Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Conversations At the Funeral Home

I have no pictures for this post, darn...but I thought people might frown on me taking pictures last night at the funeral home.
The man in the casket, (I'll call him Jim) was the father of my ex-son-in-law. (Stay with me here. It gets complicated.) That means he was the grandfather of 3 of my grandchildren. I wouldn't say he was a friend, but we would visit with him and his wife at the grandkids' birthday parties and other gatherings over the years.
As we walked to the door of the funeral home, we passed a newly constructed area, approximately the size of a small room. There was a large, wall-size glass window in the front of it, right next to the sidewalk.
I said, "Look Kalisha. This is where they put your casket if you can't afford the big room inside. People can just walk past on the sidewalk and look at you."
She thought about that for a bit. I could see the wheels turning...then she looked at me and said, "What do they do if it's raining?" I had to tell her I was kidding; I had no idea what that room was for. But we had a good laugh about it.

As we stood in line, she asked, "So, he was the same age as Dad?"
"Yes, he was exactly one year younger than your dad."
"I wonder if anyone will call me when Dad dies."
"I'm sure someone will let you know, Kalisha."
"Will I have to say anything at the funeral?"
"I doubt it. But you better start practicing for what you're going to say at my funeral."
"Okay. Are you going to Dad's funeral?"
Now there's a question I have asked myself a few times. We were married for nearly 40 years and we do have 5 kids together, but would I go to the funeral? I haven't decided that yet.
"I will make sure you get there, Kalisha, whether I go or not."
"I think I better call Dad when we leave here."
"Why? Are you going to tell him you're checking on his health?"
"No. I will just talk for a little bit."
"Good idea."

When we reached his widow, Kalisha gave her a big hug and asked, "Are you going to be all right?"
Then..always wanting to know all the details, she asked, "Were you with him when he died?"
Sue explained the whole scenario and what happened and where and when.

Before we left, Kalisha spotted her ex-brother-in-law's half brother, Sam. (Are you still with me?)
We have not seen Sam in probably 10 years. I would not have recognized him. Kalisha went straight across the room to him, hugged him and told him she was sorry about his dad. I was watching and hoping this guy was really Sam. It was.
She saw several other people she knew. She is always gracious, shakes hands and chats a bit.

We left and as soon as she got outside, she called her dad. He was at a restaurant and didn't talk long. I think she just needed to know he was still alive or something.

Funeral homes do have a way of making you think about your own life and death, don't they?

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