Posted by Jeanne Rathbone
Noel Coward said funerals were the cocktail party of his set. James Joyce called them funforals and GB Shaw said ‘ Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh’.
I am a Humanist celebrant and have conducted hundreds of non-religious funerals. As our ceremonies are very personal I have heard some wonderful lifestories and anecdotes and had the privilege of conducting the funeral for my compatriot – the wonderful Dave Allen.
I have selected a few snippets to share with you and hope that this will encourage you to do likewise. Here are a few of my ‘oh bits from obits’
My dad was working for the Maharajah in Gwalia. When war broke out, Mum and I joined the army! She went to Delhi first.
Mum wore a perfume called ‘Smart Party’
On his first visit to his local pub he was aware that people were awkward and to break the ice he took his leg off, put it on the bar and said, ‘fill it up’… after that there was no problem.
Grace, Rose and Peggy (sisters) worked at the admiralty during the war, and ironically Grace and Peggy knew that Harry’s ship HMS Cornwall had been destroyed but could say nothing until Rose had been informed.
Frank worked in the newspaper industry until after the drama of the Wapping Protests. We have never been allowed to have any of the Murdoch’s publications in the home.
He loved his motorcycles, leather jackets and milky coffee.
Civil service hours were an unbelievable 10 to 3 in those days with half days on Wednesdays when she and her girlfriends would often go to the cinema.
He found some popularity and recognition through his skills in building homemade fireworks.
He was hospitalised inNaplesand then moved to various convalescent homes (now mostly 5 * hotels) along the Amalfi coast.
Hilda moved to the Stamp Office, following in the footsteps of her great, great uncle, Sir Rowland Hill, who set up the first Penny Post Service.
I even recall him ironing his football laces.
Mark kept a snake whose home was in a tank upstairs on the landing.
I remembered going to visit her in hospital believing aunt Grace was trying to buy a baby.
He completed the London to Brighton walk in 1969 in 11hrs 53 mins.
Jim never married, though he had several what he called “lucky escapes!”.
On his first driving lesson when told to feel the pedals he knelt down and touched them!
Now show us yours!
I hope that celebrants who read this blog will rise to the challenge. Jeanne has a very good blog. Find it here. Her latest post on Baroness Warnock’s defence of faith and the C of E is well worth a read.