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To want an 'Interactive' type of funeral?

(52 Posts)
nannym Fri 19-Aug-11 12:54:50

One evening recently a programme on the television prompted me to start a discussion with my DH about my funeral (which is hopefully still a good few years away, but you never know...). I want a Humanist service, cardboard coffin, no flowers (wicked waste of money), and no arguments over the choice of music which is Going On Up To The Spirit In the Sky on entry to the Crematorium and Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye as the coffin disappears behind the curtain. As each person takes an order of service they will also be given a small Union Jack and I want them to wave this as they sing. DH is horrified at what he regards as a total lack of respect for the occassion. What do others think?

Baggy Sun 21-Aug-11 06:21:56

I simply do not care. I'll be dead. Also, simply, I know my nearest and dearest will do a good job without my having to prompt them in advance. Funerals are for the living to say goodbye. Let them do it as they wish.

expatmaggie Sun 21-Aug-11 08:25:33

Jazzbands and fireworks are for births not deaths, Somehow we have to learn to get ourselves out of the main picture when we are old.

jangly Sun 21-Aug-11 09:55:20

Shouldn't funerals be, primarily, to comfort those left behind? I hope my grandsons will be at my funeral and I want them to leave with some of the best music aavilable ringing in their ears.

And for me that is hymns.

Abide with me. And finish off with Praise my soul the King of Heaven.

Grumpyoldwoman Sun 21-Aug-11 10:20:10

My DH and I both want to be cremated ...then whoever goes first has their ashes 'stored' until the other one dies ...then both lots of ashes scattered in the sea at the back of Peel Castle on the Isle of Man.
DH's mother's family are from Peel and we have had so many wonderful holidays there especially with our children...their favourite place was the rocks behind the castle....we want to go back there together.

I am always thinking about music at our services and DH has mentioned hymns he wants. When he was 15 he had a poem published in his school magazine about ' imagining the world without you in it.' I still have the magazine.
It would be a fitting tribute to have it read at his funeral by one of our daughters.
I love the song 'Just a breath away' (G4) and 'All i have to do is dream' by the Everlys (our era) or 'The Young Ones' the record we went to buy the day after we stared going out with each other in 1961.
There should be a mixture of happy memories of ones life and fitting emotions for the family left behind.
So much depends on the circumstances/age etc of the person who dies. Burying our darling stillborn Grand-daughter was unbearable.

jangly Sun 21-Aug-11 10:26:02

Morning has Broken. That would be good at a funeral.

And the Band if the Royal Marines playing the music.

jangly Sun 21-Aug-11 10:26:40

Well, son-in-law might be able to rustle up a few of his old mates anyway.

jangly Sun 21-Aug-11 10:27:12

of, not if hmm

Mamie Sun 21-Aug-11 13:03:12

OH wants Joe Walsh singing "Life's been good to me so far". Worst one I went to was "My Way" especially the bit about the final curtain...

supernana Sun 21-Aug-11 13:32:54

In the attic are two of the largest Viking Direct cardboard boxes...nice and fuss or frills...and, when we 'depart', like us, recyclable. grin

maxgran Mon 22-Aug-11 11:55:04

I am quite happy for whoever is left to sort out what goes on at my funeral. After all I won't be here to know or to care about it so I think its best if it suits those who have to do it all. I am happy (?) to pay for it but I don't want any control over it.

Eleanorre Tue 23-Aug-11 22:33:07

I have been at a funeral where they played '' Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye'' and it did seem a bit strange as the service was in a church but it made me think '' good on you '' for choosing that song.
We were at a service where the very young grandchildren had travelled some distance to be there staying overnight so had brought their hamster and it went to the service as well . It lightened the mood a lot.
I am having no service , only my closest family at the graveside and it will be up to them to choose a poem or reading . My daughter says she will do Pam Ayres ''Oh I wish I'd looked after my teeth''

supernana Wed 24-Aug-11 12:32:22

Eleanore grin No service for me, either. I'd like family and friends to gather on the beach, scatter my ashes into the Sound of Jura, drink lots of wee drams, and sing 'Westering home with a song in the air..." Perfect!

jangly Wed 24-Aug-11 12:33:09

Oh I love "Westering Home"! They used to play it in school assembly.

jangly Wed 24-Aug-11 12:34:03

I still sing it. Prob not in tune.

jangly Wed 24-Aug-11 12:35:15

Who would have been singing it on the record in those days?

Lovely voice he had.

supernana Wed 24-Aug-11 13:12:32

jangly consider your services booked [at my farewell do!] When I was at the convent school [for my sins] we were singing this very song when Sister do-da singled me out and suggested that I sit on the side and keep quiet - 'because, my dear, you're obviously tone deaf.'

jangly Wed 24-Aug-11 13:24:44

Supernana - that happened to me! The headmistress who took singing went along the lines listening for the one singing flat!

Guess who it was?! grin

You really wouldn't want me singing.

(I never got over that) sad

nanapug Wed 24-Aug-11 13:37:13

Love so many of these ideas, and it has set me thinking about the music I would like. Thanks for some great ideas.
I would like my friends and family to just sit quietly with my fave music playing, and think about times we had together, and that is all. No vicars, hymns or anything.
One stipulation I have made is that if the hearse goes down the motorway it is to travel at normal speeds for a motorway. I think it is so dangerous when funeral cars travel at "a respectful" speed causing cars to slow down on the motorway. I get very angry.
My DH says he doesn't care what I arrange for him as he won't know anything about it!!
I agree about flowers being a waste of money. I once went to a crematorium where behind a very tall fence (about 10 foot tall) was an enormous skip full to overflowing with flowers. It was such a shock to see them all. Some people like to take them to a local hospice, but when my mum was in a hospice she hated the flowers coming in from funerals as it reminded her of what was to come. I would like people to plant a rose or tree or something if they want to.

Elegran Wed 24-Aug-11 13:57:47

Jangly etc Kirkcaldy High School in the mid-fifties had an award-winning choir, which everyone in 4th 5th and 6th years joined unless they were kicked out for tone-deafness or unacceptable behaviour. Aggie Miller conducted it. She was a dragon who could quell a whole bass section of 17 year-old boys with one look, and she got a ?BE for services to music when she left. Everyone feared her and admired her and she led the choir to victory over the lesser choir at Buckhaven High.

I used to do a goldfish act when she prowled around looking for who was singing duff notes, mouth wide open but no sound. So I was present at the Assembly rooms when we won a couple of gold medals.

Annobel Wed 24-Aug-11 14:52:46

When I was 7, and the class was singing together, Miss Reid came along, clapped her hand over my mouth and told me I was droning. I have never quite got over it! She was a real b...h of a teacher who compelled us to shiver without our blazers while she wore her fur coat in the classroom. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I later heard that some poor fool had married her!

Baggy Wed 24-Aug-11 15:33:36

MOG and I have already agreed to plant a tree for whichever goes first.

supernana Thu 25-Aug-11 11:41:52

Annobel I've not recovered from my embarrassing experience. 59 years since, and I only ever mouth the words to a song [in public]...a little encouragement from my husband goes a long way but I shall never forget that "put-down" in front of the rest of the class.

ellie50 Thu 25-Aug-11 21:52:38

although sadly i was unable to attend my brothers funeral in australia due to ill health my sister sent a dvd of photos and music that was played. it was a great comfort to see. the funeral was held in a very small and intimate crematorium as my brother was not religious. the service consisted of his close friends and family recounting their memories of him, some not so flattering! but it was him and very personal. what made me smile was the coffin which was cardboard, covered in graffitti and messages. my sister had provided pens and pritt stick for photos and invited the gathering to contribute to decorating the coffin! someone had written " return to sender"
a slideshow of my brother from baby to man played in the background.
afterwards, everyone went to a nearby hotel for drinks and food.
they played his favourite music and a close friend played his guitar.
if he had been there, my brother would have really appreciated the humour and fun!!
i have seen some really nice cardboard coffins on a website that have been photographically decorated to indicate a persons hobby or interest. the one i like is a field of poppies, so colourful and cheerful. unfortunately cant remember the name!

yogagran Thu 25-Aug-11 23:01:59

Some of you have said that you didn't want any funeral at all, personally I think that this is a mistake for those left behind. A funeral is a "marking point", a valediction, in the same way that a marriage or christening service is a milestone, and it gives great comfort.

Elegran Sun 04-Sep-11 16:45:15

Just to say that the Humanist Association will arrange funerals. One of the "best" funerals I have been to was a humanist one. The celebrant (is that what she was called) contacted friends of the deceased to talk about him, and incorporated several stories from them in her address, and had a few minutes silence for people to think their own thoughts, and pray if they wanted to. The music was just what he would have chosen - a bit of classical, a bit of more modern, and the final piece as we were leaving was the music of "The saints go marching in" but with someone singing a Hibees song to it. The tea-and-buns afterwards was at Hibs stadium, within view of the hallowed turf and his season-ticket seat in the stand.