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Fucked Up Funeral Frivolities

posted 4/30/2010 2:07:23 PM |
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I am reworking this blog to encourage sharing and comments.

Some people... Just when you think you have seen everything…As some of you know I had a friend and former colleague pass away earlier in the week. The services were this morning and burial is on Monday. After the services were over, a pot luck meal put out by the congregation was generously provided to family and friends.

While I was dining, I noticed a guy march from one end of the dining area to another and quietly yet angrily speak with a church member who may have been overseeing the luncheon. The overseer seemed steamed and went over to the other end of the hall, unceremoniously tapped a guy on the shoulder with one hand and pointed to the door with the other. The guy left. He was a nicely dressed guy in his fifties wearing slacks and a sport coat.

It turns out that this guy did not know the dearly departed, but was rather an opportunistic freeloader that slipped in to help himself to a free meal. I found out later that this is not the first time that he had done this.

Some friends of mine from New York went back there for a funeral of an aunt several years ago and this one had two stories to it. In the east it is quite common for couples to be buried on top of one another as opposed to side by side. Well, when the aunt died she was going to be laid to rest on top of her husband who had passed away over a decade before.

At the graveside, one of my friend’s female cousins looked over into the gravesite and let loose with a blood-curdling scream. The concrete foundation had cracked and sunk, plus a large amount of water had leaked into the crypt. The wooden coffin of the uncle had rotted away to reveal his skeleton in a dilapidated tuxedo.

This aunt who had passed was one of three senior domineering matriarchs in the family. They had issues that had kept them from speaking to one another for decades. With the passing of this aunt, the other two reconciled which pleased the rest of the family. They finally realized that life and family were precious and should not be taken for granted. They agreed to forgive and forget and focus on the positives…for a few hours it would prove.

Once the arrangements had been made for the services, the funeral director told them that, at no cost, they would provide a full meal for up to twenty to the family at this time of bereavement. The two surviving aunts got into a heated argument as to whose home it was going to held at and never spoke again. Both are now deceased and my friend never did find out where this meal of contention was provided.

About 17 years ago a friend of mine, Michael, passed. It was determined that he would be cremated. Well, there was a delay and it got to be maddening for his brother, one of my best friends. People had to make arrangements to fly in from out of state.

To make a long story short, when his body was transferred from the morgue along with another guy, they labeled the corpses wrong. This was not discovered until the family of the other guy went to view the body and asked, “Who is this?” Unfortunately, they had already cremated the wrong guy. There was a lawsuit and complaints to the state that led to changes in the law.

What oddities of the dearly departed do you have to share?

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Apr 30 @ 2:12PM  
That is really rude! and agin, I am sorry for your loss.

Apr 30 @ 2:17PM  
I knew people who did that at large wedding receptions years ago but to do that at someone's funeral is just wrong.

Apr 30 @ 3:16PM  
I'm a bit of a rabble-rouser and I'm known to cause a bit of trouble, so let me offer my take on this:

Throughout our lives there are roughly four types of human "ritual celebrations" (bear with me on the terminology...I'm trying to get this to span religions and cultures).

1) Indoctrination:
This is given when an individual "becomes" a young member of the society they belong to. Baptism, brit milah, confirmation, and bar mitzvah being common examples, the latter two being a kind of "youth proving ground" for basic mores.

2) Graduation:
Whether high school, trade school, or university, this celebration heralds the person's becoming a productive member of society.

3) Family:
Whether it is the joining of a wedding, or the celebration of a birth, people celebrate the things that bring us closer together and renew human life.

4) Death:
Whether it is the Sky Ceremonies of Tibet, or the Irish Wake, ritualized ceremonies like this give the living a chance to say goodbye.


Apr 30 @ 3:28PM  
(I know...long walk for a short I'll make it a good bourbon.)

That being said, what about the idea of crashing those celebrations?

1) Indoctrination:
Unless you're under seventeen and just want to see what all the fuss is about at one of these parties, crashing one is just plain weird. Not horrible, just weird.

2) Graduation:
Regularly crashed. From members of your high school. From members of other high schools. From frat boys hoping to score with high school girls. From your little brother that's trying to glom a beer off of someone or cop his first feel. Crashing one of these is not only normal, it's almost expected. Unless you're over 24. Then expect an arrest.

3) Family:
Once again, a little strange to crash, but you can get away with it. Particularly if you are "adding" something to the ceremony. "Well, I didn't know who he was, but he sang us that really great song and gifted us with a Kitchen Aid."

4) Death:
Wrong. You don't have to personally know the deceased. Maybe you just are an admirer of their work or are a good friend of a relative, but you should still ask to participate. Sure, there are those ceremonies of this kind that get downright rowdy. But the people are still there to show respect.

Apr 30 @ 4:21PM  
That's wrong, but just like some people.

Apr 30 @ 6:39PM  
It turns out that this guy did not know the dearly departed, but was rather an opportunistic freeloader that slipped in to help himself to a free meal.

That is just plain out rude.

I remember when my childhood buddy was gunned down about 18 years ago...I was at his funeral, when I noticed another childhood friend of mine in the other parlor room. Turned out her mother had passed away. So, I ended up attending 2 funerals in one day at the same funeral home.

Apr 30 @ 9:24PM  
WoW.... Yall fed someone, that was hungry!!! He was wrong.....but yall met the need!! (I hope!)
When You Die!!!...I hope you leave him a T bone!!!

When I was going to Church every Homecoming there was a guy that was on a Bicycle that helped his self!!!! (All of the pastor's knew what he was doing.... )
But they let him feed...

When my Dad Died.... My Sis Drove his car to the Funeral Home that we could pick out his Casket..and all that!!!
When she opened the Door...a "Black Racer"(Snake!) Struck out at her from the Door Jam!!!
I had to drive the Damn Car home...Alone!!

May 1 @ 9:43AM  
I don't have any, really, I was raised in a town where everyone knew everyone so if someone died it wasn't unusual for everyone in town to show up. People pulled over for the funeral procession. People acted respectfully toward one another. Even my pop's funeral that was held on my birthday.. wheeee..

I could tell ya some wedding nightmares though. Ex spouses/boy/girlfriends can be a real painus.

May 1 @ 9:59AM  
My daughter went to the funeral of an ex-husband of one her aunts several years ago. The deceased had an elderly great aunt who suffered from senility and incontinence. She took a shit during the eulogy and stunk up the services in what my daughter called, "The PEW in the pew."

May 1 @ 3:37PM  
peeeeee....ewe.....still...I am sorry for your loss....

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Fucked Up Funeral Frivolities