Cowart's Common Room
Tears and Laughter

Yesterday we said goodbye to our friend I. It was a humanist ceremony held at the local crematorium, no flowers just a collection for our local cancer facilities.
I have never been to a humanist ceremony before and I don't know if I made his own arrangements or the family made them but it was spot on.
The music was Dire Straits, the tributes were heartfelt, his sister read Walter De La Mere's Sea Fever [I was a well respected and talented marine engineer] and the final piece of music was Flanders and Swann's Elephant Song. We filed out choked with laughter and tears and then we all made for the pub where a massive Devonshire Cream Tea had been laid on [I's favourite]. The cream tea was swiftly demolished accompanied by pints of beer, glasses of wine and a few lightweights did drink tea.

Posted at 13th Dec 2008 - 08:07AM   Posted by Toady   Tears and Laughter Comments: 13

Faith's Avatar Im glad you felt it was the right thing for your friend Toady. The devonshire tea sounds like a brilliant idea! I've never been to a humanist ceremony either. I do like some flowers though. We had B's funeral last Tues and that was lovely too.

Posted by: Faith on 13th Dec 2008 at 08:39AM

Blossomcottage's Avatar That sound really lovely Toady thank you for sharing it.
Love Blossom

Posted by: Blossomcottage on 13th Dec 2008 at 09:13AM

ChrisH's Avatar My Auntie Joanie's funeral was a humanist ceremony too, Toady, and like you I hadn't been to one before either.

For anyone interested in reading more about humanist ceremonies I thoroughly recommend Zinnia Cyclamen's blog.

Condolences on your loss, Toady, and I'm glad the ceremony was a moving and memorable tribute to your friend.

Posted by: ChrisH on 13th Dec 2008 at 09:31AM

Fennie's Avatar Sounds just the job. I want my funeral to be a happy affair. I keep saying that people ought to do a practice run every five years when they turn sixty so that they get some benefit from the cream teas and people saying nice things about them.

Posted by: Fennie on 13th Dec 2008 at 09:45AM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Ah Toady, know this was going to be tough for you and I am so glad it was an uplifting occasion as well as a sad one. I have said this before but I hate the way we generally handle funerals in England - so stiff and strait-laced. I love that you were able to laugh as well as cry (think we need to feel free to do both)......lots of love, Janexxx
Tea? Pah!

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 13th Dec 2008 at 10:36AM

That sounds like a beautiful 'goodbye', Toady.

Lots of hugs


Posted by: PatP on 13th Dec 2008 at 10:42AM

Westerwitch's Avatar I already have my funeral planned out - HS too. We both want a Humanist ceremony. A friend of mine actually does Humanists services.

I am so pleased Toady that the service you went to brought so much to the people celebrating the life of I. To be able to laugh and cry and say goodbye and celebrate is exactly how it should be.

Lixtroll's Gran's was a religious service and although I prefer a Humanist service - Gran's was a good send off.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 13th Dec 2008 at 02:09PM

Pipany's Avatar Thinking of you Toady and glad to hear the service was one to bring laughter as well as the tears xx

Posted by: Pipany on 13th Dec 2008 at 03:27PM

Withy Brook's Avatar It is always good when a "goodbye" service really reflects the person who has died. And as already said, laughter is just as important as tears. Thinking of you Toadie.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 13th Dec 2008 at 03:50PM

Patsy's Avatar I think that sounded ideal Toady. A "good" funeral of whatever complexion does bring tremendous comfort to the grieving friends and relatives.

We found ourselves laughing at my cousin's funeral when it was read out at the end of his service that we were invited to join the family for drinks at the **** Pub for "that was the last Berludy drink we'd ever get from him!" Irreverent but completely typical of him...So we made sure we got our money's worth, he would have approved!

Laughter and tears can be so close together...bittersweet memories.
In my thoughts Toady,
Patsy xx

Posted by: Patsy on 13th Dec 2008 at 04:24PM

Camilla's Avatar Hi Toady,

I remember the Walter De La Mere Sea Service I happened to come across this in a book I was reading a while ago, and I love anything by Flanders and Swann. A really lovely choice.

I would like everyone to wear very bright colours at mine and to be happy and not sad.

My love and hugs to you dear Toady.


Posted by: Camilla on 13th Dec 2008 at 06:09PM

Frances's Avatar Toady, you have written so lovingly about this service and of that wonderful tea afterwards.

I am not at all familiar with what a Humanist Service is, and one more time, must thank this site for giving me some new information that I will seek out.


Posted by: Frances on 13th Dec 2008 at 11:47PM

Angel's Avatar It sounds just lovely Toady

What a nice way to do it...

warm wishes to you

Posted by: Angel on 14th Dec 2008 at 02:41PM

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