Sunday, January 18, 2009

the funeral

Well, I made it. I held it together. I kept everything on a shelf where it belongs.
I put on black suit, I put on one of my late mother in laws head coverings. I put on the heals, the black pearls, and I took a deep breath.
I was down stairs smoking when some of the family walked in. The first person I saw when I came up the stairs was my cousin Howie. His jaw just dropped. We have not seen each other in 18 years. Howie just opened his arms and I walked right into them and hugged him so tight.
Once we got to the funeral home, I went in and looked at my sister. At first I thought I had the wrong room. It did not even look like the person I use to know. I just stood there shaking. I finally just let loose and spoke my mind. I told her how much I hated her, how made she made me, and she made my life a living hell. Speaking my peace really did not make me feel better, but there it was.
After that I went and sat in a chair and just waited for everyone to start showing up. One of my Aunts came up to me and said "What is with your head covering?" This aunt and I have words all the time. She is always right, and if you don't fit into what she things is right then you are wrong. I just looked at her and said " this head scarf belonged to my late mother in law. I think it is just the most beautiful in the world and that is why I am wearing it." She left me alone after that.
The first one of my dad's family to show up was my cousin Chris. I have not seen him in 18 years. He is just as tall as i remember, but he looks more and more like his father everyday. Someone actually pointed him out to me. I got up to give him hug and just like when we were children he picked me up. Chris is about 6'4" and about 250 pounds. He is no small man by any means.
I sat back in my chair and I did not see anyone else for a very long time. I was coming out of the bathroom when someone said my name. I turned around and just stared at this gentlemen. Oh my it was cousin David. I was not close to David but he and Chris are brothers, so we were always together while we were growing up.
Then David said to me "Kelli do remember Shelly? We got married." I about fell over! I had heard that he and Shelly got married, but she was nothing like I remembered.
I just had to smile to myself. Back in the day Shelly was the most perfect girl I knew, and she came from money. I heard that they even flew to south Africa so that she could get a diamond for her wedding ring. Shelly was not as pretty as I remembered, and she had a small as rock on her finger! I guess things change over the years.
When Chris went to leave I walked up to him and gave him a hug, and we were just talking when his wife decides to join our conversation. I just ignored her and kept talking to Chris when she opened her mouth again. I finally said "Excuse me but I am trying to have a conversation with my cousin will you please shut up?" The wife finally left. This women thinks everyone else is after her man, she really needs to get a grip.
I spent most of the day sitting with Howie. I just sat there with my head on his shoulder. We talked about so many things. It was to just talk and laugh and not have any of it revolve around my sister.
The service was nice. I must admit that it was hard to watch my niece say good bye to her mom. They had to pull her off the casket. I do feel bad for this child.
After everything was said and done I guess it was a nice nice as a funeral could be.


Gerry said...

So much to happen in one day. I do feel sorry for your sister's child as it sounds like she was spoiled by both grandma and mother, and this will be very hard for her. I think the best possible comfort is getting to talk to relatives who understand a lot that has happened, as they are the only possible comfort to an event that is basically tragic, as death too soon is always so hard for everyone. The daughter's grief suggests that she knows she has lost her best ally and the death its self suggests the mother did not ultimately care enough to practice caution. So sad. Family dynamics can be so mixed and painful, but I think you are doing well, and I am glad you were there to lend what comfort you could despite a stormy past with your sister. Gerry

Traci said...

Wow. I'm sure it will take you all a while to process all of this. The saddest part is you are most likely right about your mom and her devotion to her neice. I'm sorry.

Nelishia said...

That's a lot to process at one time. The Aunt, ahaha, I have the same lady who thinks you have to run stuff by her for her approval. Your answer was very good. I'm sure you were beautiful and stoic. I hope you come home soon. You are loved, needed and missed. I hope your premonition does not come true about your mother's allegience to your neice over your daughters. I can't imagine subjecting your daughters to your neice's behaviors but then again, you daughters are growing up and have very good eyes to see for themselves. I hope they get one on one time with their grandmother and that she initiates it.

You did really well.


Tightening the Corset Again said...

Your compassion for hellchild is like mine for my stepson. He made my life a living hell while I was married to his father but it still broke my heart when he lost his mom.

I'm glad this part of the process is over for you. I'm glad you were able to tell your sister what you wanted to say. I'm glad you hung tough and true to who you are throughout the process. You're my hero!


Indigo said...

You got throught the worst of it dear one. I can't for the life of me feel in funerals. It's like your suffacating, unable to breath. It's been over a year since Paul's mom died, yet I can still smell that room, feel the walls closing in.

I'm glad you had Henri there with you. It sounds like he gave you alot of comfort. Your in my thoughts my dear hippie sister. (Hugs)Indigo

Linda's World said...

Kelli, well I am happy for you that the day is over. And I'm glad to hear you made some good connections with some favorite cousins. Take care, Linda in Washington

Melissa said...

glad u made it thru

a corgi said...


Missie said...

I'm glad it's over. Sending you a hug.

Lori said...

I'm glad you got through that okay. Hope you are home safe and sound now or safely on your way.

Chrissie said...

I'm glad you mad it through and so sorry about your sister's daughter.
Take care, Chrissie

Darrel said...

I recently buried my sister-in-law whom I had known for over 40 years. I don't want to see that look on my wife's face ever again

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