F is for...


This guy looks pretty happy and he's going to a funeral!

At the age of forty-one, I have been to exactly three funerals in my life and two of those I've attended in the last few months.  The first funeral was for my grandmother.  I was fourteen at the time.  For the life of me, I can't remember the actual service, but I do vaguely remember the drive to the funeral.  There was a lot of singing going on in my mom's car (The Beatles) and it drove me nuts.  My sullen teenage self was probably thinking, there's no singing when someone dies! Ga!

How wrong I was, which I learned at funeral #2, which I crashed just like Harold & Maude.  Okay, I'm lying.  I didn't crash it, but I didn't know the deceased. Heck, I don't even really know her son, but he works at my kids' school and a friend asked if I wanted to go.  When you have the audacity to call yourself the "death writer," people tend to ask you to attend funerals with them. I was amazed at how upbeat and joyous this service was.  There was singing and dancing and praising Jesus, I was like, wait a minute, this is a funeral?  Aren't people supposed to be sad?  Where's the tissue? I don't think I saw one person cry.  Granted, the woman who died was in her 90's and a lot of people loved her, but they were happy that she was moving on to be with Jesus.

The third funeral I attended was for my friend and penpal, Larry Matthew Puckett.  You can read about him here and here or here.  He lived on death row in Mississippi and was executed, so I expected his funeral to be stressful or weird, but it wasn't.  There were tons of people in attendance. His mother and family had put out pictures and mementos from his life at the funeral home.  A preacher and a Catholic priest, both friends with Matt, delivered the service.  There was music and stories about Matt's life. But at this service there was lots of crying.  I didn't get weepy until Matt's mom got up to speak.  I asked the lady next to me if she had an extra Kleenex, but they were all wadded up in her hand.   

There are a ton of different customs at funerals that you can read about here.

Have you thought about what you want
at your own funeral?

I have.  Well, of course I have.  I want a party.  I want a really good picture of me put on a table where all the booze is sitting.  There's going to be lots of food and music.  I want a microphone to be passed around so no one has to stand up in front of the throngs of people (hey, a girl can dream, can't she?) and I wan't my friends and family to express their best memory of me.  Because that's where I'll continue to live on...