Whether it be wakes, gloaming, the pyramids or opening a window so the Spirit can leave, we Humans have a knack for ritualizing the Inevitables. Hindus light fires, but so did the Vikings. I wonder if it makes us feel a little less afraid to bring some manner of structure to anything we can’t control (or explain).
Being a nation of immigrants, the gathering-after-the-burial is one of those rituals. That’s fine. I see the value. But here’s the thing: having attended far too many funerals and the pathetic excuses for mind-numbing gatherings afterwards, I have decided there will be a DJ and a dance floor at my wake. And since the party will be my last hurrah, you can count on the play list featuring at least one Wham song. Not just any Wham song mind you, I want ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go, Go’. Discovering the dance floor in the early 80’s, the song has been a guilty pleasure of mine ever since. Give me some headphones and a full-length mirror and I’m there! But besides all of that imagery, think about it. Could the lyric be any more perfect for my occasion?
With all of that goofiness in mind, I completely understand Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn‘s amazement as they listened in on their own funeral. Can’t you just see the looks on their faces as they listened to all the nice things people were saying about them? Who wouldn’t want them some of that?
Ever the Sicilian, Sophia relates to the other woman how, after the crying and burying, came the stories of the departed, the singing, the dancing and all of it – aided by an abundance of liquid cheer. I can understand why she was impressed. You gotta love the Irish.
As the story line unfolds, Sophia decides to leverage the good time by hosting her own wake before she dies. “What’s the point of all those people saying all those nice things if I’m not around to hear it?” She has a valid point. Her only mistake was putting Rose in charge of the invitations who, forgot to include the teensy-weensy fact that, ‘Oh, by the way, Sophia is still very much alive’. It’s all pretty much hilariously downhill from there.
With all of this percolating in my imagination this week, it got me to thinking about the assumptions Sophia was making.
What compels someone to take the day off and drive 3-hours in order to attend your wake? What will they will feel led to say once they get there? The seeds of what will be said at your after party are planted long before the announcements are mailed.
What would the people around me say as they wake me up before I’m gone, gone?
Here’s the cool part. Like Sophia, you and I are still here. And while I know people who don’t seem to have read the headline, I’m grateful that no less than Tom, Huck and Sophia stopped by to remind me of just how much I still have to get done before I go, go.
But hey, that’s just me. Having lost the lease on my crystal ball a long time ago, I don’t know what it is you need to be doing to impact what your friends and family will feel led to say at your After Party. Maybe it’s time you are on the look-out for the appropriate time and place to tell someone, ‘I’m sorry’.
Another crowd favorite is one I’ve spent a lot of time improving on…‘Please forgive me’. Other positive notes are to be found in telling someone how much you appreciate their serenity, or their passion for a cause they hold dear. One I’ve been working with lately is, ‘You make me laugh’.
Field testing all of this the past week, I can report the results have been remarkable! What I hadn’t counted on was how good it made me feel to step up and say the words. Everyone wins. Who knew?
So do it. Make a big move this week. Be on the look-out for the right moment to wake someone up before they go-go. Let your guard down and tell them what they mean to you. Think of it as asking them if they wanna dance. It is so much better than flying solo. The time for that comes later.
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.
Whether you’ve got a mirror all to yourself or someone to dance with, click on the pic and enjoy this quirky group of Swedes and their irreverent lip-synch celebration of all things fun and goofy.
If you were on the dance floor in the early 80’s? Good to see you again.
If you weren’t? Join me now in bouncing along to Woobla‘s clever cover of the Wham classic. Go ahead. Get your freak on. I’m not telling.
No one will ever know ;-D
Additional Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_Me_Up_Before_You_Go-Go
(August 16, 1928 – August 10, 2013)
Eydie Gorme, whose singing career as a solo act and teamed with husband Steve Lawrence spanned half a century, died Saturday in Las Vegas, according to published reports. She was 84.
People published a statement from Gorme’s spokesman, Howard Bragman: “Legendary singer and performer Eydie Gorme passed away peacefully today at Sunrise Hospital following a brief illness,” Bragman said in a statement. “She was surrounded by her husband, son and other loved ones at the time of her death.”
Lawrence also released a statement, People reported: “Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 years. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.”
Gorme was a nightclub entertainer and a cast member of NBC’s Tonight Show when it began in 1954. She toured with Lawrence as recently as the early 2000s. The Los Angeles Times explains that in the 1950s and ’60s, Gorme and Lawrence were “known for a breezy, easy listening style that merged well with the adult contemporary pop sound of the time. As a solo performer, [Gorme] performed the Grammy-nominated 1963 hit ‘Blame It on the Bossa Nova,’ which was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.” The Times continued: “Gorme — who was born to Sephardic Jewish parents in New York City — also earned fame for Spanish language recordings, including the 1964 collection of standards ‘Amor,’ which was recorded with the Mexican group Trio los Panchos.”
by GREGORY HENDERSON – NPR Blogs – The Two Way
Gormé was born as Edith Gormezano (census sources indicate Edith Garmezano) in The Bronx, New York in 1928, the daughter of Nessim and Fortuna, Sephardic Jewish immigrants. Her father, Nessim, a tailor, was from Sicily and her mother, Fortuna, was from Turkey. Gormé was a cousin of singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka.
(Died on August 8, 2013, Aged 18)
18-Year Old Miami Artist Killed By Police For Graffiti Art
“Miami Beach teen Israel Hernández-Llach died on Tuesday morning at the hands of police officers, who turned a petty crime into a capital offense.
Hernández-Llach was a locally famous painter, sculpture and spray-paint artist, garnering acclaim for his talent and showcasing his work in galleries throughout his community. Yet in a tragedy that highlights the excessiveness of urban police hostility, Israel’s prodigious talent is what ultimately led to his premature death.
Noticing a newly shuttered and unused McDonald’s, Israel seized the opportunity to showcase his work and began “tagging” the vacant building. Indeed, although his graffiti was intended to be decorative rather than vandalistic, his art was legally considered defacement of private property and police were correct to pursue him. The police officers were tragically wrong, however, to pursue him as belligerently as they did.
After chasing Israel for 10 minutes, the police officers pressed him against a wall, shot him in the chest with a taser, and reportedly high-fived each other as his numb body fell to the ground. Taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center soon after the incident by Miami Beach Fire Rescue, 18-year-old Israel passed away at the hospital.”
By Maggie O’Neill – The Policy Mic
READ MORE ABOUT IT: http://www.policymic.com/articles/59035/israel-hernandez-llach-famous-miami-artist-killed-by-police-for-graffiti-art; and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/11/israel-hernandez-protest_n_3737833.html; and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23628010 ; and http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/14/3563268/a-tearful-funeral-for-tasered.html
“As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man’s life, family, and American society.” The cast blew me away…it is a master class in the fine art of story telling. The movie opened this weekend.
Tremendous stuff. Oscar?
PHOTO CREDITS and ATTRIBUTIONS: Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission. Visit Eric and see his other work at: http://www.ericephoto.com or http://ericephoto.wordpress.com/
Wham+-+Wake+Me+Up+-+Poster+Sleeve+-+12-+RECORD-MAXI+SINGLE-19741: http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=19741; Tom and Huck listen in on the funeral: http://twain.lib.virginia.edu/projects/tysse/images/watching%20the%20funeral.jpg; Sophia and Rose from Golden Girls: Photo Credits: Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. and Touchstone Television. All Rights Reserved.
Global Wakes Mashup by dan4kent_wordpress_com: Multiple Sources – Into_the_Gloaming_Acrylic&m: http://sarahhuntengsberg.com/she_paints.htm; king_tut1: http://www.examiner.com/article/king-tut-and-the-golden-age-of-the-pharaohs-exhibit-at-dallas-museum-of-art-is-an-impressive-show; open-window: http://www.asparkstarts.com/breaking-and-entering/ (a WordPress blog); Shiva_Jewish Funeral: http://shivaconnect.com/page/jewish-funeral-and-burial/; Om for a Hindu Funeral Service: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/d-jour-floral-el-cerrito?select=pDjV8twF0lPFitjl736eow#pDjV8twF0lPFitjl736eow; Muslim Funeral: http://www.mesjid.net/2013/07/muslim-funeral.html; Irish_wake: http://www.fiveisland.ca/photos/rugs-hooking-our-heritage/; Viking Funeral_tumblr_m9asdbUgp71qdnqhto1_1280: http://www.linda-goodman.com/ubb/Forum27/HTML/001164-3.html.
campfire gloaming beach night coals embers starry sky andy mcparrot: http://andymcparrotland.blogspot.com/2011/12/in-gloaming.html; Ocean Views by David Pasillas (a WordPress blogger): http://iphonephotog.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/ocean-views/; Best of Woobla_kopia-av-cimg0157_85428073: http://woobla.blogg.se/ ; Into_the_Gloaming_Acrylic&m: http://sarahhuntengsberg.com/she_paints.htm
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