Memorial Service Humor

monty-python-2

Back in 2010 I was sharing the idea for Three-Fourths of an Ounce with my dear friend Melissa (the Robin to my Batman in all undertakings considered follies to most sane minds). Her very first thought was of this eulogy delivered by John Cleese at the memorial service for Graham Chapman—co-founder of Monty Python—back in 1989.  Her immediate association was further evidence in my mind that funerals and memorial services need not be dreaded affairs, but rather—even with the wadded tissues, running mascara, red eyes and stuffed noses—rare opportunities to gather with a group of people who share a mutual love for someone who is no longer here. They so often offer a chance for us to hear stories that shed light on a person we thought we knew well or we wished we knew better.  As our boundaries around death begin to break down, I have no doubt that funerals and memorial services will become more universally seen as wonderful opportunities to gather. As we create secular and universal traditions, I hope that the fear of saying the wrong thing will be overshadowed by the opportunity to hear stories and create memories.