Bury me deep
For some strange reason my thoughts turned to funerals today.
I have been to a few.
The first major one was my father, nearly fifty years ago. My memories are somewhat fractured and I only remember bits of it. I remember driving behind the hearse and how the cortege paused on the road outside The Manor [I could hear the dog howling indoors – he never normally howled so somehow he must have known]. I remember being at the grave on the steep side of the valley. It was a glorious hot summer’s day and was/is a beautiful spot to end one’s days. I also remember the wake back at the house and my uncle regaling us all with somewhat filthy but very funny stories.
I didn’t attend my sister’s funeral as it was in New Zealand.
Then of course there was my mother, twenty four years ago. Strangely I remember little of that. It was a very off-beat affair as she had donated her body to science so her funeral didn’t take place until a year or so after her death. The one thing I do remember was that she was supposed to be buried beside my father but the grave digger dug the wrong side of the plot and she ended up on top of him. There’s a joke there somewhere?
The last one I attended was Grandson the Elder. They say it’s against the natural order for a parent to bury a child so it is a lot harder to bury a grandchild. That was a beautiful affair with less of the mournful droning prayers and more of the happy speeches [especially by Daughter] about his life.
There have been others of course. Herself is the youngest of eight so we have planted both her parents and six of her siblings. There is only one sister left now and she’s well into her eighties. She’ll probably see us all off.
I haven’t given much thought to my funeral. I hope there is a decent wake with loads of booze and laughter. I don’t want any of that mournful crap. Smoking will be compulsory. Theoretically I have a vacant plot beside my parents [though not on top of my mother. Please. I beg of you.] but I would be happy enough if they just chucked me off Wicklow Head into the sea.
I won’t give a shit, one way or another
Maybe best not to attend the wake (in spirit only) – you never know what might be said about you! Any interesting stories perhaps…..
I frankly couldn’t care less what they say about me. I just wonder if any of my offspring that I’m not aware of will turn up.
Yes, it’s a day for remembering all the dead family and friends. My grandmother died when I was 15 – my parents tried to keep me away from seeing her in hospital during the week before she went, but I visited anyway. Protecting the young from reality – pah!
With so many memories to recall, it’s been a sobering and reflective day. And presently I have two close family members with terminal illnesses, so am expecting another round quite soon.
Sadly funerals become a lot more common with age. Instead of wondering where someone now lives, I wonder if they’re still alive. How many of my old classmates are gone by now? Scary stuff.
As you/I get older more and more good friends pass away which reduces the chances of having a wake that you would actually want to attend.
Also valued friends and relatives are these days likely to be scattered any where in the world.
Maybe better to have a pre-wake, or un-wake, regularly at which you and all the people you value come together and celebrate that you are all still alive, complete with a full set of marbles.
I would hold a pre-wake but I doubt anyone would turn up.
Should I still be above ground at the time of your demise I want to give the graveside oration! (I would ask someone with a voice more akin to that of Ronnie Drew to lead the singing of The Parting Glass).
I would be more than honoured for you to take on the task [and Herself agrees!]. You’ll have to give me a sneak preview of the script though before I depart.