Saturday, 24 September 2011


Well, went to a funeral of one of my wife's aunts yesterday. These things happen. Shame. I had met her but did not know her well. She had some views on the funeral arrangements and had sorted it all in advance (very considerate I have to say). James (my son) was one of the people carrying the coffin even.

Funerals are solemn occasions, well, mostly - if they could stop plotting the funeral of another certain person the whole time (not me, well, not to my face anyway)...

But the event is, as they always are, a time to get the people that knew someone who has died together. To reflect on their life. To consider memories. To give closure to all those that knew her. An important psychological process for all concerned.

And, to be honest, almost all of the wording in the ceremony was fine. There was even a nice poem, well, for the most part. Sadly there had to be unsubstantiated statements made regarding someone called God and another chap called Jesus, made with total confidence and certainty and no basis in fact or any relevance to the process. They added nothing to the event for myself and at least one other person there. Why people have to involve their fantasies in such solemn events I do not know. It almost seems rude! It would be no different if it was a Klingon ceremony. Lets stick to reality - we know why we are there - to give us a moment to reflect on someone's life now they are gone. Why spoil it with mumbo jumbo?

I do hope some people found such comments useful to them at the least. To be honest, my funeral does not concern me - why would it? But it is I suppose one event I can dictate and someone may follow my wishes. I'll ponder that some time nearer the event (which I hope is some time off). I suppose if that mumbo jumbo is what JoJo wanted then who am I to comment? It went as well as any funeral, and we all got a chance to remember her. A sad day for all.

I suspect I have managed to offend someone now.


  1. My grandfather was not religious, so we had a humanist funeral service for him (, and that seems to me to be the right answer...

  2. You mean you're not a real Reverend? ;)

  3. As real as any other reverend - ordained by a church. Or are you saying some churches are better than others? Fortunately not a church that has any requirement for people to believe in a deity.

  4. No, was just joshing. Organised religion is bad, especially ones which preclude other religions existing (which is most of them). Just seem to be a means to an end, and a misleading end at that!

  5. I know people who "believe". There are people for which any belief is better than none and they do not even really consider what they claim to believe in. There are organised religions that, certainly in some cases, do good things. But people confuse a send of right and wrong, and morals with religion. You can have one without the other. People can do good without "doing it in the name of God".

    I gave up expecting the majority of people to be rational a long time ago :-)

  6. I was pondering that we do live in interesting times in relation to religion. I am sure that once upon a time religion and law and morals and science as what we would call "old wives tales" were all lumped together in a set of rules you were force fed from birth and did not consider questioning (or perhaps were not allowed to question).

    At least these days we have separation of law and religion (mostly) and of science. I suspect not eating certain meat was purely a relevant hygiene thing for the climate at the time, yet a religion is stuck with it now where science actually provides clear rules and explanations for how to handle meat.

    Given how many people are neither rational nor emotionally stable, religion probably has an important role in even a modern society. I'll respect what people choose to believe, because I think it is right for people to make a choice themselves.

    Of course, these days, you have new beliefs like "man did not land on the moon", "the world will end in 2012", and "neutrinos go faster than light" :-)

  7. God! I am getting philosophical these days.

    And yes, I catch myself saying "God!" or "for heaven's sake" on occasion so did not edit it out of this post. It is more a familiar phrase than something with meaning, simply because I grew up in a CofE school and environment. Catching myself out like that is, in itself, frustrating. And yes, I have exclaimed "Deity!" to be more generic on occasion too.

  8. Is it wrong to follow up your own comments on your own post?

  9. Yes it is if you follow up more than once, and yes you do catch yourself saying things like "God!" or "for heaven's sake" but in actual fact isn't that blasphemy? And therefore not allowed if you are actually religious and therefore still kind of not wrong for saying it despite not being religious?

  10. I want to be buried, then have a tree planted on top, so I get properly recycled.

    I used to run a Compuserve forum (remember them?) called "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" - we took all the discussions that were off-topic for the other UK groups. Members were known as "Doggies", and accepted exclamations were such as "Oh Dog!", "Thank Dog", etc. Nobody was ever offended by that...

    I decided decades ago that since most of the major religeons say "We're right and everyone else is wrong" (Buddhism and Baha'i being exceptions) the chances of one of them actually being right were pretty slim, so the odds are they are all wrong!

    To sum up: God may very well be a decent bloke, but his fan clubs piss me off!

  11. If your wife's Aunt planned this funeral so carefully, presumably the religious aspect was in accordance with her wishes.

    Why don't you simply respect that ?

  12. Which is why I put up with it. Trying to be tolerant and all that.