Is it wrong to laugh during a funeral?

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Stained_Eligius, Nov 8, 2005.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. My apologies if this has been done before but the other thread concerning songs that you would have played at your funeral got me thinking about funerals in general and specifically about whether it is wrong to laugh during a funeral?

    I've been to three now and at some point in the proceedings found myself wincing in pain at the stitch I'd given myself during yet another failed attempt at laughter suppression. Some say that it's a strategy for dealing with grief and I'd agree with that but I'm not just laughing - I'm laughing AT something. Here's an example: my brother tragically lost his children (3 and 6 yrs old) in an accident many years ago. The week or so leading up to the funeral was pretty horrible as you'd expect but then the day arrived. I was a little apprehensive as I'd previously laughed during both my father's and grandfather's funerals but I thought that this one would be different. Sadly I was to fail again... The church was chokka with mourners and my brother and I were waiting outside with the vicar for the undertaker's car to turn up. He arrived a little late so things became a little rushed. My brother picked up the smaller of the coffins and began to walk toward the entrance. I stood there for a split-second as my brain commuted distance to altar and probable coffin weight (actual weight 50-60lbs). My conscience began fighting the terrible urge to make my mouth say 'oh yeah take the lighter one why don't ya!' as I hurriedly picked up mine. My brother started to walk slowly into the church. I had very little time to adjust the load so, holding the coffin under one arm, I quickened my pace and followed him in thinking I could change my hold underway. Wrong.. As we entered the church, the professional mourners at the back began to wail. I almost joined in as the coffin slipped slightly and came to rest between my sixth and seventh ribs. My brother was having no such problems as he'd had the time to realise that a two-handed 'tray' hold would a. be easier and b. not look stupid. I still had about 50 feet to go to the altar and was in serious trouble. Ayatollah Khomeini's funeral came to mind as I imagined the coffin falling from my grasp. The coffin weight seemed to have doubled somehow and this, combined with my weakening grip on it almost convinced me to change arms. This, I reasoned, would not have been a good move so I fought through the pain and eventually reached the altar. My brother then took what seemed like hours to set his coffin onto the stand and it was then, through the sweat streaming into my eyes, that I caught my sister's eye. She told me later that I looked like a harassed builder carrying a bag of cement. She almost laughed but was able to control it by diverting her gaze to the floor. I wasn't quite so composed and spluttered loudly and very obviously as I attempted to turn my laugh into a cough. I almost swamped myself during the first hymn when I finally got the chance to laugh properly. Anyone else got any funeral stories?
  2. At my mother's funeral, the cortege was drawn up outside my house ready to go. Inside, grieving rellies filled the front room looking suitably glum.

    Almost ready to set off and along comes my (female) cousin, wearing a black outfit complete with hat and lacy veil thing over her face. She says to me 'Jim, how do I look? Is this hat all right?'

    I looked at her grief-stricken face, her eyes pleading for approval at her choice of mourning wear.

    'J***', I said, 'You look like a fecking satanic bee-keeper'.

    Well it made me laugh.
  3. Long ago and far away, well BFG in the early 80s to be honest, there was a young Siggie who had had enough of this veil of tears and decided to end it all.

    He got himself drunk and laid himself down to sleep on the main rail line from Krefeld. The 06:00 express to Cologne cured his problems and ensured he wouldn't have a hangover.

    So sometime later and it is No2s and everyone in the church for the funeral service. The church is packed and the guys family is sitting in the front row.

    Six bods have been jiffed as funeral party to carry the coffin into the church, we are all waiting, the music is playing softly and everyone is trying to be somber.

    The church doors open behind us and the bearer party enters in slow time.

    The sound of muffled giggles and half choked laughter comes from the rows behind me, I thought this was a bit off and stayed all serious until the bearer party went past, very very quietly they were going "chuff-chuff chuff chuff" (you know, the noise a train makes).

    I managed not to laugh out loud only by dint of biting very hard on my own tounge.

    Cruel I know but effing funny all the same.
  4. LMAO nice one :)
  5. Being a soppy thing, I bawl my eyes out at funerals, but teetering on the edge it's just as easy for me to be pushed to maniacal laughter, something my brother and sister endeavour to achieve! :oops: The funerals of my mother's parents are cases in point...

    For my grandmother's funeral we'd had the church service and set off for the crematorium. The problem is, Grandad had only wanted the hearse and one mourners’ car, so the rest of us set off in private cars. No problem; till a set of traffic lights when the 2 funeral cars made it across but the rest of us didn't. The comedy moment occurred when we realised that the only vehicle that was going to be between the funeral cars and the rest of us was a rubbish truck! Sod's Law, it was returning to depot which was obviously somewhere past the crematorium as it became part of our cortège until we all left the main road... In the 15 minutes it took to get from the church to the crematorium I'd gone from crying with grief to crying with laughter and by the time we got into the chapel for the final words I was a wreck. It was when the vicar began to waffle practically the same speech he'd done at the church and my sister muttered "Oh no, I can't listen to all that again!" that it all became a little too much for me & I had to turn an explosive laugh into a cough... :lol:

    Grandad's funeral around 5 years later was funny for a different reason. As he was a WWII bomber pilot we'd chosen the theme to 'The Dambusters' to be played as the coffin left the church and the effort required not to stick our arms out & do the classic 'flying' pose was enormous! :D
  6. A summer afternoon in an English country churchyard.

    Gathered around the grave are the friends and relatives in a series of concentric semi-circles. I don't know how it happens but everyone joins the right row according to how close a relative or friend they are. It was my father's funeral and I was up in the front row.

    After the usual bits and pieces the undertakers lift the coffin and start to lower it into the grave.

    The handles are too big and the bloody thing won't fit in the hole. The undertaker's face goes white and he swallows nervously. "Quick lads" , he hisses, "Lift it back up and get that green astroturf stuff out of the way."

    They lift, pull back the green mats that hid the muddy edge of the grave and try again.
    "It won't feckin fit", he hisses.

    The vicar looks as if he is about to faint, he wasn't taught about this one at theological college.

    I am convinced the undertaker is about to put his foot on the coffin and give it a good shove into the hole.

    My mother (the widow) leans over to me and says "Your father always did like the last word".
    My grandmother whispers to her other sons; " A********* is being difficult again."

    Laugh ? We nearly wet ourselves, silently shaking, while behind us everyone else, seeing only our heaving shoulders and rocking backs thinks we are weeping.

    Eventually we just left him on the grass and went home while a guy with a spade set to, to dig a bigger hole.

    Then we had a good piss-up.
  7. I,ve never laughed at a funeral. But I did start some off when I farted in the church. As much as I wanted to hold it in until after the ceremony I could,nt. So decided that a parted buttock approach might not make too much noise. Was,nt worried about the smell as I could blame that on me dad. Anyway putting as much downward force as possible on my left cheek I moved me right leg up to ensure the nipsy was well and truely dilated.
    This did,nt work and the sound ricoched off the wooden pews and echoed around the church. The guy geting buried was an old scout master so the 30 or 40 cubs & scouts at the back were soon creased up in laughter. I got my coat & made my excuses.

    Regards LT.
  8. Many, many years ago, in a far-of world...........well, deepest Berks, actually...........a Very Important Person was about to be laid to rest in his local planting ground.

    Now, this VIP was a VERY VIP and had been a Military Leader during the Second Global War Against Terrorism (so I shall not name him as I do not want to have my ass sued).

    GOM was nothing but a v young 3-striper then: gay, carefree and a bit thick 'cos I did not get out of the office quick enough when the call came for NCOIC Bearer Party.


    We move now to the country church, six assorted bearers and His Immenseness safely tucked up in the box. The recce had been done, route to the church checked......all except the feckin' 17th centruy lych gate had been taken into account! The bleddy thing had a distinct 'Right Turn' to it and His Nibs was NOT going to fit through.......certainly not on the shoulders of 6 x smirking Defenders Of The Realm.

    I have attended Warminster courses.......I have smelt shot and shell.........and I have taken part in that stupid Germany Army drinking game that involves garlic schnapps........therefore, I can think on my feet, stood standing erect and square to the front.

    Which is why the 6 aforementioned DOTR found themselves instructed to'..........up-end the soddin' thing and shove it through the flickerin' gate, you twonks!'

    Great! The recently deceased Great Military Person is now advancing to contact, 2 up and 1 back with bags of smoke, when...............the widow of GMP hobbles into view, supported by family and lesser GMPs.

    Things got a bit blurry and fast from here on..........there was a Ned Flanders shriek and faint from The Widow, a collective intake of breath from the gathered quality that almost ripped the sash from my frail, shaking form and at least one comment that went something like '..................feck me! Are they trying to bury him or nick his body for Guy's Hospital??!......'

    But all this was drowned out by the sound of 6 nominated volunteers alternately laughing a rude laugh and evacuating their bladders as a consequence of that laughter.

    Even now, my cheeks burn red at the thought. I was not available for weekend functions for some considerable time.................