Monday, November 28, 2011

Ugh...I Hate Funerals!

It was hard to be excited for Thanksgiving this year.  The day after Thanksgiving, when people are usually preparing for the busiest shopping day of the year, my family was preparing to attend a funeral.
I couldn't attend the funeral though.  But I didn't mind missing the funeral.  I don't like funerals at all! Especially Samoan funerals.  Samoan funerals are hard for me. They are busy, with lots of people you don't know, lots of food that need to be cooked for those people, and lots of gifts that need to be prepared for those people.  You barely have time to actually grieve.

When I was 12, my Father's Dad passed away.  My Grandpa was like THE MAN in my life when I was a young girl.  My Grandpa was the best.  He was sometimes mean and mostly grouchy to others but he spoiled me and I loved him and my Grandma with all my heart and soul and would do anything for them.  I would leave my parents on my school vacations so I could stay with my grandparents and help take care of them.  I loved it!  Being with them felt like home.  I never wanted to go back to my house.  So when my Grandpa died I remember thinking that I would never ever be more sad and hurt than I was at that time.  He was elderly and in and out of the hospital, but nothing prepared me to face a reality without him.  As a young awkward pre teen, the only way I knew how to cope with my grief was to cry.  And cry and cry some more.  To this day I think of him and miss him and my grandmother so much that I'm crying all over again like I was as a young girl.

During one of my Grandpa's services we were all given a chance to go to the casket and say our goodbyes.  They were letting the younger grandchildren go first so we all made our way  up to the casket.  I felt like I didn't want to do it.  I didn't want to remember him like that.  But my sister and my cousins were all telling us to go.  I was able to get some time alone at the casket.  He looked so peaceful, but I didn't like the way he felt.  So hard and cold.  This wasn't my Grandpa.  Why did he have to leave me? And I just laid my head on his chest and cried because I didn't want to say goodbye.  I felt an arm tug me upright and force me to walk out of the church.  It was my uncle.  He scolded me for taking so long and said "There are other people waiting!"
I was furious!  I was hurt and pissed because my uncle didn't seem to give a rat's ass.  So I wasn't even allowed to cry over my own Grandfather!?!  And who were these "other people"? Where were they when I was taking care of my Grandpa.  Why do those people get time to say goodbye to him when I get pushed aside like a stupid child.  I was so angry that night.  It's probably why I still get so emotional when I think of my grandfather.  I never really got to say my goodbyes the way I wanted to.  

Throughout my life I've noticed this pattern at Samoan funerals.  That old folks don't like people getting too overly emotional at funerals.  At my cousin's funeral his widow and his 1 year old daughter had to lay him to rest.  As we were ending the last service at the burial area, my cousin's widow just couldn't hold herself together anymore.  She started crying that desperate cry that makes me choke on a lump in my throat while trying not to cry for her and her pain.  But her mother shushed her.  She actually shushed her to stop crying!  I was appalled.  Her husband just died, her 1 year old daughter would never know what a great man and loving father he was.  And they wouldn't even let his widow fall apart, not even a little.   

I'm usually a quiet and calm person. But when I'm grieving, sometimes I just want to scream through the tears.  I want to be able to kick, scream, throw things, and even punch things if I want.  Sometimes the best way to get my emotional pain out of me is to do something physically exhausting so that I wouldn't have the strength to cry anymore.  That's just the way I am. 

I guess that's why I don't like funerals.  I am an emotional being.  If I am not allowed to be that, then I just don't want to be there.  =*( 

This is a video clip of what I think people should be allowed to do at funerals. Cry, scream, laugh, even hit people.  Whatever it is they need to do to get it out.  Okay so maybe not the hitting people part. 


  1. I come from a very similar place Reenie. I too am a very emotional being with sensitivities that sometimes need that outlet of grieving/crying to help me cope. I can understand your frustrations and anger as an adult looking back at your Grandfathers final farewell, I shed a tear to read that you felt "pushed aside like a stupid child". I guess you'll never get that moment back but what you must always remember is to cherish those memories (good times) you did have, they can never take them away from you.

  2. That is a powerful clip.

    Funerals are so hard. My husband and I are musicians; we've played at far too many funerals lately. I like playing at weddings and parties much better.

  3. Good Morning Joan.(Is it JoAnne or Joan?)lol But yes I do hold tight to my memories. And they are mostly of us watching wrestling or basketball. But mostly love to think back and laugh at how he used his cane to fasi his knuckle head grandkids. LOL

    Elizabeth I love Steel Magnolias movie. But I can't watch it too many times because that scene just turns me into a crying mess. And I know what's coming, but I still cry every time. And I know how you feel. I used to sing in a church choir that was requested at funerals all the time. so depressing. Yes wedding and parties PLEASE!!

  4. amen to that): Samoan funerals are not the place to grieve, everyone is too busy looking for fine mats and cash - forgetting about the grieving loved ones.

  5. Hi Goddess. You are so right. And it's sad but so true. That funeral my family went to was full of family drama and ego competitions, and sadly food stealing. I mean who does that!