It’s good to be back, especially because it was about a 6-hour road trip both ways. My depression is beginning to cover me like a blanket again, but I hope it’s just stress from the drive this past weekend and the weekend before.
We arrived at our hotel, which is about 20 miles from the tiny Midwestern town in which the funeral took place. (My mother-in-law warned us not to stay at the hotel in town lol!) This was the night before the funeral, so we weren’t able to go to the visitation, which was held in the funeral home. The casket is there, and it’s a chance for family and friends to say their good-byes, and for friends to offer condolences.
The next morning, the family had to congregate in a room at the church at 9:45. It wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be, and I wanted to support my husband and mother-in-law, who I’m close to, so I spent time talking to her, which felt good. My uncle-in-law’s (?) side of the family was there. I haven’t seen them in maybe 10 years, but I don’t know the cousins and their kids very well. The mood wasn’t somber, which I expected, but almost festive because it was also a family reunion, even though it was for a sad occasion.
However, I did feel awkward because I was the only person of color there. One of the cousin’s kids kept staring at me, and when I told my husband, he assured me that it was probably because she’d never met me before. I’m used to being around my husband’s immediate family, so this was hard to shrug off.
That awkwardness followed me to the church, and stayed with me through the service. I’m a lapsed Catholic, but I’m still used to things being done a certain way (though obviously, there’s no right or wrong way). It was so different to me that the congregation didn’t do the sign of the cross lol!
The female pastor (obviously, I’m used to priests) gave the eulogy, and it was a wonderful celebration of the deceased’s life. It was so moving that I almost cried, which assured me that I’m not a heartless person, after all. My husband was one of the pall bearers, and the internment at the cemetery was quick. She was laid to rest next to her husband’s grave.
A luncheon took place at the church afterwards, and fortunately there was food my husband and I could eat because we’re vegetarians. Later, we changed into more comfortable clothes and spent time with the family at my aunt- and uncle-in-law’s (?) house. Some of the cousins had left by the time we arrived, so I didn’t feel awkward at all. Although it was a sad occasion, it felt good to be around my husband’s family, because I hadn’t seen some of them in years. I was glad to be there for my husband and his mom.
Does this funeral service echo the way it’s done in your culture?