Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Don't Like Funerals

I don't like funerals.

The last time I went to a funeral, I was about 7 or 8 years old. I've had people close to my family die since that time, but I have never gone to any funeral since.

I don't like funerals.

They're sad. And all about dead people. And I don't like coffins. And the exorbitant drama that people believe has to happen at funerals. The wailing. The screaming. The griping and rolling on the floor and petitioning God. The wanting to jump into the coffin with the deceased. The passing the (poor little innocent) babies over the coffins (something I would outlaw if I were in government, cause that is just creepy and unfair and wrong).

I don't like funerals.

I especially don't like the graveside processions. The singing and dumping dirt on a slowly lowering coffin. The realisation that this person is really gone and never coming back. The old women getting into spirit as they sing ancient hymns and negro spirituals. The dumping the rum into the grave-hole to (supposedly) appease dead spirits. The nasty loose grave-yard dirt that I don't want on my shoes or anywhere near my home. And most of all, the sadness. The oppressive, pervasive, overwheliming sadness. And tears. And burdensome grief.

I don't like funerals.

So when I found out that a cousin of mine had died, I know I'll never see him again, and in my mind, I make peace with that fact. Because I don't like funerals.

15 comments:

Will said...

my sympathies for your cousin's passing...

i agree with you in theory... but strangely, the last 2 funerals i went to were very comforting... the crying was cathartic... the singing in one of them during the procession was so joyful and life-affirming that you couldn't help feeling that he was in a better place - even for an old, cynical unbeliever like me...

i realise that sometimes people need to say goodbye in a manner that allows them to lose it completely, without feeling insane... grieving in private makes me feel loony... at least in public, and in company of other grievers i can feel like my grief is shared and appreciated...

but yeah... i still, theoretically, hate funerals... my least favourite part is the wake afterwards... ain' no way a grieving family shd have to provide a fete right after a funeral...

ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID said...

In some households, a funeral at times, is generally viewed as a celebration of life,specifically, if it is an elder who expired or passed on after a long and rewarding life.NUFF RESPECT !!

zooms said...

Please accept my sympathy Ruthibelle.....
I used to hate funerals too, i chose, for that reason, not to attend the funeral of a very good friend. I have always regretted not going. I respect your choice but, in my opinion, and with hindsight, a funeral closes the circle, allows you to show your respect and love for that person, say your goodbyes and helps you move on.

.....and thank you,
because your post reminds me to organise and plan just exactly what i want at my own funeral, definately NO waiving of babies,
but plenty rum afterwards and
'this is my story' (although it isn't) sung REALLY loud.

ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID said...

By the way,sincere condolences and be strong.

Beth said...

you and me both honey. sorry about your cousin....prayers for you and yours.

but I don't do funerals either.

Ruthibelle said...

thanx for the condolences. It's sad because we used to play so much with my cousins when we were younger. It's just sad... and slightly weird.

LADY ROOTS said...

Sistren RuthiBelle,

Deepest condolences on the loss of your cousin.

When funerals are about death, drama and loss they are soul-draining. When a funeral becomes a celebration of a life well-lived it can be an inspiration.

Whether you choose to attend or not, I hope your cousin's funeral is an inspiration to the living.

Bless Up,
Lady Roots

Jdid said...

my condolences Ruthibelle. My parents liked funerals, well like is a strong word but it was always a belief that you paid your last respects to all acquaintances and family of acquaintances etc so I've been to more funerals than I can remember from an early age.

They are sad occasions but they serve their purpose and they do tend to put life in perspective somewhat.

Not a fan of the graveside drama either but everyone grieves in their own way so if thats what some folk have to do to start the healing process so let it be I guess

Its Just Me - Daring to Dream said...

My condolences. I dont like funerals either. The last one I went to was my mothers. I hope I never have to go to another funerl the rest of my life.

Crankyputz said...

I'm with you on this.

All the sadness, makes me want to laugh (not because I am insensitive or crazy) its just the weight of sadness that pulls you down....

Ruthibelle said...

I know funerals serve their purpose, and that some people view this rite of paying their last respects to the dead as very very very important.

But I haven't been to very many- (only about three or four in my life time) and that's something I'd not willingly change. I don't like attending funerals. I just don't.

Abeni said...

Condolences to you. I don't like them but I go because I would feel worse if I didn't go.

Annie Paul said...

Sorry about your cousin Ruthi, if you have time read my piece "No Grave Cannot Hold My Body Down: Rituals of Death and Burial in Postcolonial Jamaica." it's on my website www.anniepaul.com

but yes i hate funerals too though i've grown to endure them...

laroper18 said...

I don't like funerals. You're not alone on that!

Jacqueline Smith said...

Sorry about your cousin, the pain will soon ease.