Gotta Go Smell the Crayon Cans
By E.V. Allan
Copyright 2012 E.V. Allan
“Your grandmother died last night,” were the words I woke up to. “Your father is making arraignments with the church and it looks like the services are going to be Wednesday and Thursday,” my mothers’ voice rang through the phone like a distant thunderstorm in July. The next couple of days were a buzz of activity to prepare for a funeral one hundred miles away mixed with moments of quiet regret that sometimes, when you are young, you believe that things will go on the way they are forever.
The family funerals that I have attended always seem to be an uncomfortable gathering of people who are vaguely related or possibly had been in the same room once. Family members who live just miles away yet rarely seen seem to appear, acting as if they had seen you just days before. Some people try awkwardly to have conversations with others they hardly know, all the while looking for an escape. Once they do manage to excuse themselves, they are immediately drawn into yet another uncomfortable exchange. Through most of my grand mothers’ funeral, I simply pretended to remember some older gentlemen who couldn’t believe how grown up I looked. I had no idea who they were and I am not sure that I was who they thought I was. They told me that they had not seen me since I was four and that they could not believe how big I was, which was odd because my grandmother died when I was twenty eight.
Sadness is the one emotion that permeates the atmosphere of any funeral. For me, the saddest aspect of this funeral was the realization that as you grow older, one of two things must happen. Either your friends die or you die. My Grandmother lived into her nineties and this meant that most of her close friends had died. It was sad to see that a woman whom, throughout her own life had been a member of so many church groups and social organizations was now being mourned mostly by only her family, many of whom hadn’t regularly seen or talked to her in years.