Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Good Grief!

I don’t like funerals and dead people. I know that no one likes funerals, but they seriously give me the heebie jeebies. I think the open casket thing is freaky as all hell because the dead person always looks like they’re wearing clown make-up, and I morbidly expect them to pop up at any minute. I also have a weird urge to lift up the bottom part of the lid to see if they’re wearing shoes.

A lady Eric works with lost her husband this past weekend. We’ll call her Sandy. Eric thought it would be nice if we all went to the funeral. Grief is something I don’t do well. At all. I am the person who gets the uncontrollable giggles at funerals. It is really not pretty. Therefore, I didn’t think it was a great idea for me to go, much less bring the children. We have touched on the issue of death and heaven with Eli. He knows all about Baby Jesus, but I still don’t think the whole concept really clicks for him. And all I needed was him screaming, “MOMMY! Why is that guy asleep?!” in front of the grieving widow.

Incidentally, Eli asked his daddy the other day if he knew what happened to fish when they die. Eric said, “They go to fish heaven.” Eli sighed loudly and said, “No daddy! They go in the potty!”

My son! What a comedian!

Anyway, Eric and I decided that a good compromise was to go to the visitation. Now, I’m from a small town. Visitations consisted of a room full of people, most of them crying, enough flowers to give you hay fever, a dead guy, and a sign-in book. Our plan was to go in, sign the book and I was to hustle the kids to the back of the room out of earshot of anyone while Eric went to talk to Sandy.

Apparently, they do things differently in a big city. First of all, they dress up. For a visitation? Second, they don’t bring kids. Who knew? Third, the chapel was so busy, people were illegally parked for two blocks. When we managed to find a parking spot, we could barely get in the door. We were then ushered to the end of a line that circled all the way around the building. I’m still a little unsure about what exactly we were waiting in line for.

Considering Georgia’s recent decent into madness, I was pretty sure we should cut our losses and go. Eric wanted to wait. *sigh* Georgia wanted down, Eli wanted to play with the display coffins (yes, display coffins (!!!) and I just wanted to get the hell out of there. People around us were talking in quiet hushed tones as we passed by poster boards filled with pictures of the dead guy, his wife and their dog. Eli was screaming, “I’m HUNGRY!” and “I need to go potty!” and Georgia was screaming, “DOWN!!!”

The old couple standing in front of us said, “I don’t think she’s going to make it,” looking at Georgia. “You’ve signed the book . . .” Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. They were nicely telling us to take our loud children and get the hell out. I looked at Eric and he said, “Okay, we should probably go.” Ya think?

On the way out, Eli noticed a dish of candy by the door. He snagged a piece on the way out, which made him extremely happy. On the way home, he asked, “Can we go back to that place sometime so I can get some more candy?” Eric and I both looked at each other and said, “NO!”

13 comments:

Desert Songbird said...

Funerals are never a fun thing for people, let along little people. I don't usually do the visitation thing, and when I do attend a funeral, I'm usually alone since I'm either singing at the funeral (and I'm the hired gun), or it's someone I knew and hubby didn't and he's home to stay with the kids.

The last family funeral I attended was before we had kids.

Ugh. Maybe this is the kind of thing y'all need to do tag-team parenting. One stays home while the other does "the duty" until the kids get older.

Gattina said...

OK, I catch 2 flies in one shot, Manic Monday and this. He, he it gaves me a good morning laugh ! I like to go to funerals not because I am a morbide person, but there is so much to see in a psychological way ! You know for example that the dead person was not at all a nice person and the widow is more than happy that he is finally dead and then you see her crying (without tears) with a big tissu at her nose but eagerly glimpsing on the guests. Women who confond funerals with a fashion show and all the bla bla bla the pastor or priest says while everybody is discretely looking around to count who is there !
Your children behaved great at least they are honest.When my grandma died my son went to the graveyard to measure the grave and check if it was deep enough ! Lol !

Hulai said...

Ive been to more funerals in my short 25 years than most 50 year old people. Im so not joking about that. The real kicker is most of them have been friends that were my age. In high school alone I can think of 9. 9 kids my age! I know sad. Ive never gotten any better with them. But Ive sang at several as well.
I have a 8 year old god daughter, katherine. She has always been morbidly fascinated with dead people. Imagine this: You go to your boyfriends grandfather's funeral. Your god daughter yells out "I wanna see the dead guy! Why wont people touch him, why wont they give him a kiss? How rude!" Yep she really did that! At five years old she wanted to get in the "box" with him to see what it would be like! Ok sick! But I guess at least shes got a grasp on death I will never have and I havent decided yet if that is a good or a bad thing....

Donna said...

Sounds like you should have sent Eric by himself. I grew up being taken to funerals from such a young age, they seemed perfectly natural to me. There was a period in my life when the fake-iness of people bothered me (acting like they liked the deceased, when they never had) but once I got past that, now I actually LIKE funerals! Because when you get past 60, funerals are like family reunions. You see cousins you haven't seen in years!

A chuisle said...

what a crazy experience! i think i'd have ran away earlier than you did; kudos for sticking it out.

Stacey said...

I went to a visitation recently (Shelley's mom) and the line was to see the casket and talk with the family. Then there was a short presentation (pictures and music, gets to me every time it is so sad) and then preacher spoke. I thought visitation used to be just saying a prayer or seeing the body but nowadays it is a whole OTHER ceremony.

At least you guys went. It is so hard when the kids are little. . .

Morgen said...

I wish you had pictures of Eli playing with the display coffins!
How morbidly funny!
The last visitation we went to (for non-family) Lee and I spent most of it in the "display" room looking at cremation urns!

Sadie said...

I absolutely HATE open caskets. And in the South they're the rule rather than the exception. Visitations here are like what you went to, I guess we're "big city."

*snort* at Eli wanting to go back for more candy.

Skittles said...

I may go to Hell for this but I thought this post was hysterical :)

crazymumma said...

Good for you bringing them, it is important for them to understand about death....and candy dishes.

you are brave.

Matt-Man said...

Those werent display coffins. They were actually being used to bury some circus folk. Cheers!!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

why not? was the candy bad?

smiles, bee

Crazy Working Mom said...

I'm with Skittles...that was too funny. I'll have a window seat right next to her! *LOL*

I think I would've just sat in the car with the kids and made HIM go in alone. heh heh