Tag Archives: funeral

1524: Funeral arrangements

The cold, hard reality was that Amelia had nothing to wear. Now was hardly the appropriate time to go shopping for clothes. It was her own fault. She had been given a good six months to think ahead, during her husband’s final illness, and now that George had passed on she still had nothing fitting to wear to his funeral.

It’s not exactly true that she had been remiss in looking ahead. She had purchased a beautiful outfit. Black. The matching hat had black lace to hide her reddened mourning eyes. The dress looked fabulous once the jade and diamond brooch had been brought out of its bank vault to see the light of day; a green and dazzling piece of jewellery that was unspeakably beautiful against the black fabric.

Unfortunately Amelia had worn that ensemble to Fiona’s husband’s funeral three weeks earlier. Amelia wouldn’t be seen dead in the same outfit twice. It was most inconsiderate of Fiona’s husband to drop off just a few weeks prior to her George.

There was only one thing for it; in the closet, Amelia had a stunning floral frock. It verged on the outrageous; it was brash, garish, loud. She had bought it to upstage everyone at her daughter’s wedding but the wedding had most fortunately been cancelled. A despicable man; and not at all good-looking.

Yes! The floral dress was the answer. Amelia hastily penned a note for the newspaper’s funeral announcement: For his funeral George requested that we wear something bright.

1436. Spies

BEFORE TODAY’S STORY – AN ANNOUNCEMENT!

For those of you who knew her, the late Cynthia Jobin’s second book of poetry – “Song of Paper” – published by Bennison Books will be available from Amazon in a couple of days. It contains mainly those poems not in her first book “A Certain Age”.

No one knew that Viktor Plemyannikov was a Russian spy; no one, that is, except for Marjorie McAloon who was a great friend of Viktor Plemyannikov – who was unmarried and without family. In fact she herself was a spy for the British Government.

No one knew that Alphonse Lémieux was a French spy; no one, that is, except for Tessa Blanchard who was a great friend of Alphonse Lémieux – who was unmarried and without family. In fact she herself was a spy for the United States.

Coincidentally, Marjorie and Tessa were great friends, but neither knew the other was a spy.

Anyway, it seemed that Viktor and Alphonse died, apparently on round about the same day. Marjorie went to Viktor’s funeral of course, and Tessa went to Alphonse’s funeral.

Marjorie and Tessa said to each other, “What are you doing here?” It didn’t really matter anyway, because the vicar referred to him as Harry Smith and said he was a great family man.

1410. In which Constantia buries her husband and buys a hat

After her husband’s death, Constantia hit the bottle. Even during the funeral in church, she was so drunk she had to be supported by her brother and brother-in-law. She kept calling out “WHA! WHA! WHAA!” which people took to be an utterance of grief, but as Constantia’s brother pointed out, it was an exclamation of exhilaration at having come into the possession of gigantic opulence.

A week or so after the funeral, Constantia decided to sober up and get on with life. Insobriety had been her way of covering up for lack of grief.

Constantia celebrated her new found fortune by buying a hat.

1226. Gored by bull

It’s been an utter tragedy. The whole village is in shock. Harry Dennison has been gored to death by his bulls. If anyone knew how to handle bulls it was Harry Dennison.

Harry had bred and handled bulls for a good fifty years. He’d started out with just the one cow and bull, and now it could just about be said that every bull in the county was from Harry’s stock. I suppose you could say that being gored to death by bulls is a fitting enough finale to such a (excuse the pun) bull studded life.

But the shock of it all. It’s going to affect the whole area. It’ll be a huge funeral. And getting gored by out of control bulls must be the goriest thing you can imagine. Those horns will rip open a man’s chest and stomach before you can blink. And the foot stamping on the head. And the tossing. And a bull doesn’t give up; one whiff of blood, for a mad bull in a mood, and you might as well kiss your arse goodbye.

Gored to death. I’m sorry to keep repeating it, but I’m profoundly shocked. Shocked.

What’s that? Oh! Oh dear. Harry Dennison wasn’t gored to death by bulls at all. All he said was that after fifty years he’s bored to death by bulls.

Poem 42: That empty chair

(The poetic form selected for this month is the English or Shakespearean Sonnet).

That empty chair I see across the table
Reminds me; I must phone my headstone mate
And ask him if in any way I’m able
To cut on costs without been thought a cheapskate.

Quite frankly, funeral costs went through the roof.
The walnut chest you wanted I ignored.
Instead I thought of something on the hoof
And nailed a box up out of some old boards.

I didn’t think too many would attend
A funeral service in a pricey hall;
The obit. read: No flowers, we don’t intend
To celebrate her life and death at all.

At least the whole affair has one bright spot:
I’ll sell your chair and hope I get a lot.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

971. Funeral time

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(Dear Everyone, I have decided to finish this blog at story 1001, which will be on the 7th of July. Initially there were to be 555 stories – for no reason the number of sonatas composed by Dominico Scarlatti. Then I extended it to 1001 – the number of nights in the Arabian Nights. Then I extended it to 1066 – a number of significance to those who follow William the Conqueror. I’m not going to do the 1066 bit, and all that, but am going to stick to the 1001 stories. There are still 7 left to write!

The last monthly poem will appear on the 1st of July.

As for the weekly pieces of music: I had finished composing the weekly music up until mid September. So as not to waste them, from now until the 7th of July I shall post music two or three times a week, including the usual Wednesday.

The reason(s) for all this is that I’m tired. I have to move house on December 12th and haven’t found anywhere to go yet. This will be the 13th time to have moved in 16 years. I also have other things to do in life! and other things to perhaps write. The blog material will eventually be shifted over to my website at Stagebarn – where reside my novel, some short stories, an autobiography, and my plays and musicals.

Anyway – I’ve got to sort things out now. Here’s today’s story!)

Let’s face it; Giuseppe didn’t want to go to the funeral. His wife, Maree, said, “So why go?” But Giuseppe felt duty bound. Some sort of ex-colleague from Giuseppe’s pre-retirement days had passed on. Giuseppe wasn’t feeling too well himself, and wasn’t feeling too eager to have to sit for an hour or so in a cold church.

“With your poor health I wish you wouldn’t go,” said Maree. “It’ll be the death of you.” But Giuseppe insisted.

The funeral was at ten in the morning. Giuseppe arrived a good ten minutes early. There wasn’t a vehicle, a mourner, or a coffin in sight. He waited a while and then went back home. He checked the newspaper. Yes, definitely at ten o’clock, and at that venue. What a mystery.

The next day Giuseppe noticed something…

“Why,” he asked Maree, “is every clock in the house two hours slow?”

Listen to the story being read HERE!

718. Funeral coverage

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Quite frankly, Herbie couldn’t afford to die. Funeral expenses were atrocious. He needed funeral coverage. He took out a policy that cost him twenty-two dollars a month. He arranged an automatic payment from his bank account.

The thing that ever so slightly worried Herbie was that if he died during the first year he wouldn’t get a penny. Not a cent. Not that he’d get it anyway because he’d be dead, but his wife wouldn’t get any compensation for the funeral costs. And then once the first year of payment was up, everything would be covered. Within reason, you understand. His wife couldn’t order a 24-carat gold coffin.

Everything went fine for several months. In fact, everything went fine for eleven months and two weeks. Then, as the first anniversary of payment approached, Herbie started to worry. He started to stress. Every little chest creak was an oncoming fatal heart attack. Every little twinge in the head was an aneurysm. Every little spasm was the onset of cancer.

Herbie discovered that the anniversary date of payment was a Friday the 13th. Friday the 13th! How terrifying is that?

Let’s face it, by the day before the anniversary, Herbie was a blithering mess. He had to survive a mere twenty-four hours. His dear wife suggested they go to the park and feed the ducks. It would take his mind off things. So they did that, although Herbie didn’t go anywhere near the duck pond as he didn’t want to fall in and drown. He didn’t walk on the grass in case he slipped and broke his neck.

AND… he survived! He survived! He survived!

A week later he got a letter. The last bank automatic payment transfer hadn’t come through. His funeral costs wouldn’t start to be covered for another month.

Listen the story being read HERE!

634. An apple a day

© Bruce Goodman 6 July 2015

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Marlene sat in the pew at her husband’s funeral. After fifty-two years of marriage, this was the time she had dreaded. Fifty-two years, and now all over.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, Fred used to say. And, indeed, that was the case. They’d both eaten an apple a day. And they both always had excellent health. Except for the one time he’d broken a toe in the middle of the night trying to kick the door shut before the cat got out.

The number of apples devoured came to about thirty-eight thousand apples between them, Marlene figured. Of course, occasionally they’d missed – it was always the first thing for breakfast, an apple. Cored and peeled and sliced of course.

Once (it was so funny to remember) Fred had purchased a bag of apples and when they peeled and sliced two for breakfast, it was discovered they were sour cooking apples. That was one of the days they missed on their apple, although Marlene did use them to make an apple crumble.

Fifty-two years and an apple a day, thought Marlene. It’s funny the unimportant thoughts that come into your head at such an important time. But I suppose it was natural enough for Marlene to think of apples while sitting in the pew. After all, he’d died at breakfast when he choked on a slice of apple, hadn’t he?

606. Funeral savings

© Bruce Goodman 8 June 2015

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Jimmy was old and dying. Patrick, his nephew and godson, was with him.

“Paddy,” said Jimmy, “when I go my final will and funeral instructions are in the top drawer.”

Jimmy died. Paddy opened the drawer. There was the final will and, on a separate piece of paper, the funeral instructions.

Jimmy had left everything to Paddy. Everything! Once the funeral expenses were paid for.

“He has rather expensive tastes when it comes to funerals,” thought Paddy.

He went to see the undertaker and arranged the cheapest funeral possible.

On the way home he called into the Travel Agency and booked an extended vacation to Honolulu on the funeral savings.

541. From death to funeral

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When Anthea’s husband passed away they had been married for thirty-eight years. They had no children. Don’t get me wrong; they’d tried frequently, furiously and fruitlessly to make a baby. And now Anthea was on her own.

The time between the death and the funeral was a roller-coaster ride. She had to organise the funeral service: select a coffin, arrange for flowers, for pall-bearers, for a church minister, for hymns, for an organist… She was busy, busy, busy.

Then friends visited. It was cup of tea after cup of tea. There was little time for mourning. She sometimes wished the visitors would disappear, but she was nonetheless grateful for their presence.

And then came the evening and the night. She never knew a night could be so dismal and so long. So lonely. So bleak. Such fearful unending darkness.

Anthea sat on the end of the bed and waited. And waited.

Dawn broke.