Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Funeral

When I was growing up my mother had a small group of cousins that all had children around the same age as me. These women did all things kid related together. This was the 80's so you have to imagine they were yuppies. They took us to the Poconos and to Sesame Place several times a year. They had elaborate birthday and Halloween parties for the children. We had huge Easter egg hunts and Fourth of July barbecues. And in between major events we just had sleepovers. Those cousins were like my siblings. They were a part of the fabric of my childhood. All of my major childhood memories involves one or all of them. One of them is the cousin who recently died.

Because my cousin was in Germany when she passed, the funeral wasn't held until nearly two weeks later. Which meant that the service didn't have that raw emotional element that it would have had if we were burying a 31 year old mother of of two young children just a few days after her demise. We had all had time for the knowledge to sink in. We had already argued with God, asked why, realized that there was no explanation and tried to develop a strategy for moving on. The service was more like a celebration of her memory and a time to see faces that we haven't seen in years. Of course, this is all from the extended family's perspective. Her mother, father, daughters and husband (married only two years! can you imagine?), I'm sure, are still in a state of shock and despair that they will be dealing with for the rest of their lives.

Though it was a sad occasion, it was really good to see so much of my family that I haven't seen or talked to in years. I guess it's true what they say about funerals and weddings.

I am really going to make the effort to not get so caught up in the little things and really think about life from a big picture perspective. Family is important. I wish I had learned this lesson before I lost my cousin.


  1. Family is important. It nice to spend time with them, even if it's under such awful circumstances.

  2. You did good. I couldn't go to my uncles funeral last October, I went to my college homecoming instead. was very hard for me to consider seeing him that way, and I don't think he wanted me too. However in not going, I broke a promise I had made to him a few years prior (that I would make sure the rest of the family wasn't mourning him, but rather celebrating (his style)). I just couldn't do it, I couldn't watch them be upset and sullen (because I can't console them all). <-That has been my job, but he was my uncle, I was Fox, and we watched "Fraggle Rock" together and at Cocoa Puffs, and he talked to me about life like I had some since, and didn't just gloss over. My grief was too deep to contain, and definitely couldn't help anybody else be happy when all I wanted to do was pull a Job. So I went where the people were already happy and they could cheer me up, some might call it selfish, but I call it self-preservation. Whew! Sorry for that, guess I have a lot on my chest today.