Wednesday, May 05, 2010

And I'll bet she's wearing matching shoes.

In yesterday's Random Dozen, Linda asked us about funeral preferences. In Linda's post, she said she wanted a closed casket. This reminded me of the many funerals I have attended in my lifetime.

You're probably wondering, "How many people does she know?"

Not that many.

The truth is that Mama took me with her to funerals of people I didn't know, people I kinda knew, people I was related to, people I was kinda related to, and people I kinda knew and was related to.

Daddy was often at work. You can't always get a sitter on Tuesdays at 3:00 in the afternoon. So Mama just took me with her.

My people believe in funerals. When someone dies, you go to the service and at the very least, the visitation the night before to pay respect and show sympathy to the family.

Going to funerals was normal for me. I was never afraid of dead people.

I can't believe I just typed that last sentence.

We close the casket during the funeral service, but during visitation people can come by the open casket for a viewing.

This is when dear aunts and cousins can comment on how natural you look.

"Don't she look natural?"

Looking natural is the best compliment to a dead Southern woman.

We spend our entire lives making sure we look anything but natural. We don't go to the grocery store without lipstick and we never serve company without putting on our face. But once we have left to be with the Lord, we want everyone to think we look natural.

Truthfully, how we look at our death is not a testimony to our good complexions or perfect hair. It is really a testimony to the funeral home who hired the best beautician in town to do our make-up.

However, we like to believe that looking natural at our death is the final chance to show off good grooming.

It's also a good time to force our husbands to buy us a new outfit.

That's when those sweet aunts can make the other common remark heard at funerals.

"He did a good job buying that suit. She always did look good in blue."


Roxanne said...

Hilarious! And dead on. ;)

Roxanne said...

And I forgot to mention. . .the MOST ASKED QUESTION at Daddy's funeral was "Does he have his leg on?" The answer was no, but I think Momma regrets not burying one with him. . .one artificial one I mean. He had one REAL one when he died. . .but it only had four toes by then. And that is why I can totally and completely laugh at your story.

Susanne said...

LOL. Aren't we humans funny?

Anonymous said...

My Mema has had her funeral dress picked out since 1998. It's moss green and looks more like a negligee than a dress. Maybe Mema wants to be remembered as more than a grandma?

Carpool Queen said...


Sheer perfection.

It reminds me of that part in Steel Magnolias when Truvy looks at Ma'lyn at the gravesite and says, "Well, at least your hair looks good."

No matter where we are, we show up with good hair.

Sandy said...

I grew up in Indiana, but I could have written this post! One of our local funeral homes (always wondered why they called it a "home"....) had a "marquise" outside telling who was there at the time. We jokingly would say, "Let's drive by & see who's playing today".

Even after I'd been gone from the home town for 20 years, a conversation with my aunt would start, "You remember So & So.." "No, I don't remember them." "Well anyway, she died last week & we went to the funeral home..." Well of course, they went to the funeral home no matter WHO died!

This was so funny to me because it sure took me back many years!