Posted by Lyra Mollington
The lovely Mr Cowling and his little friend Vale have kindly invited me to contribute to the splendid GFG. As a lady of a certain age, I have attended more than my fair share of funerals, becoming something of a connoisseur.
I have also attended more than my fair share of dreadful funerals. On one occasion we were regaled with threats of hell and damnation by an intense and possibly psychopathic lady vicar. She clearly warmed to her theme as she saw our horrified faces. We were her ideal audience – unable to escape.
The humanists are only slightly better – why do they have to mention religion so much? Yes, we get it – you can have a funeral without God. And yes, you mean no disrespect to those of a religious faith. Get a grip for heaven’s sake! We’re not going to fall apart because you’re unable to wax lyrical about Life Everlasting. However, I do miss a good hymn. As long as it’s not All Things Bright & Beautiful! Unless the organist is playing it in the key of C, at my age I have no hope of reaching the top notes. But even that is better than Wind Beneath My Wings. Does no-one listen to the lyrics?
Anyway, it got me thinking. What if my children chose something like that for my funeral. Plan ahead – that’s the key. So whilst we were tucking into our crispy duck in restaurant in China Town, I tentatively raised the subject of my demise. It went something like this:
Me: I’ve been thinking about my funeral.
Daughter: (imagine high-pitched disapproval) Mum! We’re eating!
Me: Well we don’t often get the chance to talk like this. I just wanted…
Son: (fingers in ears) Not listening. Not listening.
Me: I’ll write it all down then.
Daughter: Fine – but it’s not legally binding you know.
Son: (starting to chuckle) Yeah, but don’t worry – we’ve got lots of ideas.
Later that evening we saw Bill Bailey’s Work In Progress and everyone howled with laughter when he sang the first few notes of “I Will Always Love You…”
Now that’s another song I don’t want at my funeral. Does no-one listen to the lyrics?
Ed’s note: the first two lines are: ‘If I should stay, / I would only be in your way.’ A very good point you make, Ms Mollington.