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Question Of The Day

What Would People Say at Your Funeral?

"About time."

by William Alexander
15 May 2013, 3:40pm


(Image via)

That sombre, sobering atmosphere you go for when you're organising a funeral can really be spoilt when the person you're mourning comes back to life half way through proceedings. A guy in Zimbabwe did just that as family and friends filed past his coffin, which must have been kind of frustrating for his exceptionally parsimonious cousins who thought they were getting some free stuff, or for anyone who'd booked time off work on bereavement leave then had to have that awkward, cliché resurrection chat.    

More awkward, I'd imagine, would be waking up during your funeral and hearing what everyone was saying about you. I can't imagine anyone's going to say anything too interesting during my eulogy, so I went to ask some other people a question instead: What would people say at your funeral?

Jamie: That’s a pretty hard one. Probably something along the lines of, "He’s a bit of a grumpy git, but he meant well. His grumpiness was for his own good."

VICE: Any definitive examples of grumpiness?
Gosh… throwing people out of my house when I don’t want them in there. When someone annoys me in my house, I throw them out.

Yeah, that’s pretty grumpy. Would you chuck people out of your own funeral?
Yeah, I’d write a guest list beforehand. There are a few people I wouldn’t want in there. I’m completely intolerant.

Would you get bouncers?
Yeah, hopefully all my wives would be there.

All your wives?
Yeah, there’d be about seven, I’d live to about 91, so I’d have quite a long eulogy.

You’ve got some pretty positive expectations there, Jamie.

Michael: Hmm, that’s a really tough one – I haven’t given that a lot of thought, to be honest.

Well, what if you woke up halfway through your own funeral?
Maybe they’d say that I'm more surprising than they thought I was.

Are you a surprising person by nature?
People think I’m not surprising, but every now and then I do something weird.

Give me an example.
I went off and spent the last week in complete isolation, in silence

How was that?
It was kind of a weird thing to do.

Is it nice to talk now?
Yeah, it’s a relief.

Alex: Well, that’s if anybody turned up. I might outlive them all – I might be 125.

Jesus, what’s your diet?
I’m not saying it’s likely, I’m just saying there’s a possibility I might live that long and they might not say anything. They might say, “Bloody hell, he hung around for a very long time."

Do you want to live until 125?
Well, you'd be pretty gaga by 125, wouldn't you?

You would. It's also quite an optimistic goal.
Well, you don’t know about medical science, do you? Or what it might do in the future. You know I’m on TV and that, don't you?

Oh, are you?
Yeah.

Oh, I didn’t know, sorry.
Oh, that’s alright, don’t apologise. But yeah, I’m a television presenter.

Who do you present for?
The BBC.

I’m terrible with TV.
That’s alright.

Nuria: That question isn't very imaginative.

Thanks very much.
No, I just mean it’s one of those topics that always get thrown around.

So you must have a good answer prepared. What would people say at your funeral?
Hopefully some variation: it was really good knowing her, really cool getting to spend time with her, etc., etc.

So you think you’re quite a nice person then?
Yes.

The other people I’ve talked to haven’t had such good things to say about themselves.
That’s just British deprecation. I don’t subscribe to it.

Would you have a theme at your funeral, like a foam party?
Probably not a theme, but it would be good to have some music.

Like Cannibal Corpse?
No, I'd probably stick to instrumentals so people wouldn’t stop and think if the lyrics were meant to be meaningful or anything.

I guess that works, but I'm always here if you want something a little more fun.

Daniella: Rest in peace.

That’s it? What about positive sentiments?
I think they’d say positive things because it’s my funeral, then they'd say something bad after.

:(

Steve: About time.

Why’s that?
Just because.

What do you think it would be like? Would it be fun?
At my own funeral? I'd have to go, I guess, but I think I’d be quite quiet and wouldn't talk to anyone.

Fair enough.

Lucas: They would say, "He likes hugs."

He likes hugs? That’s the extent of the eulogy?
Well, that’s one thing one guy would say.

How many would be in attendance?
There would be 92 people.

That’s very specific. Why 92?
Well, 100 is pushing it.

So apart from the hugs, what would they say?
Well, maybe that they’d miss me.

Only maybe? Those are pretty short speeches so far and you seem like a nice guy. I’d miss you.
Do you want a hug?

Yeah, okay.

Previously - What the Worst Song to Have Stuck In Your Head?