Tuesday, 2 February 2010


The funeral was yesterday. There were quite a few people at the church but less so at the burial.

The Church was freezing and the whole thing went on forever. We sat there listening to solemn music for a bit all quiet. Then one of the smaller kids started playing up and screaming he wanted a wee. So someone took him out.
It didn’t seem personal and was all religion. People whispering to each other and shaking hands or hugging each other. Then going through the motions as if they knew what they were doing. You never know when to sit down or stand up and even though you have the words to the hymns in front of you , you don't really know the tune so arn't sure how to sing it.
At one point i saw one hymn and thought to myself, thank god it's just a short one. Then it turned out that the last block of text was the chorus and had to be sung in between each of the previous versus. It went of forever!.

During the ceremony there was the sound of muffled crying. Then the priest said a few words about him, but you could tell he didn’t really know my uncle and was reading from a script made up from quotes and stories that people had given him. At one point he referred to my uncle as someone who was a bit of a joker. In fact he ONCE played a joke on my Auntie. Everyone remembered it mainly because it was so out of caracture for him. He never played jokes on people and didn’t really like that sort of thing. Then the Priest waved a canister thing with incense over the coffin and nearly chocked everyone with the smell. Now that would have amused my uncle.
My mum cried a fair bit. I've never seen her like that before, My Grandma was even worse.
The cemetary was a horrible place. Not one of those really nice walk in the park burial grounds. This was like a derelict field. All overgrown graves and bushes. People were falling over staggering through the grass to get to the hole. He would have found that funny as well. But it did make me think this is not how it should be. Other peoples Funerals are never like this, why did he wanna be buried here?. This was like a walk through a tip, There was even a small skip by the entrance.

As i looked around there were relatives i haven't seen in years. We only get together at weddings, christenings and funerals and don't really have anything in common with each other. Some looked older and fatter, others grown older and more attractive. One of my aunties kids is now about 18 with looks to die for. The last time i saw him he had a pizza face and acted like a spoilt brat. A Cousin i haven't seen for years and don't really know said hi and asked how i was. "we've been hearing a lot about you" he said. I bet he has. That side of the family love a bit of gossip, i'm pretty sure they think i'm a rent boy in my spare time.
Afterwards we went back for the wake. It seemed weird and more like a party than a funeral.
I came a way early, i didn't like it.


Anonymous said...

That sounds just like the average funeral, though like you I can never cope with the mix of grief and boozy merriment. But people react in different ways and you have done your duty in paying your respects, and your uncle will be with you in your private thoughts. That's all anyone can ask of you. Take special care of yourself in the next days - Peter-D.

naturgesetz said...

It's always unfortunate when the priest has no personal knowledge of the deceased. As happened in this case, when he tries to personalize it with information he has gathered from the family, it can go astray. Still, it was good of him to try, I suppose.

Well anyway, you did your duty by him and the family, so good on you for that, the more so since you found it so unpleasant.

When the cousin said, "We've been hearing a lot about you," you should have said, "Yeah, I've moved to Halifax. Why not visit some time?" The reaction could have been interesting.

Octavius said...

Funerals are never fun. I'm gonna assume, based off of the description, that it was a Catholic funeral. I have been to one of those, and yes they are long, and very impersonal.

I'm sure the priest was just doing his best, with a bad situation.

As for the extended family. I well know what you mean, mine is the same..., hatches, matches and dispatches seem to be the only time we all get together as well.

Gotta love the gossip hounds, should have done something to really make skirt go flying... hahahaha!! Not the right time or place, I do understand that.

I am sorry for your loss.


Paul said...

Slowly things will begin to return to some sort of normality now. Michael, let's hope you don't have to attend another funeral for a long time.

Pilgrim said...

I know this all from my late Grandma´s funeral! Propz Pilgrim

MadeInScotland said...

I had a bad vibe at the beginning of this year that 2010 is not going to be a good one.

On the 2nd January I got a call saying that a good friend had died. I had to go to the US for the funeral, and had the honour of being a pall bearer. But my, I had no idea how heavy the coffin was (as it was America it was actually a casket).

Sorry to hear about your Uncle; its often the grief of others that upsets the most.