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."