Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Groundhog Day

It has been talked about before in blogland about repeating one single day from your life over and over again. Today was a little too realistic for me. You may remember about two weeks ago when I told you about my 101 year old great-aunt that passed away. She lived for a number of years (mostly not very happy ones) with her son-in-law. He was a gruff man of few words. It seemed as the years went on that the two of them were having a pissing match of sorts to see who would out live the other. So, when my great-aunt passed away, we thought it was a done deal.

Last Friday though we get a call from the family..."the son-in-law is dead." Well you know none of us could believe it. It was like the fire was taken out of him when my great-aunt died so what was the use in living anymore.

Today was the funeral. Held at the same time, same church, same people in attendance, same cemetery as two weeks ago. The weather was nowhere near as nice as it was two weeks ago. It was gray, windy and cold. The same words were spoken amongst those in attendance; "no more meeting like this," "thanks for coming," "he went so quickly," and so on. One thing that was significantly different was the overwhelming smell of flowers. The smell was inside my car, and it was outside at the cemetery. That smell always seems to get me like a punch in the gut. My mom used to swear that meant someone died or was about to die. Geesh, no more funerals please!!

So, there we stood where the mound of fresh dirt covered the grave of my aunt with the open space ready to receive its new arrival. In true family form however, the minute the preacher was done (and thank goodness she didn't do the 'ashes to ashes' verse because that always makes me laugh because I have to finish it with 'we know Major Tom's a junkie') my cousin walks away and returns with a case of beer to share because his father always told him he wanted beer at his funeral. So, there the family stood in the cold, gray day drinking a toast to our dearly departed.

We all returned to the church for the fat filled, carbo-licious dinner which made me practically comatose for the long drive home.


michaelm said...

Our sense of smell and our mind's association with it are so mysteriously poignant.
It's odd that the smell of the flowers was something that stayed with you and not in a positive way. A negative juxtaposition of sorts.
Think of the smell of a box of crayons. Good or bad? Amazing how the mind can shoot you back to grade school.
I pray the days ahead are filled with nothing but blue sky for ya'.


Bone said...

I know that everyone wants to say something at a funeral, but no one ever knows what to say.

Sorry for your losses.

rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

damn he couldn't live without her. sorry about all the personal downers for you , but i really got the hankies out for the son-in-law missing the old girl. touching piece on burning love. don't come by the site today, it's got even more dead people on it. unless maybe you need a sick laugh.

InterstellarLass said...

I want beer at my funeral too.

Fin said...

You've had too much lately, sorry friend...pass me another beer.

Coyote Mike said...

People are often said to smell flowers when they are in the presence of something either holy or supernatural.

Or, if they are about to have an epileptic seizure.

The two have often been confused.

I have a great-uncle (sort of - its a long story) who has decreed that at his funeral, everyone must wear Hawaiian shirts, silly hats, and deplete his collection of fine wines.

Sadly, his collection is mostly of dry Californian wines. I prefer sweet French wines. :P