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 Post subject: It's your funeral
PostPosted: Sat 12 Mar , 2005 6:10 am 
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I've become very interested in this topic and thought about it a number of times, especially since December. Today was the third wake I've been to since then. The first was a friend's grandmother, second was a distant cousin and the most recent (today) was my own grandfather. I have thought more and more about what I'd want my own funeral and wake to be like when I'm gone.

Personally, I'd like my wake (if I had one) to go how my grandfather's went to today. There were few people crying (we all knew he was going to die soon) and it was mostly family coming together to celebrate a man that was very important to our family. It was also a chance for distant relatives to meet again. I liked this.

For my own funeral, I'd like it to be more of a party. People celebrating the few days I was alive, than all those days in the future that I won't be here. Your funeral is your last Earthly huzzah. I'd rather go out in a bang, than a sob.

I hope this isn't too morbid for everyone.

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PostPosted: Sat 12 Mar , 2005 6:44 am 

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I think a lot about my funeral (morbid, yes, but very interesting). I’d love to be cremated on a huge open-air pyre at night, but I’d imagine that there’d be health issues over it. Of course, being a narcissist, I’d feel that my life was a bit wasted if I didn’t lie in State following my death for a few days before being transported in a huge but silent parade through streets lined with mourners throwing flowers benerath the wheels of the hearse to the mausoleum built to house my earthly remains, while my legacy lives on for a thousand thousand years…


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PostPosted: Sat 12 Mar , 2005 3:26 pm 
Not so deep as a well

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Clowns. I hate clowns. So they should be at my funeral.

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PostPosted: Sat 12 Mar , 2005 4:25 pm 
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I spent a few days lately "planning" my funeral. I did sorta fear I might check out, shuffle off this mortal coil, whilst "under the knife".

Evidently, and to my great relief I might add, I didn't.

I want to be a lot older when I finally buy the ranch. I am not going to "pass away". The word is: die.

A guy ran over a gas station attendant in a little town near here the other night. He dragged the poor kid 5 miles. The newspaper reported that the gas station attendant "passed away". Man, I could choke that reporter until his eyeballs fall out: the kid DIED. He was MURDERED. He did not "pass away".

Little rant over.

Funerals are a good thing, while death is not usually a good thing. We need the recognition of the Pale Visitor, we need closure. We need to hug each other and laugh and remember the one whose life we celebrate.

My husband, who has spent his entire adult life looking after our animals, is not joking when he says he wishes his mortal remains could be......fed to the creatures who have fed us for so long. He's right. Of course it won't happen. I'm pretty sure it's illegal.

My old neighbour was an East Indian woman whose family came here from India when she was little. Her mother died not long after they got here and the family built a pyre on their farm and cremated her. Of course it caused an ENORMOUS fracas in the community and it was a pretty traumatic experience for my neighbour, too. Losing her mum, and the fire, and all. If everyone did it, it wouldn't have been so bad, but she felt the oddity of it as much as the horror, if you follow me.

Welp, off to a Soccer Tournament. Everyone will cater to me, bringing me coffee and doughnuts, etc., 'cuz they think I'm an invalid. I am SO not an invalid. I feel great, and I love soccer.


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PostPosted: Sat 12 Mar , 2005 5:20 pm 
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Vison, your rant touches on something I've always thought important. I was watching a film once and I remember one of the characters said about an old man 'He's died.' The subtitles translated it as 'He's dead'. That annoyed me so much...call me crazy but they are two very different ways to describe a death. I loathe hearing that someone 'passed away'. I've met people who use that term to describe someone fainting...

I prefer to have died than to be dead. Something about the choices that I'm relentless to give up, even in death.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat 12 Mar , 2005 6:17 pm 
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I figure "passed away" can only really be used if you died in your sleep or something. Then you would literally pass from sleep to... somewhere else.

But it can't really be used any other way. If you fell into a hypothetical meat grinder and died, you would most definitately not be "passing away".

For me, I want to donate some of my internal (not skin or anything like that though. The thought kinda creeps me out) organs when I pop ye ol' clogs, and I want to be cremated.

I hate the idea that in hundreds of years someone could dig up my bones, long after people have forgotten all about me. Or have my grave slowly sink far into the ground - also to be forgotten. But if there isn't a grave to be forgotten or looked after, then I don't have to worry about it.


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PostPosted: Sat 12 Mar , 2005 7:02 pm 
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I've wanted a viking funeral, but I think it might be illegal in the states. I do want the second quote in my sig as my marker. I don't really care whether I'm buried or cremated, but if buried...pine box. Stupid coffin...

'Passed away' does only work for those who go quietly in their sleep. Though I think perhaps I could say my grandfather passed away. He was at the nursing home and the nurses saw something might be wrong during lunch, they brought him to his room, laid him in his bed, he took one last breath and that was it. Nice way to go if you ask me.

That kid who got dragged certainly did not "pass" anywhere. Killed, died, etc., never passed.

Just to ramble some more, I was amazed during the funeral because he is a former police chief, so we had a police escort to the church and cemetery. The paulbearers even shouldered the coffin with a line of about 5 cops along the stairs.

Sorry for all the death rambling.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar , 2005 8:48 am 
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I often thought about if and where I would like to be buried.

I don´t like the thought of a "normal" grave on a graveyard and my family has to look after it and do some gardening work or pay for someone doing it. And after 25 years someone must pay for the maintenance of the grave or it will be removed.

There are some possibilities here like being cremated and the ashes can be spread on the open sea. A good idea to me seems the already existing "forests of peace", where the ashes will be buried at the roots of a tree. I would like to have a funeral in the forest and a wake is not a custom here in Germany. The corpse is being kept in store at the undertaker´s and later it goes to the graveyard.

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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar , 2005 5:40 pm 
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I've been thinking a lot about this lately, especially since both of my grandmothers died in the first five weeks of this year. One had a lovely ceremony in the butterfly house of the Detroit Zoo, where she worked. The other had a very traditional Jewish funeral. It was kind of an interesting comparison. . .

I think "passing away" can really only be used if someone dies naturally, in bed, of old age or something like that. Because that's literallly passing. . . passing out of this world. But murder, that's more like being dragged out. Being pushed kicking and screaming. That's just dieing.

For myself, I think a Viking funeral would be incredibly snazzy. I love the idea of being shoved out to sea on a burning ship, or being buried in one like Sutton Hoo. However, I also really like the idea of being mummified, perhaps by being thrown in a peat bog. The archaeologist in me thinks it would be incredibly neat to be dug up and studied in a few thousand years. Then I could be in a musuem like the Lindow Man! :D

By the way, I find it ironic that my one of my first posts here, the beginning of my B77 life, if you will, is about death. Isn't irony fun?


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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar , 2005 6:47 pm 
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As long as I go within three days of the trash pickup a big black plastic bag will do quite nicely. Save the cash family. Use it for the living not for decomposing worm food.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar , 2005 8:44 pm 
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I can't imagine anything I'd be less interested in than my own funeral! I really won't care folks!

I do worry about what I should do when close relatives start kicking the bucket.

I mean, all my father has ever said was to throw him out on the compost pile when he dies. :roll: I'm pretty sure that isn't legal! I guess I ought to ask him for real, now, but I don't want to give him or my mother any ideas! They should be good for another 20-30 years or so, they are only in their sixties.

I would be inclined to not hold any sort of public function, just have the remains cremated and the ashes scattered, but I realize that isn't realistic to the needs of everyone else. Me, I don't need a tear-jerker ceremony and lots of weeping and wailing. I'd much rather grieve in private, but there seems to be some weird need served by funerals. I don't get it. I've considered every funeral I've ever gone to to be pure torture. I don't see why I should encourage such things by planning one for a close relative of mine.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar , 2005 8:51 pm 
You are hearing me talk

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I want the sort of funeral where dark mages resurrect you into a super-powerful level 39 demigod. Preferably the kind with wings, horns, and a cool reverb effect whenever you talk.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar , 2005 1:50 am 
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MariaHobbit wrote:
I can't imagine anything I'd be less interested in than my own funeral! I really won't care folks!

I do worry about what I should do when close relatives start kicking the bucket.

I mean, all my father has ever said was to throw him out on the compost pile when he dies. :roll: I'm pretty sure that isn't legal! I guess I ought to ask him for real, now, but I don't want to give him or my mother any ideas! They should be good for another 20-30 years or so, they are only in their sixties.

I would be inclined to not hold any sort of public function, just have the remains cremated and the ashes scattered, but I realize that isn't realistic to the needs of everyone else. Me, I don't need a tear-jerker ceremony and lots of weeping and wailing. I'd much rather grieve in private, but there seems to be some weird need served by funerals. I don't get it. I've considered every funeral I've ever gone to to be pure torture. I don't see why I should encourage such things by planning one for a close relative of mine.


Funerals are for the living, not the dead. They are necessary.

A dear friend of ours died twenty years ago. In accordance with his wishes, there was NO memorial, funeral, wake, beerfest, NOTHING. It was months before I could reliably remember he was dead. There is still a bit of a blank where he used to be. There was no closure. Not my favourite word, but apt.

They can be awful, yes. But it's the job of the living to make them less awful. You grieve in private anyway. The public outpouring of tears and sorrow is a community thing, it is part of being human. People want to recognize the one who died. Why? Who knows. It's just one of the things we do.

Death is part of life, as they say. It's important. One of the rites of passage.


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PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar , 2005 3:06 am 
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My husband's funeral this past November was very special. I met people I'd heard him talk about for years, but never seen face to face. I learned things about him that I will cherish as memories for the rest of my life.

As for closure, the priest who married us officiated at the service, and, just as he'd done at our wedding, sang the Lord's Prayer. Trevor (the priest) has a truly magnificent baritone voice, and he and Roger would often sing the prayer together at the Wednesday communion service.

Funeral bring a sense of closure to the living. They help to cement family ties, and make the bereaved feel less alone.

I am not big on cremation. I like to think of my remains mouldering peacefully away under the shade of the cedar and maple trees in the little semi-rural churchyard where four generations of my family already lie at rest. Roger, on the other hand, felt he had a bit of Viking blood in his veins, courtesy of the Norsemen who invaded the Highlands of Scotland. He would have liked the Viking ship type of burial. The closest we could come to that was to honour his wish to be cremated.

[Sigh] This thread reminds me...we need to ask my mom what her wishes are regarding burial/cremation. My parents purchased full-sized burial plots, but my dad was cremated. Not sure what mom wants, and the way things are going, we need to find out....SOON! :(

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar , 2005 3:24 am 
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:hug: Sunsilver :hug:


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PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar , 2005 5:04 am 
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I haven't thought about this subject much at all, but that's basically because I'm at a point at life where one doesn't really do that. I've just started with my adult life and don't really have any legacy or people to gather if I died. I do know that I most likely won't want to be buried. It's such a waste of space I think. While the thought of my body burning kind of weirds me out, the thought of my ashes being spread over some beautiful area of land, helping to rejuvinate other life sounds nice. I guess as far as any kind of ceremony goes, I'll just leave that up to anyone who wants to organize something. I'll be long gone so I don't think I'd be bothered with what happens.

Sunsilver, :hug:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar , 2005 10:19 am 

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Dave_LF wrote:
I want the sort of funeral where dark mages resurrect you into a super-powerful level 39 demigod. Preferably the kind with wings, horns, and a cool reverb effect whenever you talk.


Best suggestion that we've had so far. Sadly, I imagine it's illegal in my Shire. I'll have to email the Council and ask them if I can get a permit for dark mage rebirth.


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PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar , 2005 3:13 pm 
Not so deep as a well

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You know, there might be a growth market for that dark mage rebirth thing...think about how many people used to go to Mexico for divorces...

Seriously, though, I think I want a cremation (after extraction of useful organs, if any are left after my life of debauchery :D ) and a centotapth put up. Something tasteful, about six feet tall and made of coke-bottle green glass, with the elvish anagram for my name on it. :Q

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar , 2005 3:26 pm 
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Vison wrote:
They can be awful, yes. But it's the job of the living to make them less awful. You grieve in private anyway. The public outpouring of tears and sorrow is a community thing, it is part of being human. People want to recognize the one who died. Why? Who knows. It's just one of the things we do.


I know, I know.... but I hate it. I'm too empathic for my own good and the intensity of emotion of many people grieving at once simply shreds me! It hurts so much more than *not* attending. I attended the funeral of one grandmother, and not the other, and it did take longer to get over the grief of the loss of the grandmother I didn't attend the funeral of. But it wasn't such a mind-wrecking experience either.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar , 2005 6:29 pm 
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Quote:
'when I'm gone', 'check out', 'shuffle off this mortal coil', 'buy the ranch', 'die', 'pass away', 'dead', 'killed', 'murdered', 'decomposing worm food', 'kicking the bucket', 'one of the rites of passage',



Interesting, all the different terms used for death, or dying. I know there are many more- but I would venture to guess people use what they are comfortable with.

I realized this quite well after the death of my brother in November... the fact of the matter was... he was killed, ... in a car accident.... by a drunk driver. I was at home when I found out, and to inform people I had to translate into a language other than my mother tongue- I tranlated it into 'died', - gestorben, rather than 'was killed' 'ums Leben gekommen'. I still have trouble with it. As for 'closure', I was unable to attend the funeral, and had to wait until we recently visited the US. No funeral to attend, just standing at his gravesite in a small cemetary on a windswept hill in the Ozarks. No time really to reflect, to weep,... my family was waiting in the car .... just a quick and tear choked whisper.... Goodbye Rob.

Funerals do serve their purpose for the living- we support each other in our loss, our grief, we remember the good things we have had in knowing the one who has left us. And for the living, what a wonderful gift- perhaps we are made more aware how transient and temporary our little sojourn on this big blue ball is, that we have a renewed desire to make the most of the time we have.

T.E.D.- my belated condolences on the loss of your grandfather.:( I don't know you but....:hug: anyway

Sunsilver-much strength and my thoughts go out to you with your mom. :hug:

(sorry for waxing morose.... not much to say on my own funeral- a celebration of Life, is what I would want people to have).

On a lighter note.... passing away, as mentioned several times above, does seem to apply to those who die naturally, or in their sleep, or rather aptly, for all Quarterbacks and Rugby players. ;)

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