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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 466 - Let's Put The Fun Back In Funerals {FMF}

I'm not too good at funerals. I've been to one, and had to organize the obligatory hors-douvres-and-long-faces get-together for the old boy afterwards, at my house.

I had to give a eulogy. Couldn't think of anything better to say than, "Well, he died with his boots on. Cheers, mates."

And the get-together went pretty well, really, everyone sitting round and eating and exchanging sad stories about how they'd never see old-so-and-so again...until the hippie I hired to watch the dogs let them out of the back bedroom. She apparently needed a cigarette break. Don't now what kind of cigarette, no.

So four rather large and definitely hungry dogs charged down the hall, cleared the cocktail tables of food, and flooded out into the cul-de-sac, jumping into and out of cars (through fortuitously open windows) and dodging both epithets and hands for half an hour.

All in all, a great time was had by all. Or at least by me and the dogs.

Why yes, this was before Barb and met. However did you know?

So, having had a near-death thing last week and being on the short side of awful since then, I've thought a bit about my funeral. Not that I am likely to have one; I keep telling Barb she has better things to do with money than buy and bury a box on land that could better be used as a tactical shooting range. I suggested a modern Viking funeral using tannerite, one last way of saying "He's been all over!" Barbara was not amused. (Tannerite is a quite legal binary explosive, used in exploding targets.)

But still, there may be a memorial service, and I hope it's like a Southern Sunday...Bible reading, fried chicken, good music, and shooting guns.

Music? Here's a partial playlist:
  • Abba's Waterloo and Dancing Queen
  • John Fogerty's Almost Saturday Night, Rock And Roll Girls, and Centerfield
  • ELO's Calling America
  • The Foo Fighters' Walk

Well, at least not until the beer runs out.

So, having mentioned the Foo Fighters, let's give Walk a listen...

And, some of you may know that I had a lash at cutting Barb's hair...here's the result...

Please pardon my slow response to comments. I do my best, and your comments are really precious to me.

I'm grateful for the energy to have written this. I'm so glad Barbara's stepped in. I'm really not doing well at all.

Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.


  1. The last funeral I went to was Jean's. She was a mom to me. Her legacy still continues with those of us who were blessed to know and love her. We celebrated a life well lived.

    I've never met you face-to-face, but I'm glad to be along with you in the journey. Your humor and candor have kept me coming back to find out more every week. I absolutely will be sad when you go because I'll miss "meeting" you on FMF. But I'll be happy with you in knowing you are free from the pain in this world. Would you send a post from Heaven?

    Still praying for you both.

  2. It's good to have a celebration of life when you pass on, but at the same time, you need to leave room for the tears and sorrow that come with the loss of loved one. Be sad, but share good times and stories too. It's a good thing to do. And a Viking funeral would be rather neat to attend. :)

  3. My 2 cents. Conventual approaches to life has never been and Andrew attribute. Sometimes not even mine. People of my Indiana home church attended because the daughter of Jean Schmeisser would most certainly have a fun wedding full of surprises. They were right, but some of the surprises were also Andrew's. So Andrew's eternal wedding ceremony will be no different, that's a promise I will find away to keep. There were a few tears at the earthly wedding so, the eternal will also accommodate.

    If I was a betting woman, chances are very high that Andrew will shed the first tears when he faces Jesus face to face and realizes he is home to stay. ❤

    1. Barb, I love what you said about Andrew's first tears quite possibly being when he meets Jesus face to face and realizes he's home. :) Beautiful thought, that.

    2. Barb, I too, love what you said about Andrew shedding tears at his first sight of Jesus. Truly it will be then that Andrew will fully realize it was all worth it. Praying for you both this morning!

    3. No other comment is necessary, Barb. Save, perhaps, "Pass the fried chicken." xo

  4. I love the desire to have a memorial like a Southern Sunday. Blessings.

  5. Andrew, I had to smile as I read your words. It brought to mind a myriad of thoughts. When my grandfather died, our family spent time sharing the happy memories. He died from Parkinson's and it was a hard death for a hard man. But, I believe, God transformed his heart in his final days. I believe I'll see him and my grandmother in heaven. My cousins who don't know the Lord wept lots at his funeral. For some reason, my tears rarely come before the ceremony is over.

    We recently attended a Buddhist funeral, for my husband's aunt. They work so hard to make it peaceful through the rituals and ambiance of the space where we were, but there's something for me that is innately sad when I know the person whose life we're celebrating didn't know Jesus.

    I like your idea of having upbeat songs and not necessarily dirges. There's a place for sorrow when a loved one dies. The missing of the person can be deep. But, especially for those who know Heaven is their eternal home, we can celebrate too. Right?

    Praying for you both.

  6. The body may be failing, but the mind is sharp as a tack! We don't like to talk about it [death] but its part of life. I always thought it should be a celebration for a life well lived and a bon voyage for an amazing journey home. There will be tears but in the end here's to happy tears. Love the attitude and arrangements while hating the circumstances. I told my son the other day I would go on a bike ride with him when I die. I'll be the passenger on the trip from Maine to New York.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. A Harley ride, do it now! I still have a hope for a bike ride over the Rocky Mountains contential divide. I've done it in a small truck, but I want to feel the wind in my face and on my skin and have no walls to pin in my view.

  7. Andrew, I am sure there will be tears, they won't be for your being home and free and healthy now. No, that will bring joy, maybe a bit of envy! They will be for their own loss. We are a selfish lot!!Oh yes we are! I think the dogs should be able to be there and express themselves freely. What a hoot for you in heaven to look down and see that! Love reading your words. Haven't been here for a few weeks, lots of stress going on. Prayers always for you and Barb!

    1. Mary, prayers for you and whatever is overwhelming. May God's grace and companionship be known to you.

  8. Andrew, there will be surely be some tears. They will be bittersweet as none of us want to lose a friend. Our joy will be in knowing you are with Jesus and one day we will meet face to face. Praying for you and Barb this morning.

  9. Andy, your idea for a modern Viking funeral reminds me of a time in the 1970s when a town tried to get rid of a dead beached whale using explosives; though at least yours would have less viscera raining down on the mourners.

    Cheers, mate.

    1. Jed, my dear birthday twin, you have understood Andrew better than anyone I know. Thank you for being our dearest first family.

  10. Hello Brother Andrew and Sister Barb,
    Good to see your words appearing this evening. Barb your haircut is wonderful. I like shorthair...less work (mine is about three inches long)
    Friend...I totally see you having a rockem sockem funeral after all you are a true fighter. Some favorite music, some good beer, some toasts, the dogs gathered round and Barb helming up the gathering that she knows reflects your kick ass ways. You two are loved. May you know his peace

    1. Andrew cut my hair, he's still very steady handed and can cut my hair the way I want it.

      He also married me with a butch cut which I prefer, but economics keep the style at bay.

  11. Goodness, Andrew, so many thoughts! As a Southerner, I appreciate your nod to fried chicken and our other funereal traditions! I do think -- my two cents -- that funerals are as much for those of us with the long faces (or not) as for the person being celebrated. Anyway, you have given us so many non-long-face moments and I for one am grateful. :-) Sending love and prayers.

    1. Paula, you are right that resurrection celebrations are also for the remaining. My biggest concern is helping a pack of dogs work thru their sorrow. Andrew is their primary caregiver, and he is their purpose of existence. Life for them will be an immeasurable adjustment.

  12. I like the idea of a celebration of life - with all the good food and laughter. Prayers for you both. xo

  13. It used to be when somebody died the family had thirty days of mourning. Now they have at least 30 days of filling out forms and doing paperwork. I hope, whatever kind of memorial service Barbara chooses for you, she'll let us have another one here. We all love you .

    1. Janet, we'll have a best memories of Andrew's influence. We all need to have a celebration and as psychologists say closure. Except I don't believe it's closure but a time to reflect and be more deeply influenced. Mom's departure has taught me the principle of deeper influence.

  14. Funerals are actually for those left behind. It's a way for us to mourn and honor the deceased. The deceased is gloriously with God. Love you both. Praying!

  15. Hey there to our entire blog family. Andrew has asked that I fill in as his response person.

    Words fail to express how your prayers, encouragement, and honest responses uplift our life.

    So maybe an example will help. Today Andrew though suffering, happily assisted with the chores of trash burning, an activity that in the past has triggered PTSD episodes. Bit not today, we worked like the Team we are and our bodies are sore, weary, and our sinuses are reminding us of the day's activities.

    Thank y'all for standing in the gap for us. Love thru our Savior Jesus Christ has made us the family we are.

  16. You've lived a VERY colorful life, to say the least, Andrew! So your funeral story does not surprise me one bit! Especially the part about the dogs! They've been your constant and sometimes life-saving companions! And as far as a viking send off, I think that could be very fitting--sans explosives! ;-) Love Barb's hair! You did a good job! I'm praying for you both and hoping that pain lets up and the fight in you never gives up!

    1. Beth, thank you so much! You're so right that dogs have been a constant measure of good for me; and they have saved my lie in many ways.

      So glad you liked Barb's hair; I really enjoyed doing that for her. And no fear, no matter what, not giving up.

  17. Barb has the tiniest of a little smile crick to her mouth... do you see it? Haha! That was the first thing I noticed instead of her hair. Makes you wonder what she was thinking, eh?

    I would have loved to seen those dogs charging through the house and everything else!

    Prayers, dude.

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