Monday, June 25, 2007

I Should Have Had Wine

Because then I'd at least have reached this hungover feeling state enjoyably (is that a word? I'm going to go with yes.)

Internet--I'm spent! J and I are attempting to catch up from not only this weekend, but every previous weekend traveling to visit his family. I'm also overwhelmed by all of your kind comments and emails. Thank you all so much for sending your condolences. J and his family are doing very well. They are all of course, very sad, but also very relieved I think. His grandad was a wonderful man and I'm not sure I've ever met anyone more ready for Heaven than he was.

This entire weekend resurfaced memories of the (too many) funerals that I've attended. Truthfully, I think the whole American funeral (process/procedures/traditions) are horribly morbid and depressing. The only thing I'm on board with is the Southern food. I'm not sure if y'all do it in other places, but the Southern food at funerals in the South is rather fabulous. (And as Jenny says, "Everyone knows you can't turn down the church ladies Mrs. M!).

I'd never experienced a (wake/receiving friends) with a receiving line as this one had. Yeah-a receiving line! His wife and kids had to stand next to him all night. Thus when you go thru the line you're forced to look at a corpse whether you want to or not. The line was so long (told you his grandad was wonderful) that these people deserved a treat at the end. Seriously, it was like an amusement park. They at least should have had a big slide and corn dog when they got there. Dippin' dots? Funnel cake? All such events that I'd ever attended had pews or rows of chairs where people would sit. The family was seated on a sofa at the front of the room and individuals could come speak when they'd like to.

I, however, don't care for either option. I don't like open casket anything. My grandparents were open casket, my dad was not. It sucked, but it made it easier. My last memories of my dad are not those of him in a casket. Personally, when I die I'd like for everyone to "receive friends" at the country club with cocktails and hors devours. I'm going to start saving now so you can all leave with a bottle of Beringer tied with a monogrammed ribbon. I mean sure, you can miss me, but party it up people because I'm not coming back!

I'm not even sure I want to be buried. Sure, people may visit for a bit but then you're just forgotten about and you're taking up land space. Even if you're lying with your loved ones--it's a dead shell. Your soul is gone. I have faith that I'll be in Heaven and never know about that. I'm thinking I'd like to be cremated and spread somewhere. Lots of places even: parks, lakes, fertilzing hydrangea bushes since mine are not blooming. I suppose J and I will hash out these details when we make wills and such upon having children.

You know what else I don't get. Funeral pictures. WHAT THE? I don't want to scrapbook those and look back. Some of those images are permenantly seared in my mind anyway and frankly, I'd like to forget them.

I feel like people expect me to have such words of wisdom and be so sympathetic during funerals because I've dealt with it a lot. (Grandma, Grandpa, and Dad 4 years. We were dropping like flies.) But, I'm not. I'm sorry, really I am. But all I really feel I can say is "sure does suck!" I blame my childhood. I was never nurtured and taught to express a lot of feelings when it came to greiving/sorrow/sadness/etc. and I think it's really messed me up. I'd like to learn these characteristics so I don't raise messed up children. (Who am I kidding? I'll most likely raise messed up children no matter what--HA!). Oh- and when people expect me to be so understanding when they lost their dad. WHAT? Your dad was nearly 90. My dad was 48. You're 60, I was 22. There's a difference. I'm sure it's still hard, but you have no idea. I'm obviously bitter and a bit jaded.

Put down the stones-these are merely my thoughts and opinions and you don't have to agree with them. I realize that everyone grieves and handles things differently. I often strike into action mode and bring out my bitter, dry, sarcastic, and slightly offensive humor. For example, when my grandad died and I learned it was going to cost a whopping two thousand dollars to transport his body to WV, I humbly offered myself with "What? Buckle him up in the back of the little red rocket! He'd want me to have that cash!" By the way, that's illegal.

When my dad died, I sprung into action. (As you know, my mother is (to put it nicely) certifiable. If you're just tuning in, hello there! My mother is (to put it nicely) certifiable.) Little Brother wanted to take him to WV with our grandparents so I began making calls. Since I already knew that throwing him the car wasn't an option, I ponied up the cash. When arriving at the funeral home (the funeral home as in there are no others in the village) in WV the funeral director was definately shocked since she and my dad were high school friends and she'd not yet had to do this for a friend. When I met with her she told me he hadn't yet arrived and that her son was bringing him and he'd be there around 7. "Hmph, I knew he'd be late for his funeral, who is he calling Lolly* now?" I think she nearly fell over. I remember picking out the casket and thinking they were all a little shiny and fru-fru for my dad. Then I spotted the lovely hardwood version in the corner. "Well, he always wanted hardwood floors, may as well give him a hardwood ceiling too." That time, she indeed fell over.

See, told you I had an offensive and morbid sense of humor in such times.

Well, since I've not held back, so go ahead Internet and tell me how you feel about funerals and all that goes with it.

*My dad used to call me "Lolly" because he said I "Lolly-gagged" and took my dear sweet time. This nickname also played into the name of my monogramming business La La Lollipop.


Zoe D. said...

I 100% agree with everything you just said and I do the same thing! My family doesn't do funerals. We do a celebration of life. Everyone is creamated, and then we have a big family get together with food and drinks. We laugh and cry and laugh some more. That's what I want. Adam's family, on the other hand, have funerals. I've been to 2 so far. I've only seen a few dead bodies, so I always get uncomfortable. At his grandfather's funeral, I said it looked like he was about to sit up and said "GOTCHA". Adam didn't laugh. OOps! hah

brittny said...


You have a monogramming business?? I had no idea! Though, I can totally see it by the AWESOME gifts I got in the mail today. I can't wait to post about it tomorrow.
Okay, now back to the matter at hand. I love your blog so much. I love everything you write. I'm totally a Mrs. M junkie. I always appreciate your honesty and thoughts about whatever you write. I didn't realize you lost your dad at such a young age. I'm sorry people were looking to you for something to say that would take all their pain away. It's probably nice to be at home now, where you and J can grieve and support each other alone.
Keep us posted. It was so good to hear from you.

Michelle said...

Great Post! I agree with pretty much EVERYTHING that you stated here. No stones coming from me. I too, get extremely sarcastic at times like these. I guess it's my coping mechanism. I dunno. Your sarcastic comments made me laugh out loud though!
Just 2 questions...what in the world are you speaking of when you say taking pictures? Yeah...WHAT THE? Who does this? I've never heard of such a thing. That's just weird. I wouldn't want to remember someone that way either.
WHY do people expect you to be able to console them when they loose their Dads? You made a good point with your Father's age and all. People should leave you alone and have some sympathy and not bring it up.
I suppose that you're happy to be back home now...but I am still sorry and sad to learn of your loss.

JayJenny said...

Mrs. M,
I haven't been to many funerals, thankfully. Death is hard for everyone and we all deal with it in our own ways. You shouldn't feel badly about how you deal with your grief. It's perfectly healthy to have a sense of humor, even in the darkest days. It's people like you who make all of us smile.
I love ya!

Beth G said...

No stones from me! You're sense of humor is fantastic, even if other people feel it's innappropriate. . .I'd rather be with you at a funeral than with e people that take pictures of the dead and stand next to the casket. . .That would creep me out. My family has large funerals, the frail family sits back a way on comfortable chairs and couchs and the strong willed escort family and friends to view the body and then everybody sits for the service. We go to the "family" church after and eat. . the nice church ladies make hams and stuff and friends and neighbors bring dishes to pass. . .I find it a comforting closure when we are all sitting around remembering the fun times and silly stories we have than to agaonize over the last days of misery.