Sunday, July 19, 2015


I'm not a huge fan of funerals. I mean, I see their purpose, and I appreciate the chance to attend memorials for people I've known and loved.

Funerals are hard. They are sad--duh--and awkward and weird and uncomfortable. If you're a family member of the deceased, they're a little more manageable because you have a script to follow, places to be, plans to attend to, and you generally know a large percentage of the people in attendance.

Funerals for people who have lived long, happy lives and/or suffered a great deal before death can even be sort of a relief for those of us who have watched the decline and illness and pain.

But the funeral I'm going to today is for the partner of someone I don't know well; I know her well enough to know too much. The funeral I'm going to today is for someone who had indeed suffered a great deal and chose to end the suffering herself in a rather unpleasant way. The funeral today is for someone I only knew about through the partner/friend, and in a context where she was not presented in a good light. As a result of her death, my friend has been left in a particularly untenable financial situation, which is not what one wants to think about in the midst of mourning.

I really really hate these funerals. Funerals for people who died too young, who died because they lost focus on the important and good things around these suck. They make me ANGRY. I feel impotent and helpless and overwhelmed. And awkward and weird and uncomfortable.

This is one of those moments when I know that the whole "do what makes you happy" school of thought is dead wrong. Because there is pretty much nothing happy-making about the next two hours.

ADDENDUM: It was actually somewhat worse than expected. Let me count the ways:
  • The family-of-birth of the honoree completely dissed the partner. She wasn't mentioned in the bulletin or acknowledged by the speaker/pastor. Yes, they were a lesbian couple. That shouldn't matter--they were together for 10 years!
  • It was held in the "atrium"-like area of one of those mega-church branches, which is located in an industrial park. The acoustics were abysmal, and the space was too small for the number of people. It was like someone's living room on meth.
  • The location may be the reason people were still arriving 20 minutes after the scheduled start time.
  • They burned foul incense, and maybe sage (which I get, but not with the incense, yuck) before the service, and played mental carousel music afterwards.
  • People walked in carrying Starbucks. W T F ?
  • The pastor/leader had obviously never met the honoree and barely had her name figured out, though the fact of her suicide was mentioned, and then waved away. And then the dude did a (modified) altar call in the midst of the homily, complete with a prayer for those committing themselves to Jesus, and the offer of Bibles after the service! As a Christian, I just wanted to melt into the floor.
  • The family never spoke to the partner--and vice versa--and when the partner was getting more attention, the mom commenced WASPy weeping.
God save us all from the drama kings and queens around us, and from mean, vindictive, clueless people at these times.

0 thing(s) to say:

Post a Comment

Talk it up now!

| Top ↑ |