Funeral Funnies

With the funeral of Sam's grandfather looming this weekend, I was reminiscing about funerals past. Don't worry, it's not as morbid as it sounds.

My dad's mother had Alzheimer's. My grandparents lived with us while I was growing up, and things got interesting when she started to forget. My mother deserves saint status for taking care of her mother-in-law for so many years. When Gram passed on, it was almost a blessing. We knew that Gram had Jesus in her heart and was assured of going to heaven, so we were rejoicing that she was healed and whole again. Her funeral was not a sad event. In fact, it was quite funny.

Sam and I were dating at the time. We met through my cousins, who lived just down the road. Our Aunt Sally (Gram's sister-in-law) would come visit us in the summer and stay a week at a time at the farm. We absolutely loved when Aunt Sally visited. We'd go for long walks, stay up way past bedtime, and play Uno until we were cross eyed. Aunt Sally didn't tolerate cheating and would call you out in a heated debate if she caught you. The irony lies in the fact that Aunt Sally invented a new way to cheat with every game that she played, and vehemently defended her honor if someone was gutsy enough to call her on it. The older Aunt Sally got, the more deaf she became. She had extra large hearing aids in each ear, but for all the good they did they could have just been for show. Aunt Sally talked loudly, her hearing aids whistled louder, and everyone yelled to make themselves heard when they talked to her.

Aunt Sally was at Gram's funeral, of course. While Aunt Sally was one of our favorite people, we all tried to avoid her at the funeral. We didn't want the entire world hearing us shouting. But Sally inadvertently cornered me and started with the questions. It had been quite a number of years since she'd been to the farm and we'd grown up. She would randomly point to one of my cousins and shout "which one is that?" I'd answer her inquiry, and try to explain whether it was the one that wrecked his car, the one that played Uno with us, the one that broke his arm, or the one who was dating that girl that dumped him. When we got through with all those I saw her eyeballing Sam. And then she asked The Question, "Who is that one?" I lied. "I don't know." And I walked away. There was no way that I was going to shout for the entire funeral home full of guests to hear that I was dating. Sam was there as much for my cousins' sake as mine. Sam found this highly amusing, and was quite relieved that I didn't publicly shout his name through the crowded halls.

Being a family of boys, my cousins each felt the need to drive their own vehicles to the funeral despite the fact that they all still lived at home. Sam rode with me. (He got in the car before Aunt Sally noticed.) Since we were immediate family, we each got little magnetic flags on our rides. It was one huge processional, let me tell you. And while we were still in town, my cousins decided to race each other to see who would be in the lead, because apparently the first one to the cemetery wins. One of the doofuses ended up in front of the hearse by taking a side street and cutting it off. It was rather embarrassing to be publicly identified as related to them via the magnetic flags waving in the breeze.

At the grave site, my cousins and the pastor's son, all pallbearers, brought the casket to the designated spot. As we were standing around in the January cold, the pastor's son fell into the open grave. It took a few men to lift him up out, and more than few minutes to explain to the crowd what had just happened.

Somehow, dear Aunt Sally ended up at the back of the crowd. This was not good. She started to whisper, albeit loudly, that the pastor did not say "ashes to ashes." We all tried to politely ignore her. She repeated herself no less than 3 times until she was nearly shouting. People were snickering and the preacher had a look of utter disbelief on his face. He had to pause his eulogy so that someone could yell, "Yes! He did!" That someone was me.

It's kind of a wonder that Sam ended up marrying into the family at all. But I'm sure that Gram would have approved of him.

10 comments:

Karen said...

That is a great story. My son was the entertainment at last weekends funeral. I'm going to get around to blogging about one of these days.

Melissa said...

OMG! I can't believe that the pastors son fell into the grave. Holy cow! Hard to come up with an excuse for that!!

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

Thanks for the giggles!

In the South, when a funeral procession approaches, traffic in every direction pulls off the side of the road. Cars, big-rig trucks, school buses, everything. Is it that way for PA too? I've always wondered how reginal that custom is.

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Funerals suck, so finding the funny is the only way to cope. At my grandpa's funeral almost four years ago, my family was CRUSHED. It was a sudden death and we were not prepared. We all gathered at the funeral home before the funeral and my husband sat on a low bench and his pants ripped. We're talking an eight inch slit in his black pin stripes with his fire engine red boxers on display. At his expense, my entire family was able to smile. That smile turned to laughter. That laughter turned to belly laughs and thanks to his butt, we got through the day.

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

Sounds a bit like MY family!

Funerals are much better when you can rest assured knowing the one who's passed on has gone to a better place - they can be a great time of reminiscing, and sad but true - one of the only times family may be all together.

:-)

Leanne said...

I love it. But what I really love is knowing that it's just not me whose family is slightly insane. :)

Michelle said...

Oh that cracks me up! I can only hope that my funeral is something that makes people giggle rather than cry.

And hey -- if Sam survives through that, you know you're meant for each other, right? :)

Trannyhead said...

Some poor kid fell into the hole? That's so fantastic. It's kind of like my wedding where all those people fell down. Maybe at my funeral, we'll just have people rolling around on the ground. It'll be hawt.

HalfAsstic.com said...

I swear, it's not "Is this a crazy family?", because they ALL are... But more of a question of, What particular brand of crazy is this family.

Daisy said...

If he could handle a day like that with the family, he's a keeper. So glad you're able to share these stories!