I had only arrived in Ireland and been just for a few days in Dublin when the uncle living in Belfast died, and we all hurried to the funeral in the north – as in Northern Ireland. The funeral part was over and we were in the hotel for a meal and a chat with the relatives and friends of the uncle, when a group of old ladies, Queen Mum look-a-likes with handbags and outfits to match the QM, were all ordering these fancy drinks of which names I had never ever even heard. My mouth was wide ajar with surprise and wonder of it all so that I could not utter a word, when himself says to me:
“YOU will order orange juice!!” And so I did.
To my absolute amazement the rounds of drinks were many and plentiful. I said to himself that never, never, in the Finnish funerals – though, being a nation of heavy drinkers – would no body but nobody ever dare serve alcoholic drinks. It would be considered most inappropriate.
Another humorous funeral incident with a macabre twist was this true story that happened for a long, long time ago to her family in Ireland as told to me by an Irish-Italian woman, who I got to know while living in County Wicklow. The old custom of mourning in Ireland is to have a wake for the dead that goes on for a number of days with heavy drinking and plentiful singing and story telling around the coffin.
Anyway, this is what happened: the party was in a very merry way after several days of the wake when suddenly there was a knock at the coffin coming from the inside and they opened the lid, and the “deceased” one rises up to a sitting position and says:
“GIMME A DRINK!”
He had only been unconscious for a good few days and not dead. Twas a lucky man and a good thing that the wake was taking place and not an immediate burial.
Tis now for Incidents and Such Like this time. Rii xx.