Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And Yet, He Was



I actually left this as a rather long comment for someone who was feeling bad about some misspoken words at a wake. I shared this to comfort him, and kind of give him the idea that we all do that at some time. I think. As I was typing the comment, I started laughing, and then I knew this comment would work as a post for the life is funny carnival.

Of course, I began with what was meant ot be a joke. I stole it from the Gaithers, more or less.
A minister well known for his beautiful singing voice came home visibly upset after consulting with a new widow about funeral plans for her recently deceased husband. His wife asked him what was wrong, and he revealed that the wife had asked him to sing her husband's favorite song, "Jingle Bells," at the funeral.
He was troubled that it wasn't appropriate to the solemn occasion. He struggled and prayed about it, and finally decided to honor the grieving widow's wishes.
At the funeral, still sensitive about how some of the mourners might react to hearing "Jingle Bells" at a funeral, he carefully introduced the song with words about appreciating the sense of humor and lightheartedness of the deceased.
The widow had been very tearful during the service. Hearing the introduction to her late husband's "favorite song" she sat up and began to appear quite interested. As the preacher began the song, the widow began to smile, and her tears dried up.
She was actually giggling as he concluded, and he felt glad he'd decided to honor her request since it obviously had been so comforting.
After the service she thanked the pastor for sharing his music ministry, and with a big grin she added, "By the way, the favorite song I requested was 'When They Ring Those Golden Bells!'"
I continued with my own terrible faux pas.
My Uncle Ray died many years ago. He used to wear his hair in a comb over, and wore a black t-shirt and black jeans everywhere, including weddings, but we (his nieces and nephews, as he had no wife or children) loved him very much.
At his wake, his nephews and nieces were lamenting that the funeral home gave him a haircut instead of allowing him to keep the comb over, as we remember him. Then I added "Yeah, and everyone knows he wouldn't be caught dead in a suit!" And yet, there he was, dead, and in a suit. I think I was more horrified than anyone else. My family recognized the truth in my statement, while I only saw the inappropriateness of the macabre humour that came out.

Oh, and Wendy, speaking of faux pas, if you decided to finish reading this, please accept my condolensces on the death of your Father -in -law.

15 comments:

sherri said...

I agree. Maybe "spruce 'em up a BIT, but not an entirely new look.

I better have stilletos on!
And my hair flat-ironed.
And some Velveeta in one hand.
Wearin' a leather Harley jacket.
Over my Sunday Best dress.

If you come to my funeral, come early to make certain my wishes are granted. K?

Wendy said...

Oh, now that's funny! And now I want to have totally inappropriate songs sung at my funeral! I'll have to start putting a list together...

I have to say that the "He'd never be caught dead in a suit" statement almost made me spit out my coffee...

Annie K said...

Oh Helen, that was funny...!

katdish said...

For the record, I want "Way Over Yonder" by Carole King sung at my funeral, and I pray that it is a celebration.

Also, I want to be buried in my "Whose Your Daddy" t-shirt and polka dot fuzzy pajama pants.

Helen said...

Sherri, what color stilettos?
Wendy, we were drinking (or should I say spitting) coffee in the breakroom when this conversation occurred.
Annie, yeah, now...
Katdish, whether I wear a muumuu or velour sweats will be dependent on the season.

Jaime (ChaseNKids) said...

Oh my goodness...that was too funny!!!!

Ryan B said...

When I die (Which with modern technology and all might not be for 2 or 3 hundred years) I'm definitely planning some awesome songs for my funeral. It is going to be excellent.

Helen said...

Ryan, forgive me if I don't say "can't wait", because I can. Hopefully for a really long time. ;-)

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Oh Helen, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So here I am commenting.

I've only got one funeral story, as I've only done one funeral. I didn't know the deceased, so I had carefully prepped for the day. At the end, I finished and sat down in front of everyone...and...waited...The guys from the funeral home who were supposed to come in and direct us were nowhere to be found. I waited for an awful minute before standing back up to give a closing impromptu prayer. After that awkward transition, they finally decided to show up.

Joyce said...

Thanks for stopping by today.

I don't have a funny funeral story but a pastor friend told how he asked a woman in his congregation to sing a solo for a Christmas Eve service they were having and she sang I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You.

I don't know why that popped into my head but I think all the comments on here about great music must have inspired me.

Beth said...

I dunno. I have no plans for my funeral. I'll be dead and won't care.
But they better tell people about Jesus at my funeral...

Frank however, has requested "Another One Bites the Dust" to played at his funeral. He also wants on his tombstone:
"I lived ___ years on earth, and all I got was this lousy tombstone.'

Weirdo.

Helen said...

Matt, just so you know, anytime Katdish is going to squeak at you on your blog, and then you go commenting on it, I won't be far behind her.
Beth, I love it! Bob's friend Dan and I sang that too him when he was in the hospital. That and "Only the Good Die Young". Memories....
Jaimie and Joyce, thank you for coming over. Hope to have you here again real soon.

Steph at The Red Clay Diaries said...

Sherri, why stilettos? It's not like they're gonna make you look any taller...

I don't care what happens at my funeral, except that it gives glory to God.

(Don't I sound spiritual?)

(Is denial a spiritual gift?)

♥ Kathy said...

well, I'm running behind but I have a good excuse ;) That was so funny Helen. I laughed so hard :D Have I ever told you I love your Nemo header? It's too cute. And today was the first time I heard your music lol I usually keep my speakers off but I had them on bc I just left katdish's & I watched the beaver video :p Anyway, I loved it! My song was When a Man Loves a Woman (I think) lol have a great day! ♥

Helen said...

Steph, denial, sarcasm, humour...The smarty pantser really should come up with our own "seven gifts of the spirit" list..
Kathy, are you feeling better. I am glad you got a nice soothing song, instead of "Who Stole the Kiszka". If you need me to take the player off of my blog so that it doesn't shock your heart, let me know.
And in spite of this teasing, I really am concerned about you, hon.