15 October 2010

Cultural Friday Funny

My grandparents all came from large families, so my parents had around 75 first cousins. All sorts of aunts and uncles. I've been going to funerals my entire life and if your mom is from Tennessee? Funerals are great. That side of the family is really dry and funny, and what I remember most is them sitting around the night before, telling stories and laughing until they cried. Great way to see someone off.

Then...my dad is an only child. My mother has one sister, who had one child. Three of my grandparents died before I was born. That makes one grandparent, one aunt and one first cousin. Total. So my children don't have the funeral experience I grew up with and...sometimes you just forget that things have to be LEARNED.

The Big Boy's uncle died this week. Lovely man...the best of that family. We're making plans earlier this week for The Little Kids to miss school Thursday when The Not Nice Kid asks, in all seriousness, "Will there be food?"

Sheesh. Yes, dear, you're family so they'll feed you but this about Uncle Earl's LIFE. Show a little respect.

We pulled into the parking lot of the funeral home yesterday. Found a parking space, turned off the car and she says, "Do we have to pay?"

PAY? For what? PAY? Okay...learning experience here. No, honey, you don't have to pay. We're here to "pay" our respects, but they don't expect cash.

Mingle and speak and eventually move to our places. And right in the middle of a wonderful service, she turns around and whispers, "Are you sure he's dead?"

Well, hell's bells. The only thing that saved The Nice Kid and I was that it was hard to differentiate between our snorting and the other guests' sniffing. If you've never seen "Chuckles the Clown" from Mary Tyler Moore? You have NO idea how awkward it is to be sitting in the SECOND row at a funeral with tears streaming down your face. OF LAUGHTER.

But when we told it later everyone was agreed that...it was a fitting tribute to a really witty man. He would have approved.

Rest in peace, Earl McGuire ;)

4 comments:

Governor Jen said...

DEFINITELY a learned experience. One I've never learned appropriately, because I always seem to laugh inappropriately at funerals. Nervous response is my plea. But in my defense, at my grandma's funeral when someone remarked that "She looked good" and my uncle (grandma's son) commented, "I don't know, she just looks dead to me." I think I my snorts of laughter were more than justified.

Country Girl said...

YES!!!! What do they mean, "She looks good,"...SHE'S DEAD! Looks good as opposed to WHAT? You've made my day...;)

Tom said...

I don't think I've ever spoken THIS publicly about my father's funeral, but I laughed harder at that than I have at most parties. My father would have laughed too if he had been there, well, I mean, conscious. We told stories on him, on my mother and ourselves. The kicker was really when we discovered, about 40 minutes into the funeral, that we had LEFT DAD IN THE TRUCK!
Seriously, he had been cremated and my brother LEFT HIM IN THE BACK OF THE TRUCK!
Then we announced it in front of the whole assembled group. And then go get him...
We all laughed, some cried, but it was ALL appropriate.

Country Girl said...

Oh Tom...I can't breathe. That SO sounds like something that's going to happen around here. I left out...while we were waiting on the service to start TNNK asked, "What do they do if you're too tall for the casket?" and I explained, with a straight face, that since you're dead and it doesn't matter, they just cut off your feet and put them beside your knees. No one can see them so it doesn't hurt anything. She nodded sagely. No problem.