Friday, 10 February 2012


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 -

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  1. This is so sad, Lucy, yet somehow not. It's just heartwarming in the end. I like that. x

  2. oh this is just beautiful. You dad sounds like such a kind soul - i love that he pointed out funerals should indeed be 'fun' a celebration, how often we miss that and get caught in our grief, and our loss rather than our gratitude.
    Sigh. I think I'm going to cry reading through most of these link ups!

  3. Your dad sounds like a great man. This is such a touching post. I don't know how I want to go but hopefully it's not before my time.

  4. Exactly what Maxabella said.

  5. My son has a remote controlled "fart Machine". I have instructed him to place it in my casket and at the most serious moment of the service he is to press the button on a whopper of a fart!

    I want people to remember my fun eral

    Cranky Old Man

  6. I don't know what to say! What a beautiful post. I too have lost very dear loved ones, too many actually and its tough making those hard decisions you have to make when preparing a FUNeral. Thank you for your amazing insightful post. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

  7. Beautiful Lucy. It should be a funeral. Grief is hard enough without letting some laugher in.


  8. That was a lovely post. It was my Grandmothers funeral recently and everyone wore the brightest most colourful outfit because she HATED black, and we played her out to a show tune. The shame of a good funeral is that the person you care about is not there to see it.

  9. Fab song choice agree it should be a fun eral...I chose a top 10 for my post xx

  10. Laughter with loved ones is one of the best antidotes I know to depression and grief. It's hard to lose a Dad and remembering the fun you had together helps greatly. Lovely post.

  11. What an elegant and lovely sentiment you depict here. You have given me much to think about.


  12. Oh Lucy. With Dad's death still so raw for me, I can't listen to that song. But thankyou so much for sharing those precious recollections of your Dad. You are a sparkling gem for doing that. J x

  13. Beautiful words about your Dad.

    I like 'horses with plumes and flame throwers'. I can imagine your carnival.

  14. Crying.

    This is one of the most beautiful blog posts I have ever read. 'What's a blog' indeed ... Jesus Christ you are a beautiful Soul Lucy. XXX

  15. Stop making me go all weepy... actually, don't, it's good for me. I don't think we do funerals very well in the west- too quick, and no memorials later on.

    At Dad's funeral, I read a poem which my Mum had read years ago and put in a drawer for this time. It was so perfect for him, and it meant so much to me to read it out. They battled so much, but there was love there too and I was so proud to read these words for Mum to Dad. Life is so complex.

    I'd love to come to your fun funeral Lucy, in approx 40 - 50 years time ideally!

  16. It seems so weird to say, but I'd be honoured to come to your fun-eral..... when I am elderly and you've lived your long full life already xxxx Your Dad sounds a most marvellous man. Aren't wakes strange things?

  17. Oh I love this song, have not heard it in so long.

  18. Lucy, I have been awarded the a blogger award' by a lovely lady and I wanted to share that with you for 2 reasons. 1) yours was the first blog I ever read and loved it and 2) your blog truly is sweet and wonderful. Come a see when you have a moment to spare.


  19. I'm very comfortable about my own death, I just hope for a long life as I don't want to miss anything.

    Like you, I want it to be a joyous type of an occassion

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