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Atheist Funeral -- What Kind Of Funeral Do You Want?


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Not sure if this has been covered before. I just got home from a thoroughly secular funeral, except it was called a memorial reception. The man died suddenly at age 74. He was part of my Freethinker/Humanist group that met for book clubs and brunches. He was also a retired professor, and member of various clubs. The reception was in a large room at the funeral home. There must have been over a hundred people there. We filed in, signed out name, greeted the family, and mingled with each other.

 

There was finger food and coffee. At the mid-point of the two-hour event, three people made speeches that lasted a total of fifteen minutes, sharing memories of their Dad. As I knew from the short time he came to our group, he was an exuberant people-lover. That's what came out in the speeches. The first speaker said she watched his many interests walking in the door as people entered from the various interest groups of his.

 

There was no music, but several photo displays and a slide show on a large screen. In a separate room was the closed casket with two photos--one from when he was a very young man and one from about age 65. In my mind, it was a traditional funeral minus the religion. The reception room was set up so that our group could be together, and others who knew each other could be together, etc. But no one enforced this order. People were free to mix and mingle. It was the fellowship part of church funerals, in my opinion. Minus the church.

 

One thing I liked about the speeches was that they didn't make him out to be the greatest man that ever walked the earth. So he was a university professor and probably did some famous things but no mention was made of fame beyond the fun things he did with his family. That included taking his grandsons for a tour of the university and, because for him his colleagues were the university, that meant introducing the kids to all these people. I took it that wasn't exactly what the boys had in mind when they asked to tour the university. So there was a funny bent to the speeches, too, but all just common and ordinary. We didn't hear about great and famous accomplishments. He was just a happy family man who loved life.

 

I'm sure a person needs a certain amount of money to afford that kind of funeral but it's what I might feel comfortable with for myself, perhaps. Just some friends sharing memories of pleasant times together, remembering and marking the day. What would you want?

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I have a pact with my wife. I'm going to be cremated without a "service", followed by a remembrance party, open bar.

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Maybe at some point I should make a will that specifically states I want no preaching and no proselytizing at my funeral.  I'll have to word it so that ". . . since all religions are scams . . . "  is emphasized.

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Yeah, having it in writing wouldn't hurt. She could die first. Or if the two of you ever drive together or sleep in the same house, you could die in the same fatal crash or house fire. Stating in writing who you want to speak and what they should say might also help. For example, depending what kind of religious nut case relatives you have, who knows what they would decide to say or who they would get to speak. Not that you don't know this better than I. I'm just thinking that having it in writing might help get your wishes met.

 

Sorry, I must be falling asleep. Somehow mymistake's and pardcourse's posts blended in my brain so that I thought both were written by the same person. I don't know if MM has a wife.

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Somehow mymistake's and pardcourse's posts blended in my brain so that I thought both were written by the same person. 

 

No worries.  

 

 

 I don't know if MM has a wife.

 

 

Actually I do.  

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Haven't settled on it, not that I'm going to know either way.  It definitely should involve drinking and fire. If I could get away with it, do the old torch the body in the boat thing.

Oh, and much drinking is required.

The only thing I insist on is no mass.  I *will* come back from the dead to smack people for that.

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I have this taken care of.  I have my living will, my "Five Wishes," and I've pre-written my obituary, and this is what I wrote regarding any "service":

 

"It is my wish to be cremated and scattered wherever my children want.  There will be no need of visitation and no service.  If you wish to remember me, just find someone you enjoy and have some fun together.  Or eat chocolate!  As Oscar Wilde said, "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad.  People are either charming or tedious."  I feel much gratitude for people I have met in this world who are charming, and I thank each of you for the time you spent with me while I was here."

 

When my agnostic dad died a few years ago, he died on July 1, and we had a little service for him on the morning of the Fourth of July.  At the end of the short service, my sister announced that "everybody was free to enjoy the day and their picnics, just like my dad would have wanted."  We had rented a casket for him, then he went to be cremated, and we put his ashes on my mother's grave.  We (my sister, my two children, and myself) had our own little remembrance at my mom's grave when we got his ashes, where we passed his box of ashes around, told a story of something we remembered from his life or of both my parents and sprinkled some ashes, and passed the box around until the ashes were gone.  It kind of got funny because he was a big guy so there were way more ashes than we expected!  The box got passed around and around and around, until we were starting to run out of stories and we were taking bigger and bigger handfuls of ashes.  When we left, my mom's grave looked kind of like a vacuum bag had been emptied on it!  We laughed, my dad would have appreciated this whole escapade!, and we quickly jumped in the car and left the cemetery before someone official came around and yelled at us for dumping stuff all over a grave!

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Whatever makes the survivors happy is fine with me. I'll be dead. Everyone already knows my position, but a funeral/memorial is for the living. A Viking funeral would be nice, though.

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art display!!!

 

I am going to have my ashes poured into a mold it will be my last and final art piece. the main filler will be a corrosion resistant metal like aluminum. the core will have my brain or brain tissue thickly encased in resin.

 

some ashes will be made available to family to do  as they please.

 

the main funeral event will feature booze and good food. Celebrate my life don't mourn my passing  

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Mine will have this song:

 

 

(Click ahead to the 2:52 point to bypass the drama and get to the song)

 

Next, I want to make sure that they put me in my casket with my middle finger sticking up. smile.png

lol

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I guess I'm not technically an athiest yet, but I'm replying anyway because this is a very interesting topic I haven't thought a lot about.

 

Also, because sex forum. (25 posts, right? wicked.gif)

 

I think that I'd really want pagan references to Sekhmet or Athena, two goddesses that I don't actually believe EXIST or anything, but have incredible meaning to me as symbols in my life. But, as Florduh has said, these events are for those left behind; my Christian family's pain would be increased by the power of a thousand suns if they were forced by my will to choose between honoring my memory and honoring biblegod's.

 

I think I'll just let them do what they like, with one exception: NOBODY CAN USE MY DEATH AS AN EMOTIONAL BAIT TO DO MANIPULATE OTHERS INTO THE VERY CHRISTIAN LIFE THAT I ADVOCATED FREEDOM FROM WHILE LIVING.

 

Renouncing my religion is an important part of my life, and I would not appreciate others spitting on that memory by abusing others in my name. Seriously. 

 

Might have to get BlueGiant to teach me the Dark Arts, so I can rise up and bitchslap a couple folks meself.

 

Wonderful story, amateur. It's a good thing to be prepared.

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I have not planned my funeral, but I told 2 of my agnostic adult children that if a certain brain dead

Xtian wants to see me in my last illness, I want their promise that they will do what is necessary to

prevent that from happening. The idea of someone trying to reconvert me on my deathbed is the only thing I fear about death and dying. bill

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Twisted Sister would be very fun funeral music!  If I was going to have a service, but I'm not, I'd want David Lee Roth's cover of "Just a Gigolo."

 

When the end comes I know
they'll say I'm just a gigolo
as life goes on
without me

 

Those lines sum up my life and death:  I'm no one important, I've done nothing important, I've had some illicit and carnal fun, and when I die life will go on -- and sung by a hot guy!  That'll be my death bed song.

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I want Monty Python Life of Brian's "Always Look on the Bright Side of LIfe" played at my funeral, just like I played at my mom's funeral.

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This song is my morning alarm wake-up tone. It reminds me to try to enjoy each precious day we have -- whether or not it's your birthday.  I think I'd like it played at my funeral. It would be my one final statement to all the religious nuts in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In my photo, you can see Stewart my loved one. 

 

Him and I would like our bodies cremated, and compressed into a man-made diamond. To which would be ejected into outer space so that our atoms may travel the universe after death. 

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Years ago, I was sitting around the dining room table with my step-family, and my 16-year-old stepsister made the wistful comment, "When I die, I want 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' at my funeral."  My other stepsister's boyfriend replied, "When I die, they're gonna play 'Highway to Hell'!"

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I have a pact with my wife. I'm going to be cremated without a "service", followed by a remembrance party, open bar.

That's what my wife and I want too, and lots of music of our favorite songs. Whoever goes first, their ashes are kept and when the other person dies and is cremated, we will be scattered together.

 

 

 

 

(edited for lack of comprehension ....)

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No service of any kind. I doubt there would be anyone alive at the time who would care, either.

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I want to be taxidermed.

 

I know this sounds cold, but I hope that I live longer than my parents (they are 40 years older than I am, so it would not mean an early death for either of us for that to happen). If they die before me, they will die with the (false) hope that I might reconvert in the future - and they will never know that they were wrong. They are the only people who would be in real grief if I died and have any problem with a totally non-Christian funeral. I do not plan to have any kind of real funeral - it would be nice if the people close to me could have a dinner or something informal, but my friends, boyfriend and I are not ceremony types of people.

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No service of any kind. I doubt there would be anyone alive at the time who would care, either.

 

Yeah, that's the way I was talking to the president of the local humanist group. He was helping me set up my papers. And you know what he said? He said they might like to knew when I go or if I'm in the hospital or something happens to me. So I'm listing the group as someone to be notified. Maybe there's someone like that who cares about you and is more interested in you than you realize. I think those of us here might like to know. Okay, who knows if exC will still be around but let's say it is and us old-timers are still on it. Just an idea. There would be the complication of getting translating real names into screen names for publication on here but I think that could be managed.

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If I could make that decision I would choose to be vaporized/pulverized upon death so there would be no body for anyone to have to deal with.  Beyond that, I would hope people could let the somber shit go and play a live band, dance, make new love relations, etc.  Eat drink and be merry. I'd be honored if someone compiled my artworks to dazzle the crowd in a slideshow.  Then maybe the right people (people I care about) could start making real money on the shit.

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I want to be taxidermed.

 

I know this sounds cold, but I hope that I live longer than my parents (they are 40 years older than I am, so it would not mean an early death for either of us for that to happen). If they die before me, they will die with the (false) hope that I might reconvert in the future - and they will never know that they were wrong. They are the only people who would be in real grief if I died and have any problem with a totally non-Christian funeral. I do not plan to have any kind of real funeral - it would be nice if the people close to me could have a dinner or something informal, but my friends, boyfriend and I are not ceremony types of people.

 

Clara, there's an artist I saw in the Twin Cities about 10 years ago, Dr. Hagen, who took dead people (volunteers I think) and displayed their various systems taxidermed.  For example, one mount was just the tendons, another the vascular system, etc.  You should find him and get on his list.  The Chinese do it too.

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