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  • The bereaved had never any doubt about their dear ones' wishes and those wishes usually squared with their own inclinations.

  • Funeralese has had its ups and downs. The word 'morticians,' first used in Embalmers Monthly for February, 1895, was barred by the Chicago Tribune in 1932, 'not for lack of sympathy with the ambition of undertakers to be well regarded, but because of it. If they haven't the sense to save themselves from their own lexicographers, we shall not be guilty of abetting them in their folly.'

  • Alas, poor Yorick! How surprised he would be to see how his counterpart of today is whisked off to a funeral parlor and is in short order sprayed, sliced, pierced, pickled, trussed, trimmed, creamed, waxed, painted, rouged and neatly dressed — transformed from a common corpse into a Beautiful Memory Picture.

  • O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Where, indeed. Many a badly stung survivor, faced with the aftermath of some relative's funeral, has ruefully concluded that the victory has been won hands down by a funeral establishment — in disastrously unequal battle.

  • I have nothing against undertakers personally. It's just that I wouldn't want one to bury my sister.

  • We managed to arrive at San Lorenzo fuori le Mura at the same moment as a funeral ... a fat priest in his vestments came out of the first coach like an overgrown dahlia, and roared his way through the service with a speed only to be matched by the speed of the organist, who kept on tripping him over with the first chord of the responses, like a rugby tackle.

  • I've a great fancy to see my own funeral afore I die.

  • A typical Liberian graveside ceremony is almost always accompanied by a woman, usually not even a member of the immediate family, who throws herself on top of the coffin in the grave, begging to be buried, too, so great is her grief. 'You'all leamme here, oh!' she yells, as weary pallbearers climb in to extract her. 'My people, jes leave me!'

  • A Liberian funeral is something like an Indian wedding, an Irish wake, and a British coronation rolled into one. Entire churchloads of people holler, bawl, and sing for hours on end, wailing at the passing of the dearly departed. Long-winded sermons are punctuated by piercing screams from designated mourners scattered throughout the church.

  • In the final analysis, it's true that fame is unimportant. No matter how great a man is, the size of his funeral usually depends on the weather.

  • I want Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D played at my funeral. If it isn't I shall jolly well want to know why.

  • When planning or attending a funeral, one of the things to keep in mind is: Unlike the dead person, you will awaken and rise in the morning. You don't want to have been so bad you wish you could switch places with the deceased. You don't, in short, want to be so embarrassed you liketa died.

    • Charlotte Hays,
    • in Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays, Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral ()
  • We regard it as a civic duty to show up at the house and at the funeral because what we call a 'big funeral' is respectful to the dead and flattering to the surviving relatives.

    • Gayden Metcalfe,
    • in Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays, Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral ()