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This is a question Putting the Fun in Funeral

Some deaths come suddenly or too soon and can really hit hard, others seem to be a blessed relief. Similarly, some funerals can be deeply upsetting and sad, others can make you want to hug the world.

Mmm, don't want to bring you down or anything, but tell us your funeral stories...

(, Thu 11 May 2006, 9:31)
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So many deaths lately, so too many stories
I'll start with the recent one. My father, whom I have seen once since 1977 (in 1991, he showed up on my doorstep, on his fifth divorce) and thought was in another state, turned out to be living in the town I recently moved to and died two blocks from my house on April 23, 2006.

I am named after him, so when my sister was reading the obituaries and saw my name and town, she spit breakfast across the table. Then she saw it was HIM. So contact of siblings begins.

After nights of multiple-sibling calling (four of us), it was decided that my younger brother didn't care any way; my older brother, who got most of the abuse (set himself between dad and us), wanted to see the body but didn't want to fly halfway across the US; my sister and I would go and find out what we needed to know. We also agreed we didn't want any money from him or his estate (like he had any). My sister would't take a pic of the corpse with her celphone for our oldest brother, though.

Dad's grandfather was the Grand Dragon for the KKK in this county, which meant they hated my Catholic mother. But my sister descides to bring her black husband to the wake. We walk in, and I immediately need to take a piss. My sister won't let me. People are amicable enough and shocked to see us.

My cousin is the only one clued in that this is hard for us, and he tells us 1) we have no siblings that my dad knew about (given his sleeping habits, this isn't an all-clear yet, and there's the girl I dated in Uni who didn't know who her dad was. . .) 2) Dad has been divorced eight times (you have to admire the optimism -- "I've been divorced seven times, but THIS is THE ONE.").
Said cousin says that while he was at college, dad was getting married again. Cousin couldn't make it, but told my uncle, "tell him I'll catch him next time." That didn't go over well.

It was all very surreal and white-trash (chav w/o Burberry plaid, for those in the UK). My sister and I were the best-dressed ones there, and she had dressed down from what she planned. Hearing about some of their lives was like watching an episode of Springer.

My sister said that the women kept telling her how pretty she is. I don't know if she understood the unspoken finish to that: "so why did you marry a black man"?

The service, for the small group who attended (about 12, including me and sis), was given by the head of the Christian Bikers group my father apparently helped found, a guy named Leon who refered to himself as "The Rev. Harley Davidson."

Twice during the service, the Rev. opened the floor to anyone who wanted to say something. Apparently, my sister and I were both going over relevant Bible verses we knew so as to avoid having to give any facts about the abusive yahoo (not that she really knew him as she was about 3 when the divorce happened in 1973 and about 7 when he left for good).

This means dad died at 63 and mom died two summers ago at 59. I had great grandparents on both sides, and Nana (mom's mom) is still kicking about, so we always assumed that longevity was in our cards. But now. . . .

&tc., &tc. about the length -- but it's a family thing.
(, Mon 15 May 2006, 19:11, Reply)

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