Friday, 7 March 2008

Coffin fit


'I just don't know what they're going to do this time. With Dad, my older brother suddenly said, "We're carrying his coffin." The undertakers give you training if you ask for it but of course, he decided on the day.

'Well, they're all different heights. There was lots of wobbling as they went up the aisle. They'd roped in a couple of cousins and they were so tiny they weren't supporting it at all - it had been raining outside and they looked as if they'd taken shelter under the coffin.

'I think he's learnt his lesson with Mum - I've heard nothing about carrying the coffin this time. But there's talk of a harpist. Some tiny women who's taught the Thai royal family, apparently, manhandling this gigantic harp.

'She must be pretty strong by now, so I suppose if they do decide to carry in the coffin, they'd do worse than to ask her to put down the harp and lend a hand. She'd have to do a better job than the cousins.

'But I've half a mind not to go at all. Last time round, my brother - you know he hadn't seen Mum and Dad for years, completely ignored them, just after the money - spent the entire funeral sitting behind me and crying down my back. I told him any crocodile tears this time and I'll be out of there.

'And then there's Mum's flat. I wanted to clear it all out but no, he says it needs to have all her things left in it so it feels like home.

'Home? It smells of wee and feels like a place someone's died in. In fact, it's felt like that for years, a long time before she did die.


Cath said...

Nothing like practicalities and gripes to get in the way of good old fashioned coming together in common grief eh?

Some folks! That is funny except it happens! Where were you when you overheard this? Please don't say a bus stop...

Irene said...

Were you at this funeral? What an odd conversation to overhear. I hope there are none of these types of people at my funeral, but then again, I am planning on being cremated, so I think that excludes any coffin bearing, doesn't it?

I like the cocktail party chatter better, it is not as ghoulish. Well, almost, but not quite.

Mya said...

Where did you overhear this cheerful tit-bit?

I like the idea of a harpist at my funeral - played by a winged cherub. Very tasteful.

Hope all is well chez toi - you've gone a bit quiet.

Mya xx

Expat mum said...

I have always wondered how they get the pallbearers all the same size! Only you could come up with something this funny about funerals!

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Now you see I hear these conversations too but I could never pin them to the keyboard in the way you do. Cracking.

Omega Mum said...

crazycath: OK, I wasn't at a bus stop. Here's a two word clue, though. Staff and Room.

Sweet I: Not at all. I also plan to be cremated but first I'm going to have everyone I hate carry my coffin and it will be filled with lead weights. Death will not end the suffering. Sasha will have the heavy end. It is ordained.

Mya: I haunt the school with a notebook and now nobody will talk to me...

Expat Mum: Initially the idea of training pallbearers surprised me, but I suppose it's just logical.

Elizabethm: Travel with a notebook and you'd be surprised. I just record it all verbatim. But look in the opposite direction while you're writing, as if making notes on the architecture and you will get away with it.

Cath said...

You're joking! No. I know you're not. I've heard these conversations...
God it makes you wonder who you're working with doesn't it?