Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Early for my own funeral

Further to yesterday's post (actually the day before yesterday's, but in the same way I call it morning until I've had lunch, I call the day 'today" even after midnight if I haven't been to sleep), I had touched on the weekend my mum died here and here when I was talking about her dog a couple of years ago.  Thank you for all your comments.

I haven't planned my own funeral as such, although I have given it a fair bit of thought.  If I pop off before the Sage, I suspect he might make my coffin himself from oak boards, as he did for Chester and Tilly (I think it's a bit OTT for dogs, but he wanted to), but I'd really like a wicker coffin.  Weeza found a website with lovely ones a few years ago and I bookmarked it, but when my last computer broke I lost the bookmarks and haven't tracked down the company again yet.  There are a few companies making English wicker coffins, but I particularly liked the shape of that one.  My friend Bobbie's father was buried in a woven coffin, I'm not sure of the material - seagrass perhaps? - which was imported from China - apparently,  being a soft material, they can be stacked one inside another and are light, so it is counted as eco-friendly despite the distance travelled.  On no account do I want a brick coffin, whatever Dave says.

I certainly want to be buried and not cremated.  Although I'm not big on ceremony (there were three guests at my wedding, for instance), I recognise the importance of a funeral and a really low-key one brings a feeling of incompletion.  I have the Bible reading I would like and a hymn, but there are several other options for hymns I'd like and I think it's fair to give my family a choice.  After all, they're the ones listening to it.

I don't really want to be talked about.  It makes me uncomfortable.  And there really isn't much to say.  Maybe I should suggest a couple of anecdotes and leave it at that.  Choosing music for the start and finish is always a bit of a problem, unless you've got a really good organist.  CDs often don't sound right in a church.  Last year, a funeral I played the organ for had the coffin leave to Bridge over Troubled Waters, which was actually very effective.

This could be quite jolly though, don't you think?  Not the best video, but I vastly enjoyed seeing the YOA a few years ago (I blogged it at the time) and I've got their CD.

14 comments:

Sarah said...

I'm doing a willow sculpture/weaving course next week. I could make your coffin as my practice piece.....can't
promise it'll hold together whilst the bearers are lugging you into church tho'.

Dave said...

If you used engineering bricks on end, worms could crawl through the holes.

badgerdaddy said...

My friend Will was buried in a 'pod', I believe he was the first in the UK to be buried in one. There's a picture of a hippiefied version here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/southeast/series5/alternative_funerals.shtml

Roses said...

I'm to be cremated in a wicker coffing. My ashes scattered at The Rock in Trinidad.

I've not decided on the sending off part yet. Someone will have to say a few appropriate words and inappropriate stories, so I'm currently working on the latter.

Z said...

Sarah, that's a brilliant idea. Come to that, I could take a course too and learn to make my own coffin!

Dave, I am not going to be put in my grave by crane.

I suppose the eco-friendliest thing of all would be a shroud and buried at sea, if you live near the coast. I dislike the thought as much as I do being cremated, however.

I wrote about a really personalised funeral I went to, Roses (http://razorbladeoflife.blogspot.com/2009/11/z-wary-all-gingered-up-and-listing.html). There was a time for people to get up and talk about their memories of William. It was very moving - a laughter and tears occasion.

Dave said...

I have had a funeral where the coffin had to be lowered into the grave by crane (the Royal Engineers supplied the crane - it was a miliotary funeral). Remind me to tell you about it one day.

Caitlin said...

I don't intend to die so this conversation doesn't apply to me. However in the unlikely event my immortality doesn't hold I'd like to be propped up under a tree in the back garden.

Christopher said...

The widow of a Russian for whose funeral I played once (I mean a long time ago, not that he had more than one funeral) demanded 'merry music'. From the selection I suggested, she chose The Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker.

Z said...

Please tell us about it one day, Dave.

I'm well up for it, Caitlin. Awfully big adventure.

I really think it'll have to be Tico Tico for me to be taken out to, Chris. A very straight service and then an exuberant ending.

Rog said...

We had "Teddy Bear's Picnic" at my Dad's Funeral.

Z said...

That's brilliant, Rog - I think one has to put the fun into funeral!

If I'm still blogging at the time of my demise, I've got to have some Tom Lehrer. Bright College Days might bemuse those not in the know, but I draw the line at the Vatican Rag.

Mike and Ann said...

I'veleft a request for part of Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld (the part generally known as the Cancan) to be played as an organ voluntary at mine - should cheer everyone up nicely.

Alienne said...

We had the Charleston at my husband's grandmother's funeral - I can't remember ever seeing her without her telling everyone that she was a Charleston baby. So she went out to it. It raised a laugh.

Z said...

I don't think that the Twist would have the same ring, Alienne. At least I was a bit old for the Saturday Night Fever era. Although, it has its appeal