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{Thursday, March 31, 2005}

I went to a funeral for a person I didn’t know yesterday. Since this was the fact, I stupidly didn’t take any tissue with me. Apparently, I’d forgotten that I’m a sympathetic crier. As in, I could go into a funeral of complete strangers and weep like a relative. So, tissue-free, I was stuck there wiping and sniffling for a full hour. Not helping was the fact that we sat behind the children, grandchildren and wife.

And during the service, I got a tight feeling in my chest about all of the older people sitting around me that I did know and love and how much sorrow I was going to genuinely be a part of in the future.

The funeral was a bit “free form” and there was no body as he had been cremated. Since were were in a church with a pulpit and a bunch of pictures of the deceased (the montage, which is obviously standard issue these days), it actually did feel like a funeral despite the lack of a dead body in a room. Happily, no horrible flower stink (which just screams Dead Person!) because there were just a few potted plants.

The son did most of the talking, though there was an Open Mic time which just one person took advantage of (my husband and his brother had plenty of anecdotes, but shyness prevented them). The friend was from high school and talked of basketball days. Very cute. Everyone warned he would be long-winded, but HELL, he was 87 years old – let the old guy reminisce!

When the son got up, he took a dry erase marker and wrote on the board (meetings much?) words that described his father. When he stepped away, we could all see the word “non-loving” in the list. Tension mounts in the room. He starts out by saying how hardworking his father was, with an amazing work ethic. He talks about his love for sports, farming, gardening, hunting and fishing. He gets to non-loving and breaths are held. He says that his father never told him he loved him, they never had a serious conversation in his lifetime and that he had a lot of problems with that. He goes on to say that he had started to understand his father better in the last decade or so and to respect him. He winds up saying that is is “all right” - the way his father was. Clearly, he wasn’t what this son would have chosen, but he says that he’s made his peace with it.

It was obviously a cathartic thing for the son, but many of the (old school) audience obviously believed in the tradition of making nice about the dead, even if the truth had to be stretched. I thought it was very courageous. He does say in there that what his father lacked, his mother more than made up for (cue sobbing from Lisa in the next row).

All in all, the most unusual funeral I’ve ever attended. The church ladies put out a spread in the neighboring town after which was phenomenal (of course). Ah, human society – never lacking as a source for oddity and interest.
posted by Lisa 9:00 AM

{Monday, March 28, 2005}

Emma is writing a paragraph from her spelling words for homework. She asks, "Should I put catastrophe marks around this?"
posted by Lisa 7:59 PM

{Sunday, March 27, 2005}

Morgan finally agreed to help from her Daddy in getting rid of her dangling front teeth.

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posted by Lisa 10:23 AM