When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Leave my funeral until I'm dead, thanks

Leaving parties, when everyone's signed a card and you all stand around clutching drinks while people say things that may or may not be true about you, can be horribly embarrassing. The thought of attending one that's meant to be a funeral, only before you're dead, doesn't appeal to me at all. OK, have a party - I know a couple of people who've done that because they didn't want to miss the one that would otherwise be held after the funeral - but not a funeral, please. I really don't want to be there. I don't want to hear what people might say about me, and not just because some of it may not be complimentary. I'm really not so keen on funerals that I want to attend my own.

However, it seems that some people think it's a good idea, the people at Saltcote Place in Rye among them, but they would, wouldn't they? They're offering their venue, for a fee, for such events. Among other things, they say,
Such a funeral can be arranged to fit the needs of all the family members and friends as well as the deceased-apparent. For example, his or her family members and friends will be able to attend this pre-arranged funeral if it is scheduled so no one will be caught while on an out-of-town business trip or vacation.
Oh well, we wouldn't want to inconvenience anyone by dying while they're in the middle of a holiday, would we? Sorry, but if I'm dying, it's likely that the last thing on my mind will be your holiday plans, and if people say I was a selfish old bag at my funeral (that's if they give me one), I won't be there to hear it.


gloriamundi said...

I'm with you on this, Margaret. I think sometimes people are over-anxious about trying to control their own funerals. Leave behind info about arrangements, who to contact etc, fine, but writing your own eulogy? Or listening to someone else's? Blimey, if you can't let go when you're dead, when can you?

A party might be a good idea for some, though I'm not sure for me - at least, not if it was announced as a farewell party. Supposing the medics were inaccurate, and one lived on another three or four years? That might prompt the comments "still around then. when's the next so-called goodbye bash...?"

Margaret said...

A friend's husband was dying with a brain tumour and decided he'd like to have the family and friends get-together before he died, so he could see everyone and enjoy their company while he still had the strength. I heard it went well.

If someone has a "living funeral", does that mean that their family doesn't have to bother with one afterwards?

gloriamundi said...

Interesting and problematical question - logically, one might say "no, job done," but that might, when it came to it, feel a little - empty? Odd?