“Funeral” | Original Writings by Catherine Shumaker Brinson


I’m sure there were people who thought that was totally inappropriate. But Catherine wanted it, and I give full credit to my wonderful husband who remembered that she had said she wanted “Hallelujah” to be played. He also sang a very upbeat version of “I’ll Fly Away” for her.

And now we have a poem that she wrote to prove that that was what she wanted!

It was one of the poems in this self-made book:

Original Writings by Catherine Shumaker Brinson front cover

(Unfortunately we also didn’t know that she wanted “The Spirit and the Hawks” to be read.)

In the book are 36 poems that she wrote, mostly during the 1990s, inspired by life events or whatever she happened to be doing at the moment. They’re divided into categories; Whimsy, Canticles of Praise, Family, Nature, and Unfinished Symphony.

As you know, I’m committed to publishing the materials that my mother, Catherine Shumaker Brinson wrote, researched, and gathered that relate to our genealogy.

Update! April 24, 2021: Her entire book, Original Writings by Catherine Shumaker Brinson, is now available on Amazon. You can read it on Kindle, or have your very own print copy for your and your family’s enjoyment and for posterity. Here are the links:

Paperback Kindle

I’ll also be publishing all her other genealogy research so that you can have it for your own family records.

So if you’re not already signed up for my Genealogy list, be sure and do that now! Here’s the link: https://www.subscribepage.com/g0c4a7

Here is “Funeral”, a poem in her book, from the Canticles of Praise category.


When they stuff me in a casket snug
And friends walk by and give a shrug
And talk about how fine I look – –
But the body is stiffer than a book,
Then they roll the casket, body laden,
Into the chapel. Preachers preach & air is leaden.
Forget the usual funeral music blahs.
Fill the air with happy hallelujahs!
Let the organ play and people sing “Hallelujah”!

Catherine Shumaker Brinson
March 31, 1993

{This was written during the day. That night, Wednesday, Rev. David Warren said that too much emphasis is placed on the dead body, and not enough on the fact that the person is no longer there. The person is the soul, not the body!}

{I would like for the poem I wrote for Mother to be read at my funeral, leaving out the words “Mother” and “Children”. After the reading of the poem, I would like the hymn, “I’ll Fly Away” to be sung either by everyone there or by a soloist. I asked Travis Meadows if he would sing it at my funeral and he said he would be glad to.}

Original Writings Catherine Shumaker Brinson | "Funeral"

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