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I'm a sixth generation funeral director. I have a grad degree in Missional Theology and a Certification in Thanatology.
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Posts by Caleb Wilde
Bubba dies in a fire and his body is pretty badly burned. The morgue sends for his two best friends, Daryl and Gomer, to identify the body.
Daryl arrives first, and when the mortician pulls back the sheet, Daryl says, “Yup, his face is burnt up pretty bad. You better roll him over.”
The mortician rolls him over, and Daryl says, “Nope, ain’t Bubba.”
The mortician thinks this is strange. Then he brings Gomer in to identify the body. Gomer takes a look at the face and says, “Yup, he’s pretty well burnt up. Roll him over.”
The mortician rolls him over and Gomer says, “No, it ain’t Bubba.”
The mortician asks, “How can you tell?”
Gomer said, “Well, Bubba had two a**holes.”
“What? He had two a**holes?!” exclaims the mortician.
“Yup, every time we went to town, folks would say, ‘Here comes Bubba with them two a** holes.'”
A guy sits at a bar in a skyscraper restaurant high above the city. He slams a shot of tequila, goes over to the window and jumps out.
The guy sitting next to him can’t believe what he just saw. He’s more surprised when, 10 minutes later, the same guy walks back into the bar and sits down next to him.
The astonished onlooker asks, “How did you do that? I just saw you jump out the window, and we’re hundreds of feet above the ground!”
The jumper responds by slurring, “Well, I don’t get it either. I slam a shot of tequila, and when I jump out the window, the tequila makes me slow down right before I hit the ground. Watch.” He takes a shot, goes to the window and jumps out.
The other guy runs to the window and watches as the guy falls to just above the sidewalk, slows down and lands softly on his feet. A few minutes later, the jumper walks back into the bar.
The other guy has to try it, too, so he orders a shot of tequila. He slams it and jumps out the window. As he reaches the bottom, he doesn’t slow down at all. SPLAT!
The first guy orders another shot of tequila. The bartender shakes his head. “You’re a REAL punk when you’re drunk, Superman.”
A grandson runs up to his grandfather and asks him if he can talk like a frog.
“Of course not,” says the grandfather. A few minutes later, his granddaughter asks him the same question.
“No, of course not. Why are you both asking me this?”
The granddaughter replies, “Dad said that when you croak, we can go to Disneyland.”
An old Italian woman lived alone in the country. It was nearing Mother’s Day and she wanted to dig her tomato garden, as she had done every year, but it was very hard work for the aging woman as the ground was hard. Her only son, Vincent, who used to help her, was currently in prison because of his affiliation with The Mob. The old woman wrote a letter to her son and described her predicament:
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If only you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me.
A few days later she received a letter from her son:
Not for nothing, but don’t dig up that garden. That’s where I buried the BODIES.
At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived at the old woman’s house and dug up the entire area. However, they didn’t find any bodies, so they apologized to the old woman and left.
That same day the old woman received another letter from her son.
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.
Happy Mother’s Day,
Donna’s husband Mike died suddenly one day. Donna was taking care of the funeral arrangements with the undertaker when she was asked how she wanted Mike’s obituary to read.Donna asked the undertaker, “How much does an obituary cost?” The undertaker replied, “One dollar per word.”Donna then said, “I want the obituary to read – MIKE IS DEAD.”The under taker was an old fishing buddy of Mike’s and he was a little disturbed by such a curt obituary, so he offered,”I’ll make you a special deal since I knew Mike so well. I’ll pay for half of the obituary out of my own pocket.”
Donna’s face lit up and she replied, “Great. I want it to read – MIKE IS DEAD, BOAT FOR SALE.”
When Mozart passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Mozart was buried.
Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it. The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave. Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate.
When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, “Ah, yes, that’s Mozart’s Ninth Symphony, being played backwards.”
He listened a while longer, and said, “There’s the Eighth Symphony, and it’s backwards, too. Most puzzling.”
So the magistrate kept listening; “There’s the Seventh… the Sixth… the Fifth…”
Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, “My fellow citizens, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s just Mozart decomposing.”
This from John Faherty, The Cincinnati Enquirer:
CINCINNATI — When Helen Auer died on Wednesday, she was sitting in her chair. Her husband of 73 years came into the room and knew right away. Joe leaned over, gave her a kiss goodbye, and whispered in her ear: “Helen, call me home.”
Just 28 hours later, Helen did. Joe Auer died at the age of 100. His children figured he could manage one night without her, but not two. Wednesday they will have a funeral mass in front of the same altar where they were married in 1941.
This was a couple from a different time. They survived the Depression in East Price Hill, they met at church and had their first of 10 children before Joe went off to fight in World War II. Helen was pregnant with their second when Joe left. She kissed him at the end of the driveway and he walked down toward Greenwell Avenue and then Union Terminal on his way to go fight the Germans with the U.S. Army.
Helen (nee Fluegeman) was able to mail him a photo, somewhere in France, of her with their two children, Barry and Judy. Joe would meet Judy for the first time when she was 3 years old.
Joe carried that photo in his wallet as he trudged through Europe after landing at Utah Beach on D-Day. He kept that photo in his wallet, in fact, the rest of his life; smudged and worn and endlessly important. “It never left his wallet,” Jerry Auer, Helen and Joe’s 10th and final child, said. “It’s still in there right now.”
Mary Jo Reiners, one of their daughters, was driving to the funeral home Monday to help make the final arrangements. “It’s a joyous time,” Reiners said. “Mom and Dad lived a blessed life.”
Reiners retired a little bit early so she could help them at the end, when Helen’s arthritis was getting bad and Joe needed help with the meals and the laundry. She said her mother was the gregarious one. “She loved her family and her friends. She loved being busy with her family.”
Joe was a little more quiet and handled the discipline in the family. But Reiners said he was defined by his dedication to his faith and his family and the Earth.
“Dad thought of his children as a gift from God, that was a responsibility for him,” Reiners said. “He taught us to be servants to God and to be caretakers of his Earth. He was recycling on his last day.”
This marriage was a love story, but it was a real-life love story. Joe and Helen’s marriage survived because they loved each other and because they worked at their marriage and they shared a devout faith.
To read more, click HERE.
There’s a reason why so many choose to symbolize loss with a tattoo. When it comes to death, many of us try to forget, so that we can forget the pain … only to remember years later, that what we fought so hard to move past and “forget” is something we should really remember.
It’s an innate desire for humanity to remember what we can forget with symbols. It’s an innate desire for us to remind others with symbols.
Like religious symbols, there’s a sense that when tattoos are used to remember the dead, those tattoos are holy … maybe even just as holy as religious symbols. Memorial tattoos symbolize our heritage, our love, our loss in a way that we and others must remember what we too easily forget.
Zelda Williams will be reminded of her father with every handshake. She writes, “I’ll always put my hand out to shake with a smile”