All Articles Tagged "funeral"
After peacefully pulling the plug on their beloved Bobbi Kristina this past Sunday (July 26), the Houston and Brown families are back to feuding.
Kristina’s funeral service was promptly held this morning miles outside of Atlanta at Saint James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Ga. Both friends and family were in attendance, including her father Bobby Brown and her aunts Leolah Brown and Pat Houston.
However, a day that was supposed to be peaceful and commemorate the life of Bobbi Kristina turned into a fiasco as her aunt Leolah Brown had an outburst during the service, According to TMZ, Brown started screaming, “Pat you know you are wrong for this!” Brown was then escorted off of the premises by security and friend of the family Tyler Perry.
Outside of the church paparazzi swarmed Leolah for answers as to what happened exactly inside. An upset and very frustrated Brown said that Whitney Houston will haunt Pat Houston from the grave adding, “Pat it’s not over. It’s just begun.” In the footage, she also explains that she has evidence and knowledge of who Pat “really” is, hinting that she isn’t a real family member. Before the cameras cut off, Leolah divulged that she believed Pat and Nick Gordon, who was notably absent from the service, were in connection with her niece’s death.
Watch the full video here.
If you’ve ever picked up a fan in a Baptist church, chances are you’ve seen an appropriately misplaced ad for So-and-so’s Funeral Home inked across the back. There’s a logic to marketing death at church; in the African-American tradition afterlife services for even the least spiritual are held at the family church. But there’s something beyond that religious affiliated advertising that’s made the funeral business so prominent in the Black community. This rich history of interment should lay your curiosities to rest.
The basis of the African-American funeral is rooted in the slave trade. Prior to the Civil War, communities of Blacks gathered privately to celebrate the lives of their fellow men in quiet renditions of tribal African rituals. But as the 19th century progressed those homegoings bloomed more often into commercial ceremonies such as the Second Lines of jazz funeral parades and receptions that are almost parties to honor the dead.
As the funeral evolved, so did the role of the mortician. The job became more than embalming and warm preparation of the bodies as funeral directors took on the duty of ushering grieving families through everything from collecting the deceased to wakes to grave closings. It was also a business of necessity. In the early 1920s, with Jim Crow still a reality, Black run funeral parlors were the only options for the community. Beyond burial services, they were hubs of the Civil Rights movement that gave owners prominence among African Americans. And though some found funeral direction a calling, most are drawn into mortuary sciences through a lasting tradition. The family business.
As the 20th century opened funeral directors realized that apart from serving their congregations, to survive they would have to find loyalty in their customer base. Yet in the early ’70s dozens of homes began to close while others thrived. In cities such as New York and Detroit, those continuing to serve the community have done so for generations. Daughters and sons take control of the chapels opened by great-great grandfathers, not only because it’s a familiar setting, but also to protect the legacy their predecessors strived to build.
Although many undertakers, directors and in-house ministers are seduced by the esteem inherent in the title, there is a significant monetary appeal. The funeral business is one of the more stable options for African Americans (annual revenue for the funeral services industry approached $12 million in 2007*), leading some to an interest in mortuary science for its financial incentives. And if there was ever a prime moment to invest in the morbid franchise, it’s now. As Baby Boomers age past retirement and into hospice they’ll begin to grimly stimulate the economy. Analysts expect death rates — and therefore related sales — will rise as the remainder of 76 million Americans born in the era cap their life expectancy.
From humble memorials to extravagant acknowledgments of life, African Americans have found a fruitful tradition in the inevitability of the hereafter. That is nothing to mourn.
*Preliminary results of the 2012 economic census won’t be released until March 2014.
We all know at least one person who would show up late to their own funeral. The well-known saying is meant to be hypothetical, but in the case of 50-year-old Philadelphia woman Sharolyn Jackson the saying is true.
According to a local CBS affiliate, Jackson was found alive almost two weeks after her funeral.
It turns out, her family misidentified another woman’s body thinking it was Jackson after they received a call about an unidentified woman found dead on a West Philadelphia street. The woman matched the description of Jackson, and was officially identified by two people–her son and a social worker.
Jackson’s mother, Carrie Minney told the Associated Press that the woman they buried looked exactly like her daughter with the exception of her nose. The familyattributed the difference to the embalming process.
Read more at BlackVoices.com
Claudia Jordan Comes For Omarosa: ‘This Woman Had A Red Carpet At Her Fiance’s Funeral…How Upset Were You?’
Claudia Jordan has a problem with Omarosa.
So what’s up with that you say? Well, despite the fact that she’s now a woman of the cloth and suffered the tragedy of losing her fiancé, Michael Clarke Duncan, a lot of folks still don’t like her. Just ask La Toya Jackson. No, wait, just ask Claudia Jordan.
You see, Claudia and Omarosa used to be friends, but had a falling out after Michael Clarke Duncan’s funeral.
Apparently, Omarosa didn’t like the fact that Claudia had posted a picture on Instagram from her fiancé Michael Clarke Duncan’s funaral as she laid him to rest. Claudia, however, feels that was a minor offense if it was one at all because the picture she posted was in tribute to the Green Mile actor.
See Claudia Jordan’s response on EurWeb.com.
Chicago Bulls MVP Derrick Rose allegedly offered to pay a portion of 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins’ funeral expenses. Jonylah was killed while getting her diaper changed by her father after bullets ripped through their car when they were parked.
According to the SunTimes, Rose is working with Leak and Sons Funeral Home.
“On Monday afternoon, Watkins was standing on the curb in the 6500 block of South Maryland, changing his daughter’s diaper on the front passenger seat of a minivan, when a gunman emerged unnoticed from a gangway behind him and opened fire. He and Jonylah were injured. She survived emergency surgery but died Tuesday morning.” -ChicagoSunTimes
Read more on HelloBeautiful.com.
And Now For Your Friday Night Ratchgedy: Woman Sings Mary J. Blige’s ‘7 Days’ At Boyfriend’s Funeral
We know we all morn in different ways, but what possessed a mourning girlfriend to sing Mary J. Blige’s “Seven Days” at her boyfriend’s funeral, we just don’t know. Couple things, you never want to talk about making love to someone while people are coming together to pay their last respects, and of all the songs to sing, “Seven Days” just isn’t it. There are just way too many lines in that track that are not appropriate for that occasion.
Perhaps the funniest thing about this clip is that when the girlfriend goes into the second verse, someone decided to save her from herself and basically told her to have a seat baby. Thank God for that woman.
Check out the clip below. Have you ever had anybody sing a suspect song at a funeral you attended?
I hadn’t heard of writer Erica Kennedy, but I’d seen her title Bling on the shelf at Barnes & Noble a few times. Still, having only heard her name in reference to her June passing, I was taken by the number of requiems penned by fellow woman-writers in her honor, most of whom had never met her face to face. The memories were similar in that each written memoriam agreed that Kennedy was mentor to many and a connector of women who, in some fashion, had demonstrated promise in the realm of writing and publishing. All agreed that she was witty and sharp, but most of all, Erica Kennedy was remembered as an encourager.
This made me wonder about the legacies we leave. This was not the first time, however. During Whitney Houston’s funeral in February, a friend tweeted, “Who will speak at your funeral, and what will they say?”
In late-March, a co-worker of mine passed unexpectedly. In the days after the staff received word of the terrible news, we moved around each other in the halls, pressing our lips together and raising our cheeks in contrived acknowledgement and grief. As I placed my lunch in the break room refrigerator the following week, I had to push a Diet Pepsi out of the way. I wondered if it belonged to my deceased co-worker, a man whose penchant for the drinks became the stuff of office folklore. Did he have any food left in the fridge or freezer? I thought about how this simple sign of life turned into a striking reminder of how frail and fleeting our moments can be.
My officemates and I were rows deep in the sanctuary of a catholic church the following Monday, offering support to the grieving family and to each other at the funeral. Throughout the church were emblems of the departed’s life outside of the office: the youth athletic teams he coached (both current players and alumni), old friends, co-workers from past professional lives, and members of a tight-knit family, all of whom had faces flushed with shock and sorrow, all of whom spoke highly of their coach, colleague, and loved one. I thought about how much this said about his legacy.
The question of legacy hit home once again when, in the wee hours of July 20, twelve moviegoers were killed in the theatre tragedy in Aurora, Colo. Among them was Jessica Ghawi, an aspiring sports journalist whose social media prowess prompted her to post an essay about narrowly missing the gunfire at a Toronto mall the month prior to attending the fateful midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado. The message she shared with her blog readers: “…every moment we have to live our [lives] is a blessing.”
It seems that we work hard to be somebody in this world, to be seen, to be “important,” as if our titles and toys mean anything really. What we can learn from all of this is that what matters are our connections, real and digital — reaching out to others, using our stories for good, and being an encourager and a mentor. It’s about using our platforms and positions for good and not just for gain. It’s a cliché because it’s true: you can’t take it (the spoils, the toys, the titles) with you. Whether online or in real life, our connections are lasting relics of our spirits. What remains are memories of your encouragement, your belief and your passion for someone and something other than yourself.
Readers, what do you hope is part of your legacy? Who will speak at your funeral, and what will they say?
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This morning, Tameka Raymond and her family will lay her 11-year-old son Kile to rest in Atlanta, but his memory will not be forgotten. In one of few messages the ex-wife of usher has sent out since her son’s tragic jet ski accident, Tameka got on Twitter early this morning to thank her followers for their support during this time and to let them know that she is planning to use her son’s death for a good purpose.
I appreciate the hundreds, perhaps thousands of prayers. I’m so grateful to you guys. Kile was the most fun, creative, sweet, respectful boy,” she tweeted.
“Many have asked where to send flowers, but in Lieu of flowers. we ask that you make a contribution to the Kile Glover Fund @ Bank of America
“Our goal is increase water safety- thru implementing laws, policies & education. Kiles passing will not be in vain, we will see to this
“Sorry, I gave half info Bank of America Acct # 3340 3823 9828 OR via PayPal email TheKileGloverFund@gmail.com … I love you guys. Goodnight”
According to Mercury News, The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is still investigating the accident which left Kile brain-dead and Jeffrey Hubbard, the driver of the Jet Ski that struck him on Lake Lanier that day, could face criminal charges. Some reports say Jeffrey lost control of the water vehicle which is what caused it to make contact with Kile and the 15-year-old girl he was riding an inner-tube with at the time. Tameka and her family will likely be seeking laws that won’t permit jet skis to be ridden in such a close vicinity to others in the water who aren’t riding. Hopefully Tameka and her family succeed in making something good come out of such a horrific situation.
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The wake for Sylvia Woods, founder of the iconic Harlem restaurant Sylvia’s, will be held today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Abyssinian Baptist Church. It’s open to the public. Her funeral will take place tomorrow at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon at 11 a.m. Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy.
Ms. Woods died last Thursday at the age of 86. She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years. That evening, during what was supposed to be a celebration of Sylvia’s 50th anniversary, there was a moment of silence.
There will also be a public anniversary celebration on August 1, including a parade and breakfast.
“The turtles legs are falling off,” sang my co-worker’s fidgety 5-year-old son as he moonwalked across the waiting room with a carelessness that only comes with not knowing any better. We had driven 35 minutes during rush hour traffic to bring their beloved bloated reptile to the vet since she had Googled “turtle dying symptoms,” dialed local vets and stressed throughout the workday. Unfortunately, after hearing the opposing advisory of two vets, giving the pet vitamin shots and a taunting turn for the best, my co-worker found the pet’s limp and lifeless body resting on a rock two mornings later. And that same boy who was re-enacting Michael Jackson’s Motown 25 “Billie Jean” performance while the family pet gasped for air in the next room, burst into tears at the news that Scooter was “no longer with us.”
It can be an extremely difficult thing for a parent to explain life’s limits while looking into the bright eyes of someone whose life has barely begun, but as a parent there will come a time where you’ll be forced to do so if you haven’t yet volunteered. I still remember my father struggling to explain to me why my rabbit urinated on him before taking its last breath in his hands. There were tears and feelings of loss that a 7-year-old just couldn’t understand.
If you’re having trouble initiating the dreaded “all things die” talk, you have to try to see things from your child’s point of view. This talk can sound completely different depending on whether you’re addressing a 5-year-old or 15-year-old. Until children are about five or six their view of the world is very concrete. This probably explains why my co-workers mini moonwalker couldn’t associate the turtle’s ballooned legs with sickness at the very least, let alone death. Since children at this age are so literal, it’s important to avoid cute sayings that only make the parent more comfortable like “Grandma is sleeping for a long time,” which could result in your child developing anxiety issues with sleep. Children also have trouble grasping the finality of death and the fact that it occurs to all living things. To make the process easier, talk about death in a very physical way such as, “Grandma’s heart stopped working” or “Grandma is at the cemetery” instead of trying to break down intangible concepts of an afterlife.
You also may want to take a look at your own feelings and beliefs about death. It’s important that children learn the proper way to grieve through example. They shouldn’t be discouraged from crying or talking even if you still have issues with death yourself. As much as loved ones may have good intentions advising, “You have to be strong for your children,” it’s important for your children to see that it’s okay to be sad, resentful, angry, or mournful, but those feelings should be brought to the surface and dealt with in a healthy way instead of being hidden. You want to be a solid source of support for your children; find a balance between crumbling into pieces and being an emotionless brick wall. You’re a parent, but you’re only human and it’s healthy for your kids to see that.
Around the ages 6-10, children may develop natural fears about death associated with myths and stories they hear (i.e., the boogeyman and ghosts). It’s important to not feed into fears and give them honest, clear information about death. Instead of simply sending your child back to bed when they say the boogeyman’s in the closet, explore the closet with them and show them there’s nothing to be afraid of. Ask them what they think will happen if the boogeyman gets them so they have a chance to express any fears about pain and what death “feels” like.