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Too Much Death

August 9th, 2015

An aunt passed away this week and her wake/funeral was on Friday. In case anyone is keeping track, that’s four deaths in less than a year – uncle, aunt, friend, aunt. Is this what I have to look forward to as I grow older – more and more people I know shuffling off this mortal coil? It’s depressing.

The wake was held at a funeral home in Frankfort and my aunt was buried in Chicago, so that made for an hour long funeral procession. I’ve never been in such a time-consuming procession before and it made me nervous, especially since some of the public weren’t paying attention and almost hit a few cars that were continuing through the red lights as one typically does in a funeral procession.

There were more than few bizarre things that happened during this event:

1) The more I reflect on the pastor’s eulogy, the more I dislike the guy. He spoke about how everyone is going to die some day (thanks, bud, I already have a massive fear of dying and do not need any further reminders) but that our spirits will live on in heaven. He also made a big to do about how we shouldn’t forget about my uncle since he has many lonely nights ahead of him, which is true, but insensitive. In addition, the pastor said he just couldn’t imagine losing his wife of 45 years. Uh, rubbing it in much?!?! Nothing this man said was any solace to me, but maybe it helped others. I just don’t buy the whole concept that our spirits live on forever, and I was raised Catholic! All of it rings false to me. Trust me, I would love it if I could get on board with the idea because it would certainly ease my mind about not existing one day. Unfortunately, I think once you die that’s it; you go back to nothing, spiritually and physically. It will be great if it turns out I’m wrong and God doesn’t hold a grudge against me for not believing, though.

2) At the grave site, while the pastor was saying some final words, my uncle was casually leaning against my aunt’s casket with one hand.

3) After the service, as we were leaving the cemetery, I saw my uncle standing by his limo drinking a beer.

4) The place where the luncheon was held had a dove aviary in the front of the building. It was so odd. But what was funny is that I was one of the few, if not only, people who even noticed it immediately as we walked toward the banquet room. Most people didn’t notice it until leaving the restaurant.

Dove Aviary

I don’t know what any of my uncle’s behavior means, or if it even means anything; people grieve in strange ways. He was married to my aunt for 35+ years (his third marriage) but I have no idea what their relationship was like. I rarely spoke to her because we usually saw my uncle at my grandparents’ or parents’ house and he never brought her along. Her heart belonged to animals, not people, from what I knew of her – she worked at a humane society and they had the equivalent of a zoo in their homes. It only grew larger once they moved to their most recent home which had a ton of acreage and a barn. I’ve heard stories about the number of animals living on their property but the last time we were invited over was literally a decade ago, so I don’t know much other than what my cousin has mentioned. Maybe my uncle is one of those people who has a hard time expressing his true feelings. He has always been known as the one who cracks jokes so who knows.

Anyway, it was just a weird day. It was nice to see certain family members but I wish it was under better circumstances.

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