Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Wake

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have W for Wake.

A Wake is a watch or vigil held beside the body of someone who has died, sometimes accompanied by ritual observances including eating and drinking. Traditionally, a wake takes place at the home of the deceased. A wake is different from a funeral in that is a less formal affair, lacks structured rituals, and is often a time to remember the deceased and share stories. In many instances a wake is held the night before the funeral.

I could go for a wake, I guess, sans the body. Do you think you'd prefer a wake over a funeral? Or would you want both?


Excerpt from Mort, by Terry Pratchett...


BEGONE, YOU BLACK AND MIDNIGHT HAG [he says to a woman that's come in the shop].

The Cook's small eyes narrowed.

"'Oo are you calling a midnight hag?" she said accusingly, and hit the counter with the fish again. "Look at this," she said. "Last night it was my bedwarmer, in the morning, it's a fish. I ask you."
 

MAY ALL THE DEMONS OF HELL REND YOUR LIVING SPIRIT IF YOU DON'T GET OUT OF THE SHOP THIS MINUTE, Death tried.

"I don't know about that, but what about my bedwarmer? It's no place for a respectable woman up there, they tried to - "


IF YOU WOULD CARE TO GO AWAY, said Death desperately, I WILL GIVE YOU SOME MONEY.

"How much?" said the cook, with a speed that would have outdistanced a striking rattlesnake and given lightning a nasty shock.

Death pulled out his coin bag and tipped a heap of verdigrised and darkened coins on the counter. She regarded them with deep suspicion.


NOW LEAVE UPON THE INSTANT, Death said, and added, BEFORE THE SEARING WINDS OF INFINITY SCORCH THY WORTHLESS CARCASS.

"My husband will be told about this," said the cook darkly, as she left the shop.

16 comments:

  1. I'd never experienced a wake until moving here to the South. Never been to one in a home though. They've all been at the funeral home the day before the funeral, usually with the body visible. Sometimes it's just a viewing and people come and go.

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  2. Not keen on wakes. I love that last line searing winds of infinity scorch... Wow

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  3. I've attended a few wakes, and then there have been gatherings post-funeral.

    And I suppose it would be up to my family what they wanted to do for me, but I would want a little fuss as possible.

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  4. I'm Irish which means we get both!

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  5. I've not been to a wake, but they sound much better than funerals. It's a time when people just tell stories about the deceased and comfort one another. Sounds good to me.

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  6. I only know of a wake being after a funeral. I've been to both.

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  7. I'm trying to place the excerpt. Why was Death so anxious to get rid of the cook? It's been too long since I read Mort.

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  8. I imagine having an old fashioned Irish wake with a huge bar tab. ~grin~
    Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
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