Deaths of Minor Celebrities

February

I think, therefore I am, I think ...
2017 was a bad year too. Worryingly, a lot of these deaths are in the same age group as my parents (they're 85).
Same here, My Dad passed three years ago this July, he was 87. My mum just turned 87. Two of my friends just went back to the UK for parents funerals, they were older, I think they were both mid 90's.
It's never easy.
 

qtkt

Vicar of Goondiwindi
Awesome site donor
Both my parents died in their early 70s as did my father in law. Mother in law is now 87 and her health is beginning to fail. We worry for her every time she ends up at the hospital.
 

February

I think, therefore I am, I think ...
Both my parents died in their early 70s as did my father in law. Mother in law is now 87 and her health is beginning to fail. We worry for her every time she ends up at the hospital.
That 85 - 87 is a worry.
70's seems too young nower days, sorry you lost them that early.
We lost two friends at 58 of brain hemorrhages 2 years ago which has totally altered our thoughts on life. Got to live life to the fullest instead of waiting as you don't know how long you've got.
This isn't very uplifting talk, but it's important to discuss it.
I dread the phone ringing in the wee hours knowing it has to be an overseas call.
 

qtkt

Vicar of Goondiwindi
Awesome site donor
70s does seem young now - and not just because I’m only A dozen years away from it. We not only live longer, we stay young and vibrant longer. I work with a lots of people in their 70s and they are all living full active lives.
disease is a different matter. It can strike at any age.
 

Fiona

Well-Known Member
That 85 - 87 is a worry.
70's seems too young nower days, sorry you lost them that early.
We lost two friends at 58 of brain hemorrhages 2 years ago which has totally altered our thoughts on life. Got to live life to the fullest instead of waiting as you don't know how long you've got.
This isn't very uplifting talk, but it's important to discuss it.
I dread the phone ringing in the wee hours knowing it has to be an overseas call.
It isn't uplifting but yes, we do need to talk about it. I'm not looking forward to it when it happens. I've thought about it often and wonder as to my reaction. I'm highly emotional at the best of times so it may be a tad damp, lol.
 

qtkt

Vicar of Goondiwindi
Awesome site donor
I guess I’m a rarity. In my job I’m dealing with it and talking about it all the time. It seems that gives permission for family and close friends to have those conversations with me too.
It still gets me sometimes. I took a funeral last week for someone I knew well and who had had a bad last four weeks (cancer). I had to work hard to remain composed during the service - especially my homily.
 

February

I think, therefore I am, I think ...
I'm terrible at funerals, I'm terrible at all sadness, if someone I'm talking to gets upset, I'm right there with them.
In my job I talk a lot about it too, as being a hairdresser people talk a lot about their personal thoughts and beliefs, so I am good at talking about it, but I'm hopelessly emotional, and tear up at the slightest hint of sadness.
 

Fiona

Well-Known Member
I told a friend and her daughters once that you always get a good feed at a funeral. None of them have forgotten it. Always raises a grin.
When my favourite cousin died almost eight years ago, his brother and nieces rewrote AC/DC's 'Long way to the top' with words that pertained to Gary's life and David and his other siblings sang it. It was brilliant. We all laughed and cried at the same time and danced in our places. Gary was a drummer and covered in tattoos. I went and got one in his honour the following week. That's one thing I like about Salvation Army funerals, they really are a celebration of the deceased's life and very personal without the need to follow strict ritual. There's a loose and general order of service but nothing hard and fast. If I see someone I'm friends with or are family crying, I'm usually not far behind.
Kelvin, his younger brother who is now a minister, at his own wedding, cried the entire time from the moment he saw Brenda appear in the doorway of the church. Again, everyone was laughing and crying. Great fun on both occasions. If Kelvin does any of his uncles or aunts funerals, he'll be a mess quite possibly, but you know, that's ok. We'll be there too. A very damp family indeed, lol.
What gets me going at funerals more than anything, is when we start to sing the first hymn. I can choke up very easily, especially if it's a hymn I'm fond of or am rather fond of the deceased. 'Abide with Me' gets me no matter what as does 'O Come, all ye Faithful'.
@qtkt , what do you base your homilies on and do you give yourself a time frame or word count? Do you do some of it on the fly if the funeral has gone longer than anticipated? I have never asked anyone these questions. I'm going to ask Kelvin now.
I know Dad wants a private funeral for immediate family and a few invitees. How the heck do you get around the inviting aspect?
 

February

I think, therefore I am, I think ...
I don't know if you can get around that - then if that's what your Dad wants, then that should be respected, and people should respect and understand that.
My Dad's funeral was odd for me, as we'd been back in the UK and had been with our families, but he passed the day we arrived back in Australia. I think he knew I really didn't want to be there when he passed. He'd been on end of life care the last two times we'd been back, and each time, he managed to keep going. But that last time, my sister rang the afternoon of our return to Australia and told me Dad had died 4 hours earlier, which would have been 1am UK time. A bird, strangely enough, sang in a tree outside our bedroom window at the time of his passing, which we'd never heard before, and we'd been living here for 18 years by that stage, and I felt a strong sense of comfort and love.
We were about to book a return flight immediately, but my Mum and Sister told me not to, as I'd just been there, been with him and them, and the funeral could be Skyped. I didn't like the idea of it, but all the relatives assured me to go with it, so we did.
It made me feel a very big part of it without actually being there. If I hadn't had already been there just days before I would most certainly have gone back for it.
But on a lighter side, a friend of ours had a most bizarre funeral, from Kiwi work mates doing the Hakka spontaneously, heavy metal song as a tribute to him, which was actually really awful, but his wife chose it from the music he chose to listen to in his car, and ending up with "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" - Life Of Brian!
So, I believe in each to their own and every funeral should be unique to the person who has passed. And it should be a celebration of their life, not a misery of their departure, but then I guess it depends on peoples beliefs in the here after.
 

February

I think, therefore I am, I think ...
.... Edit timed out, I came back to say ...
Also I'm with you with hymns. But Christmas Carols get me no matter what. Our Christmases as kids were so special, and they've stayed with me ever since. Walking around shopping centers at Christmas is a nightmare for the tear ducts!
 

February

I think, therefore I am, I think ...
I guess I’m a rarity. In my job I’m dealing with it and talking about it all the time. It seems that gives permission for family and close friends to have those conversations with me too.
It still gets me sometimes. I took a funeral last week for someone I knew well and who had had a bad last four weeks (cancer). I had to work hard to remain composed during the service - especially my homily.
I meant to ask what it is you actually do qtkt?
 

qtkt

Vicar of Goondiwindi
Awesome site donor
.
@qtkt , what do you base your homilies on and do you give yourself a time frame or word count? Do you do some of it on the fly if the funeral has gone longer than anticipated?
My homilies are usually quite short, especially if they are not churchy people or I don’t know them. So, 5 minutes or less. A regular well known parishioner would be longer but still within 10 minutes.
They will be based on the Bible reading/s chosen and tying that in with the person and the situation.

The readings are where I differ from many clergy. There are a number of ‘standards’ rolled out as the readings. (In my father’s house there are many rooms / Come to me all you who are heavy laden / There is a season for everything - a time to live and a time to die). I use them rarely. Sometimes families come with one of those already chosen because they’ve heard it at many funerals. That’s fine. Sometimes one of those fit the situation and the person perfectly and that’s fine too. But I like to get the family to share stories with me and then we choose something together that matches the person - so I’ve done some really unusual texts. I’ve used bible fishing stories many times, and farming stories (I’m in a rural area). The important thing is that the family can see some relationship between their loved one and the Scripture. Then I have to work the homily around that.

My homilies are always prepared - and then changed “on the fly” depending on what’s happening at the time.

To be honest, if the funeral has gone longer than expected, I will still give most of my homily (if not all). If they’ve asked for a Christian funeral I would be short changing them if I didn’t offer the Christian belief that this isn’t the end.

Sorry for the missive.
 
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