Definition of funeral according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary
Why exactly did I look up the definition of the word funeral? What was I seeking? How about the words traumatic? Celebration? Finality? Those are the words that come to mind when I think of funeral.
There’s something about being at a funeral that is unique to each person but also unifying to all in signifying the end. The sights are definitely similar. I will go ahead and make people feel bad, not on purpose, but share with you that I dislike flowers at funerals. The smells of all those flowers mingle together and make you nauseas, especially when you are the one the flowers are sent to. The smell during my husbands’ visitation will never leave me. It is imprinted in my mind.
It should also not be lost on others that sending cut flowers to someone, while pretty at the time, do what after several days? They DIE. You are sending flowers to someone who has just lost someone so they can watch your flowers die and then you have to get rid of those as well? Anyone else find fault in this ritual?
A funeral is a celebration of a person. It is the representation that life does end. There's a finality that closes that person off to you at their funeral. I attended the first funeral this week since attending my husband's. Tears rolled down my cheeks on the ride there. I tried to drown myself in music. I talked to Daniel, seeking strength. I flipped through the radio channels and landed on 99.7. I felt Daniel as Rocket Man vibrated off the car windows. Sobs shook my shoulders and tears blurred my vision. The similarities of this funeral were overwhelming, the process slamming me in the face and bringing my 18 month old tragedy right back to the present.
I pulled into the parking lot early, a personality characteristic I can’t avoid. I was as anxious as I’ve been in a long time. I took a few deep breaths, put on my blazer and climbed from my car hiding behind my sunglasses until the last possible moment as it would have been inappropriate for me to leave them on. (I am after all, not a famous rapper, rocker or country singer that looks cool in my shades, regardless of what my kids believe.) My hands were literally shaking and for the first time in my life I second guessed wearing my signature pumps that make me me.
Shaking like a leaf I bee-lined to the bathroom to get myself together before facing the family. Breathe in, breathe out; I pasted a smile on my face and headed toward the receiving line.
After stumbling through my condolences I slunk past the widower and slid into a chair in the back, happy to rest my quaking legs, alone with my grief. I sat through the funeral yearning for a hand to hold onto as the widower spoke of chemotherapy and body scans his wife endured that were all too familiar. He has joined my club. I’m positive he wants to rescind the membership. I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t want to be a part of this club either. Anger briefly boils in me toward cancer as I watch the slideshow showing cancer disrupting this family, stripping them down. My shoulders shook with theirs. I know. I KNOW.
A reception followed afterward but I fled. I didn’t have the strength to endure anymore. I probably should not have come but this was not about me. This was about supporting a friend and honoring his mother regardless of how uncomfortable it made me. This is life, enjoying the good but also accepting that life is in fact unfair and supporting those that are important to you.
My drive home was combustible. Stifled emotions flew out the sunroof and poured from my wrecked body. A funeral should make you remember and think about simple pleasures in life. It should remind you to live. To do those things you want to do. It should remind you to be a person of value. It should remind you to hold onto those you love a little tighter. Be thankful for this life. LIVE.
Meet the Author (me)
Driven by a need to help others. I have known from a young age that this is what I wanted to do. This is my very real, somewhat sarcastic, look into my newfound widowhood. I hope this site will help you as much as it helps me.