Memorial Service Humor


Back sometime around 2010 I was sharing the idea for Three-Fourths of an Ounce with my dear friend Melissa (aka Robin to my Batman in all undertakings considered follies to most sane minds) and her first thought was this eulogy delivered by John Cleese at the memorial service for Graham Chapman—co-founder of Monty Python—back in 1989.  It was further evidence in my mind that funerals and memorial services are not to be the dreaded affairs we generally think of them as, but rather—even with the wadded tissues, running mascara, red eyes and stuffed noses—a rare opportunity to gather with people who shared a mutual love for someone who is no longer here.  A chance to hear stories anew or for the first time that shed light on a person who we thought we knew well or we wished we knew better.  As our boundaries around death begin to break down and we open ourselves up to the same kind of creative expression at times of death that we do at times of birth or marriage, I have no doubt that funerals and memorial services will become more universally seen as wonderful opportunities to gather.  As we together create secular and universal traditions, I hope that the fear that overtakes us that we might say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing or wear the wrong thing will be overshadowed by the opportunity to hear stories and create new memories.