Dusty plastic flowers. Droning dirges. A cut-and-paste eulogy that uses the phrase ‘member of the community’. Instant coffee. Squeezed into twee rooms with bad carpet where there’s no room to talk properly and hushed tones are preferred over cataclysmic crying.
I’ll have a cookie cutter funeral over my dead body.
It’s so crushingly depressing that the most marvellous people can still have the grimmest send off.
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Michael “Flathead” Blanchard’s obituary in last week’s Denver Post was less than flattering.
“Weary of reading obituaries noting someone’s courageous battle with death, Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctor’s orders and raising hell for more than six decades,” it read. “He enjoyed booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died.”
Flathead’s memorial service, held on April 14, had a “no children under 18” policy due to the amount of “adult material” contained in the service.
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Today’s dilemma is unusually sombre, but here goes. What’s the right thing to wear to a funeral these days?
We ask this question following a recent discussion in The Punch office about the wearing of jeans. People wear jeans everywhere these days. Job interviews, weddings, work. So does that mean, it’s now okay to wear them to a funeral?
And what about the all-black thing. Is that getting a bit out-dated now? Does it remain the only way to show respect for the person who passed away?
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This is, er, gold. Convicted killer and drug dealer Carl Williams - the crim who used to knock about in tracksuits - is being buried in a gold-plated coffin. There’s full coverage of the funeral here.
We can safely assume he’s not on one of those complete funeral packages advertised by earnest middle-aged people on daytime TV. Your sudden death as a result of an encounter with some exercise equipment could leave your family struggling to pay the bills. For as little as $1.50 a week you can have all the costs of your funeral covered, and for just 50c extra a week, we’ll throw in a comically gangsta gold coffin.
What has happened to this guy’s assets? What has been seized? And how much of his drug money is still sitting in a bank?
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October last year was the beginning of a bikie war and my introduction to the characters of Sydney’s underworld. My assignment: the funeral of Notorious crime gang member and former Nomad bikie Todd O’Connor at St Mary’s Cathedral.
Along with a small media pack, I took up a close-in position for the arrivals, soon finding out that we were not welcome with a family member performing a one-finger salute. As the service began I managed to get some shots from the back of the cathedral of the coffin in place with O’Connor’s mother to the side, sitting wheelchair-bound.
After capturing a few frames, we waited outside till the coffin was carried out, usually the time of highest emotion. For this funeral, emotions lead to threats of violence. The Notorious foot soldiers formed a protective ring around the mourning family, facing up to the photographers, and hitting one snapper in the back. I repositioned to the other side of the road enabling a few frames of Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim surrounded by his men…
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