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Anatomy of a Funeral Part 5

April 14, 2008

Part 5 ~ The Catholic Mass

With the viewing over I got back into the car with my parents to go to the church for mass. While on the way I hear my mom from the back seat get all excited and yell, “hey I found a beer rolling around back here!”. She then asked my dad if he wanted to split it. He graciously declined and she said, “well Im drinking it myself then”. So she sat in the back seat and drank her warm stinky beer and my dad and I talked about the family.
We arrived at the church and stood in a big clump waiting to get in. My dad came over laughing and told me that uncle Charlie has just told him about his morning. Apparently uncle Charlie was in the bathroom that morning and started to call for his wife urgently. She ran into the bathroom to see what was wrong and he said to her, “Ang, will you wipe me?” She called him a sicko and my dad found this to be hilarious. I didn’t want my mom to talk to anyone because I didn’t want them to smell her stank old beer, cigarette, and pot breath. She didn’t seem to care however. She was a mile a minute with all the chats. Finally the line started to move and we were ushering into the church, I told my mom not to stand so close to me because when the lightening hits her I didn’t want to be a casualty. My aunt Sally overheard this and really laughed loud.
We were seated in the 3rd row and watched as they rolled the casket into the aisle. I hate Catholic mass man. All the stand up, sit down, get on your knees, raise the roof, do the wave bullshit has got to go. I never know what the hell the priest or whatever he is called is talking about. I don’t get the drinking of the wine, and the eating of the wafer ritual. I don’t get anything about to be honest. So while everyone is all into and listening, Im watching. I’m watching the kid in front of me try to sit when he is supposed to be standing and his dad pinching him to get up. Im watching one of the other priests actually decay right in front of my eyes. Im watching people cry. Im watching the casket and thinking about my grandma inside.
There was a singer there who kept breaking into songs at weird intervals. It really felt like I was watching a live commercial for the Catholic church. It was really making me laugh inappropriately. Every five minutes my dad would say to me, “man isn’t this guy an awesome singer?” He kept telling me the singer was requested because he was my grandma’s favorite.
All during the service my mom kept saying, “I have to pee come with me!” I kept telling her no, it wasn’t my fault she chugged beer on the way here.
You know what else is annoying about the Catholic service? The part where you have to shake hands with everyone and say, peace be with you. I never know how many shakes is enough. When can I stop with the shaking game? I just look around awkwardly and hope I am done with the peace givings.
When the service was over we were all standing outside the church. I was waiting for Bill and the kids to come pick me up and save me from one more second with my parents, and everyone else was chatting and making plans for what was going to happen next. My dad was talking to his best friend Jim and my mom interrupted to inform them that she needed to get going because she wanted to stop and get beer on the way to the burial. Everyone looked at her with disbelief, but not me. I believed it.
Bill arrived me and saved me from this day just in time. I drove to the cemetery with Bill and the ladies and told him of my adventures so far. We got to the cemetery and by the time we walked all the way up to the burial site, it was just about over.
We walked the long frigid walk back to the car. I was relieved this day was almost over. The only thing that was left was the after funeral gathering and eating of the food.

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