How Many Funerals Have You Attended So Far?

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Lon Tanner, Feb 3, 2021.

  1. Mary Robi

    Mary Robi Veteran Member
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    I vividly remember the first one I attended. I was five and it was my father's cousin's funeral. He (a married man) had been messin' around and his girlfriend's husband shot him dead.

    Cut to the funeral. Country church. Widow dressed in the usual way, black dress and long black veil, had been seated in the front and the service started. Just then, the girlfriend comes in, black dress and long black veil, and seats herself about halfway down the aisle.

    Funeral starts. Girlfriend starts in'a sobbing: "OH, DELBERT, YOU WERE TOO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD!!! OH, DELBERT, WHY DID GOD TAKE YOU AWAY??? OH, DELBERT, ………………………""

    The widow, Berta (who was known as Big Berta for good reason), put up with about 30 seconds of this. Then she rose from the pew, stepped out into the aisle, threw back her veil, marched down the aisle and snatched the girlfriend out of her pew. She proceeded to knock her down, kneel on her, grab her hair and pound her head on the floor.

    My mother was trying to keep me from seeing this, but I managed to stand up on the pew to get a good view. All I could see was Berta's rear end. Her dress had flipped up and there was at least a yard of yellowed ancient girdle bouncing up and down as she administered a can of whoop-ass to the girlfriend.

    Berta was pulled off, dusted down and returned to the dignity befitting a recent widow, and seated in the front of the church again. The girlfriend was hustled out. The funeral restarted.

    I was a teenager before I attended another funeral. None of the funerals I attended after that have been that.....uh......eventful (except, maybe, for one where one of the mourners dove head-first into the casket, but that's another story).
     
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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
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  2. Boris Boddenov

    Boris Boddenov Very Well-Known Member
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    Probably not as many as most.

    Omitting distant relatives, I was born into a young family with the oldest being maternal grandparents at 52, and paternal granny about 44. Consequently, I was fortunate in not having to attend a family funeral until after age 30. One reason I love the distant past.

    My first funeral, age 16, was as a pallbearer for a 17 year-old girl, the sister of one of my buddies.. All the pallbearers were teenaged boys.
     
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  3. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    Thanks for that slice of reality!!! Delbert?????? LOL. Classic.
     
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  4. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Veteran Member
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    I don't have a clue. My family on both sides live forever. If you don't make ninety you're a slacker!
    So Two gret grandfathers one great grandmother. John and Oliver,my grandmothers uncles
    All four grandparents and accompanying siblings
    My Mother my MIL<myFIL two brothers in law.
    Two Aunts on my mothers side and Aunt and Uncle on my fathers side.
    Several friends.
     
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  5. Mary Robi

    Mary Robi Veteran Member
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    I changed it to "Delbert" to protect the innocent and guilty alike. His real name was much worse and his nickname would probably be changed to *********** automatically. This was the "country" branch of the family.
     
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  6. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    Nice choice on pseudonym. Very apropos. An image was conjured.

    It reminded me of my father's relatives. They lived in Pennsylvania. This stuff is pretty much universal across classes, it just manifests itself in different ways.

    Of all the funerals I've attended, there's never been one that was the result of an act of violence...or even accident, for that matter. Just suicide, old age and disease.
     
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  7. Tex Dennis

    Tex Dennis Veteran Member
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    Way to many
    38 in 3 years sometime back mostly all military 2 this year already, military also, adding waaay to many and threw my blue suit away afterwards I really hate to go to them bad but will pay respects to the family. One Marine funeral I was asked to bring my K9 shepherd who walked off leash with myself as a pall barer. She stayed right by my side. There were 5 K-9's there all walked with us.
     
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  8. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I went to another today.

    A friend's father passed away, just about a week after his 90th birthday.

    COVID sure makes the experience "different."
     
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  9. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Supreme Member
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    Lordy, I can't remember all the funerals I have attended. My first was in 1939, my grandfather.
    Cousins, aunts, uncles, mom and dad, friends, and co-workers, and more recently, two of my
    younger brothers. A third younger brother died recently but he had no funeral.I remember one
    funeral well. It was a co-worker. I worked with with him and consulted him on job related events
    from time to time. But by the time he died we were both working for other companies. He was
    operating a ditch-digger somewhere south of Midland, TX and hit a high pressure gas line.
    There was no fire but he was killed. It was his funeral that caused me to say when I wa;ked out
    of the church. I will not have a funeral; I will be cremated. There were six people at his funeral,
    five family members and me. I thought what an embarrassment to my family if no one showed
    up after living in a city so long. But the world has changed. We don't do that munch anymore,
    and now of course we have the pandemic. I don't know that human life has been debased but
    we have changed, it seems to me.
     
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  10. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    @Bill Boggs

    I agree with much of what you said.

    I'm part of a "charge" of 3 churches...smallish congregations that cannot afford their own pastor so they share the costs & services of one. Any time one of the churches has an event, it's really everyone's event. We all help set up, we all cook, we all clean up. I've done repair work at all 3 churches. Most of these people have known each other their entire lives. I've really enjoyed being a part of it.

    I was at a funeral of one of the life-long congregants a month or so ago, and attended the funeral today of the father of another life-long congregant. While there were other attendees at both funerals, I was one of only 4 or so people there from the 3 churches. I've only been here 10 years and would never have thought of not attending these funerals or the funeral of anyone close to any of the congregations. One of the other church folks who was there today made the same observation.

    I'm shocked by those who did not show up. The lay leader of the largest of the churches and I were texting yesterday, and she said that she works 2 days a week for the local police department (she's retired from the judicial system) and did not want to miss one of those work days...but she's rescheduled her work day to take me to a doctor's appointment. I understand that there may be behind-the-scenes relationship stuff going on that I'm unaware of, but that can't be the case with everyone. And even at that, such things generally get set aside at these moments.

    This is a rural [supposed] community, not the big "we're all in a rush" city. And these are all folks of our generation. I don't know if I'm more depressed or pissed. Maybe "shocked" best describes it.
     
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  11. Caitlin D Burnside

    Caitlin D Burnside Active Member
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    Four deaths and funerals from 1966 to 1974. After the latter, which was my father's, I kind of went to a few more (recalling off the top of my head -- two uncles and two cousins).

    However, my brain kind of blocked these as I was unable to see another man's body in a coffin after my father's too early death and the ensuing decade... Sorry, I'll leave it at that.

    Had received an invitation via Mother's house, to attend a 100th birthday extravaganza at the beginning of March 93... Mother had refused but I was looking forward to it.

    Three days after speaking to my aunt, which I'd reached through my favourite cousin, to request if it would be fine if 4 of us would be coming, she'd agreed, I was overjoyed... However, the call I received wasn't good news.

    Grandma Snow had died suddenly and unexpectedly after losing two children in March 93. Uncle at the beginning of March, her eldest son, died in the between my initial phone call for arranging the party and her calling me back with the bad news. Then an aunt died, her second eldest daughter on the 15 March...

    Then, apparently, after getting the dreadful news on the 16th March, she couldn't cope. Grandma Snow went to bed early on the 16th and never woke up again on the 17th March. Instead of attending her 100th birthday party, we attended her funeral on what would have been her 100th... Very sad!

    Excuse the weird expression, but from that year, 1993, all was quiet on the Western front...

    I didn't attend that one in 97 as I was told of the death after the fait accompli. It was my Mother's...

    Then once again, quiet and peaceful time... Finally, two deaths happened but I was told once the memorials had been put online on an obituary's website... My sibling and my brother-in-law.

    The last two I attended and the first two I organised myself, were my son's in 2017 and my husband's in 2022. I'm still recovering...

    Knowing what I'd gone through when a teenager and my father took his last breath in front of me and I had to close his eyes and the aftermath, I didn't want my daughter to see this. Therefore, to ease her pain at losing her younger brother, it was closed coffin at our son's funeral.

    She was out with her father, my husband, when he died in front of her. She requested to have a closed coffin funeral for her beloved Papa, I agreed!
     
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  12. Tony Nathanson

    Tony Nathanson Very Well-Known Member
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    My Grandfather's when I was 16.
    My ex GF's father when I was 19.
    A friend's when I was 45. (she died young; she was born with a bad heart)
    My father's when I was 61.
    A friend's mother when I was 68.
    (None of us attended our mother's funeral; she was an abusing raging witch.)
     
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  13. Celia Jenkins

    Celia Jenkins Active Member
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    None. My family emigrated to Australia, so when my parents died, I just sent tributes. Other family members have died but live so far away that I couldn't attend. Thank God for Interflora!
     
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