Praise for the Dead: A Funeral Game

How to improve your ability to grieve openly and cleanly, and put the “fun” back in Funerals!

If you wonder why this would matter at all…um, well…

A) The wild green world actually likes crybabies. Vulcans, robots, and techpriests really scare it. So learn how to cry like a baby, fer cry’s – sake

B) Ok so you think you don’t need to cry. But really, can you cry? At the drop of a hat? I mean, I understand not seeing any value in it, but lacking the ability to even do it, I call that a handicap.

C) Get some emotional range, people! [pause while I decide to start taking my own advice]

Pick someone who died, whose funeral you missed, or in which you didn’t really cry well. Get some pictures of them (as many as you can find). Any possessions of theirs you’ve got, or others have (and don’t need anymore), grab ’em.

Get some friends together – the ones you can trust to get a bit nutty. Maybe even a musician or two.

Make a little shrine out of the pictures and objects. Enjoy it – take some time at it. Make it pretty. Serve lots of water.

Circle up around the shrine. Get into mood. Grab a glass of water, dip your thumb into it. Let a drop fall of the end of your thumb onto your little shrine. You’ve just let water shed the first tear.

Now your turn has arrived! Start talking about the dead one – introduce them. If necessary, lie about how much they rocked. Tell amazing stories, whether you remember them or not. Make stories up. Paint them as heroic and beautiful as possible. Make up poems about them. Sing songs that tear your heart up. Take turns, bouncing around the circle, everyone trying their hand at beautiful lies, and heart rending expression. Make weeping noises. Really imitate someone in the throes of grief, to the point where you may even begin to lose it yourself. Think about other things that make you sad. Grab your hair and thrash around. Fall on your knees. Get into it! Beat your chest. Cry!

Coaching point: you can kick start the grief maelstrom sometimes by imitating the universal sound of grief, a strange moaning sound, somewhat like “ehhhhhhhhuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”, with a kind of raspy sound in your throat, and rocking back and forth. Fun!

C’mon! Really get into it!

Egg each other on. See who can get the most into it, the most over-the-top. The game ends when you all feel exhausted.

Extra points for:
Awkwardness
Inappropriateness
Embarrassing moments
Frazzled appearance
Soiled clothing.
Running mascara.
Burning and/or burying photos and possessions of the dead

Written by Willem