Funerals

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 03:13 pm
miss_s_b: (Gashlycrumb Tinies)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Today I went to the funeral of my friend, and local community giant, Trevor Lever. Trevor was an amazing man, and this was amply demonstrated by the number of people who turned up to say bye to him; not just standing room only, but they couldn't even jam everybody in with most of us standing. My mum knew Trevor from when they were both little, and there were some tears this afternoon.

The other thing there was this afternoon, as is usual when there's a funeral, was discussion of what we all want for our own funerals when we go. Obviously everyone should have the right to say what kind of a funeral they would like. Religious folks are massively comforted by all the prayers and hymns and stuff; conversely, non-religious people kind find a lot of comfort in a humanist service. My mum wants a christian burial; my dad definitely doesn't. So I thought I'd take this opportunity to put in writing what I want, if I should go anytime soon:
  • I don't want some creepy old twat of a vicar who's never met me pretending like he was my best mate in front of people who actually WERE.

  • I don't want a vicar at all. No religion whatsoever. A Jesus-free zone. Although I would make an exception for this guy.

  • I'd like a cherry tree planting somewhere for my ashes to be scattered around/under.

  • I definitely do not want to stipulate a dress code. If people want the full mourning black, that's fine. Equally, if people want to dress like a monster raving loony at an election count, that's equally fine.

  • Assuming I go before my cousin Rosalind, I would like there to be a reading of Jerusalem, so she can interject ("And did those feet, in ancient time, walk upon England's mountains green" No, they bloody didn't! "And was the holy lamb of God in England's pleasant pastures seen" Was it bollocks!) - there is actually a reasonable amount of historical debate about this, but Rosalind feels strongly about it and I feel her views would be entertaining.

  • Musical Stipulations
    1. when I go through the curtain to the flames (crackle crackle crackle) I would like the song See You Later Alligator to be played.
    2. No Cliff Richard. I mean it. Even a sniff of Cliff Richard and I shall come back and haunt you all with rattling chains and the whole works.
    3. Similarly, no dirgey miserable hymns. But there does need to be something everyone can sing along to at some point. We Are the Champions? ETA: I like Nick's suggestion below of always look on the bright side of life, actually. And Douglas at work suggests Highway To Hell, which might be fun.

  • No flowers. Collection to go to DogsTrust.

  • Somewhere in a speech someone needs to mention Sure, she's dead, but look on the bright side: it's party time for all the little worms!

  • Huge piss-up afterwards. And everybody has to have at least a little bit of a nice blonde real ale - something like Abbeydale Moonshine. You know how everybody has to have fizzy piss champagne at weddings? Well everybody's having proper beer at my funeral
I think that's all the important stuff. What would you lot specify for your leaving do?

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
el_staplador: (Default)
From: [personal profile] el_staplador
I put it all down a while ago - here.

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
ext_390810: (Default)
From: [identity profile] http://www.nickbarlow.com/blog/
On musical point 3, at my brother's memorial service we all sang along to Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life. That was pleasantly absurd.

One day I might write down my stipulations, though they're not much more than no religion and the playing of 'Do You Realize?' by the Flaming Lips at some point.

Musical Point 1

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (red dwarf)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
Flight Coordinator George MacIntyre?

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (grief)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
I personally don't give a flying frog what happens at my funeral, because it's Not About Me, and unless something goes spectacularly wrong, I don't intend on being there.

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
pmoodie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
How about Who Wants to Live Forever? There wouldn't be a dry eye in the crematorium!

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Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
I think I would want a ceremony that's more or less a secular version of a Jewish burial; understated, no flowers, no music, just a couple of readings, find someone who's prepared to say something nice about me at not too much length, get me buried, and then back to someone's place for tea & cake. Though frankly if it'd make whoever's organizing it happy to have me stuffed and dressed up as a humorous squirrel, I'm really unlikely to know the difference.
Edited Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC)

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Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
antisoppist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] antisoppist
Guardian Notes and Queries: "It has been said that the first part of Jerusalem is a series of questions and demands to which the answers are No, No, No, No and Get them yourself." (commenter jno50)

I haven't done funeral instructions but I did recently get round to a bit of paper in the "wills and if I am dead" drawer of the filing cabinet with the e-mail addresses of people to tell so that they can tell various bits of the internet so they can all come and get drunk at my funeral. A colleague I had never met but had corresponded with on a mailing list for several years died suddenly and it made all of us think about those connections that the other bits of your life don't necessarily know about.

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
1. Lots of beer. I want you all to have a giant "thank fuck he's dead" party.

2. Venom's Buried Alive must be played. As should Sentenced's "The Luxury of a Grave". Purely because its got tambourines in it, and there isn't enough tambourine in metal.

3. I like the idea of a sing-along, again something everyone knows. Alice Cooper will do.

4. I also like dirges, so some My Dying Bride or Pantheist would work nicely.

5. There will be a secret bit of my will that the hearse people will take the scenic route, so that I'm late for my own funeral.

ETA: If you're going to have Jerusalem, can we have the Bruce Dickinson version at the party afterwards please?
Edited Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Bury me under a tree somewhere. Not cremation.

Peter Sellers had In the Mood played as he hated it and knew that he wouldn't be there to have to listen to it. For similar reasons, I might suggest Wannabe by The Spice Girls.

Other than that, I'm not sure I care. As Innerbrat says, I will not be there. Do what the fuck you like.

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Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
yoyoangel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yoyoangel
Ultimately, whatever gives most comfort to those left behind.

Having said that, it was an enormous relief when planning my mum's funeral that she'd basically done it all for us already and we just had to pick entrance and exit music.

So, for me: a Quaker funeral/memorial meeting, whereby everyone sits in silence and people say whatever feels important to say at the time, when it feels important to say it. (Usually at funerals/memorials this is mostly anecdotes about/memories of the dead person.)

Woodland burial in a cardboard coffin, or cremation in same, whichever is thought at the time to be the more environmentally-friendly option. Or burial at sea, I spose, similarly.

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Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
gominokouhai: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gominokouhai
Your funeral sounds like so much fun, I can't wait til you die. Wait. Maybe that came out wrong.

Music: I want Great King Rat, preferably rescored for organ and full choir.

(You know you can get motorcycle hearses now?)

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
My ideal _would_ have been to have been buried at sea. And none of this "being cremated first" malarkey - full-on "body in a weighted shroud" burial at sea.

Somewhere with sharks. Because who doesn't want to be eaten by sharks?*

However, Julie wants me stuffed in the corner of the room after I die, so she has someone to chat to/hug. And I suspect I'll end up being buried somewhere she can be buried next to. Probably with a little trench between graves so we can hold hands easily.


*_After_ death. Obviously.

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Jake Thackray summed up my views pretty well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OWdT-i4GFE

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
gwenhwyfaer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gwenhwyfaer
I never gave much thought to what I want for my funeral, beyond occasionally hearing songs and thinking "oh, that'd be nice" - but mainly for me to listen to on the way out, rather than to force on other people. But then, (a) I am bloody selfish, (b) it's quite possible that my body won't be discovered (or my absence noticed, for that matter) until there's not much left of me to bury, simply because of the way I live. Reading recently about a woman whose body was found after several years did make me think "actually, that could be me" - and it wasn't an unhappy thought. At least, not as long as my cat predeceases me.

(I actually like the idea of just disappearing from the world. Fits with my whole tread-lightly-leave-no-footprints feeling about life.)
Edited Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] haggis
I don't have opinions about the funeral, except that I'd like to be cremated and scattered on the isle of Iona. I've only been there once but the amazingly calm atmosphere of the place has stuck with me.

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
telegramsam: Mister Flibble is Very Cross (Rimmer)
From: [personal profile] telegramsam
+1000000000000 points for not 1 but 2 Red Dwarf references. *thumbs-up* XD

Date: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
I'd put up with the shits afterwards to drink real ale at your funeral as instructed.

I agree with the no god and no FUCKING HYMNS ideas.

I'd rather a conker tree than cherries, though. I would hope that kids of all ages would play conkers with the fruit and maybe think of me.

Collection to a charity where a smallish amount of money would make a big difference.

Date: Thursday, December 13th, 2012 06:34 am (UTC)
djm4: (Default)
From: [personal profile] djm4
There are good practical reasons why not, but what I'd like is a sky burial. We don't have vultures in the UK, but Red Kites are carrion eaters and a bird that I'm very fond of, so the thought of being laid out in a field in Wales for them to eat makes me happy.
However, encouraging Red Kites to eat recumbent humans might well be an idea with entirely foreeable bad consequences, so I suspect that's a non-starter.

Date: Thursday, December 13th, 2012 08:43 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Of course, we could always just feed you to whatever dogs we have at the time.

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