Linking with the lovely Eden, on the subject of funerals....
It was 1986 and I should have been working for my final year at school. But I was reading novels instead. I would "study" at home.
The TV show Neighbours had just debuted, and I was hooked.
My Dad was ill - really really poorly. He would watch the soaps with me as I pretended to be on a break from my studies. He would pick up my novels as I finished them and left them around the house. He would peer at me over the top of his specs. I loved him so much.
He read the Vacillations of Poppy Carew by Mary Wesley the day after I did, way back when, in 1986. And told me how amusing he found it that the word funeral started with the word "fun". And that a funeral SHOULD be fun. I sat at his feet and we talked about what a funeral should be like. That it should be fun. A candle snuffed, and then a fun celebration.
He did not die for another few years. The grief was too raw to remember that he wanted a fun funeral.
His funeral was standard.
No songs, aside from the requisite hymns. He was not a religious man, but nor was he agnostic. The tunes fitted.
His wake was held at our house, and against all odds, it WAS fun. I remember someone playing the soundtrack from Salad Days, and as I passed round vol-au-vents and cups of tea, the atmosphere was jovial. Really fun.
I flick flack myself.
A quiet unassuming let's get it over with service in an almost institutionalised branded funeral home? Get it over with quickly. I do not want to inconvenience anyone. People pleaser me wants to make it easy. I do not want my children to bicker over choices or decisions, nor raise their eyes at any specific requests that they will no doubt perceive as weird or inappropriate.
But then I remember that novel and how much I loved it at the time, and how I loved the conversations I had with my Dad over fun funerals.
Horses with plumes and flame throwers. Bright bright flowers and a candy floss machine. No black frocks, nor graveside gloom. Loud music and friends and family from near and far. Huge hugs and kisses and laughter and delight. A spit roast and a piano. A face painter perhaps. Shit, I'd love a marching band too. A carnival.
I want my nearest and dearest to cry happy tears as they remember really really good times.
I do not want to die too soon - I do not want to miss out on anything. But when I do go - when my candle is snuffed...I want my funeral to be loving and so much fun.
And the song? As those happy tears fall?
The song I always associate with well spent grief -