I was having a discussion with myself the other day, and feeling a bit morbid. What’s the deal with funerals and wakes? Can someone explain? (Rhetorical. If I really wanted to know, I would Google it.) I don’t get the whole open-casket thing. Really, really creepy for me. I’ve been to my share of wakes in the past couple of years. Enough to last for my lifetime, and it’s just odd. What gives? I guess it’s part of the grieving process to view that person one last time. I dunno. It’s not like they can see or hear you. They paint you all up with more makeup than a KISS show (funeral parlours/undertakers are what keeps Loreal in business. or is it Benjamin Moore paints?). Sometimes it looks like the original person, but a much younger version, and sometimes it resembles Bozo the Clown. Whatever they do doesn’t matter, ‘cause after a few hours, everything begins to sag. Creepy. I know everyone thinks this, I just have the guts to say it out loud (or at least write it). Creepy, creepy, creepy.
I‘ve been to Jewish funerals. They got it right. They skip the whole wake and open-casket thing. Sometimes they have a bit of a memorial, and then the dead person gets put into the ground in a simple pine box. All the men stay and backfill the hole until all the dirt is put back. I’ve done this and I think this practice shows great respect for the deceased and his or her family. Goys (non-Jews) do the “ashes to ashes”, lower it down and then walk away and let strangers do the backfilling.
I had the honour of being a pallbearer at my Grandma’s funeral and that was really great for me. But, like I said before, I could have done without the open-casket part. It kind of makes me want to throw up in my mouth a bit. People talking to it and touching it. Jesus, it gives me the heeby-jeebies. Each to his own, I guess.
When my time comes, and I hope it’s not for a while (wow, this is morbid), I want to just be put in the ground the cheapest way possible and I want everyone to have a party. Play lots of metal music and drink and eat. Do I need to write this in a will? Hmmmmm….
And another thing I don’t like (well there is nothing to like about these events) is shaking hands with the masses (clammy, sweaty and cold hands—the flu, H1N1 etc.) oh, and I really like the people who explain who they are. Not! I’m being facetious. If I’m on the receiving end or if I’m doing the walk through, I don’t care to introduce myself. If you don’t already know me, then it probably doesn’t matter who I am at that particular juncture. I don’t need to know that you played golf with the person, or you are the former cousin twice removed, or the deceased was your grocery man, and so on. Holy crap, when you’re on the receiving end, you have to wear name tags. I think the people walking through should be the ones wearing the name tags and a little synopsis about themselves and how they knew the person – then you wouldn’t have to even speak. Much faster, no one holding up the line. Am I crazy here or what? I think I have a point. The last wake I went to, I switched name tags with my wife, just to mess with people. Peeps would look and say “Hey, you’re not Karen” … No shit! But it was funny for me (I’ve got a sick sense of humour). It also helped pass the time and keep my mind of the situation a bit.
Now that I got that out, I feel much better. This blogging stuff has its perks. It’s like therapy, good stuff, and now I need a large cool drink. … Wanna join me?