funny funeral stories

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funny funeral stories

Postby cc » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:59 am

I am taking a writing class and recently wrote about the crazy things that can happen at funerals. For instance, a man who said he couldn't attend his father's funeral because he had a doctor's appointment - for his dog. A fellow classmate told of an aunt who always goes to the casket to "kiss" the deceased goodbye and then needs to be checked for valuables that may have entered her possession. I'd like to write more about the humorous side of funerals. Do any of you recall funny things that happened at a funeral you attended?
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby punkmebillie » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:24 am

You mean like at my dad's funeral, at which the minister called my dad Thomas several times before realizing his name was not Thomas and corrected himself? Also, my aunts told me that at my grandmothers funeral, during the playing of the hymn "Jesus is Calling", just when the chorus came up and the singer started singing the actual line "Jesus is calling..." the phone in the next room started ringing... Those are the kind of things that tend to kick off the dreaded giggle loop...
"I'm betting that I'm just abnormal enough to survive." -- The Tick
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby cc » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:43 am

Exactly what I'm looking for punkmebillie. Thank you. :) "the dreaded giggle loop" - love that phrase - it describes perfectly the reason why my mother absolutely will not let my sister and me sit together at a funeral.
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby urbanpioneer » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:59 am

My mother's funeral a year and a half ago was a VERY sad affair. The only bit of goofiness was coming up with "You might be a redneck if....." lines to match my nephew's situation. He is asocial and has no concept of right and wrong, or even actions and consequences, so he's been on and off drugs, in and out of jail, etc. His half-brother went through the trouble of talking the sheriff who was currently holding him to let him out for a day so he could attend his grandmother's funeral, which much to my suprise was actually arranged. The sheriff just added a day to his sentence. This resulted in "You might be a redneck if... you have to spring somebody out of jail so they can attend their grandma's funeral." Or, "You might be a redneck if... a relative shows up at the funeral with a LoJack on their ankle." All in all, it was good for all the brothers and cousins to have their bonding/grieving moment when they loaded my mother's casket into the hearse for the ride to the cemetery.
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby cc » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:36 am

Thank you for sharing urbanpioneer. I think funerals often balance precariously on the line between laughter and crying.
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby Unity » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:45 am

This isn't a funny story as such but looking back through the photos of funerals when I was a child and there is one where amongst everyone had been in black round the grave except me, I had been dressed in white :shock: I never did ask my parents about the reason for that.
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby cc » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:13 pm

Unity, it is my understanding that in some Eastern cultures white represents mourning, while black symbolizes funerals and death in the West. In Thailand, widows wear purple. In South Africa red is the color of mourning and Eastern brides wear red. Orange is the color of mourning in Egypt. Since all of the adults were wearing black, it might be interesting to ask why you were wearing white, if there's anyone who could answer the question.
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby urbanpioneer » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:48 pm

How many little kids have black funeral clothes on hand? It could just be that it was your "best" clothing at the time.
Last edited by urbanpioneer on Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby kashtanka » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:32 pm

Here's a little humor. At my father's wake, one brother suggested that the ten of my brothers and sisters gather afterwards for dinner. My oldest brother's reply was "Count me out - I already ate." A few comments were tossed around afterward - I mean c'mon, your own father!
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby cc » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:12 am

urbanpioneer - you're right, a lot of people don't think it's appropriate to dress children in black. Why buy an outfit for what you hope is a single use? kashtanka - that reminds me of a cousin who said he couldn't go to his father's funeral because he had a doctor's appointment -- for his dog! :shock: On the other hand, an uncle who recently died made provision to treat the family to a meal at a local restaurant after his wake. We had a wonderful time trading stories and eating catfish in his honor. :)
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby MDG » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:18 pm

CC, great subject. There was a well-known journalist (Canadian, I think) who pre-paid his own wake at their favorite watering hole. ...With the 'condition' that all fist-fights were to be held outside. The Mary Tyler Moore program, about the funeral of a clown, has become a classic. Excellent writing, and of course, perfect acting. It illustrates the laughter/crying connection in a way we are embarrassed to reveal. Funeral processions in Louisianna may feature a certain kind of music and cadence, in celebration of the life of the deceased. Smiles are a part of honoring them, too. And, yes, it's true, the music there is very 'different'. It hit me square in the chest when walking with my husband on a nearly empty street in the French Quarter of New Orleans...before that flood. A man sitting in a doorway across the street was playing a keyboard and a trumpet. The song was so beautiful, perhaps emphasized by the echo, that I needed to cross the street and put a bill in his container. "Thank you, darlin'," in a fine voice, was my reward. Once you've heard it, you never forget. I like to think this is the music that celebrates the lives of those who have known it. Urs, I read that both black and white are considered 'mourning' colors. One or the other is chosen for its suitability...children, of course, and perhaps the climate. In hot weather, a man could choose a white suit, if that is usual in that location. You were perfectly and respectfully dressed. Mahara
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby katchal » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:26 am

There's a funeral planning topic on the board you might want to check out: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=14213&p=128396&hilit=+iron+door+#p128396 Here's my post from it outlining how we all managed to close down the Iron Door Saloon after my aunt's funeral (she died of complications of alcohol-induced liver failure, so ending up in the bar was pretty appropriate). I don't drink much, so I was the one on drunk delivery duty after the event - driving folks home and helping them stagger back to the hotel!
My aunt died suddenly a few months ago. Neither she nor my uncle was particularly religious, but their lives were an unusual adventure so my uncle wanted a remembrance that would be true to how she lived – the fun-loving, adventurous, party-girl she was. My aunt and uncle marched to the tune of a very different drummer. At 35, they rented out their house, sailed their boat out of San Francisco Bay to sail around the world. They fell in love with a tranquil bay in Baja, Mexico and stayed there – living on the boat and making good friends – for the next 20+ years. After a brief return to San Francisco, they settled near Yosemite and made lots of friends on shore. When my aunt died, my uncle had her cremated and planned a celebration of life about a month later. The event started with a short ceremony and buffet at their country club where many of their friends came to pay their respects to my uncle and share stories of the fun times they all had together. Then, the family and many of the old friends went back to their house to drink a few beers, tell the old stories, and share photos of happy times. Finally, we went drinking and dancing at one of my aunt’s favorite places. We closed the bar at the famous Iron Door Saloon drinking toasts to her and basking in her joie de vivre one more time. Sometime this year, he’ll return to Mexico and spread her ashes in the waters of their favorite bay. Funerals are really for the living, not the dead. Since attending this extraordinary event, I haven’t been quite the same. Somehow my aunt’s spirit was there - hostess of the party – reminding us workaholics how precious life is and how great it feels to dance and be happy.
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby dani » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:07 pm

I had an elderly neighbor who was generally a sourpuss, but once told me a story of falling down the steps of a church after a funeral: "Boy, did I put on a show for them!" she said. Along with Mahara, I thought of the "Chuckles the Clown" funeral on the MTM show and thought this passage from Wikipedia might be enjoyable:
One of the most remembered episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show was "Chuckles Bites the Dust" (October 25, 1975), which involved the death of Chuckles. In that episode, Chuckles is hired as the grand marshal for a circus parade (after news anchor Ted Baxter is told to decline). At the parade, he dressed as a popular character, Peter Peanut. Tragedy struck when "..a rogue elephant tried to shell him.." and he died from his injuries. News of Chuckles's ironic death brings laughter to the newsroom staff, except for Mary. However, at the funeral service everyone is overcome with grief, and Mary cannot help but laugh during the service. However, when the minister tells the embarrassed Mary that the laughter was actually keeping with Chuckles' wishes, she suddenly breaks into inconsolable sobbing to her greater humiliation. This episode was ranked #1 on TV Guide's The Greatest Episodes of All Time.
In my early twenties, I had a boyfriend who was studying mortuary science and became a local funeral director. I've often thought I'd get a "Chuckles" fit if I inadvertently went to a funeral where he presided. :mrgreen:
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby cc » Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:03 am

katchal - thank you for reminding us that funerals and memorials can be just as different as we are. dani - how great that your neighbor felt comfortable enough with you to share an embarassing memory. I imagine almost everyone is capable of a "Chuckles" moment. If you have access to high speed, here's a clip of the Chuckles episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cL4tMKjfS0 My husband sent this to me today. A man who was presumed dead is found alive --and working as a funeral director! cnn.com updated 4:07 a.m. EDT, Mon August 4, 2008 Man presumed dead since '76 found – alive FORT COLLINS, Colorado (AP) -- A man believed to have died in a Colorado flood in 1976 has been found living in Oklahoma. Sixty-three-year-old Darrell Johnson told the Fort Collins Coloradoan for a story Friday that he didn't know he had been counted among the 144 victims of the Big Thompson Canyon flood until a resident called him last year. Barb Anderson said residents didn't want his name on a memorial plaque without proof he was dead. Johnson and his family had decided to leave their shabby cabin the morning of the flood after just one night. A few hours later, the resort was washed away. How Johnson ended up on the victims list remains a mystery. He now directs funerals in Oklahoma City and acknowledges he was lucky to get the bad cabin.
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Re: funny funeral stories

Postby Hedgey » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:44 am

I don't know if you're still collecting, but I have one. After an extended illness my father-in-law died. My husband and I were invited to ride in the limo with his mother and aunt to the cemetary since we had no children at the time. My mother-in-law handed over the keys to her car to a relative so he could drive it to the cemetary. After the graveside service we were transported back to the funeral home in the limo. Upon arriving we waited for her car to show up. It never did. So, the four of us squeezed into my husband's little Isuzu pickup truck. The four of us in winter coats were piled onto each other. I was sitting on my mother-in-law's lap with my legs over the aunt's legs. Oh, the truck had a standard transmission so we had to lean hard each time my husband had to shift gears! Needless to say we were laughing to the point of tears by the time we arrived at the wake.
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