No, not really........but it still sucked. For those just tuning in, as per my earlier diary, my mother died Sunday 2/24/13 of congestive heart failure. I got back from the service in the afternoon, partially to take care of the dog, left alone all day, and in large part to avoid the memorial afterwards at my parent's pastor's home with ALL the church people.
After the graveside service, I know I couldn't have dealt with it.
As I told an old friend of mine, who surprised me, by showing up at the event, "Now you know why I am so fucked up."
More after the orange cloud thing.
It all started rather dully. We drove to the funeral home, and after some initial final paperwork, went into the viewing room, my father, my mother in her open casket and I. She looked okay, if a little fake-ish. We made a little small talk while we waited for others to show. The funeral home does this weird thing of giving the family a large 4'x3' (my guess) woven mat, which had the picture you supplied printed on it large, over a peaceful background with some related objects photoshopped with it along with the dates. My mother had a big old bible, with wedding rings, along with "55 years of love" on it. This image will come into play later. Also, for some reason I never got an explanation for, along with the funeral home name, the GEICO logo was stamped on part of it. No idea. As people begin to arrive, I tended to zone out, as I know very few of them, and no one anywhere near my age (I turn 50 next week). So I smile and nod a lot.
As more people arrive, I wandered to the chapel in the building, where another service was set up, but oddly no mourners, even though the remembrance book a a fair amount of names, the casket (closed) was set up, some nice large flower arrangements surrounding it, as well as the obligatory woven mat picture thing (this one has a guitar on it as well as the words "Groove to the 80s & 90s"). The thing that struck me was that he was only 19 years old. It was sad. And when I looked him up when I got home, I discovered that his mother had died before him and that he had be arrested and released on bond in November for assault with a deadly weapon. No idea if there was any relation.
Back to things. In the course of standing around, I discover that of the front page of our remembrance book, there were typos, and my brother was not listed as deceased, as were several of my mother's brothers. Later we found the remembrance cards, which had already been distributed, all had the wrong death date. They wrote December 24, 2013, instead of February 24, 2013. We informed them of this and they said they would fix it, which by the time I left with the book and florals, they had not been and they said they'd mail it. At some point a see a Saturn(!) with a Romney/Ryan AND a Ted Cruz sticker on it. Not sure whose it was and whether they were at our service, but I didn't see it as a good sign.
Meanwhile, more and more people arrive, few who I know. I just smile and nod until the noise level gets to me. I've lost a lot of my hearing over the last few years, and the aids just tend to amplify crowd noise. Needless to say, shortly before the dash to the gravesite, a good friend of mine from my jr/sr high years shows up and we chat a bit, then a woman I've known since childhood shows up (I didn't recognize her at first) and we chat also (there's some not pleasant background story with her mother, but probably not the best to bring it up). I ride with my male friend to the grave site, and sit up front. The service starts. It's a minorly Jesusy at first, nothing I can't deal
with. Then an old family friend, another pastor speaks. He's from the Philippines, a nice man, not in the best of health, but drones on and one about Jesus, and my parents being so "not racially prejudiced" over and over. This of course was not true. While there were a few Hispanic and Philippino members there, there were no African-Americans at all. I'm not saying my parents were racist, at least now, but in my childhood it was different. My brother and I were moved from public school to a Baptist school to avoid having a black teacher, which of course, I had, when I was eventually moved back. Damage was done though. Now the best part.
The white preacher began speaking again, saying that these were my mother's words. She wanted everyone there to know she was with Jesus, and that anyone there that wasn't a believer (i.e. me) should listen to the word of the Lord. Proselytizing from the grave as it were. The second thing the preacher said she wanted everyone to know aside from her massive Jesus love, was her 55 year love of he husband and how it was so very important to her. And that was basically it. I'm not sure I really expected anything else, but it fit the woven mat thing. Me.....I never rated. My brother didn't either. Of course, we were both gay, and he was most likely was an alcoholic. When I was in therapy, it came up that between Jesus and their own kids, Jesus came first. I'm surprised I was even mention in the obit. See, this is how it was in my family. The real abuse was indifference and passive aggressiveness. Not a real horror show, but there's damage done nevertheless. This seems to be my only outlet, as I no longer can afford therapy, and no one that I can share feelings with, comfortably. So anonymous posting to strangers, it is!!
Anyway, I came home after that.....strangely neither depressed, suicidal, angry or anything really. Just typing on a too small keyboard along with an annoying little dog wanting attention. What comes next, I don't know.
She rated 2 plants, a basket of flowers and a vase.
Thanks for reading.