Lazy Luddite Log



Assurance - nobody need be at all alarmed or concerned by the content of this entry. I fully intend to have a life expectancy of several decades.

Attending a recent funeral got me considering all sorts of things like mortality and posterity and ones life and its links to the lives of others. Another thing that funerals can get one thinking about is funerals. Over the last week I have been considering what kind of funeral I think I may want.

Making some comments on what sort of service I want seems a worthwhile thing to do. Some time ago I considered the kind of music I would want played at my funeral and gave cassettes to my parents of that music. However such things can get lost or destroyed in house fires and the like (besides which I am supposed to survive them). The Internet on the other hand is much more robust (says he trustingly) so I shall stick my intentions here. And then I shall be extra careful to evade the proverbial killer bus on the way home!

I would like to have a shortish and smallish service following this format:

* Attendees file in and sit while a recording of Adagio For Strings by Samuel Barber is played. I hope that by that time any associations this music has with a certain popular war movie will have faded. The music itself, free of any context, is very moving, which is fully my intent.

* A biographical eulogy is given by a civil celebrant who has consulted with surviving family and friends to put together some sort of verbal picture.

* There is a moment of silent contemplation while Elegy by Jethro Tull is played. This instrumental is both sentimental and stately in feel.

* Someone recites one or more verses of At The Grey Havens by J R R Tolkien:

Day is ended
Dim my eyes
But journey long before me lies
Farewell friends
I hear the call
The ships beside the stony wall
Foam is white and waves are grey
Beyond the sunset leads my way
Foam is salt
The wind is free
I hear the rising of the sea

Farewell friends
The sails are set
The wind is east
The mooring fret
Shadows long before me lie
Beneath the ever-bending sky
But islands lie behind the Sun
That I shall raise ere all is done
Lands there are to west of West
Where night is quiet and sleep is rest

Guided by the Lonely Star
Beyond the utmost harbour-bar
I'll find the havens fair and free
And beaches of the Starlit Sea
Ship, my ship, I seek the West
And fields and mountains ever blest
Farewell to Middle Earth at last
I see the Star above your mast

This poetry is the closest the service will get to any content of even remotely religious or supernatural nature.

* A slideshow of photographs is played to the track Last Horizon by Brian May. This instrumental is crisp and sweet with a dash of pomposity to it. I would hope that many of the photos focus on what I did and who I did it with rather than just a bunch of mugshots of me. We are the lives we lived after all.

* 'Housekeeping' announcements are made regarding things like the location of a wake or ashes-scattering or my preferred recipients of donations for a good cause.

* Attendees file out to Memories Of You by the Benny Goodman Sextet. This is lovely and lilting and very relaxed. A nice note on which to end I think.

All the music I have selected is instrumental. That is deliberate. Words impose concepts onto music while instrumentals let interpretations wander freely. I have all tracks named in a current format.

What I have written here is pretty much what I want. Any other matter is something for others to decide. I did once prefer burial to cremation but I am now open-minded on the topic – whatever is most convenient is the thing to do. A setting that is garden-like and incorporates both moving water and mid-century modern fixtures is the one other notion I am drawn to (the Necropolis in Springvale has that sort of thing).

I do apologize to anyone who finds this at all disturbing or distressing. As I say it was just that attending one funeral put me in mind of others and ultimately of my own. Allow me this indulgence and regard it as simply an on-line record to be filed away for far future reference.

Labels: ,


  • You may want to put this in a formal document somewhere. Apparently there are cheap will kits around that you can get. Just don't ask for it to be done by White Lady Funerals - their ads give me the creeps :-).

    By Blogger Polly, At 11 September, 2006  

  • I suppose I should get one of those kits from the newsagent. I like to think I am someone who copes well with filling in forms but the fact is I have something of an aversion to them. Once I get into filling in a form I do it quickly, but I tend to put it off till the last moment.

    Hey maybe the goth scene needs its own funeral directors - White Zombie Funerals!

    By Blogger Daniel, At 18 September, 2006  

  • An update on this topic is that I now have a basic will. However it refers in turn back to this blog entry on the matter of funeral plans. How very circular...

    By Blogger Daniel, At 09 August, 2017  

Post a comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home