Friday, September 20, 2013

Strange Traditions


We had the visitation for my grandma tonight.  I have to say, I think it’s sort of a strange tradition, sitting around in a room chatting with family and friends while there’s a dead body on display.  I don’t know; I have mixed feelings.  I don’t visit cemeteries, there’s no comfort for me there.  But I do usually visit my loved ones while they’re at the funeral home and say my farewells.  I guess since I personally find some small amount of comfort in doing so, I shouldn’t find the visitation ceremony weird at all, but it still strikes me as just a little bit odd.   And the idea that people back in the day used to have their visitations in their actual house—well, there’s just no way I could get behind that. 

But here’s the thing:  even though I might think it’s a little bit of a strange tradition, it is still the tradition, so I was a little sad when not too many people showed up tonight to visit Granny.  It seems disrespectful somehow, knowing all the people she’s cared about over the years, to think that so few of them could be bothered to take a few minutes out of their lives to stop by the funeral home. 

Of course, for some people, it’s a difficult thing to do.  Billy didn’t come because he doesn’t want to see her like that, and I can understand that.  This is really the first loss he’s had to deal with (he didn’t particularly know Brian’s parents), and he’s not taking it too well.  Not only his first loss, but he is the one who found her, so it’s like a double-whammy for him.  I did try explaining to him that she actually looks better now than the last time he saw her, so a visit might make him feel a little better, but he wasn’t convinced, and it’s just not the sort of thing your try to force someone into.

So, yeah, I get that there are some people who just have too much grief to come to a visitation.  But there are some people that I just can’t understand doing the things they do.  For instance, my uncle—Granny’s son—didn’t attend tonight.  Not that I should be surprised, I suppose; he’s behind about 100% of the drama I mentioned the other day.  I keep reminding myself that he’s just lost his mother, so he’s entitled to a little slack.  But just a little.

Tomorrow we shall conduct the final remaining traditions and lay my grandma to rest.  It will be a hard day, but I think it’s time to start letting go.