Article: 10 Oddball Facts about Funeral Services
A funeral service is not always well planned, straight-forward or conventional. And you don't have to be rich and famous to arrange a quirky funeral... afterall why can't a funeral have humour or be idiosyncratic.
Maybe, after reading these quirky celebrity funeral snippets you may want to try putting the fun back in your funeral!
- QUEEN VICTORIA (UK): Queen Victoria insisted that she should be buried with the very bath robe once worn by her dead husband, Prince Albert. How quaint! Even stranger, her royal highness, took an actual plaster cast of her beloved Albert's hand with her to the grave.... You gotta hand it to her.
- ANYTHING BUT 'DIE': Apparently there are over 200 euphemisms for 'death' / 'die'. We all use them. Maybe we are so uncomfortable with death that we can't bear to use the word 'die' - e.g. 'passed away', 'fell', 'met his maker'... you'll have your own favourite.
- GLASS COFFIN: The late, great Hollywood icon, Judy Garland, shocked the world when she died of an overdose in '69 in London. She was displayed for public view in her glass coffin and more than 20,000 fans came to pay their respects... The funeral included many celebrities of the day such as Lauren Bacall, Mickey Rooney and James Mason, who delivered the eulogy.
- WHAT A MUPPET! The great creator of The Muppets, Jim Henson had TWO FUNERALS! One in London and the other in New York. Jim Henson insisted no-one could wear black. To top it, the Big Bird turned up at the memorial to sing 'It's not easy being green'... how touching.
- TO BOLDLY GO WHERE... Star Trek fans will know James Doohan who played 'Scotty' in the popular series. His will requested to be buried in space... and believe it or not there are companies that can organise this for you !! Doohan's family tried to honour his wishes but failed to make an orbit.
- A GRAND SEND-OFF: Only recently, Jimmy Dean (81, a famous US country singer) pre-planned his own tomb... and what a tomb. Costing $350,000 he had made a 3 metre granite mausoleum in the shape of a grand piano overlooking his beloved James River. The inscription declared: "Here lies one hell of a man."
- PACKED HER BAGS and SAID GOODBYE: Susan Boyle, a singer made world famous through 'Britain's Got Talent (2009) has recently said that she wants to make her funeral congregation a smile by having 'Nelly the Elephant' played... "You've got to leave them laughing".
- I GO IN PEACE: Yoko Ono decided her famous Beatle husband John Lennon should have no funeral. Instead, on 14 December 1980, millions of people around the world responded to Ono's request to pause for ten minutes of silence to remember Lennon.
- ASHES TO ASHES, DUST TO DUST: There is a Swedish company that now offers an ecological burial. They freeze-dry your body in liquid nitrogen, then pulverize it with high-frequency vibrations which turn the body to dust! The remains are buried in a cornstarch coffin which decomposes within six to twelve months.
- THE QUEEN OF HEARTS: The gigantic global outpouring for Princess Diana's sudden death in '97 saw her funeral ceremony pass an estimated 1 million mourners through the streets of Westminster, London. 2.5 Billion people watched it on TV across the globe and saw Elton John sing a rewritten and personalised rendition of 'Candle in the Wind'.
There you have it, funerals can be grand or meagre... it's up to you. You'd be wise to plan your own funeral so as not to leave it to chance or someone else to make the arrangements.
Published Under Creative Commons License.