Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Family Fun

My grandmother just died. It was a long time coming and even she, in the end, was heard to say, "what's taking Him so long?!" This in reference to having to wait on God's timing. In deed. 

Funerals are not really my thing. And really, are they anyone's? I think it's because people don't really know what to do, and so you wind up around all these awkward feeling folks. All because they want to be there to help you and make you feel better. Ironic, isn't it?

But this funeral really took the cake. There was a marvelous eulogy by my father, chronicling the life of my grandmother. And then it took an odd turn as my dad told stories mostly about his dad, and not too much about his mom. No matter, I thought. People grieve and say what's on their mind. Then my mom stood up. She spoke a lovely sentiment about how my grandmother told her about Jesus, and shepherded her through the beginnings of her faith. And then, as if she couldn't find anything else to say, spoke about how fair she was in her gift giving (read stingy) and what a good financial planner she was. And then there was the sing-songy poem that my cousin had to read from my grandmother's sister. 

To top it all off, there was the gospel message, delivered (again and again) by Pastor Ed. My grandmother was always a church going woman, and in her later years hooked up with a rinky-dink little Baptist church. They believe, among other things, that the King James Version of the bible is the closest to the original, as it's the oldest English version we have. (I'm not making this up.) Naturally there was an altar call - and of all things, my son raised his hand at the prompting of the pastor. Good grief!

The thing that drives me wild is that no one spoke of my grandmother as I knew her to be. Why did they feel the need to sugarcoat her? She was cranky, and mean, and honest, and devoted to her family, and lived life on her own terms. I think there is a lot in there to love. I wish I had decided to say something at the funeral. I had no idea that she would be glossed over on the day we set aside to honor her life. Too weird.


Jules said...

I adore your honesty.

Anonymous said...

I can so relate, Amy. When my grandma died (my mom's mom) I remember the pastor asking for input for the service ... what was she like, what did she do. Everyone just looked at each other and said little. Grandma whistled, she did it when she watched tv, when she cooked (which wasn't often), drove ... she whistled. I don't remember if that made it to the service or not but I don't think it did, everyone forgot. Grandma was a grump. I loved her dearly but facts are facts, she was a grouchy old woman who was also lonely (grandpa died many years before). I remember good things but I also remember many more not so nice traits. None of that was talked about, it was hush hush.

I hope when I die people speak the truth, I'm a bitch, outspoken, overbearing, obnoxious, and so honest it hurts sometimes.

Hugs to you dear, I too wish I'd have spoken when my grandma passed but that's ok, I knew her well and I loved her for the strong independent, albeit cranky, woman she was.