Garry Shandling To Have Buddha Funeral Despite Jewish Roots

Garry Shandling is receiving the highest honor as he’s laid to rest. According to TMZ, the comedian and writer will reach “monk status” in what’s said to be an elaborate Buddhist funeral, which the comedian planned prior to his death.

Although Shandling never hinted at his religion in his public life, Garry was a devout Buddhist despite his Jewish roots. According to sources, Garry’s last wishes will be carried out by his employee, who had very specific instructions in regard to his funeral.

During the funeral, Shandling will be ordained as a monk by having his head shaved by another monk. After that, he will be laid to rest with the help of family and friends with a card that details the “Five Precepts of Buddha.” Then, the monk will lead loved ones in a monk chant in order to guide the spirit to his next life.

The fact that Shandling planned his funeral comes as a surprise, considering his death was very sudden, and he had no idea how or when he would die. Many of Garry Shandling’s friends were shocked by his death, as he was in good spirits and solid health just days before.

When the news hit of Shandling’s death, his friends from the entertainment world paid their respects in various forms.

Conan O’Brien made a touching tribute when he remembered the comedian on his TBS show. Addressing the audience and viewers at home.

“He had a ton of empathy for other people. I want to make that point. That is something in this business, in comedy, that is very rare. He really did care about other people. During a particularly difficult time in my life Gary just magically appeared and helped me a lot.”

O’Brien went on to say that it was Shandling who picked him up when he was down after being fired from his gig on The Tonight Show. O’Brien, who described the ordeal as a “crazy, effed up, spectacular fashion,” said hanging out with Shandling in Hawaii set him straight. On his wife’s recommendation, Conan went to Hawaii, and while he was there, he received a call from Garry, telling him that he was staying three doors down from him and that he couldn’t avoid him.

“I spent the entire week with Garry Shandling,” he said. “I’ll tell you something, I was at a real low point and he counseled me, he cheered me up, he told me jokes and talked to me about philosophy and how there are bigger things in the world.”

Comedian Kathy Griffin, who was with Garry days before he died, said in a statement, “I’m crushed. That man made me laugh. Spoke to me as a peer. Even though I’ve known him since the 90s, it’s in the last few years that we have had meaningful and memorable one-on-one talks. I had no idea our last one would be four days ago.”

Although it is suspected that Shandling died of a heart attack, the doctor won’t sign his death certificate just yet. It’s said that the coroner is mystified by Shandling’s death.

[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

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