Who's the Daddy: Planning for a real send off...
Let’s face it, a Covid-era funeral is nobody’s idea of a proper send-off.
In normal times (remember them?) there’s a church service where everyone the deceased has ever met turns up, the vicar does their bit, we all mumble our way through a couple of the hymn book’s greatest hits, there’s a burial or a cremation then it’s off to the ‘do’ where the sadness soon turns to defiant laughter - usually by the third pint.
You catch up with relatives you haven’t seen since the last time you were all at a funeral and the dearly departed is sent on their way with stories of the good old days and a proper skinful of beer. I think it’s what the Americans call closure.
We were in the front door of the crematorium and out the back after little more than 15 minutes for mum’s funeral on Monday.
Mum’s coffin was carried in, the vicar said a few hellos, she read the eulogy, read a poem, did a reading, we all said the Lord’s Prayer and apart from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles and a few bars of Pachelbel’s Canon, that was about it. Even hymns are a no-no.
Before we knew it we were ushered out the back door and did our level best to recognise each other, all that little bit older and all wearing face masks. It went as well as it could have done, everyone played their part, from the friendly and professional staff at the undertakers to the youthful vicar and the restricted congregation in a socially-distanced seating plan. But that was it. After that we all went home. But it doesn’t seem fair, does it?
When yours truly pops off there’ll be enough cash behind the bar (put there by me) so everyone can drink it dry, The Stone Roses’ debut album on permanent loop (send me on my way to I Am The Resurrection please) and a eulogy worthy of a stand-up routine from Bill Hicks in his prime.
There’s no getting away from it, Covid restrictions make it feel like a huge anti-climax, like you’ve let your loved one down.
It’s like sloping off at a party without saying goodbye to the host. Put it this way, a post-Covid wake is already at the advanced planning stage.