Monday, September 12, 2011

What Does Your Funeral Look Like?

Today we will be attending the funeral of my husband’s Uncle Bill. He was a man who was beloved by many because of his simple way of drawing people to him and making them feel important. He served his country, his community, and his family, and loved doing it. We are sad at his passing, however, I know we will be celebrating a wonderful life today.

I hope my funeral is like that. I know, it sounds so macabre, but I’ve often thought about what I want my funeral to be. I have a very talented friend who is an opera singer, that I hope will come and sing my favorite hymn, Come Thou Fount. I hope that there will be some good things said about me, and I hope there are a few people in the audience. But most of all, I hope that when I’m gone people will look back at my life and say, she lived a good life, she served those around her, and she made me feel loved. To me, that would be the best sort of funeral, to have those who loved you and knew you loved them back, gathered with you one more time.

Obviously I’m not a perfect person. I have a lot of quirks---I’m actually quite shy until I get to know someone. I’m opinionated, but I’m learning when to keep quiet. I always try to stick up for the underdog, even when it’s a losing battle. I heard a motto once, that I really liked, and it was, “Stand alone if you must, but stand.” I want to live by that, and stand up for my ideals and for those that I love, even if I have to stand alone.

I know I’m not perfect, but I really do want to be like Uncle Bill---I want the people who know me to know I loved them.

Have you ever imagined your funeral? Do you have a motto you live by?


Anonymous said...

Hi Julie--I'm in your thriller-suspense campaign. Interesting question! After my dad's funeral, we had such a good time remembering him at the wake that I thought it would be wonderful if we had done this before he died. That's what I want, I think. To have a big party, to see everyone one last time while I'm still alive. Big wish, isn't it?

Melanie Goldmund said...

I thought about my funeral last year, and even wrote down some "last wishes" including some of my favourite songs. I like Christmas songs, but since I probably won't die conveniently around the holiday season, I picked out some Easter songs with lots of nice hallelujahs so that people can sing something a bit more spirited and be reminded of the Resurrection at the same time. I can't remember if I stipulated that it should be short -- I must go back and check. I recently attended the funeral of a ward member here that lasted an hour -- 30 minutes too long for me! As we were walking back to the car, I told my husband, "Your service will be shorter -- just so you know." He laughed.

And I don't know about a motto, but on a recent blog post on my blog, I did imagine having something carved on my headstone. Sadly, I think it would take a very large and very expensive stone. So maybe it'll just end up on the funeral program instead:

She wasn't the best mother or the best wife,
And let's not even talk about her housekeeping skills,
Or her diet.
But dang, she wrote some good stuff.

Well, okay, it was more of a hopeful wish than the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, but anyway.

Maybe I should think about a motto now.

Charlie Moore said...

I think funerals, even though they are meant to be a tribute to the deceased, are basically for the living. I have told my wife, if I pass before her, I want just two things. From the temporal I'd like my military information (branch, time of service and rank) etched on my marker. Much more important I want to be wearing my temple clothing.


Jordan McCollum said...

I have one odd request for my funeral. Since, like Charlie said, funerals are for the living anyway, I'd like to not be at my funeral. This summer I attended a memorial service and to me it just felt different—I always feel a bit unsettled in the presence of a dead body.

Sarah Tokeley said...

The only thing I know is what music I want - and I want everyone to wear purple. Afterwards they should have a drink and talk about how awesome I was :-)

Unknown said...

I try to make lots of friends in hopes that my funeral will be HUGE and people will think, "wow, she must have been pretty awesome."
Is that shallow of me?

Jon Spell said...

My motto is: Nothing ever goes as planned. I think that would be fitting for a headstone. =)

Honestly, I haven't given it much thought. Planning out a funeral I won't be present for is sort of like giving a mix CD to someone who lives far away. I hope they'll enjoy my considerations, but I'll never know. (I'm lucky if the ones who live close let me know.)

Linda Gray said...

Hi Julie, I'm a fellow Campaigner (Suspense/Thriller), finally getting around to say hello to everyone. So glad to have found your blog.

I have been to some beautiful funerals and I couldn't agree more. Love is what counts, and letting the people you love know it is one of life's great things to do.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Tess, I think that's a great idea--be together more while you're alive. After a very emotional day, honestly, that's what I came away with. Don't waste a moment in this life. (And I'm sorry about the loss of your dad). Nice to meet you!

Melanie, I love the idea of adding a bit of spice with Hallelujahs. I might steal that. And your headstone idea was cute! Doesn't every writer wish for that? ;)

Charlie, they did a 21 gun salute and played Taps at Uncle Bill's funeral today. It was incredibly moving.

Jordan, I know that is hard for some people. I can totally understand the sentiment.

Sarah, now I'm curious. Why purple?

Brittany, you make me laugh. And you are SO honest! :)

Jon, that is SO true! Do you think you'd actually have that put on your headstone?

Linda, I totally agree, and thanks for saying hello!

Liz said...

Apparently Elizabeth Taylor had her casket carried in 15 minutes late to her funeral. I wish I could be that chic.

Crystal said...

I've definitely thought about my funeral and what I'd like... I would want people to remember me as someone who was very loving and who always accepted people for who they are. Not sure what songs I want played, though, it's a tough choice! Lol... Probably something Celtic and something in French at the very least to reflect part of my background (French, Irish, native and Maltese).

My personal motto is "live and let live."

Sarah Tokeley said...

I love purple. There is not enough of it in the world :-)