The Funeral Stalker

Sam's younger brother was killed in a car accident when we'd been married 5 years. He was just 20 years old, and it was as shocking as you can imagine it to be. The day after his death is one that I remember in bits and flashes of stark light and blurry hazes. I was 9 months pregnant with our second child. That was one of the longest weeks in any of our lives. We were through so much, emotionally, that by the time the funeral came we were in an altered state of mind. Paul knew Jesus as his savior. Because of this reassurance that he was in heaven, the funeral was not the end of his life, but a new beginning. We were not sad for Paul; we were selfishly grieving his loss in our lives. But even then, we'd grieved so much through the days leading up to the funeral that we were grateful for any other emotion we could find.

The viewing was particularly difficult. Being 9 months pregnant, and as huge as a barge, I had very little to wear. Neither did I want to rush out and buy something because hello? I was due in a little over a week. I was forced to wear the only dressy thing that fit me at the time. It was a hot pink tent with black polka dots. The polka dots were roughly the size of my fist. Think 80's, and you'll have a very accurate mental image. I was mortified beyond belief, but the funeral wasn't about me so I sucked it up and stood in the receiving line with the family.

There were two viewings the day before the funeral. People were lined up, snaking around different rooms of the funeral home, out onto the sidewalk, and around the back of the building. It was touching, and at times overwhelming. We shook hands, made small talk, received condolences, laughed with friends, reminisced with old acquaintances, and cried with those we hadn't talked to through the long week. It was a non-stop line for hours on end.

We knew everyone, of course. We were just amazed at the people who came. We were touched by the love and kindness shown to the family. And we were quite baffled by the strange woman who crashed the funeral. Her and her two daughters shook our hands like she'd known us all our lives. She said that Paul had been to her house nearly every day for over a year. Her daughters were so close to him. It was such a tragedy, his death, and they'd miss him sorely.

We had no earthly idea who these people were. None of us knew. They were strangers to us all. And there they stood, declaring with their very presence that either they had the wrong funeral home, or that Paul had a secret life. We scratched our heads in wonder, and allowed them to move on.

The next day at the funeral, the lady and her daughters were among those in attendance. We saw them coming into the back of the church and whispered amongst ourselves that the strange strangers were back. They were now funeral stalkers. But she came closer. She kept inching her way to the front of the church so that she was finally at the pew where my sister-in-law and I were sitting. She took my sister-in-law's hand and looked deeply into her eyes. She said, "I had a dream last night. You're pregnant, aren't you?"

Um, hello? Elephant in hot pink here! I think you have the wrong sister-in-law, honey. I was the pregnant one, not the stick figure she was talking to. The lady was clearly not with us. My sister-in-law reassured her that she was not pregnant, and the lady gave her a knowing look that said she knew differently. She then vanished into the crowd.

Our Joshua Paul was born 15 days after the funeral. My sister-in-law didn't get pregnant with her next child until 2 years later. We still wonder about the psycho funeral stalker. Who was she? How did she know Paul? Did she really have the right funeral? Or was she just some random lady with a weird obsession for dead people's families?

The world will never know, and we'll always wonder. We'll never think of Paul's funeral without her being a small part of it.


Flea said...

That is just too bizarre. Wow. I almost hope you never find out.

Anonymous said...

Freaky! I seriously think there are people out there who get up everyday and check the obituaries to see where they will be making an appearance. And it really makes you wonder how well you truly know others - even family.

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

I hope it's not completely inappropriate that I laughed through most of this post. After you started describing your dress, that is!

We had a wedding reception crasher. The video/photo guy said that he was a lonely old man who read the newspapers and attended any wedding receptions (not the ceremonies!) when the announcement said "friends and family invited." He went through the receiving line. If you were to watch the video, you'll see a glimpse of him. But then the cameraman would turn away to try to keep him off screen! I wish we had more of him on film.

Some people are just crazy. Some people are just lonely. The crazy ones are more fun.

Hope WDW is awesome for y'all! said...

Well, that smacks of a prime time detective show! Very interesting... I wish there was some way to find out who she was. Did she maybe sign the visitation book?

Karen Deborah said...

pretty weird but it's a funny story with the mental pictures I got of you as a pink polka dot elephant.

Gina said...

I get lonely, but to crash a funeral is too weird.

Michelle said...

Weird. But ... no harm done, and I hope that it was something that helped her with whatever she needed. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Andrea said...

Strange, and how strange would it have been if she had been prego and not known it!! At least you have a slightly good memory about the funeral.

Roger said...

At least she didn't try to put a curse on you, or something freaky like that.

Hope that WDW is treating you and your family well. :)

Shellie said...

Interesting... makes you wonder. But what a different memory to have of a funeral. In any case sorry for your loss, I'm sure you still miss your brother in law.

Leanne said...

All right then.

What a wonderful story.

And I'm still sorry for your loss.