Good-bye.

As we were walking into the funeral parlor today it suddenly dawned on me that I’ve never been to a funeral that was not:

  1. In French; or
  2. In a Catholic church (a French catholic church, that is…)

I had no idea what to expect. Whatsoever. The first thing I noticed was Dave. He was up there in his open coffin with a cowboy hat on his chest. From the fact that there was no kneeling bench in front of him I could deduce that we weren’t invited to walk up to him and do the kneeling down praying and crying thing we normally do in French. So we just grabbed a seat far enough back to let people know where we felt we stood in the hierarchy of Dave’s friends and contacts.

Booby is looking at the “program” and chuckles over the fact that Dave had chosen country music to be played. I gawked at the fact the ceremony was lead by a female pastor. French Catholics could never ever in a million years have a woman stand up there and talk. “Shit we’d all sit there with boners, in church… Sacrilège” was the explanation I’d once received from an ex-brother-in-law.

I’m sitting there, looking at these people I do not know. Wondering if they’re looking at me wondering who the hell I am… Yes, I keep thinking “what the hell?” about a shitload of stuff. (Like when I noticed Booby’s wrists. He has old man wrists… and I thought “when the hell did that happen?”)

Thank god it wasn’t a church, but some churchy looking room in a funeral parlor. Before it even starts I’m wondering if we’re gonna do lot’s of standing and sitting and kneeling… Thankfully when I look down I realize there’s no knee thing waiting to be flipped over behind the seat in front of me. I hate the kneeling part of going to church…

And I wonder what religion this is anyways? To have a female pastor, certainly one of the more progressive wings of Catholicism. Shit, any branch of Catholicism is a more progressive wing… But Dave? In a progressive branch? Good ol’ fashion Dave who never cussed but would say “Good grief!” in lieu of cussing? Progressive?

There was a lot of bible scriptures, no eulogy, a few songs and that’s it! Then some guy stood by the end of each aisles directing us to walk out, and follow the crowd to the front of the churchy looking room towards Dave, white Dave, still-motionless Dave, and then outside. No explanation, just their way of telling us to figure it out. It’s over, go home. Good-bye.

p.s. and no, they did not serve us cowboy crackers

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6 thoughts on “Good-bye.”

  1. Wow.
    Yea, almost every other sect of christianity allows women pastors. As far as I know, the Catholics are the only ones who don't (aside from puritanicals).
    That must have been the weirdest thing for you – never having been to a funeral service like that.
    I'm kinda bummed that you didn't get cowboy crackers but I did chuckle at the fact that he wanted country music played. What a neat guy 🙂

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  2. hope that the day went well…i gave my first funeral for my MIL…tough…but it was laid back…graveside…i cant speak french so…smiles.

    thanks for the support tonight as well…

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  3. that's always awkward, being in an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people, trying to say goodbye to a person you mutually loved. It should bring people together, but it makes me feel like taking a few steps back.

    I hope you had a good day, a good bye. I'm sorry for your loss

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