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Anatomy of a Funeral Part 4

April 14, 2008

Part 4 ~ The Viewing

I walked into the funeral home with my parents on either side of me. My mom with her giant gas station coffee cup and my dad with no tie. We are greeted by my uncle Bill who finally hands my dad a tie, and I’m not sure but I think I remember it being a clip on. We were just about the last to arrive so the family is all in the room already. It’s such a strange thing to me. Standing in a room with your dead loved one. I don’t want to remember people in death. I think it etches itself into every other memory of them. It’s not healing for me, it’s scarring.
The room is filled with my family who hasn’t all been in the same room for 15 years. We used to be one family but now we were split into nine. They were like strangers. Ghosts of people I used to know all there to say goodbye to the one person who linked us. Everyone is in the room, and I was standing against the wall not talking to anyone, I mean what do I really have to say? I hugged random aunts and uncles as they passed, made some small talk with some cousins, but that was it. My mom went around the room with an injured look on her face hugging people and saying she was sorry. She isn’t really thinking of their pain, just her own.
She then dumped her giant jug-o-coffee all over my aunt jenny and the floor in a move she claimed accidental. She made a big scene of course.
While I’m standing watching the mess, my uncle Charlie comes over to me and says,”you’re not going to believe this, but your aunt Peggy didn’t like the lipstick color they had on my mom so she wiped it off her and borrowed your aunt sally’s lipstick and put it on her.”
I just looked at him and asked if he was kidding. He wasn’t. Then he said, “do you think she will still use that lipstick now?”
Then it was time to do the weird let’s line up and do a casket walk by. I hate these but I didn’t want to be the asshole and not go up. My mom grabbed onto me and wanted me to walk with her. I hate when she grabs onto me. I don’t want to snuggle. I don’t want to smell like pot, tobacco, and primo. So I did the obligatory walk by. I didn’t touch her or talk to her, I just walked by quickly and exited the room. In the hallway I found myself once again standing with my uncle Charlie. He was digging through this bowl of hard candies. He looked up at me and asked if I thought they had any orange candy because that was the kind he really wanted. I said, man this is a funeral home not Fuzzywigs magic candy shop. Come on.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sally baltes permalink
    July 21, 2014 10:59 pm

    So I’ve veered away from your most recent blog about my brother and on to this. I can’t talk about Michael right now as you yourself said, I am not processing it. However a little follow up to this…. NO I never used that godamn expensive lipstick again. It was my favorite aveda lipstick called cherise and now I won’t even buy it anymore. We really are a fucking hot mess aren’t we??? Love you

    • Candra Squire permalink*
      July 22, 2014 12:16 am

      If it wasn’t messy it wouldn’t be real.

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