Saturday, 8 February 2014

The awkward funeral service

Yesterday was my grandmother's funeral service.
She had died after being diagnosed with cancer about a year ago.

Going to her funeral service was a weird experience for me, maybe because it was my first time. It was my first time being confronted with the subject of death in my own family. Since I am almost 23 years old, I think that I am quite lucky, that out of four grandparents, there are still three left. So many children do not even have the chance to get to know them or they only have a few years.

When I went to the funeral service yesterday, I was of course very sad, but I was not really mourning. Instead of mourning over her death, I tried to think of all the wonderful memories I have of her. She was truly a wonderful, kind and sophisticated woman.

Apart from getting a chance to „let her go“, there were many awkward situations during the funeral service. So many people I had never seen before in my entire life came up to me to say that they were sorry for my „loss“.

What kind of word is that anyway?

It seems so wrong to use this word when you talk about a deceased person.
„Did I tell you? Today, I lost my phone on the way to work.“
It sounds so trivial. Too trivial for something that serious. Whenever someone referred to my „loss“ it made me crinch.

Then there was this man my father had engaged to say something about my grandmother's life. He disturbed me.
It was not the fact, that a complete stranger tried to describe her life on an occasion, which is very personal and intimate. It was merely the structure of his speech.
It sounded like a mixture between a profile on a dating website and a curriculum vitae.

„She enjoyed taking long walks and going to the fitness studio three times a week. She also liked the company of other people and often went to the city center with her girlfriends.“
„From 1965 to 1972 she worked at the company xy and then changed to the company jfk.“

I mean, are you serious? Is this really the kind of speech that is given at a funeral service? I can only repeat myself by saying, that maybe it is just me, but this speech seemed to be so inappropriate. Not rude or disrespectful, just awkward.

On top of that among the guests was the man who had been her partner for many years, but she had left him maybe 2 years ago, Why? Because he had fooled around with other women.
I never liked him and seeing him at the funeral service of the woman he had betrayed felt so wrong. My mum later told me, that my grandmother did not even want him to come, but well. He did. Maybe it was some kind of personal issue he had to solve. Honestly, I don't care.

Her ex-husband (my father's father) did not even come. He only dropped off his wife, whom I really like, and even though my father tried to convince him to stay, he left.

Overall, this funeral service was a very uncomfortable experience. On the one hand I had the chance to say goodbye to my grandmother, but on the other hand there were so many little things which were too ridiculous to take this whole affair seriously.

Sorry grandma for thinking all these inappropriate things and getting all worked up about them, but I could not help it.

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