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Pall bearing

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by HejiraHenry, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    There's  a saying, used in favor of armed self-defense, that allows, "Better to be judged by 12 than carried by six."

    Maybe in the old days six people could carry a coffin, but those days are way past.

    I was a pallbearer at a funeral Tuesday in my home town. There were 12 pallbearers, three or four of whom were technically "honorary" -- which is to say, to old and frail themselves to be much help. So when the casket was wheeled from the chapel to the hearse, our job was to pick it up on the wheeled stand it was sitting on and slide it into the hearse.

    We somehow wound up with more people lifting on one side than the other. I was never in real danger of dropping one of the corners, but it was a damn struggle to get it up onto the rolling device extended from the back of the hearse. I'm guessing here the box weighed at least 600 pounds and it seemed like I was fighting at least 150 of that on the corner.

    At the cemetery, we had to walk maybe 75 feet from the hearse to the grave. Temperature, according to the nearby bank sign: 99. It actually didn't seem that hot. The footing was tricky because this part of the cemetery was already crowded. We had to straddle several low headstones and also step over at least two concrete curb-like dividers. This time, I took a spot in the middle. The funeral home people discretely joined in at front and back to help keep us on track. I'm stunned, honestly, that somebody didn't stumble before were got there.

    Anyway, if you're like Bryant Gumble (was alleged in 1998 to be anyway), and you keep a list of pallbearers that you're constantly updating, don't stop with six. Get yourself 10 able-bodied people to carry you to the ol' final resting place.
  2. Duane Postum

    Duane Postum Member

    Jesus Christ, yes, those motherfuckers are heavy. Oy vey.
  3. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    I guess I'm set. I have five brothers and one brother in law. :-\

    Man, that's something I didn't enjoy thinking about.
  4. Flash

    Flash Guest

    We had 12 for my dad's funeral ... plus an honour guard from his union. There were lots of people to help.
  5. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Six for my grandfather, and it was a big-time struggle.
  6. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    The brother in law's going to be pretty much useless, isn't he? You need to establish some more depth -- and I don't mean six feet.
  7. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    Why? He's 30 and can hold onto the bar just fine.

    But planning your own funeral, while probably a good idea, is creepy.
  8. Lester Bangs

    Lester Bangs Active Member

    Man, I disagree. Did it for my wife's grandmother and the biggest problem was not getting my feet tabgled up with the guy in front of me ... and we only had eight. Doing it with 12 ... I would have tripped for sure. But, it was heavy.
  9. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    I just don't want one of my friends to say something like: "he would have wanted it that way."

    If I'm dead, the only way I would have wanted it is to not die in the first place.
  10. My grandmother had one son who became a diocesan priest and one who became a Jesuit. She was born on a sheep farm in north Kerry but, when she died, she went out like the pope. There must have been 15 priests on the altar. The Jesuits especially showed up.
  11. joe

    joe Active Member

    I've been a pall bearer twice, and we never had more than six. Time to start eating your Wheaties.
  12. The Q Man

    The Q Man Member

    As the son of a funeral director who spends at least one day a week moving caskets all over the place, I can vouch for how heavy those damn things are. I could be mistaken, but they had to upgrade the metal in order to prevent rusting, etc. Of course, if you want really heavy trying moving one of the vaults.
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