I must say, funerals can be quite comedic. I know, they're not supposed to be, but life is full of humor and I would think that the deceased would want his family and friends to laugh a little.
Remember how in my last post I was thinking about wearing leopard print shoes with my all-black outfit but wondering if that would be tacky? I need not have worried.
My sister and I got to the funeral home and one of the first people we saw was a women wearing a black dress with rainbow-hued rhinestones all over it. It looked like a unicorn had puked on her. Definitely a good dress for the Homecoming dance or a pageant, but not a funeral. Even better, she was wearing her black Birkenstocks with it.
Most everyone else was dressed appropriately. Suits, dresses, tasteful clothes, etc. My sister, the Chief of the Fashion Police, approved.
[Side note: I didn't actually wear the leopard print shoes. My sister took one look and said something to the tune of, "Over my dead body." Since we already had one funeral on our hands, I decided to spare my family. I still think I could have gotten away with it. Read on...]
And then, another woman arrived at a 2:00 funeral, ready for a night on the town. She was of ample proportions and was wearing a black cocktail dress. It was sleeveless and cut down low. The skirt was layer upon billowy layer of sheer black fabric. Sort of like a tutu for hookers. Upon further reflection, I do believe my grandfather would have loved it.
The service itself was, um, interesting.
The minister had never met the deceased and it was obvious, especially when he talked about my grandfather as a "devoted husband and loving father."
The Good Reverend opted to fill about 20 of the 30 minutes with a good old fashioned Southern Baptist sermon that had absolutely nothing to do with the funeral and everything to do with converting the sinners who were present. Instead of actually paying attention, I went to my Happy Place and pondered other things, such as: why do people like NASCAR?
I'm not sure what was going on with the organist during the service. Possibly she was back there smoking pot. Maybe she had started Happy Hour early -- after all, it was 5:00 somewhere. All I know is that the first verse of "Amazing Grace" was funereal and quite dramatic. Sort of like what Celine Dion would choose for her own funeral. The second verse, however, well that was when the organist just decided, "To hell with tradition! I'm having FUN! Wheeee!!!" We have now dubbed that part of the hymn "Amazing Grace as Circus Music." To cover my laughter, I bent forward and covered my face, hoping everyone would think that I was merely overcome with emotion.
My stepmother leaned over and whispered, "Don't you dare play this at my funeral."
To which I responded, "Don't worry, you're getting the Rolling Stones."
At that point, my sister looked over at us and mouthed, "Stop it." Party pooper.
We got through the rest of the service and went to the cemetery. The service was short and sweet. I even got a little misty-eyed when the Army officers folded the flag and presented to my grandmother.
Then, we had the Dove Ceremony.
Y'all know what that is, right?
I didn't then, but I sure as hell do now.
The minister talked about the symbolism of the dove, blah blah blah, and then my aunt -- the one who planned this whole shebang, including the shiteous country music song that played as we left the chapel -- released a dove, which then hightailed it the hell out of there.
I leaned over to my stepmother and whispered, "When it's your turn, I'm getting a parrot. [pause] And it's going to cuss like a sailor when we release it."
Who said funerals aren't fun?