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Ostomy Memories of Ceremony

 
This is the best website for people with an Ostomy. So much understanding.


There is something about a ceremony that has always troubled me. Because of that faint discomfiture, I usually avoid ceremonies whatever they are if at all possible. A ceremony is a formal occasion and I do not feel at home with formality. Ceremonies are celebrations with traditional rites of some sort; I have never been one for tradition. There is usually hype and lots of embellishment at a ceremony; I will always shun that too.

When they’re for me, of course, it’s sort of difficult to stay away. I have always disliked weddings, but I attended my own back in 1968. We had it in my wife’s sister’s home. It was performed by a judge who was my father-in-law’s golfing buddy. I wrote the wedding ceremony; the judge mispronounced a couple of the words. That was okay with me; it gave our wedding a slight sense of the absurd, which was about how we were both feeling at the time. [George Burns once joked, “I was married by a judge; I should have asked for a jury.”]

Funerals often push the limits of endurance. I have attended out of respect for the dear departed but, more often than not, I avoid the occasion. These rituals are for the living, not the dead. It’s sad to see how some families, in the throes of their recent loss, overspend on such things as funerals, caskets, headstones, and such. People in the death business make a fortune off grieving relatives. Too often the words spoken about the deceased at the funeral are overblown hyperbole. It’s as if every corpse was a good guy and no jerks ever found their way into a morgue or a funeral parlor.

Birthday parties are, of course, ceremonies. For kids, they’re something to look forward to. For adults, they’re generally nothing more than a dispiriting reminder of the dreaded aging process. We joke about it but, underneath, we are never happy that it’s happening. A year older means one year closer to the Grim Reaper. Jack Benny may have been 39 for several decades but he still died, didn’t he?

If ceremony makes some people feel pleasant about whatever is being celebrated, good for them. I just prefer a less formal approach to things. Ceremony, like any praise, makes me vaguely uncomfortable, whether it involves me or someone else. Perhaps I just have the wrong attitude, like when someone is singing the National Anthem before a ballgame, perhaps the most oft-performed ceremony in the country. Instead of puffing out my chest and letting nationalistic pride course through my veins, I find myself focusing instead upon how the performer is screwing up the tune.

The kind of ceremony that I could enjoy would be an inauspicious, informal, private, selfish affair, like the celebration of pleasure that greets the first bite of a Snickers bar, and the satisfied moan that escapes one’s chocolate-mussed lips.

 


Hello HenryM.
I am 100% with you on this one in that I try to avoid almost all ceremonies, including those where I am supposed to attend. There is one exception I have made over the years and that is when I was very much aware that nobody else would be attending the funerals of some of my regular ‘clients’.


As you have pointed out, funeral ceremonies are for the living. My reasons for attending were to send a message to all my other (living) clients, that when it became their turn to go, ‘Someone’ (meaning me) would attend. My attendance occasionally motivated some others to join me and a much more realistic, relevant, reminiscent, and enjoyable get-together ensued.


As for the singing of the National Anthem at sports events. This has always been an anathema to me. So, I felt it deserved to be parodied with my own alternatives, utilising more appropriate words.
Anyone who knows the British National Anthem will probably notice that when these alternative words are sung, the visual representation of the singers (as would be seen on TV) would suggest that they are singing the ‘right’ words along with everybody else that chooses to do so.


Unfortunately, I will probably need to re-write the verses when and ‘IF’ the present queen gets replaced with a king.
The chant is designed so that the supporter’s own teams can be inserted instead of ‘England’.

Perhaps I should declare my interests in this regard: I do not attend sporting events and there are no particular teams I support. So, the exercise of rewriting the National Anthem, was purely an philosophical, academic and poetic indulgence on my part.


Best wishes
Bill


ANTHEM FOR THE TEAM

This squad’s our greatest team,
Odds’ on our latest team,
Long live our team:

When we’re victorious,
Happy and glorious,
That’s when it’s best for us:
Cheer on our team.

It comes as no surprise,
We’re full of enterprise,
As is our team.

We’re filled with confidence,
Hard work and diligence,
Skill and intelligence:
This is our team.

We give our best and more,
We’ll still have more in store,
Up with our team.

We will defend the laws,
As it supports our cause,
We’ll sing with mighty force:
Long live our team.

                                B. Withers 2010


ANTHEM CHANT

England, England, England:

England’s our greatest team,
England’s our latest team,
England’s our team:

When we’re victorious,
Happy and glorious,
That’s when it’s best for us:
England’s our team.
England, England, England!

It comes as no surprise,
We’re full of enterprise,
England’s our team .

We’re filled with confidence,
Hard work and diligence,
Skill and intelligence:
England’s our team.
England, England, England!

We give our best and more,
We’ll still have more in store,
England’s our team.

We will defend the laws,
As it supports our cause,
We’ll sing with mighty force:
England’s our team.
England, England, England!

                                  B. Withers 2010

(Substitute own team names - italics

MeetAnOstoMate - 28,358 members
 

Hi guys my wife and i got married at the courthouse by a judge named harold his nickname was hanging harold but that was for criminal cases i think, when the vows were said  and affirmed i kissed my bride and we turned for the obligatory photo and i patted my wife on the butt and ole hanging harold said I saw that and we all got a good laugh.

 

This is excellent Henry. You are indeed an excellent writer/composer.

Have you ever thought of writing a novel?

You could make a fortune with your writing/composing skills.

Mike from Lakewood, Ohio

 
countyclare wrote:

This is excellent Henry. You are indeed an excellent writer/composer.

Have you ever thought of writing a novel?

You could make a fortune with your writing/composing skills.

Mike from Lakewood, Ohio


Hi Mike.  I hope that you're surviving the winter okay.  It's even gotten cold here in north Florida.  I appreciate your comment.  Long story...  

 

Hi Henry,  I developed my contempt for funerals at the age of fourteen when my mother died.  Attending her funeral was required of course, and I, in my grief, thought that everyone in the church was there because they cared about my mother.  I soon realized this was not the case when the minister performing the ceremony mispronounced my mother's name.  He didn't care enough to even get that right.  When we were leaving the church, there was a couple waiting on the church steps, who none of us knew.  They obviously did not know we were the "deceased's" family and the male asked if there was a "reception with refreshments" being held somewhere.  My dad explained to me that some people read the obituaries to find services they could attend and maybe get a free meal out of it.

That contempt has kept me away from a few funerals that I probably should have attended, because as you say, funerals are for the living, not the dead.  I did not attend the funeral of the brother of a dear friend of mine.  To be fair, he was also a friend of mine, but only because of my relationship with his sister.  Attending this funeral would have required me to cancel some pretty important plans that would have affected others and caused a great deal of inconvenience for them.  I chose not to attend.  My friend did not speak to me for nearly five years.

I used to like attending weddings.  It was well worth sitting through the church service, to get to the fun part with much merriment, eating, drinking and dancing.  Unfortunately at my age, those ceremonies are about as scarce as hen's teeth.

 Cheers,

Terry

 
delgrl525 wrote:

Hi Henry,  I developed my contempt for funerals at the age of fourteen when my mother died.  Attending her funeral was required of course, and I, in my grief, thought that everyone in the church was there because they cared about my mother.  I soon realized this was not the case when the minister performing the ceremony mispronounced my mother's name.  He didn't care enough to even get that right.  When we were leaving the church, there was a couple waiting on the church steps, who none of us knew.  They obviously did not know we were the "deceased's" family and the male asked if there was a "reception with refreshments" being held somewhere.  My dad explained to me that some people read the obituaries to find services they could attend and maybe get a free meal out of it.

That contempt has kept me away from a few funerals that I probably should have attended, because as you say, funerals are for the living, not the dead.  I did not attend the funeral of the brother of a dear friend of mine.  To be fair, he was also a friend of mine, but only because of my relationship with his sister.  Attending this funeral would have required me to cancel some pretty important plans that would have affected others and caused a great deal of inconvenience for them.  I chose not to attend.  My friend did not speak to me for nearly five years.

I used to like attending weddings.  It was well worth sitting through the church service, to get to the fun part with much merriment, eating, drinking and dancing.  Unfortunately at my age, those ceremonies are about as scarce as hen's teeth.

 Cheers,

Terry

I suppose that bitter memories of funerals and weddings are more common than one might think.  As a youngster at my grandfather's funeral, I was struck by the relatives mingling afterward and telling jokes while I saw no humor in the situation.  Later, at my mother's third wedding--or was it her fourth?--she was so soused that I had to help her down the aisle.  Your tale of the intruders coming to a funeral hoping for a free meal is a new one on me; never heard of that before.

 

Hi there 

I have in the past been big on ceremony - but in the Native(Karuk) way.  One ceremony is to welcome the "new" women and others to mark the changes life brings us.  The sweat lodge ceremony is for letting go of negative things in your life. There is a World Renewal ceremony.  I think these types of ceremony are good for healing people and planets.  Even helpful for treating warriors with PTSD.  So sharing my take on your post, no offense.

 
JudiA wrote:

Hi there 

I have in the past been big on ceremony - but in the Native(Karuk) way.  One ceremony is to welcome the "new" women and others to mark the changes life brings us.  The sweat lodge ceremony is for letting go of negative things in your life. There is a World Renewal ceremony.  I think these types of ceremony are good for healing people and planets.  Even helpful for treating warriors with PTSD.  So sharing my take on your post, no offense.


Hi Judi,  You are absolutely right.  There are some ceremonies that promote well-being, emotional and mental health, validation of oneself and healing from so many of the negative forces in our modern world.  I've always looked upon our native north american ceremonies with great respect and a touch of awe.

Sincerely,

Terry

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