I went to a funeral today. My great-uncle DeVere, died on Tuesday. He was 94. Those of you about to make a joke about Utah Mormon names? He was born in Kansas and raised Southern Baptist. Go ahead and mock the Southern Baptists. They will mess you up.
DeVere was the last of that generation in my family, which makes me sad. At the same time, I know he’s been reunited with his sweetheart.You know the cute little old couples you see who still hold hands and dote on each other? They were that couple, and now they’re holding hands again, which makes me a little teary and sentimental and very happy for them.
Funerals with this side of the family are fantastic. They’re more like wakes, but without the liquor. (Unless something happened after I left…anyone going to ‘fess up?) Today was all about stories, laughter, and memories. It was a celebration of DeVere’s life rather than a mourning of his passing. The overwhelming sentiment (which I wholeheartedly agree with) was that DeVere was a true gentleman, and the sweetest man you could ever meet.
Take note, people: when I die, I want stories and lots of laughing.
Whenever I attend a funeral, I start to wonder what people will say at mine. That’s pretty normal, right? I’m not just being morbid. This time. As I listened to people talk about the positive attitude and kindness that DeVere displayed on a daily basis, I thought about how I really need to be nicer so people will say good things about me when I die.
What? That’s totally a good reason.
Let’s be honest: that’s never going to happen. The me being nicer part, that is. People should still say good things about me, because it’s not nice to belittle the deceased. So I’ve come up with an alternative that I’m comfortable with. Start memorizing it now, because I expect you all to say it at my funeral:
“She was funny as hell.”
That works, right? You have to do the swearing part, too. I demand it.
And now, because I am who I am, I have to tell you about how I almost had to leave the service because I’m just like Mary Tyler Moore.
After the opening remarks, there was a beautiful bassoon solo (Seriously, that’s not a paradox. Who knew?) which started off sounding dangerously like “Send in the Clowns.” I know! I was very concerned! (It wasn’t “Send in the Clowns.” Or anything else by Sondheim, thank goodness.) I leaned over to my mother and whispered, “The bassoonist is quite good.” My mother whispered back, “I know. His father played the xylophone at my wedding.”
“You had a xylophone at your wedding?”
Is there any way to not laugh at that? Even if it’s in the middle of a very touching bassoon solo? I think not.
Great-Uncle DeVere, you were a kind, gentle, loving man. You made everyone around you feel special and important. And I’m really sorry I giggled at your funeral, but I’m pretty sure you would’ve been okay with that. Especially since Dennis used the phrase “rolled dick” at the pulpit.
Seriously. You had to be there.