First of all, I think its worth pointing out that I don't go to funerals. This is primarily due to my bipolarism. Funerals are depressing and morbid and the very concept makes me sad, and I don't need it. So I choose not to go. The only thing that I can see coming out of going to a funerals is closure, and I am perfectly capable of getting that on my own without attending. Its simple really. Its not like breaking up with someone. There you need closure. There you need to know that the relationship is over. When someone dies. Well, its pretty much over. No matter what, they won't be coming back. So sooner or later, you pretty much have to deal with it. Or you don't, but it doesn't matter.
Anyway, I don't get funerals anyway. It just seems to be kind of a pointless ritual. I understand the religious significance, but I don't understand the need for having the ceremony in the presence of the body. And the wake is even more ludicrous. I mean, at least with the funeral, there is a service, there is a point, but why do people feel the need to congregate around the body the day before? It really just seems kind of sick if you ask me.
Really, to me it seems that grief is something that people are best equipped to deal with on their own. Two people's relationship with a loved one is never the same, so I think that each survivor needs to come to grips with the departure of the deceased in his own way.
Don't get me wrong, I'm quite grateful to everyone who has wished me well or expressed their sympathies with my grandfather's death. I just find some of the rituals a little odd.
So anyway, I skipped the funeral. That's what I do. I skip funerals and I spend the time thinking of the person in my own way on my own terms.
So there's also the issue of things people say that's kind of weird. People say lots of stupid things in regards to funerals and such. These are silly things that I have heard in the last week that just stuck in my mind. The first several are all related to my not going....
Number ten: "Hey, at the funeral, do you want to read my eulogy about your grandfather to the congregation..." Uhh, no, I'm not going... I don't go to funerals... and if I were going, I'd read my own eulogy... you know, what with them being my memories and all.
Number nine: "What do you mean you're not going to the funeral? Why? You do know he was your grandfather, right?" Umm, no, somehow I had managed to forget that in the two fucking minutes since someone else last asked me that question. I frequently forget who my relatives are.
Number eight: "Well, what if your mom died? Would you skip that funeral too?" Yes, that's sorta part of the whole I never go to funerals thing. See, making an exception would kinda cut into that whole never thing.
Number seven: "Well, don't you want people to come to your funeral?" Ummm, no frankly I don't give a damn. See, I'll be dead and won't care much who is and isn't there. Hell, if I can figure out a way for my body to not be there, I'll leave instructions in my will... just to keep my streak alive.
Number six: "But it leaves a bad impression. People will think you didn't care about your grandfather." Uhhh, honestly, do I come across as the kind of person who gives a damn what people think?
And then there are silly things that people say that have absolutely nothing to do with my own little hangup...
Number five: "It was a lovely service... your cousins told stories about their memories of your grandfather from when they were kids." That's funny, I have memories of my grandfather from like a week ago. Maybe this is another reason I don't go to funerals. I don't like listening to people carry on about someone like they were his best friend in death when they couldn't be bothered to spend 15 minutes on a phone call with him when he was alive... oh look... I must still be a little bitter... *sigh*
Number four: "This has actually been a pretty good christmas... ummm... you know, other than the circumstances surrounding it." Ok, this one is you mom... and I know what you meant by it... but it was silly, and it made me laugh at the time, so that's a good thing.
Number three: "You're leaving? You're driving back to Pittsburgh? Oh just wait! You can't go without saying hello and goodbye to cousin Terry. Who knows when you'll see him again. He's right over there, let me go get him..." Ummm, who in the blue hell is cousin Terry, and who the hell are you for that matter?
Number two: "How are you doing?" Ok, to be fair, I actually really do appreciate people asking this. Mostly because I know its out of genuine concern. But every time I hear it (which has been like a million over the last 8 days) its really hard to not answer "oh, I'm just swell! The man who raised me just died of cancer, how the fuck do you think I'm doing?" I know... I know... I guess its just weird that the traditional thing to say to people is "How are you doing?" When really, what you mean is basically "I'm sorry for your loss. How can I help?" It really didn't bother me much during the first day or two, but now that I've had a week to get used to things, I just find it really odd. Good natured. But odd.
and the number one silly thing people say that I don't understand, and I heard this at least 3 times after the wake: "They sure had old Alonzo looking good, didn't they? Didn't he look great?" Umm, no he didn't... he looked dead.
Anyway, its now been eight days. And its time to start moving on. The only hard thing I really have left to do, is call my grandmother next Sunday. Its going to be the first time I've made my weekly phone call to her and not been able to talk to him, and that's going to be incredibly weird and hard. But other than that, I'm pretty ready to move on with my life I guess.
So anyway... someone amuse me... hey better yet... someone find me a job...