Saturday, August 30, 2008

Close that blasted lid!

One thing has been bugging the hell out of me lately -- why on earth do we have open casket funerals?

From what I can tell, there's an interest in having open casket funerals to provide a sense of closure to the family. Perhaps, too, some people just need proof that the deceased is actually dead.

Regardless, I hate those things. Let me explain.

I've had an aunt and uncle die of cancer this year. That's too many funerals in one year as far as I'm concerned, and having to go peer in an open casket didn't help things either. I'd rather not think about how my aunt and uncle looked after fighting off cancer for about a year. Now I don't have much choice.

Yes, they should have kept that lid closed. I'd rather remember my aunt and uncle as the vibrant, enjoyable people they were. Oh well.

By the way, the coffin I've used to illustrate this article is the very classy KISS Koffin (Gene Simmons just won't turn down the chance to make a buck, will he?) I won't be buried in one of those as I plan to get cremated.

If my wife wants to hold an "open lid" ceremony so everyone can gaze at my ashes, that's fine. Just so long as no one puts cigarettes out on me (a real danger here in Arkansas).


Da Old Man said...

I agree. Usually you hear how good the deceased looked. Hell most of them look better than when they were alive.
I prefer the thing be closed.

I don't know whether I'm going to be buried or creamated. When my wife asked, I just told her to surprise me.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Da Old Man:

That's the best response I've heard yet! Heh. "Well, just surprise me."

There you go being funnier than me again. Shame! said...

I prefer to be embalmed and then left standing up - with a nice East Carolina polo shirt on, of course.

By the way, I saw that ASU won today against Texas A&M, while the Razorbacks squeaked by mighty Western Illinois.

The Natural State Hawg said...


There's an Aggie in my office and I plan to give him hell about that.

Not too much, though -- I'm amazed that Arkansas barely won against Western Illinois. And the hero of the game was Casey Dick?

Just what the hell is going on here?

Oh, and congrats on the East Carolina win. That's absolutely huge! said...

I agree, open casket funerals are tough. The person in the coffin doesn't look anything like the person you knew. By the way, I tagged you. Check out my blog for more info. :)

The Natural State Hawg said...


Ah! Tagged! I'll give it a look.

And, yes, no one looks like themselves when lying dead and pumped full of formaldehyde. Yuck!

FishHawk said...

Since I can't think of anything clever to say about this one, I'll decline to comment at this time.

P.S.: Props unto Paul's East Carolina Pirates!!! Yeah, I know that it was against lowly Vermont (I didn't know that they even had a football team), but a win is a win--right???

Props unto my mighty Razorbacks, as well!!! For they sure tanned the hides of those Leathernecks--didn't they???

lala said...

Yeeeah...I never loved the open casket thing. I think it's an antiquated practice. When I go to funerals, I never "view the body." Probably because when I was six or seven, my grandfather died, and my mom took my hand and we walked down the aisle. I had no clue where we were going or what we were going to do, and then wham! There he was. Can we say traumatized?

I've never "viewed" since.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

couldnt agree more why people want to have open casket

I mean... I had a grandmother who died from colon cancer back in 2005 and they had an open casket for her and I mean it just didnt look like her. I mean they put all this makeup on her and stuff and it just wasnt her.

Ps.. I use to live in Mississippi lol thats prob a danger there too hahahaha

~ Christopher ~

jafer said...

I know what you mean about the open coffin, my mother died this April and had an open coffin. Well she looked fabulous at that first service, probably better than she'd looked in 10 years, what a great job they did making her up.

But she had a second service because she was being interred in another province (where she was born). By the time that one happened, she was not looking quite so good, they should have left it closed.

Luckily, I too am being cremated. Nobody will have to see how bad I look by the time I die.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Fishhawk -- Well, the Hogs kind of scraped by against Western Illinois. Our young team has a long way to go this year, I'm afraid. Good luck to them.

Lala -- I'm really, really glad my kids weren't around for those funerals. They might be nursing a trauma right now.

Blasted open coffins. They're not just creepy -- they're dangerous!

Christopher -- Yes, a Mississippi resident would also be sensitive to that danger. I just hope no one opens up a beer at my memorial service.

Jafer -- That is a horrifying story. So, she kind of -- err -- "wilted" between the first and second services. That just bothers me.

Yeah, cremation is the way to go. A pile of ashes remains, well, a pile of ashe.

HebsFarm said...

Hi Hawg, came here via Brazoscowgirl and commenting on this post seems a completely inappropriate way to introduce myself, but just thought I'd mention that the two open-casket funerals I attended were both for children who died in car crashes, and were as tragic and horrific as you might imagine.

The girl's deeply traumatized father related to us what an excellent job the mortuary had done on his daughter, considering when he picked her up off the road, {edited after further consideration, I don't need to post this publicly.} Long story short, HATE the open-casket thing.

The Natural State Hawg said...


Wow. Just plain wow. That little tale rather underscores my point.