31 May 2011


It's hard to write a new blog post right after your mother dies. You have to say something about it, but it hardly seems the venue. Rather than get into the sentimental details (though I will admit that I am really, really, really, really, really, really sad), I'll note a few of my observations about funerals:

Many very old women, one after another after another, come up and stand in front of you, smile sadly and hug you, and then say, "you don't remember me, do you?" At this point, a name would help. Perhaps a hint of the shared connection: did I date your son (or perhaps your daughter)? A shared decade, even: did you teach at Byesville Elementary?

You see some other people and you think, "Oh, wow, there's Mr. Shafer!" Then with mild shock you realize that it's really Mr. Shafer's son. Who is your age now.

Whoever came up with the idea of an open casket is hands-down the freakiest creep I'd ever want to meet. I didn't "go up," but I think everyone else did. My tiny son went up and slipped a drawing he had long ago made Grandma, and that she had saved along with his every other drawing, into the casket. We tied it up in a scroll for him before we went to the funeral home and--whoa here--it's making me cry just to think about it now. Let us move on.

So they make the bereaved sit really, really close to the casket during the service. Then they make them sit really, really close to the hole in the ground with the casket in the vault raised up on shiny extender thingies that lower it into the ground after everyone leaves. But nothing happens there by the grave. Not that I remember. You just sit really, really close and maybe the Pastor Person says something, I don't know, and then you all get up and leave. There's no burial anymore. Not in front of anyone. What happened to that? I've heard that if you're Catholic, you even get to throw dirt down on the casket. I felt gypped.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry for your loss and that I wasn't there for you when you needed it. It won't happen again. -Ed