The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Crying games

Sunday, 12 August 2012


Triumph and disaster at the Olympics have opened reticent Brit floodgates as never before. What chance of an overspill into griefdom, where they’re not a sentimental indulgence but an emotional necessity?


7 comments on “Crying games

  1. Evelyn

    Tuesday 14th August 2012 at 7:28 pm

    and for the ladies – a gentle dabbing of a lacey ‘kerchief whilst steadfastly refusing to relinquish one’s heart to its own devices…

    • Wednesday 15th August 2012 at 9:30 am

      Oh gosh yes, Evelyn, absolutely — something that can be practised whether moved or not, an advantage you laydees have over us chumps, I mean chaps.

  2. Tuesday 14th August 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Splendid, Charles, I’ve been practising the steadfastness of jaw in front of the mirror, will let you know how it goes next time I get caught out!

  3. Monday 13th August 2012 at 8:53 am

    What a challenging final question, Charles. Does it depend on how one cries? Some people tend to issue forth a quiet tear, which rolls gently down their features. Noble, touching, etc. My face tends to pinch up, a small release of snot may be not far away, and so are gulps. Less noble and inspiring…

    One does have to speak, after all! But perhaps the audible effect of someone just about managing to hold it together (my more likely reaction) is good enough – shows we are not women and men of steel. Closer to milk pudding actually, in my case. A lethally beautiful poem by Donne nearly done me down recently….

    • Monday 13th August 2012 at 9:47 am

      I guess it does depend very much on how one does it, GM, doesn’t it? The crem timetable abhors a hiatus, so taking a time out for group bawling is not going to be a runner. Actually, any sort of choked standstill is likely to be irksome to any number of more buttoned-up grievers and, if celebrants are there to hold the space, they are also there to hold themselves together. Only a sociopath could do the job without being moved, and the possibilities for emotional ambush are many — a poem, a piece of music, a tremor in the front row. Perhaps the beau ideal is to channel emotion into a certain huskiness of voice combined with steadfastness of jaw, still audible and bravely prevailing, but indicative of and responsive to mood. Enough, possibly, to give all present an opportunity to howl a bit even as the proceedings enter the home straight, courageously fixed on breasting the tape.

  4. Sunday 12th August 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Apologies for including someone from the Dominican Republic, I now notice. Oh, well. And well done to him, too.

    Mo’s race was astonishing. Such a lovely man!

    Perhaps celebrants should set the example at funerals?

  5. Belinda Forbes

    Sunday 12th August 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Thank you for posting this. This Olympics has opened the flood-gates for me. I was so choked up when Mo won his second gold medal last night that I couldn’t speak. I’m only hoping this doesn’t spill into my professional role. Emotional involvement is good but blubbing as I read the eulogy is not!

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