WhShould Funerals Be pbeat Affairs?

The Whitney Huston sendoff, for example-everybody raving about “sending Whitney home”, etc.-almost like it was supposed to be a fun affair.
I prefer those morbid Victorian/Goth funerals-everybody in black, dark skies, rainy, and sermons about the “pains of hell”, hellfire, damanation…extra poitns for black vestments, palls, etc.
When will the fashion shift back to those creepy, morbid funerals that I knew and loved?

Define pbeat, please.

Why shouldn’t they upbeat? Most people don’t believe in an angry, vengeful God who punishes you after death any more, and our society is now structured such that nobody’s gonna starve to death because their spouse/parent/adult child died and they can’t support themselves. So most of the basis for the whole hellfire sermon/black everything/weeping and gnashing of teeth thing is pretty much history for most of the population. Instead, people who are religious tend to believe in a gentle, loving God, and there are both employment opportunities for women and older people and safety nets for those who can’t work for whatever reason. Through that lens, death and what a funeral should be looks totally different.

Psychologically, though, I would think that it would be an important part of the grieving process to have a funeral where one is allowed to, you know, express grief.

Yeah, dammit, wh?

Yep, my laptop is getting old-the “u” in particular!

I pThnk Ts’ dw9n to teh 9div8d7l fambly.! iF a ch1lD hs dIEd its smotmies to trGagic two ImaGnie a clelebRtin of thier lfei, bUt if teh pR4son haS dide peeacfluey at an oLd age, thhen a hpapy rmemeBrncne fo thiER LiFe mihgt be IN ordre.

Funerals are held for two reasons: to remember the dead, and to comfort the living. What mood is appropriate for the funeral is a question of what sort of person the deceased was, and what the people he or she left behind find helps them in their grief. I remember hearing that at the funeral of one of the teenagers murdered at Utøya, her parents distributed small bottles of bubble stuff and encouraged everyone to blow bubbles at certain times during the ceremony. In that case it was appropriate; for another person, that same thing might have been extremely disrespectful.

In other words, the answer to whether a funeral should be upbeat is, It Depends.

Everyone should be able to grieve in the way that works for them.

Me, I would love to go out with a jazz funeral. It nicely combines the grieving and the celebration.

Your “Y” and “space bar” might need looking into as well…

Anyway- I think most funerals today still are sad. I think the more “upbeat” ones are more public memorials than funerals or those that are upbeat because they fit the deceased’s personality and their family’s style. My guess is there was probably crying and sadness at Whitney Houston’s actual, private, family funeral.

Personally, I want bagpipes.

A funeral should be a celebration of the deceased, in service to the mourners. The point is to provide comfort - andn laughter and joy can certainly do that. I’m proud that I was able to get people to smile when I gave a speech at my grandmother’s funeral; it was a perfect way to memorialize her.

Funerals should be upbeat, colorful, fun affairs, with elephants and lion tamers and trapeze artists and lots of clowns.

Circuses, on the other hand, should be mournful, morbid affairs.

Christ, buy a new keyboard already. Hell, PM me your address and I’ll send one to you.

Chuckles the Clown would have wanted it that way.

A little song.
A little dance.
A little seltzer
down your pants.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, not screaming in terror like my passengers. :slight_smile:

Dad was a funny guy, a practical jokester. My mom didn’t want people standing around wringing their hands at Dad’s funeral. We played 60’s rock and hockey songs, and his eulogy had everyone in stitches. Anyone who thought it was odd didn’t know Dad very well.

Doesn’t it also matter how the person died, and the circumstances? Someone who passes away peacefully after a productive, fulfilling and happy life, on good terms with family and friends, really should have an upbeat funeral. After all, it usually doesn’t happen that way, so when it does, there’s a reason to celebrate.

Well, Whitney Houston’s church does that - they don’t do “funerals”, they do “Homecomings”. It’s their thing. Not an unreasonable one, I think, but don’t mistake it for universal.

IME, the best funerals incorporate *both *joviality with mourning. If you’re lucky, it’s joviality *after *mourning - there’s something of a catharsis in tears early on in the event, and people are laughing by the end. It’s probably not the end of the grieving process for anyone but distant acquaintances, but it shows people that they are capable of laughing, still, and that laughter is okay - you needn’t be afraid of life while in the midst of dealing with death.

It’s probably the healthiest, too, in that it gives everyone a sort of mini-tour of the Stages of Grief.

I recently attended the memorial of a man who was very special to me - teacher, mentor, spiritual leader, boss and father figure, from whom I’ve been estranged for about 7 years. I was conflicted, to say the least! But it was perfect. The first person spoke about her disbelief that her brother could be gone. The second person spoke about her anger at her husband leaving her alone. The third spoke about how she’d give anything to have been able to say goodbye to her father. The fourth broke down in tears of sadness… It was astounding, and right out of a textbook. No one had planned to so literally go through the Stages of Grief, but it just happened that way, and I for one felt an amazing sense of healing from it. By the end was laughter and singing and people hugging old friends (many of us hadn’t seen each other for 7 or 8 years).

I blame gotcha ya’ for making it too hard to not laugh at funerals.