My mother Sonia often threatens to die on me, that is until she smells supper cooking! A non-practising Jew, who spent many years as a spiritual healer, has decided when her time comes, she wants a Humanist service at the Golders Green crematorium, north-west London. This is a non-religious ceremony conducted by a British Humanist Association funeral ‘celebrant’. Generally, humanists don’t believe in anything supernatural, such as God, or the afterlife. I am not entirely uncomfortable with a humanist service, however I will be denied the opportunity to recite Kaddish (mourner’s prayer) in the presence of a Rabbi as I did with my father.
After discussing this with Sonia, she then asked me what a Humourist service was all about! Once I had tried my tears, I explains that to my knowledge, a stand-up comedian replaces both the Rabbi and the Humanist celebrant and recites jokes! I continued. “Or you could opt for a comedy roast, where, as the guest of honour ‘in absentia’, you would be subjected to good-humoured jokes at your expense, intended to amuse the event’s wider audience”. Well you can imagine the look I got! “A comedy ‘roast’, at a cremation? Highly inappropriate. Oh no David, I’ll go with the Humanist service thank you very much!” ‘Wise choice’ I thought.