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Funeralizing Folks

I know I should be getting ready, but I’m not sure if I will be able to write after the funeral, so I wanted to get some things down before. I am almost certain that today will be a trial to the nerves in some way or another. Mr. Perfect and I are driving 2 1/2 hours up to where the funeral is being held today, which can be trying at any time, but especially in the cold and sleet/flurries. I haven’t anything but slacks in black, so no dress for me. My dad may be back down, with his somewhat pessimistic view of all things funeral. I don’t know what specific event triggers that, but there has to be one. He goes on and on about Black funeral cliches and stereotypes. “Who’s going to sing the song and break down halfway through? Who’s going to fall out on the casket and ask to go with them?” Etc. It is my thought that whether or not you feel that these are all contrivances is irrelevant; not only could these be real people’s real feelings about the deceased overwhelming them, my father is “an elder” in his church. I feel that any man of God I want ministering to me should have a bit more compassion. I know my day, but others may not, and take what I see as a coping mechanism of his own with a loss to be something like rudeness, of mocking a dead person’s loved ones. Even other family members may in the least feel offended that he would scruntinize and find their mourning ungenuine. Death is one area I feel you cannot know another person’s feelings from outward appearance, especially at a funeral.

When my stepfather died, I only cried on solitary tear at the funeral towards the end. It never looked like him to me, I never associated the body in the casket with him, and so I was able to be a support to my mother and brother. I stayed busy the whole time I was in Michigan, filling glasses, fixing plates, making meals, finding ways to keep my mother occupied, and keeping folks from getting too drunk and acting too much of a fool. Since returning, I’ve cried quite a bit. It’s hard for me to be emotional in front of people. My instinct is to offer support to others who may be hurting more than myself, to keep procrastinating on dealing with the fact someone is gone. Someone observing me might think I was cold hearted and cared nothing for the person because I’m not weeping copiously, but that’s not my way. So in that way, I understand that maybe the way my dad comes across isn’t how he really feels, especially in this situation.

I don’t know what shape Pink Susie will be in. Part of the reason I call her Pink Susie here is tied to the deceased; it was a nickname given to her because the deceased always bought her a little pink dress for Easter, all these pink things. Pink was the deceased favorite color. Thus far, she’s been planning the funeral, making arrangements for the business as she is leaving, and finding hotel rooms for people. Organizing and supporting, like me. I feel bad for her more than anyone, because I know what’s coming in the solitary moments. We are so much alike in some ways it’s scary. I hope I’m wrong in this one.

That’s enough for now; it’s making me weepy. I have to bear up and support her, and who knows who else. I’ll deal with my own piddling grief and fond memories later. Pray for our drive up and down, and for everyone traveling to and fro in this dreadful weather.

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