Funeral Policy

A couple of weeks ago (during my weekend stint at the radio), a fellow presenter and I were discussing the funeral service of a colleague who died earlier this year. We both found it sad that the music chosen for his memorial was so generic and pedestrian. Surely it would have been preferable to dispense with the usual tired old hymns just this once? After all – this was a man who loved his music and had a particular fondness for Vivaldi. The eerie whirring sound in the chapel was probably the poor man spinning in his coffin.

Last night, I was attending a function of sorts and during the break, the subject of mortality and music came up. It transpired that my conversational companion and I both had firm ideas as to the character of each of our future funerals. It made sense to me that I should make these preferences known, rather than have people speculate after the fact as to what I “would have wanted”. The following list should take away some of the guesswork:

  • Music: Bizet: Symphony in C (2nd movement Adagio); D Scarlatti: Sonata in B min K27; Schubert: Piano Trio in E flat major op. 100; Vivaldi: Nulla in Mundo Pax Sincera; Pretty much anything by Bach; and KC & the Sunshine Band: That’s the Way I Like It
  • I wish to be clad in an amusing suit (optional, but would be nice, if there is an open coffin).
  • My epitaph is to be as follows: “A holiday, at last! Bit warm, though”.
  • There is to be free booze after the service. And snacks, of course.
  • I wish to be cremated and have my ashes discreetly sprinkled on the snacks, so that I will become be a part of everyone there (at least for a while).
  • Guest list: knock yourself out, but the following people are NOT welcome, because there will be free booze after the service and I’ll be damned (hmm… poor choice of words, perhaps) if I’m going to lubricate and feed any of them: My boss; The annoying old bat from downstairs; That irritating, opinionated know-it-all (Mrs K knows who I mean); and Frogface from the radio.

Good. That’s settled then. Hope to see you there and meme away, if you so wish.

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23 thoughts on “Funeral Policy

  1. KC and the Sunshine Band… whoohoo… you go KN!
    Personally, I would like to have one of those funerals where ppl fall over themselves with grief (or joy) and want to jump into the grave…. hehe… guarranteed to be lively and eventful and make ppl smile. I hate somber affairs and would rather have a celebration than a funeral.

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  2. Isn’t “I will survive” obligatory…?
    I want to be cremated and my ashes dispersed wherever it is I’ve lived during my life. At least I’ll be travelling a bit more.

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  3. When I am gone , I will let someone else worry about funeral details. 🙂 Music? Well how about Muddy Waters doing “Got My Mojo Working” ! 🙂

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  4. It’s cremation for me too. And how about “You’ve lost that loving feeling” by the Righteous Brothers?

    Definitely agree with the free booze too. The relatives can’t have ALL my money!

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  5. I’m so there. I mean, you seem cool enough, and free booze. What more do I need? Well, that’s if my husband doesn’t manage to push me off a cliff anytime soon. I think the arsenic I put in his coffee will get to him before he gets to me.

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  6. A nice touch would be something dignified to read on the tombstone. Mine already reads “WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?” just to give the family’s children something to laugh at.

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  7. Wait – when you say ‘optional’, are you referring to the suit itself? That could definitely shake things up! =)

    I will be cremated and perhaps even go for a dramatic pyre (no roasting hot dogs, damnit!) and a rousing chorus of “Disco Inferno”. Oh, I mean I personally won’t be singing, but you get the idea.

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  8. chitty: Nothing like a bit of ‘70s disco to strike the appropriate chord. Oh, just in case you missed the whole cremated bit, I would suggest that “I’m not em-bare-assed about nuthin’ no more” may be closer to the truth.

    anne: LOL. Most certainly. I can’t imagine how I could have missed that one.

    paul: That’s the spirit, paul.

    delboy: “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling”. That’s priceless!

    ZG: Yup, I’ll definitely be the coolest dude in the house, then (briefly) the hottest.

    onclejohann: LOOK BEHIND YOU!!! also springs to mind.

    Lucy McG: Hmm… could go either way. Don’t really mind.
    With regard to the hotdog ban – now that you’ve planted the idea, it will be difficult to resist and almost impossible to enforce.

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  9. I’ve always enjoyed Irma Bombeck’s idea – friends and family have a hoolie while the stiff get put on a bus headed out of town, to the strains of ‘Don’t fence me in’.
    But your’s is just as good, Kyk! I’ll pop in too see you off if you ‘pass’ first lol

    Cheers
    Albie

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  10. I want a funeral like they have in New Orleans. They carry your coffin through the streets while a band plays vibrant lively tunes and everyone is dressed in bright colors. I want it to be a super party and everyone to have fun. Lots of colorful flowers too.

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  11. No cremation for me thanks – my only phobia in life is fire as it is… I think I must’ve been Joan of Arc in a previous life, and there was that whole burning at the stake thing that didn’t go down so well.

    My epitaph should read: “She came, she saw, she laughed her ass off!”
    Oh, and any music will do as long as it’s not “Amazing Grace” played on bagpipes.

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  12. albie: It’s a deal!

    anduin: Sounds good. Obviously not the sort of thing for a very hot day, for obvious reasons.

    terri: I know what you mean about ‘Amazing Grace’ on the doedelsak, because I once attended a wedding where it was played by a lone piper. Very weird, because there was no Scottish connection in either family. Half the guests were left uncomfortably speechless, while the other half snorted and shook as they struggled not to laugh.

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  13. I always wanted Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye. And Pink helium balloons. And for people to share why they’re glad I’m gone. The snacks? Space cakes…

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  14. As far as funerals go…that sounds like a hell of a shindig. I’ll probably be avoiding the snacks though…

    I think my headstone shoudl read “I probably pissed you off at some point and there’s a good chance that I’m pointing and laughing at you now.”

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  15. juliana: Nice to see you. Now you know to avoid the buffet table.

    paintingchef: Nice one (although you must have some secret grudge against stone-masons, because that’s going to be quite a chore to chip out in granite).

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  16. Funerals suck. They’re totally for the living and they cost a freaking fortune. I want to be cremated when I die. Everyone can do what they want afterward. Simple.

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  17. Some years back, I arranged with a friend that I want a full, Victorian buirial. I mean, it’s not that I don’t approve of cremation. Its a neat and tidy way of disposing of the emptys, but its just not for me. No Sir. I don’t care about neat and tidy when I’m dead because it won’t be my problem!

    Anyway, in case that friend betrays me, I’d like to place my wishes on record here in the probably vain hope that one of you will fight for my rights when I have passed over to the Other Side. I’ll be needing a nice suit, a Victorian style leaden coffin and a Victorian style slate gravestone with the semi-circular top and little “shoulders” at each top corner. On the stone I want someone to fix the face plate of a coin slot from a game machine and inscribe, in a 140 point serifed font, “GAME OVER”.

    Thats all. No names. No dates. No trite little sayings from the Womens’ Christian Temperance Union’s Greatest Hits Volume 5032. NOTHING ELSE!

    Oh, and there was an E-Type Jaguar hearse in a movie called “Harold and Maude”. It would be really cool if someone could get that, or something similar, for my funeral. It might even make me grateful, if you believe in that sort of thing. 😉

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  18. One of the greatest gifts my mother ever gave us was planning her funeral–she died 3 months later very unexpectedly at 48 years old. I always wonder if she may have had some premonition.

    I love your ideas, but like Juliana, I’ll avoid the snacks–thanks for the warning.

    Generally the open coffin is just from the chest up–so the no suit thing might actually work. 🙂

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  19. shizgirl: I agree, most funerals suck. That’s why I’d like to make a bit of an effort for mine.

    andrew: Consider your request duly logged and acknowledged. I saw Harold and Maud and I seem to recall that the custom Jag hearse ended up being driven off a cliff, so it isn’t readily available for any more funerals. How about something with a South African spin, like a horse-drawn minibus taxi hearse?

    sophie: I had a peek at your blog and your mother sounds like an amazing person. I don’t think I have to worry too much about premonitions, because I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to win the lottery for years.

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