October 07, 2009

Funerial Thoughts... Maybe Not so Nice

I wrote last night of the excellent traditions the Jewish faith has concerning burials, the burying of their own dead, instead of paying some stranger to do so.

A little background, my husband is very entrenched within the Jewish community. Many of his friends are Jewish and he is considered family to some. My husband is also very Italian looking... as... he's Italian. Although he has been mistaken for Cuban while we were in Miami, and once or twice Lebanese, he is most definitely Italian to most who meet him and in his youth, was compared to a young Al Pacino.

The graveside service was coming to a close. The burial finished, we stood to the side with some of the family and waited. One of my husband's closest friends came up to us, a devout Jew, becoming more Orthodox as he ages, the following very funny conversation occurred... to the best of my recollection:

Friend, in a hushed whisper: I decided today, when I die, I don't want people I don't like throwing dirt on my grave.

Husband and me:

Friend: I'm serious. I don't want people I don't like shoveling dirt on top of me. Only my homies.

My husband, looking like quite the Jewish Mafia Don, wearing his Yarmulke and a beautifully tailored suit, laughed deeply and quietly.

I in turn, grinning, said, "We'll be the shovel guard. We'll make sure nobody gets the shovel you didn't like."

I keep laughing about it.

I guess I keep laughing in part because... I totally get it. There are people in this world that I dislike so intensely, that if they showed up to my funeral, I'd flat want my husband to say, "WTF are you doing here? Get the hell out."

Not that he would. That's not his style. That's MY style.

There have been some people that I know have not treated him well in this life, that if they showed up to his funeral, in all my grief, I will have no problems walking up to them, in front of God and Country and saying, "Get out." I'll even maybe pop off a good rant.

It could be a funeral to remember...

I don't know if my girlfriend, DK, who reads me, will remember this, but there was a guy at work that I despised. He was a lying cheat. Everything that came out of his mouth was two faced and a bold faced lie. I knew in my heart he was cheating the government. He was the one and only person I nearly punched out at work.

Yes, I said that. We will attribute the urge towards violence as... 1) I was young, 2) he was a big jerk, 3) I was pissed off that he was allowed to be such a complete a$$hole, 4) he was lying, 5) he was lying about MY group and I was taking it personally, and 6) I was young.

I know I've posted about this before. We were in a meeting and the argument was escalating, and he was lying more and more, and I hate liars, and I was getting angrier and angrier and someone called him on his lying, and he was becoming a bigger a$$hole, which I did not think was possible, and I started shouting at him what a lying piece of trash he was, and he responded, and I lunged across the table at him, and my very big male co-worker sitting next to me, caught me by the shoulders and held me down as profanity laced words spewed forth from my mouth, and... the meeting was adjourned.

Not a highlight of my career. I was patted on the back, told it was OK, everyone saw where I was coming from, but I wasn't ever allowed to hit anyone or I'd get fired.

Seriously, not a bright shining stellar moment of my past.

Four or five years later... the SOB died. It was unexpected, he was... probably in his mid 50s. He was pretty young if I recall. I had transferred out by then to a different, but very cool job. I got the phone call from DK that he was dead.

It went something like this:

DK: Hey, did you get the word? Ghengis Khan is dead.

Me: No... I hadn't heard.

DK: You going to his funeral? *snicker*

Me: Hell no. He was an a$$hole when he was alive. Now he's just a dead a$$hole.

You know... because I have such a way with words.

Posted by Boudicca at October 7, 2009 09:19 PM

I had the unfortunate task of having to plan and attend my own son's funeral. I had the funeral director remove my old boss from the receiving line (it was very long) before he reached us. (I spotted him when he got to the door of the funeral home.) Spiteful? Maybe. But I just didn't need that idiot in my face, trying to hug me or otherwise touch me, during that stressful time.

Posted by: k at October 8, 2009 08:27 AM

You and are on exactly the same page here! And that, I think, is what can make us so dangerous if we happen to be ticked off at the same time in the same place......

Man....just think about that.....what FUN we would have! (and btw - I'd volunteer to be on your shovel patrol anytime!)

Posted by: Tammi at October 8, 2009 08:42 AM

Remind me to never piss you off, Bou.

Actually I can't think of a single person in my life that I despise so much I would have them removed from my own funeral. Maybe it's because of my forgiving nature (though that can take some time) or the fact I find holding grudges childish after a while, or just maybe I can't remember someone ever pissing me off as bad as that one jerk did you. The only person that may come close is my wife's niece (you know which one after reading my blog) and she never did anything to me personally. But after witnessing firsthand the emotional abuse this self-serving b$tch puts her own children through, I might be tempted to give her a parting shot.

Posted by: diamond dave at October 8, 2009 08:53 AM

Yep. My hubby's ex business partner and someone we considered not just a friend but family was actually skimming off the top... among other things.
So we got out, even left town. Later when we moved back to Florida... he had a stroke and died. We did not go to the funeral.
People asked, appalled, where my husband could have been... too bad.

And I was beside myself at my father's funeral because the pastor -who did know my Dad at all- kept referring to him as 'Johnny'. NObody called him that. I very nearly made a scene.

Re: "Jewish Mafia Don, wearing his Yarmulke and a beautifully tailored suit, laughed deeply and quietly."
I think we need a picture of the young Al Pacino. Seriously.

Posted by: Pam at October 8, 2009 09:13 AM

None of this kinda thing will happen at my funeral, because I've specifically requested that there be none. Donate my organs as needed, cremate the rest and toss them in the Gulf Stream. If there's a "viewing" or any such ceremony, I've promised to come back and haunt those responsible.

Can you tell I f-ing HATE funerals???

Posted by: George P at October 8, 2009 12:56 PM

gah. i can just imagine my despised control-freak sil planning my funeral. i will come back from the dead to kick her ass out of my funeral!

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at October 8, 2009 03:17 PM

K- Good Lord. I'm so sorry. I cannot even imagine the horror of having to bury a child, let alone that additional stress. Good for you. I tell you what, I bet Funeral Directors do that more often than we can count.

Tammi- You are on my official shovel patrol. I'll be sending you a list! Heh. You think I joke... I'll send a description too so you'll know. "Short little blonde b****, looks like she needs to be punched in the face..." :) Hey, piss us both off at the same place, you and I could move mountains, girl! There would be world frickin' PEACE!

Dave- Believe it or not, it does take a lot to piss me off like that now. In my 20s? Not so much. In my 40s? It takes a lot of energy to get that pissed. I just don't have it in me... as much. There is, however, a person I know that is pushing the envelope... hopefully she will back down. I certainly hate to have to verbally slit her throat if it's not necessary. This will be the first person in... wow... years. I already told my husband last week, "Prepare yourself. This chick is making my SERIOUS sh-- list. There may be revenge seeking until the day I frickin' DIE." He just nodded.

Pam- Why would someone expect you to attend a dirtbag's funeral? What is up with that? And we had a similar story at my grandfather's funeral. The preacher got up, and I kid you not, said, "Well... I didn't know Robert XXXX, but I knew Mary XXXX..." and he frickin' proceeded to eulogize Mary XXXX, a distant relative that had died like 20 years before. We just sat there looking at each other. (My husband is very private... don't be surprised if I email you on the side though.)

George- Funerals are for the living. My kids will need me to have a funeral. It's all good. Hell, I'll be dead. And now, Hey, Tammi will have my list of who to tell to go away!

Writersblock- The key is... to plan your funeral in advance. My grandmother did that. She died unexpectedly, and we went to her house and... holy crap... she had little stickies all over the house telling us what she wanted for the funeral. The kicker was when she had a sticky that said something important was in the 'chip box' and they turned the house upside down looking for the 'chip box'. By a fluke, my bro found a box in the basement that had a 'ship' on it. It was the 'ship box'. We still laugh...

Posted by: Bou at October 8, 2009 09:44 PM

Hmmm... not too many people I hate. Of those who have royally pissed me off over the years, none would even remember who I am, much less come to my funeral. So I guess I'm good. LOL.

Posted by: Teresa at October 8, 2009 10:40 PM

You married "Scarface"? Wow, I have a whole new respect for you.

Posted by: Bob at October 9, 2009 01:53 PM