Humour even in death

sun-and-clouds
Over dinner last night we got to talking about all the people that had sadly died this year, and as often happens you pour another and start to
reminisce of memories past, and remarkably how even in death humour can be found.

When my lovely Mum passed away, Dad struggled to deal with where and even if he wanted to scatter her ashes. For a whole year my Mum was in my
husbands car, together they travelled the length and breadth of Great Britain & Ireland. Mum definitely saw more places in death than she ever
did in life! Eventually I spoke to my Dad and he agreed we would go to the Isle of Man for a long weekend, we had spent many happy holidays there when I was a little girl.

With Mum carefully and safely “packed” we set off for the island. It was our intention to scatter Mums ashes at Port St Mary the following day.
After breakfast Dad said to me can we do this on Sunday instead, yes of course we can, we spent the next two days having fun exploring all the old
haunts.

Sunday dawned and after breakfast off we went, after 2 hours and several attempts it was obvious Dad was not ready to let her go. We looked at each
other through the tears, and Dad said….”let’s take Mum back to the hotel I think we need a drink. We had a wonderful day with all thoughts of
the failed deed forgotten.

All three of us returned home the following day, two of us with record breaking hangovers!, and yes Mum went back into hubby’s car, where they
travelled together again for a further twelve months, I then lost my darling Dad. After much discussion we decided that we would bury both sets of ashes in my Mums parents grave. After making enquiries we were told it would cost approx £400. My gorgeous hubs who is a Scot and normally the oh so archetypal kind (only kidding) said….”thats ok we will pay whatever it costs” I said no, I would rather donate the money to Cancer Research, but I still wanted them to be with my Nan & Granddad. As is normally the case when plans have to be thoroughly investigated, we opened the Merlot, after a bottle or two Hubs had this eureka moment… “I’ve got it we will bury the ashes ourselves”

Forward to the following Sunday, a day chosen with extreme care as Cemetery staff don’t work on the sabbath! Have to say I was not looking forward to
it. It was a dreadfully cold, damp dull day, parked the car and headed to the grave, me in front carrying two large bags containing two hidden Urns
complete with contents, gloves, wet wipes and two large bouquets, nothing unusual …so wondered why several people were staring. I turned round to see Hubby carrying a large bag of gravel….and a spade casually slung over his right shoulder whistling…..Hi Ho! We started laughing and continued to do so all through the now funny and totally joyous ‘Interment”

I was preparing the flowers when hubs uttered the immortal words “fekk there’s more ashes down there…who is it” I looked into the hole and
said, so that’s where Mum & Dad put Uncle John! We were now both in absolute hysterics, we could hardly see through the tears! Finally we pulled ourselves together and our work was done, the clouds broke and a huge shaft of sunlight shone through.

Mum & Dad had a superb sense of humour, we are sure it was them with Uncle John in the background, all laughing at their completely doolally daughter & son-in-law!

Blog by @Hugh Jarse

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14 Responses

  1. Liz
    | Reply

    What a wonderful story. Thank you.
    Death as is life is often the source of great humour and so it should be. I have often laughed through tears.

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  2. Fruitcake
    | Reply

    Wonderful story HJ! I think your Mum & Dad would have thought it hilarious! So funny, I could picture it all!

    My dad, who sadly had to return to the UK 8 months before he subsequently died, had said, whilst living in his little cottage at the bottom of our garden here in France, that he wanted his ashes scattered next to the pond at the bottom of our land, where he used to enjoy going fishing. Our daughter was charged with the job of bringing the urn of ashes over from the UK and we all dissolved in laughter when she was unpacking the car and said “Oh I’ve got grandad in the boot!” Dad would have thought it was hilarious! :yahoo:

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  3. george charlton
    | Reply

    Strange,i honestly knew it was you writing :rose: :rose:

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  4. Guiscriff56
    | Reply

    What a wonderful story HJ, especially with it being the day I lost my mum 19 years ago, brought tears to my eyes as well as smiling at your story too.

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  5. Mollygirl
    | Reply

    Fantastic story, had a lump in my throat as I read it, thank you for sharing.

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  6. Hugh Jarse
    | Reply

    Thank you Liz, Fruitcake poor Grandad at least my Mum was in the car! How spooky George we must have a connection!
    Guiscriff56 sending hugs and pleased although a sad day for you, my story made you smile.
    Thanks Mollygirl, you have also made my eyes leak with your beautiful poetry and words :rose: :heart:

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  7. Guiscriff56
    | Reply

    Thank you for the hugs HJ, really appreciated them. I met and became good friends with a few from the “other side/site” and kept in touch after we returned to England. This site is now shaping up in a similar way, keep up the good work everyone.
    xxx :good:

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  8. Gleaner
    | Reply

    MY wife had a ‘funny’ experience when her father passed away.
    They were at the funeral parlour and as is evidently the case here, had their last view of their recently deceased father prior to cremation. The cadaver was in a cask at the relevant place when they entered and the official in attendance then opened the cask to for the final viewing. My wife turned around and said – it was all in French – “But that’s not Dad, this ones got teeth”. She, having a wicked sense of humour, had to bite her lips to stop herself from laughing. The funeral parlour or wherever it was taking place, had only gone and put the wrong body in the cask.
    BTW, she idolised her father. I never met him. Evidently he would have been in hysterics if he had been there….

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  9. Witchy Poo
    | Reply

    Beautiful story Hugh Jarse, so lovely that you could find the humour, very important.
    Gleaner that is hysterical!! :yahoo:

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  10. Liz
    | Reply

    Our local Undertaker was known as “BBQ Bill” by everyone I believe. :-)

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  11. Hugh Jarse
    | Reply

    Gleaner I rest my case..humour in death!
    An English friend living in Normandy rang me 3 years ago to say her beloved Nick was close to death (all her family were in the UK) Literally threw a few bits together and drove up to the hospital in Cherbourg. Thankfully I was there in time to support before poor Nick died. We then had to go through the French funeral arrangements, a completely different procedure to the UK. To say the funeral director was surprised when told that, his deceased body lounge complete with sofa was not needed. We further added to his total disbelief that embalming was not required, he then asked about make-up. Marg turned to me and said my Nick would not want to look like Danny La Rue…… Well that was it we were helpless with laughter I think a release from the grief. I’m sure he thought oh in their grief they laugh! He gave us a couple of minutes and then asked, how many people would look through the viewing window? Now this is quite normal in France to view and watch the deceased be cremated, I said without thinking oh no that will not be necessary…we will take your word for it! A moments silence then…we were all in hysterics!
    It was a beautiful funeral, and 6 months later the funeral director invited Marg and us to his wedding!

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  12. Tizzler
    | Reply

    Not quite the same, but funny nonetheless. My wife, Mother Hen, had a Newfoundland when we met called Winnie. Lovely dog, but about 3 years ago she died suddenly which was a bit of a shock. Winnie was cremated, and the ashes were given to us in a wicker basket about the size of a cushion. We planned to scatter the ashes somewhere, but life goes on and we never got around to it. The ashes lived in the conservatory with other stuff we didn’t know what to do with. We didn’t get another dog for quite a while, but we often looked and visited the rescue places. Eventually we got the two labs we have now, they were exactly like Andrex puppies, tiny little things. I could hold one in each hand. As they got older they lived in the conservatory when we went out. It stopped them chewing the whole house and any little accidents were easily cleaned up. Anyway, we came home one dark evening with Jo’s (Mother Hen) daughter, unlocked the door and went in carrying our shopping and there was sandy type stuff all over the floor. Didn’t take too much notice straight away, but after a few minutes Mother Hen junior came into the kitchen saying ‘Oh My God……….the puppies have eaten Winnie’. Sure enough there was the wicker cushion torn to shreds, ashes all over the place, and two happy labs staring up at us, tails wagging, tongues hanging out waiting for tickles or treats. Not quite how we had planned to dispose of poor old Winnie, but we had to laugh.

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  13. Hugh Jarse
    | Reply

    Tizzler that is absolutely priceless! Plus very thoughtful of the lil pups to decide Winnie’s fate :rose:

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  14. Bill
    | Reply

    Lovely story WP, I had an experince years ago, when I ran a charter fishing boat out of Whitehaven, Cumbria.
    A lady rang to ask if she could charter the boat for a couple of hours.
    She then explained she wanted to scatter her mothers ashes in the Irish Sea, as her Father had been torpedoed and lost there, during the war and her Mother wanted to be with him.
    They arrived from Tyneside, the whole family, it was a poor day, windy and quite rough, we set off and I could see some of them getting a bit green.
    When a mile or two out, I asked will this be ok?
    Are we in the Irish Sea?
    Definitely said I.
    So they got started with their brief ceremony, I tried to disappear, until I saw them about to empty the ashes over the windward side, so had to tactfully as possible, nip out and suggest the lee rail would be better, before they were all dusted with mother.
    All then went well and I took the cardboard tube off them, put it out of sight in the wheelhouse and we set off back to port.
    Landed them on the quay, moored the boat and joined them for a drink in a harbourside pub.
    How much do we owe you?.
    Just put a few quid in the RNLI box.
    The cardboard tube rolled around in the wheelhouse for weeks, I hadn’t the heart to callously chuck it overboard, thinking there must be a fingers worth there, I did eventually raise the resolution and over it went near where the rest had gone.
    A unusual commission, I have often smiled (kindly) thinking what would have happened if I hadn’t pointed out “wind effect” :whistle:

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