Monday, December 31, 2012

Notes on a Funeral


As you may know, Paul lost his mother a week or so before Christmas. She was in a care home and she had dementia. Still, it came as a surprise when we got the call as she was otherwise in good health. This is not a post about her but rather about my observations during the process from beginning to end. This is what I learned.

Not all people handle grief in the same way. Some become numb. Some fall apart. Some take the part of the leader, the strong one and some just become ridiculous.

Not all people feel the same about attending funerals. Some have rules. For example, if
you have not had a relationship in the last 10 years you don't have to go. Some others
think that if you have even heard of someone you should go.

As my daughter put it, "I think funerals, or stressful situations, bring out a persons
true colors."

 Money is a horrible thing to argue about and people still do it anyway.

 A preplanned funeral only means that you have 50 things to do instead of 75.

The most emotional people should not be left to make decisions on their own and it is nice when a brother can support a sister. It is a beautiful thing.

However sad the death of the loved one is, it is rather nice to see family you haven't seen
in a long while.

It is surprising how people in the same family had such different relationships with the
one who is lost. Some grandchildren are grief stricken and some feel sad because they didn't share that same relationship.

Everything seems so final. I know, it is. But really, it is so final.

Viewing the body can really freak some people out and a body should not be put at the
door of the church as you walk in, taking people unaware.

I love having flowers in the house even thought it is for a not so happy reason. I don't
understand how some say " in lieu of flowers, make a donation..." I would say, "Please
send flowers. "

I have also learned a lot about myself, personally, during this whole chain of events.

I do not find it easy to keep my mouth shut when decisions are being made that I don't     
agree with. (Not my family, not my business)

I didn't cry. At all. I have known Paul's mom for 33 years and have some good memories
but I didn't cry. In fact I hardly ever cry. I think that crying is a waste of emotion. The  
situation cannot be changed no matter if we cry or not.

I don't much like funerals. Who does? I have not been to one since my grandmother's
in 1990. I also do not feel obligation to go to funerals, nor do I think we should put
expectations on others to go to funerals.

I find it almost criminal the costs involved. For instance, one can place an ad in the paper to sell a car for $35 but an obituary is $400. Renting a casket for a viewing, $1000! Every single cost is inflated. Racketeering.

I am stronger than I think and can handle more than I imagine. I am a realist and I
don't hold on to things too tightly. I know everything is fleeting.

And after saying all of that... it was a nice funeral indeed.

PS Sorry for the wonky formatting. Blogger does that sometimes no matter how many times we try to fix it.
PPS Photo is from google images.

3 comments:

Dawn said...

It sounds like we're thinking about many of the same things lately. My family is not having a funeral for my grandma, who died two days before Christmas. Instead, they're going to have a memorial service this summer when more family can attend. I have conflicted feelings about this. I would like some closure, sooner than later.

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Tara said...

You are so right about stressful situations bringing out the best or worst in family... Paul is lucky to have your love and support.

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