Monday, May 3, 2010

The Funeral Singer

I just got back from singing at a funeral for the Rist family in our ward. It was a grave side service and I sang, "I know that my redeemer lives." It was sunny but windy and cold. I was shaking as I was singing.

It's always a blessing to sing at a funeral.

I sing in about a funeral a year.

I was supposed to sing at my Grandma Butters funeral last Nov....but I was on a family cruise. I'm sad about this.....
I've sung at my cousin Danny's funeral, my father in law Tom's and my Grandpa Butters. I sing at funerals for people in my "growing up" ward. I sing for people I know and some I don't know.

I'm a funeral singer.

When we first moved into this ward, I sang at a lot of funerals. In about 4 years we had so many sudden, unexpected deaths. I sang at Mike Sants, Greg Allsops and Kristi Merrells, Sis. Bellistons. I remember these distinctly. I sang at other ones that Bishop Lund or Bishop Beck would arrange. People I didn't really know, but I was happy to bring the spirit in to the funeral with music.

The problem with singing at funerals, or in church for that matter, is I CRY when I sing hymns or songs about my Savior. I'm a baby. It's hard to keep it together when I'm singing and I look out to the audience and see people dabbing their eyes wiping a tear....it makes me CRY. There have been many times when I would get through half of the song, and the accompanist would have to just keep going on with out me.
But.........
It states in my patriarchal blessing that I should "use my talents in the service of my fellowmen and in so doing I will receive blessings." So...when ever I get a call to sing, I say yes, even though I know I'm probably going to cry.

Today was uneventful....sad, sweet and uneventful, besides the shaky body that is.

I recall a very eventful funeral service.
I sang at my Grandma Butters' sister, Elsie's funeral. It was a grave side service in Salt Lake at the Redwood Cemetery. It was on a bright and sunny summer day. I was singing ,"Amazing Grace." Everything was going great. I was half way through the song...I wasn't even crying...when there was a hissing sound, and the rainbird sprinklers popped out of the ground and were arcing their way towards us. All eyes, including mine, were glued on the spraying water was it chugged along. I just kept singing. All of a sudden, a man in a suit, from inside the mortuary, came sprinting out. Running as fast as he could towards the advancing sprinkler.
It was like out of a movie.
The rainbird was sprinkling, I was singing, the mourners eyes were getting big as saucers, the man was racing.
Just as we all thought we were going to get drenched, the man seized the rainbird and held on, soaking himself waiting for the sprinklers to get turned off.
It was something.
I just kept singing. I finished the song, and the water stopped at the same time. The mourners almost wanted to applaud when it was all over.......... for the sprinkler man.

Yep. I'm a funeral singer.

4 comments:

Jo Murdock said...

You're a beautiful funeral singer, too! I love sitting near you when you sing, Melinda. In my delusion, I think I'm a better singer when I can hear you sing. Very delusional! But, nonetheless, you give me confidence and I love to hear your sweet voice. Your Patriarchal Blessing has been fulfilled....your fellowmen have been blessed by your abounding talent....thanks for sharing!

D2Quilter said...

I just want to know how such crazy things happen to you?? Your stories are seriously the funniest! I don't sing at funerals, but songs do make me cry! When I was in the primary the Primary chorister and I would tear up almost every Sunday.

Si said...

Great stories. The sprinkler story is a classic. This could only happen to YOU. I agree with Jo. My fave is to sit in front of you at church and lip sync. Those are my best singing moments!

Kimi said...

Really Si? I thought that was you singing!