Funerals give me the runs  

ChinRyder 41M
340 posts
9/9/2006 10:36 am

Last Read:
7/26/2011 7:05 pm

Funerals give me the runs

Figuratively speaking. .......and sometimes literally. Anyway:

My grandmother died on Tuesday. It was sudden- she had a stroke, lived another 12 hours in the hospital and went peacefully in her sleep. Truth be told, she wasn't my real grandmother. My real grandmother died when I was 5; I still have very fond memories of her. But my grandfather has been married to this woman for over 20 years, and all of my younger cousins never knew anyone else, so to them she was "grandmother". Why I'm telling you this I don't know. It's not even my point.

What I'm trying to say is that I hate funerals. Every bit about them. I hate the feeling I get when I'm putting my suit on. I'm the type of guy that would love to be dressed up all the time, but the practical side of me doesn't allow for it. Function always beats form in my book. There's just something about dressing up for a somber occasion.

I hate seeing people that haven't seen me in 20 years and want to know how I've been. How do you sum up the past 20 years of your life (from 5 to 29!!!) in two sentences?!?!?!? And it's not like they really care. It's just people saying what they feel you expect them to say. It's stupid.

Speaking of saying stupid things, my uncle comes up to me (you could tell that he was just searching for some form of conversation) and says "Well, this is one way to get out of work." WHAT!??! Are you serious?!?! Did he honestly think that I was totally incapable of feelings that day? There's just some shit you don't say, and this one ranks right up there.

I did feel something that day. I felt sorry. Sorry for my grandfather. He and I have never had much of a relationship. He's old school, where children should be seen and not heard. Add to that fact that he never liked my mom b/c she's Puerto Rican (my dad's side is blue blood all the way back to Scotland) and you can imagine how his mutt grandson felt in his presence when he was little. I carried that chip on my shoulder all the way through my teenage years. Mom had always tried to get us to reconcile but I figured he was better off going his way and me mine.

He's old now. 90 to be exact. Seeing him at the funeral home I felt sorry for him. Time changed him. When I was 5 and his wife died he stayed strong- refused to cry and told his daughters that there was no use in them crying either. Like I said- old-school hard-ass all the way. This time things were different. Ever since he left the hospital on Tuesday he's repeated over and over, "I don't know what I'm going to do." He'd moved into an assisted living community with her (sorry for being so generic- I just don't want to get too personal on here) in Paducah so that family could look after them both and now he doesn't want to go back.

He had the whole family with him yesterday. His sons, daughters, grandkids and even great-grandchildren. We distracted him for the time being, but eventually we all had to go home. I know how he's going to feel, b/c I've been there before. He's going to go home to that empty apartment. The events of the day are going to wash over him and he's going to cry. I worry that he's not going to make it. I worry that when everything dies down that he's going to feel the loneliness of this world creep over him. I worry that he's going to give up.

Some believe that people never change. That we are who we are from beginning to end. I believe that we run a little deeper. That we are in a constant state of flux. I've known that man for 29 years of my life, and I never thought that I'd see him react the way he has. I just hope that he can put one foot in front of the other and continue the journey down his new path.


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