Five Ways to Improve Your Funeral

By: 03.23.11  •  7 Comments

Pfft. Lame.

Funerals are the worst. Everyone is incredibly sad over the passing of a loved one, the church service is too long no matter how long it is, and then everyone has to go to a cemetery and stand around while the coffin is lowered into the ground. Ugh. Making matters worse, if you’ve been to one funeral, you’ve been to them all. Hymn, stand up, sit down, kneel, eulogy, stand up, hymn, sit down, some lady cries, someone sings “Amazing Grace,” the end. This is no way to go out, people. It’s literally the last thing you get to take part in before you are buried underground, or scattered over the ocean, or cryogenically frozen until scientists find a cure for seventeen stab woulds to the back. You might as well go down swinging.

This is where I come in. As one of the Internet’s leading experts on cockamamie ideas that no one will follow through on, I am here to give you some ideas to shake things up a little. Presented below are five options that are sure to turn your funeral into an event no one will forget.

1. Book An Extravagant Musical Guest

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The key here is the element of surprise. Tell no one. That way, at some point after the eulogy, when there’s nary a dry eye in the house, you blow people away by having the preacher bring up a famous musical act. Even better if that artist or band is well known for a song about death or loss. Just imagine your friends’ faces when, at some point in the middle of the ceremony, the lights go down, fog machines start filling the front of the church will a thick mist, and Puff Daddy emerges from the back dressed in all white, dancing around the altar over the opening notes of “I’ll Be Missing You.” Or if the reverend walks up to the pulpit, adjusts the microphone, and casually announces, “And now, ladies and gentleman, before we begin the procession to the cemetery, it is my great pleasure to bring to the stage Bone Thugs-n-Harmony to perform their smash single, “Tha Crossroads!” Jaws would be on the floor.

That said, for my money (more on this later), one musical act is far and away the gold standard when it comes to surprise funeral performances.

Oh hell yes. I’m not sure if they give out awards for best funeral (“The Funies”?), but having Boyz II Men perform would get you nominated at the very least. Naturally, they’ll do “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday,” the saddest song ever. But then, immediately after closing out the final harmonies, and with everyone struggling to hold it together… BOOM “Motownphilly.” In the church. In front of the casket. Dance moves and all.

According to this site, you can book Boyz II Men for a “religious event” for between $15,000 and $25,000. Not exactly spare change. But the important thing to remember here is this: you’re dead. Who cares? I mean, it will suck fairly hard for your kids or whoever was in line to inherit your estate, as you’re lopping off a sizable chunk to have a famous band from 15-20 years ago perform two songs at your funeral. But it’s your money. And I think it was Warren Buffett who said, “You should leave your children enough money that they can do anything, but not enough that they can do nothing. ABC BBD, The East Coast Family.”

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