Friday, April 28, 2006

Worse than death

There are few things worse than a family funeral. Well, clearly there are lots of things worse . . . vivisection, genocide, sleeping with Donald Rumsfeld, to name but a few.

I suppose the best thing to say is family funerals suck. Big time.

For me, it's less about the deceased - they're beyond mortal concerns, in a better place, blah, blah, blah - it's about seeing people I love in pain. When my grandmother passed away a couple of years ago, it was the only time I can remember seeing my dad lose it. We are not an extremely demonstrative family, so when I say 'lose it,' I'm not talking about gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. He just couldn't speak. And he cried, which I had never seen.

Recently, I went to another funeral and this time it was my mom who was grieving. Seeing her cry feels like being cut by razor blades or splashed with acid. It's so unexpected and alien. Deep down inside, there's a part of me that is still a little kid who thinks his parents are invincible. It's always a shock to be reminded that they aren't.

And of course, there is the ever-present reminder that someday (God willing not for a long, long time), I will be standing by the coffin of someone I love, someone who should have been invincible. And when I think of that, I'm struck with a dread, paralyzing fear. And following right behind that feeling is the greater fear that when I'm the one in the coffin, there will be no one standing next to it, mourning me.


Jess said...

If you died before us (I would hope not, since you're younger than us), I assure you we would be there grieving, and I'm sure we wouldn't be alone!

As for your recent pain (seeing your mother grieve), I know exactly what you mean. It's very hard to watch the ones we love in pain, whether it's emotional or physical. I really think it's easier to suffer ourselves than to witness our loved ones suffering.

David said...

Wow, that's a lot of stuff for one post. I'm hoping that my parents will repeat the trend of their parents and that by the time they go, it will be no surprise and in some ways a relief.

Since I won't be there, I don't think it will matter to me if my funeral is attended by thousands or just the grave digger.

Robert said...

Nicely put Crash. Even though it was difficult for you to see them in such vulnerable state, I'm glad that your parents can show such tremendous emotions and just be free...

Death brings forth life, if one's willing to see it. Happy Monday Crash.

mark said...

it's tough watching a mother grieve. My mother has lost many of her friends lately. Kind of scary for her as well as us. None of us like to think about the mortality of our parents.

Me on the other hand, well...there had better be a huge parade, tons of parties and lots of food otherwise, I'm coming back to haunt people.

Michael said... what you say about vivisection! :)

Zenchick said...

I'm lame on reading blogs lately, so this is belated, but I'm sorry for your family's loss. Thinking of you.