Strange title, eh? Any singer will know what I am talking about. I have a half-hour before I have to leave to sing at a funeral. This time of year I get a lot of funeral work. It pays well for the time spent. But that’s not why I like it. Given the choice between weddings and funerals, I’ll sing a funeral any time. Don’t get me wrong. I won’t turn down weddings. They pay even better than funerals. But weddings are fraught with stress and family politics, and for the 95% of brides/mothers who are wonderful to deal with, that 5% of bridezillas/momzillas can make any singer want to slash his or her wrists.
Funerals, on the other hand, are lovely to sing. Yes, they are sad, and I always feel great compassion for the mourners. Even in situations when death is a welcome relief, it’s a sad moment when you have to say good-bye. But at funerals, I get to actually offer something to the bereaved. I’ve had people come up to me after funerals and say that my singing has been very comforting to them. That’s what brings tears to my eyes; the fact that I can, in some small way, help people deal with the sorrow of the situation, and maybe ease the pain a little. People are genuinely grateful to the singers at funerals. We’re not there for show. We’re not there to impress the in-laws. We’re there to help the loved ones of the deceased deal with the situation, and to try to ease them a little through the process. And that makes it one of the most spiritually rewarding things that I do.
Well, it’s show time. Happy, or at least peaceful, singing.