Thursday, April 5, 2012

F is for...


FUNERAL

This guy looks pretty happy and he's going to a funeral!

At the age of forty-one, I have been to exactly three funerals in my life and two of those I've attended in the last few months.  The first funeral was for my grandmother.  I was fourteen at the time.  For the life of me, I can't remember the actual service, but I do vaguely remember the drive to the funeral.  There was a lot of singing going on in my mom's car (The Beatles) and it drove me nuts.  My sullen teenage self was probably thinking, there's no singing when someone dies! Ga!

How wrong I was, which I learned at funeral #2, which I crashed just like Harold & Maude.  Okay, I'm lying.  I didn't crash it, but I didn't know the deceased. Heck, I don't even really know her son, but he works at my kids' school and a friend asked if I wanted to go.  When you have the audacity to call yourself the "death writer," people tend to ask you to attend funerals with them. I was amazed at how upbeat and joyous this service was.  There was singing and dancing and praising Jesus, I was like, wait a minute, this is a funeral?  Aren't people supposed to be sad?  Where's the tissue? I don't think I saw one person cry.  Granted, the woman who died was in her 90's and a lot of people loved her, but they were happy that she was moving on to be with Jesus.

The third funeral I attended was for my friend and penpal, Larry Matthew Puckett.  You can read about him here and here or here.  He lived on death row in Mississippi and was executed, so I expected his funeral to be stressful or weird, but it wasn't.  There were tons of people in attendance. His mother and family had put out pictures and mementos from his life at the funeral home.  A preacher and a Catholic priest, both friends with Matt, delivered the service.  There was music and stories about Matt's life. But at this service there was lots of crying.  I didn't get weepy until Matt's mom got up to speak.  I asked the lady next to me if she had an extra Kleenex, but they were all wadded up in her hand.   

There are a ton of different customs at funerals that you can read about here.

Have you thought about what you want
at your own funeral?

I have.  Well, of course I have.  I want a party.  I want a really good picture of me put on a table where all the booze is sitting.  There's going to be lots of food and music.  I want a microphone to be passed around so no one has to stand up in front of the throngs of people (hey, a girl can dream, can't she?) and I wan't my friends and family to express their best memory of me.  Because that's where I'll continue to live on...

26 comments:

  1. Interesting take on different funerals. I suppose the level of crying depends on who the person was and what the families belief on an afterlife is. Thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haven't thought about what I want for my own funeral at all. I've attended 3 in my life - 2 within the last 18 months - one for a mother of 3 young kids and one for a close friend's Dad. They were both horrific :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry. Horrific does not sound good for a funeral

      Delete
  3. Wow, for a post about funerals this post was kind of upbeat. I'm glad your funeral experiences were good ones. Well as good as funerals can be.

    The second funeral sounds like a really nice way to see someone off and remember them at their best.

    I think I'd quite like a funeral like yours. More a party, than a mourning.

    Great post, thanks for sharing. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't want people to be sad. I like to make people laugh, so I hope that happens at my funeral. Well, I don't want people laughing at the fact that I'm gone, but I hope people tell some funny stories that involve me.

      Delete
  4. I like your style! I agree there should always be some sort of celebration of the life led, if possible.

    I've always loved the quote by Jim Morrison: "Death makes angels of us all, and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as ravens claws."

    I think that is a very moving thing to share at a memorial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My favorite quote about death is from Woody Allen. "I'm not afraid of dying. I just don't want to be there when it happens."

      Delete
  5. The only funeral I cried in was the one where my junior in college passed on unexpectedly from some heart virus.

    I cried more that day than at my grandfather's funeral, maybe because I hardly knew my grandfather.

    anna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's harder when the person is younger or when the death is unexpected, which it sounds like with your friend.

      Delete
  6. Hmm, I have not thought about my own funeral. I don't want to! LOL!
    ~ Angela, Whole Foods Living, http://www.wholefoodsliving.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want something done well, sometimes you gotta do it yourself:)

      Delete
  7. Your funeral take a nonsad and upbeat which is quite relieving.
    New follower!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, thank you! And thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. Since my SIL died tragically last year, I have picked out the music I want for my own memorial (not funeral for me). The music from hers really stuck with me. The songs accompanied two wonderful slideshows my brother put together. It was absolutely touching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This inquiring mind wants to know what music you have picked out. I, of course, want "In my Life" because that will make people weepy and then it should be followed by "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" or something ridiculous and peppy.

      Delete
  9. I have thought about it. I used to work for a hospice as a social worker, and attending funerals was part of the job. I knew the job was really wearing on me when I was so burned out that I couldn't even focus on the funeral while I was there, I'd be thinking about what I was going to have for lunch or whatever. It felt strange to become so blase about death when I was only 27 or so at the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tomorrow's post is about grief and a grief counselor I met with hospice. Her job scared the crap out of me.

      Delete
  10. Of course F is for funeral!!
    I have been to more than I care to think about.
    I think the worst part is crying in front of people and open caskets. I don't mind the sight of a dead body but they never seem to look like they used to and I want to remember them that way.
    I really love your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Yeah, I have yet to see someone made up and in a casket. I certainly don't want that for myself. Gravity is a real enemy of the departed and I don't want my chin sinking down into my neck. Not a good look.
      Thanks for stopping in!

      Delete
  11. I love this post! You are so fortunate to have only attended 3 funerals. I am 46 and I can't even count how many I've been to - but they include children, teenagers and all sorts of tragic stories. Death is a recurring theme in my life so I think about it a lot! No surprise you happened to post on my site today and I happened to have found your blog! I will be back for sure. And, I love the idea you have for your funeral - I think the same way. There is a funny thing on FB going around that says "If I die, someone promise me to dress up as the grim reaper and show up to my funeral." lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, the latter part of my life will be filled with loss and funerals, so I don't know which is better.
      It would be even funnier if the Grim Reaper showed up at the funeral and then tossed some flowers over his shoulder and the person who caught them would be the next to die. Actually that wouldn't be funny and everyone would run:)

      Delete
    2. That is hilarious. We obviously share the same macabre sense of humour. :)

      Delete
  12. I was sitting at Matt Pucketts funeral as well. Glad you shared that. The preacher and priest did an amazing job of portraying who Matt really was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a very nice service and yes, they both did an amazing job.

      Delete

Comments are welcome and appreciated!