My Dad passed away in hospital last week, and we had the funeral yesterday. I think it was worthy of him, although I did unfortunately accidentally say the f word in the middle of it.
Dad requested that my sister and I speak, and she didn’t feel she could, so sure I’ll speak for both of us, and Mum as well. During the arrangements there was talk of a celebrant MCing, and I’m not sure how it happened, but I ended up saying sure, I get up in front of hundreds of people each week and make stuff up without a script, wouldn’t it be better if I did it instead of someone Dad didn’t know. How hard could it be?
So then we got to the music. Oh, I had to do the soundtrack, based on Dad’s wishes, and in consultation with Mum and my sister. Oh, and we need a program, because the funeral directors don’t do that, and the few I’d seen looked like some school kid had done them in Word, pretty amateur, so sure, I’ll professionally do the program as well, nothing but high production quality for Dad.
And you know what, I may as well do the running order and Stage Manage it, considering most of the detail of that was in my hands anyway. Pre-show, intros, cue sheets, it felt like a show. We were running a show, and I would make Dad proud.
So somewhere in there I managed to write my speech as well, not as good as I’d like, I ran out of time, but pretty good I reckon.
I’m not sure what the tradition is, but people were saying afterwards how different the service was, in a good way. I figured it was the obvious to be honest. Four special speakers requested by Dad, including myself, and then intersperse it with fragments of my speech, tailored to also serve as introductions to each speaker. The narrative turned out well, and I think the pace was good.
I think Dad would have smiled, laughed, teared up a little, and said “Good job mate. Probably could have left out the fuck.” He’s right, I could have left out the fuck.