baskets, so went the traditional route instead!

      Delete
    3. I want a tea chest

      Delete
  19. Yes, each to their own, but I do agree about the impact on children.

    ReplyDelete
  20. As if there weren't tears at a celebration of life! How can there not be?
    Well, yes, of course- this is all for the living and what they need is what they need.
    The very worst funeral I ever went to was conducted by a minister who'd never met my beloved friend, knew nothing about her, and did NOT do his homework. Her parents had arranged it all, wanting a religious service which was absolutely not appropriate in that my friend was absolutely NOT religious. I was so upset that I took the excuse of a another friend's crying baby to leave the room and instead of sitting through that horrible morass and hating it, I bounced and patted and soothed the child and that made it okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes my mother's funeral was a bit like that even though she was known by the vicar

      Delete
  21. Each to their own, some people want Hawaian shirts and jazz, others don't - but it is important that its personal to the family and the deceased, not a cut-and-paste ceremony full of platitudes.

    I don't agree about children and funerals. They mourn differently to adults - extreme sadness can quickly be replaced by exuberant play and laughter; they can move between the two much more readily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would say a funeral is not a place for babies in tiny children who play up.. thingsare stressful enough

      Delete
  22. We had just moved back to the USA from Argentina and we were still settling in to our new home in NY. My husband went to a doctor and had a blood and urine test. Little did we know the urine test caused him to bleed, internally , he woke a couple of days later, early in the morning,telling me he was dying.
    Then he died. a blood clot to the heart.
    There was no F*ing way I was going to "celebrate his life" ... it was cut short and not from illness or accident.
    His "funeral" was sitting in a pretty room while he was cremated somewhere else .. then taking home his ashes.
    I cannot imagine in the depths of grief, the wish to celebrate anything. "celebration of life" ... another one of those gimmicky names for these times ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pain remains....so sorry

      Delete
    2. Tragic and heartbreaking. I can understand your feelings perfectly Candice, you've done well to come back as the lovely rounded and balanced person you seem to be from your comments here after such a terrible tragedy. xx

      Delete
  23. My father was often a serious man, dedicated to providing well for our large family. One primary departure from that serious nature was how he always managed to drive a car with an engine capable of high speeds. Unless my mother was in the car with us he always sped down the road as though we were in a race, and he often was given tickets and fines for exceeding the speed limit. Everyone that knew him, including the clergyman at the church he attended knew all of that.

    His funeral was well attended with 30 or more cars driving from the church to the gravesite that was 100 miles away. It's common here for the funeral procession of cars to be led by a police officer so no one is given a ticket for driving through red lights or any other infraction of the laws.The clergyman who was to speak a few words at the cemetery had another service to perform later that day. All involved were asked to speed things along. We all followed the hearse driving 30 miles an hour above the speed limit the entire way. Upon arrival when someone offered an apology to my mother she laughed and said "Oh, he would have loved it!"

    My feeling is that such gatherings should include humor and light-hearted conversations for the families' sakes. There will be too many days filled with sorrow already, it's a relief for them to enjoy themselves for a few hours if they can. I really don't care how people will handle my own funeral or even if there is one. I won't be there and just hope they go on living as happily as they do now. John, do you think funerals are necessary to provide closure for people who loved the deceased? - Mary

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've left instructions for my kids: I wish to be cremated, and then when the 3 of them can get together I want them to travel about 600 miles to my favorite brewery, drink a few pitchers and then deposit my ashes in the nearby river so I can be washed out to sea. Whether they're happy or morose is up to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 300 miles is a long way, any pub nearer?

      Delete
  25. It's a very indvidual thing. My family didn't believe in public funerals and visitations and neither do I. The death of someone cherished is a personal experience best kept to oneself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What if the person was respected by strangers ?

      Delete
    2. I agree with that sort of thing. Unlike the people in New Orleans who have parades down the street with the procession behind the coffin :)
      I had a very young family, mom dad and grandparents all living into their 80s .. dad is still alive.
      I see no point in making such a fuss over a persons death .. appreciate and honor and love that person while they are alive. When they are lying in that coffin, they won't know who came to the funeral ... this is all about the living and they don't get first place in my thoughts at a time like this.
      Close family ...the end :)

      Delete
    3. John the death will be in the paper....I have no control over what other people do about my death but I know my family will not be instigating any kind of celebration/mourning festival.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous3:52 pm

    My husband and I have solved the problem - no funerals, services, nothing, just the barest death notices in the local newspapers. I've donated my wrinkled old body to science with cremation of whatever's left, and he'll be cremated with his ashes buried between his daughters. When our lights go out, we'll be gone out of sight and mind!

    ReplyDelete
  27. At my lovely cousins funeral ( she was only 39 ) her little girls wore their party dresses and coloured on the cardboard coffin and covered it with stickers. Her older siste read the story about May Bugs which the Hospice reads to young children. We had wine before the service and all wrote comments about my cousin which her husband read out at random until he broke down. My cousin had planned it all .

    At a friend's fathers funeral she wore a vintage summer dress as her dad loved women in pretty dresses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your cousin's funeral is so beautiful and personal. Sorry for your loss.

      Party dresses are lovely.

      Delete
    2. Those final wishes carried out , that's comforting

      Delete
  28. cremate me and scatter me over the ocean. no service, no nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can we at least raise one glass?

      Delete
  29. To each his own, I guess, but there are people who will be grieving at a funeral, whether you want them to or not, and that needs to be taken into consideration.

    As for my own funeral, I'll either not know what's going on, or, if I do know what's going on, that very may be of more interest to me than what anybody else is doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you have hit it on the head Kirk, sensitivity is the key

      Delete
  30. I am a big fan of mourning how you see fit. Since I no longer practice any religion, I rather like the idea of a Humanist service. Here in the US death is still considered a taboo subject which is troubling.

    No one wants to die, but shouldn't the memorials and services be what the deceased desired? I have been considering a natural burial, a cremation or being sent to the body farm in TN for students of forensics. There are options and that matters.

    I also think Children should be exposed to death. We keep them in this bubble as if it will prevent any sorrow or harm.
    At a friend's sisters wake, their young niece was such a source of comfort to their mom, the child's grandmother. Children represent life and I hate to see it dismissed in a place where it may be needed, but again, to each his own.

    I know all the rituals are really for the living, but how I want to be remembered is important as well. I loathe the Catholic wake/funeral experience, as it was how I was raised, because the priests never bothered to learn about the deceased. A few months ago I went to a Catholic funeral and the family was told they could not speak about their beloved aunt during the service. Nope. I don't like that at all. If she was God's child, then dammit, she should be spoken about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catholic funerals do go on a bit

      Delete
  31. My eldest said he's having 'Fat Bottomed Girls' played for me at mine!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chirpy chirpy cheep cheep at mine

      Delete
  32. Funerals, my ex husband tried to ban me from my dad's funeral. One of my sister's in law spat in my face during my mother in law's funeral.
    I've planned mine, The mourners are going in to The Shepherd's Duet and going out to Build Me Up Buttercup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bloody hell where do u Come from ? Mafia land?

      Delete
    2. Lol, no ex was just being an arsehole as normal. Mother in law came from a rough part of Slough.

      Delete
  33. Maybe knowing me means you're made of sterner stuff, but I've not had to attend many funerals

    My parents completely blocked me out of my sister's funeral (OK, I was six at the time, but it was typical of their make out it doesn't exist philosophy), and there were elements of bitter recrimination about events leading to my grandmother's death that caused a rift in the family, meaning I'm not sure if anyone attended. Shortly after, I became estranged from my parents, and have only heard about other deaths via my brother.

    One funeral I did attend stands out - a former musician I knew, who died suddenly and whose funeral was arranged by his estranged wife with the help of his favourite pub. Aside from his family, those attending were mostly either ageing 60's musicians or more recent associates from the building trade. After a fairly typical crematorium service (no-one admitted to booking the bagpipe player) where all bar family & the pub brought flowers colour themed to a famous quote by another band member, we all headed off to a golf range, where a room had been provided with a buffet, a stage & instruments for all-comers to get up & play in his memory. The night ended with a food fight, and all but the most sober (i.e. - me) trying out the golf range in the dark. For him, it was a suitable send off.

    For me, there's one major caveat. Whoever owes me most money at the time pays for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As usual the comments are better than the original post

      Delete
    2. John, nothing is ever better than your posts. Xx

      Delete
  34. Anonymous5:45 pm

    My lovely Dad always loathed the idea of funerals and hated the idea of anyone profiting from another's grief. He also had no time for organised religion. He had at various times stated that he wanted to be put into a cardboard box and carted away in a pickup trunk, or even made into dog food!
    When the time came he had a fairly standard humanist ceremony at the crematorium. and the humanist celebrant was fantastic thorough research and a lovely tribute to Dad- also very respectful and a compelte contrast to the manner in which humanist funerals are sometimes criticised by people who identify as Christians

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been to three and each one , I found better than most

      Delete
    2. what do Christians say about humanist funerals?

      Delete
  35. Most funerals I've attended seem to mix both. First the funeral services in black, then after a sort of reception for all to eat, drink and be merry. At this time, all were invited to talk about the deceased...even the children if they wished. I think this made the children see both sides of mourning for a beloved one and then celebrating their life with laughter and stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A time or two, I've seen a fights break out too. Yikes!

      Delete
    2. Really do tell?

      Delete
    3. Oh John I was at a family funeral once, where when everyone threw in a flower or some dirt, one person said out loud, "when is the Will being read? Can we pay to have the solicitor come this afternoon?" I wasnt looking at that moment, but fists flew and the man asking was pushed in on top of the casket. it was horrific. so many people beyond upset.

      Delete
  36. Full Requiem Mass for me. Only hymns and no ‘my tune’ and certainly no eulogy. People can swap anecdotes, good or bad, about me afterwards, in their own time. Same for my wife, except she wants to be cremated whereas it’s burial for me. A simple stone with a few patches of moss and perhaps a strand or two of a small-leaved ivy (not variegated, mind) growing up to one side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simple and classy Philip just like you

      Delete
  37. John - I am a Humanist and have left instructions for a Humanist Funeral - easily done as most areas have someone willing to conduct services. Also I think it is imperative for me to do as much preparation as possible to save my son having to make the effort.
    The farmer's funeral was, of necessity, a farmer's funeral. On these occasions every farmer in the district comes - it was very moving and very comforting for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes i remember the funeral of the Red Faced Welsh Farmer filling the huge marble Church at Bodelwyddan

      Delete
  38. My mother died suddenly five weeks after her eagerly awaited grandson arrived. She was so proud of her only child’s child. Even now all these year later, I still in a funny way feel I paid for my son by the loss of ‘my lovely mum’. At her funeral following the pall bearers, I glanced down and saw one of the young men had on a pair of green luminous socks. In a funny way it put things in perspective for me that life goes on and try not to be sad. Added to which my mum lives on in her grandson.

    LX

    ReplyDelete
  39. Find all the thoughts very interesting particularly those who want nothing.. for me, a funeral is about those left behind being able to say a formal goodbye to their loved one. Part of grieving, part of the ritual of death. We planned my Mum's funeral with a civil celebrant and the service told the story of my Mum's life. We wore black but weren't fussed if anyone else did or not. She had a wicker coffin with a country garden type flower display on top. It was the saddest day of my life after the day that she died. I cried as we followed the hearse to the crematorium. But when I look back now on that day I feel proud that we paid tribute to the wonderful woman she was,and thinking about the funeral two years on gives me great comfort. I am glad we did it exactly as we did.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous8:18 pm

    My dad died wben l was aged 11. He himself was an atheist and wanted a cremation. My mother had other ideas.
    Huge funeral (he was the local bookmaker) 13 bleedin' cars, slap up meal after in the pub, mahoganny coffin.every bugger in attendance for the bun fight etc.etc.
    We were skint afterwards and the welfare state were less than generous in those days.
    Me, l'm going with no fuss and no big bills left to pay for those l leave behind.
    If they don't adhere to my wishes, l'll come back to spook them, so there!
    T x

    ReplyDelete
  41. I just sent off a little package your way. So sorry I sent it the slow way...the cheaper way. There are two lanyards. The more monochromatic one is 2018. The one with bits of red on it is from 2016. There's the 2016 badge that I thought you might enjoy too. Have fun with them all. Hugs from the heat here.

    ReplyDelete
  42. My only wish after death is that I'm cremated. I'd rather not have a funeral and my family know this, but it will be up to them, their needs will be the most important thing at that time.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Although I subscribe to ‘ each to their own ‘ I think that Colin Brazier has a point. I think that people like to ‘celebrate ‘ someone’s life in a colourful way because of their own fears about death. ..... it’s more about them than the person who has passed. Someone has died .... it’s sad and maybe should be treated thus. XXXX

    ReplyDelete
  44. My best friend of 44 year's standing died last year..400 of us gave him a sendoff, singing,to his request, "Always look on the bright side of Life".Then he was buried in a sheep grazed field with a view of woods and hills, and we all shared the spread at his local, sharing memories of him, playing petanque, a sad but happy celebration of a marvelous person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lovely.... i want to be buried in the churchyard in Trelawnyd overlooking my field

      Delete
  45. I will be cremated and my ashes scattered on on windy winter beach, out into the waves. Free at last---

    no funeral, no people, and omg, no singing.

    My parents' ashes were buried in the churchyard garden of a very old whaling era church [early 1800s] on the far eastern edge of Cape Cod, overlooking the Atlantic. A compromise, I wanted the ashes buried in their yard under a hydrangea. A yacht club party---not black but a lot of amusing-to-me yacht club-y blue blazers attended the parties afterward.

    Why are we dwelling on funerals on this glorious summer day?

    lizzy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I will be cremated and my ashes scattered on on windy winter beach, out into the waves. Free at last--- nicely put x

      Delete
  46. I had never heard of a humanist funeral and think it is what we call a “celebration of life - no priest, no body, no traditional ceremony. Friends and family gather to share their love or appreciation of the departed.

    My husband will not talk about his death and told me that he doesn’t care and wants me to make the plans (as usual). I told him that because he has always been obsessed about being early (at least half an hour), whatever is planned will begin before the appointed time. Hopefully, people will show up before Amazing Grace. Instead of prayer cards, guests will leave with a recipe for his beloved Appletini. That will be something they might want to keep.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I want to be buried in a tiny country churchyard where generations of my family, including my parents are buried. I imagine mourners in black, silently filing into the church. Traditional hymns, vicar in white robes. It's Wales, so it will probably be raining. After, they can have tea, cake, and a jolly good singsong! As I said, it's Wales!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I can never understand why you have people back at your home where moments before, you have just been grieving at your loved ones funeral , and then you have to feed them all and make small talk etc. I Know I would just want to be alone !

    ReplyDelete
  49. Or it could teach children that death is just a part of life and ought to be celebrated with joy.

    My 'double' first cousin died suddenly last August 9th.
    She was a fixture in my family....like my 5th sister.
    Yes, I was shocked and saddened. The priest that held the service/mass was the most up beat, joyful and most happy person I had ever witnessed.
    Because he knew my cousin well at the end of the service he had everyone stand up and begin to dance. There he was up on the altar dancing his head off!! Just like Cheryl, my sweet cousin, would have wanted.
    Oh....she was the best jiver!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. a eulogy should be written and performed by someone close me thinks jimbo

      Delete
  50. Each of many funerals I have been to were similar-but one aunt chose a wicker coffin & a country park scattering & a tree.My darling top dog I believe was nicest-very individual and personal,wonderful cremation service and woodland crematorium with access whenever I wish near to a Convent x

    ReplyDelete
  51. It really helps if people make plans, or tell their loved ones what they want. My aunt and grandmother died a few weeks apart and were cremated, The vicar didn’t know them, and had my nephew married to his mother at the joint graveside services, Edith would have had a good laugh, so we did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DAVID I so agree with you, its a subject we all need to talk about.....who shall I talk to now, the Prof knows what I want....but hes going

      Delete
  52. I have been to far too many funerals and each one was different. I feel as long as the deceased wishes (if they are known)are represented, it is a good funeral. For myself, I have decided everyone should wallow in misery while the saddest music ever is playing and everyone will be in black with not a bare shoulder or leg in sight!! After they lower me into the ground, they can all go somewhere and tell whatever stories they'd like.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I disagree with the notion that "whatever gets you through on the day that's important". That is not important. What is important is showing one's respect for the deceased. Dress soberly in the traditional manner. This isn't hard to do and it is not self-indulgent either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well I agree with the first statement however I also agree with respect, respect is vital at funerals they are such emotive moments in our lived that we all need to be thoughtful and conscious of upsetting

      Delete
  54. My brother and kids have strict instructions, no wake, no funeral and bury me in the state I grew up. My daughter however wants a Viking funeral...

    ReplyDelete
  55. It is such an individual question. And is the funeral for the dead or the living? So often their wishes don't co-incide.
    I hope for an eco funeral. And would be happy to have it done very privately.

    ReplyDelete
  56. At our granddaughters funeral, she was 18, her 9 year old sister got up and spoke to the congregation. She had written a little speech and shown it to all of us in the days prior. We didn't think she would actually do it but she did. She was very brave and only had a couple of little wobbles while she was reading it. It was very moving and heartbreaking and there wasn't a dry eye in the church.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That 9 year old id now 27 and getting married in October!

      Delete
  57. My earliest memory is of a strange smell, darkened room interior which my mother was surprised I remembered from age 2 or 3, she said, a cousin, in year late ‘30s when people were often shown in their homes.

    I prefer remembering people as I knew them alive. Can see their family members in group if that’s what comfort that family wants. Otherwise, I avoid all funerals when possible — determined to go to none for patients or former ones when I began working in medical health care since a few terminals, also numerous older adults, though some patient relationships were close. I figured, attend one and I’d have to go to all and I didn't want to hurt anyone who might feel closer to me than I them. When I did attend a very few family/friend funerals I have not cared to view open casket, but did once of a young drowned relative as the father seemed to need my being present with him to view his son.

    The memorial service for my mother was what you said, as the minister knew her only slightly and misconstrued some of what I had shared with him. She had changed her view of burials, was cremated and buried in Pacific — is commemorated by a family member yearly in Hawaii in Lantern Festival.

    My husband had specified cremation. (He had been deceased too long for organ harvest before,). Children and I chose ashes distributed from air over legally accepted National Park area in Sedona, Arizona — not only a spiritual place but one of other special significance to us. Months later a Celebration of his Life in another state where we lived which his mostly musician friends had arranged and gathered.

    I’ve expressed a preference for cremation — prior organ harvest if works out. A service of any kind not necessary — whatever adult children desire. What happens to ashes immaterial — from air in same Sedona area or spread in Pacific or whatever gives comfort to my children. Likely wont be other family as so few, and distances away.















    ReplyDelete
  58. Anonymous5:16 am

    I live in a cathlolic country and we do the visitation .
    The day before the funeral which is usually the day after the death ( to hot to keep bodies any longer) (the family, with the coffin (either open or closed) receive family and friends.

    Men from the family on the righthand side of the coffin and women on the left.
    This is either in A church or at the family home Sometimes it is in an old peoples home or the local hospital which may have a room for this use.
    Liz
    People come to pay their respects.
    You just pay your respects and move on to the next person.

    Nobody would think of going in colourful clothing it would be thought inconsidreate.
    The mass can be said or sung (much more beautiful)usually to a in a very full church.
    Sometimes a friend will say a short piece about the person.
    The close family and friends go to the church yard to bury the person.There are no wakes.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I have officiated at several funerals. I find that husbands can be very out of touch with the women they were married to and what made them special to their friends. However the last one I did was for an amazing woman who started life as a man and transitioned about five years ago. It ended up having two halves - the first being led by the father in law of one of her grown up sons and was about the man she was. I had the privilege of leading the second part, and that was full of laughter and fun just like she was. It worked as everyone got "got" - the family who had resigned themselves to the choices of their father, and the huge rainbow community who had accepted her with open arms. It was a hard thing to plan and the planning session was much longer than the funeral, but it was worth it because when life is complex, so is a passing. xo

    ReplyDelete
  60. I really appreciate your professional approach.These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.

    ดูหนังออนไลน์

    ReplyDelete

I love all comments Except abusive ones from arseholes