The funeral dress

My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra

This summer when I was in dire need of retail therapy, I went to the big mall. In the old days that would be an all day event. Now my shopping attention span is somewhere between 2 and 3 hours followed by lunch or at least a wonderful Starbucks drink.

During this trip I stumbled across a very beautiful dress. It was a little pricey but when I tried it on, the fit was perfect. It was a dress that would span the fall-winter-early spring time frame.

Since I retired I am not much of a dress wearer so I only have a few and they are all summery dresses — springy colors, beautiful patterns and lightweight. Some are sleeveless sundresses.

This dress wasn’t cheap even with a coupon so I had to strategize. (That’s just for me. The beloved husband doesn’t care what I buy and that’s as it should be.) I walked around the mall; had my Starbucks; and came back with a plan.

I needed a funeral dress.

Think about it. When you need to attend a funeral you don’t have time to shop or there are no sales or there is nothing you like or fits. It is better to be prepared for things like this no matter how gruesome it sounds.

This dress would be perfect for funerals. The colors were deep blues and greens and very muted. It was a geometric pattern but not an obnoxious one. (Why do most of the patterns remind me of the 1970s?) It had three quarter length sleeves and a crisscross detailing in the front.

Cha-ching! I bought it!

I almost forgot about it until this past weekend. The mother of a good friend died. All deaths are sad but this woman lived life to the fullest. She was 93 and still drove a car! (Yes, it was a bit scary.)

Sometimes her pure white hair was dyed a vivid red! She was on committees for the aging and a person you couldn’t say “no” to. Her mind was sharp and she was very articulate.

She died in minutes from a massive heart attack. Isn’t that better than months of horrible treatments and a morphine fog?

Her children had a celebration of life service that was upbeat with music from the 1940s. I remember hearing Frank Sinatra. There were photos of the family and her long-deceased husband flashing on a screen. People told funny stories about her. It wasn’t sad at all.

It was a wonderful tribute to a person who made their mark in the community.

She would have loved my dress! She would have said the perfect accessory was a glass of wine although she preferred the hard stuff herself.

Now the beloved husband needs a new suit. He dropped 20 pounds this year (which will be another post!) and his current suit looks like clown’s balloon pants with an oversized jacket.

We will be shopping for more funeral clothes!

37 thoughts on “The funeral dress

  1. Everyone of a certain age (me, not you) needs a good funeral dress in the closet. You are correct, there is never time to shop when you need one. I do have a plan for my own funeral. I love my red cowgirl boots. Really want to have my leg out and propped up on the top of the bottom half of the coffin so everyone can enjoy them. Hope you can come and wear that special new dress of yours.

    My friend died recently. It was a planned event. While she was in the hospital I went to visit her. With a twinkle in her eye she asked if I were planning on coming to see her new dress? She also had new undies, shoes, and earrings for the event. She did look smashing except for the missing twinkle.


  2. I thought I was plunging into an essay about you buying a dress for your own funeral. Only because a friend of mind has done this because she was afraid her husband would have her on display in a thong and heels.
    You friend’s mother sounds amazing! Certainly someone we could all learn from (except the driving).


  3. Now that’s a plan with real merit and lasting power, Kate! I like your style. And the dress sounds really great, too! Can’t wait to hear about your husband’s weight loss. He would definitely need new funeral clothes.


  4. Your friend’s mom sounds like a delight. The celebration of her life is beautiful. For me, I envision an Irish wake and me as a guest propped up in the corner with a drink, like the deceased in “Weekend at Bernie’s.” Oh, I also asked my hubby for a ticker tape parade in my honor. He’s working on this as we speak. 🙂

    I wish you’d posted a photo of your dress. It does sound lovely and you made a smart decision to get it NOW.


  5. I need a funeral dress. I went to a funeral this week and just wore what I wear to work but I wasn’t happy about it. I don’t like shopping and usually buy online. Maybe you could shop for me. I’ll send you my info and you can have fun and I will not get a headache.


  6. Hmmmm. I think I need a funeral dress too…. just in case. And maybe a theater dress. And maybe a special occasion party dress. Hmmmmm. Great post and though I’m glad you got to wear it, it’s said that you got to wear it. 🙂


  7. I have one funeral dress that hangs in the closet and hasn’t been needed for sometime…*knock on wood*

    Yours sounds like a knockout! And my Mother has a similar friend she is a hoot and I am sure there will be a party to celebrate her way into the afterlife.


  8. Since I sat next to you at the funeral, I can attest to the fact that it was a lovely dress(I did notice) and you looked (as you always do) fantastic.  As far as the beloved husband went, I never noticed what he wore!  Was it shorts??????



  9. Did you say 70s? Well, guess what that is the Era our department has chosen for our halloween contest at work this year……ha-ha……should be interesting!


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