My grandma's funeral was last week. I hate to use the word sad to describe it. I mean, she was 91 years old and did a lot of amazing things. She had a lot of love. You can't really ask for more than that, can you?
This attitude was reflected by my family. Our first hour at the funeral home was just immediate family. And it was so quiet. Just us and gram. I stood there with my brother, looking at her. "Wait…" he said. "Is this Desperado?"
You would like for me to say no.
You would be wrong. It was a Muzak version of The Eagles. Followed by That's What Friends Are For. Yes, our final goodbye to our grandmother was set to the soundtrack of Crap Funeral Home Muzak. It felt like being in an elevator. I did learn a lesson, though. When I'm old and tell my family what I want to wear to my funeral, I'm also giving them some CD choices.
My father learned that mourners don't have their minds on pocket change. Realizing this, he took a turn around the room, sitting on any seat with a cushion. He spent the day telling stories about my grandmother while counting his ill-gotten fortune. ($1.42, if you're curious. Score.)
My brother and sister decided that Grandma would appreciate some new stories about her life. So after a brainstorming session, these two tall tales were added to her history: Did you know my grandmother invented the Arby's potato cake? However, Mr. Robert Arby stole the idea from her before she could cash in.* Also, my grandmother was a WAC in WWII both until and during her pregnancy with my mother. Only when the baby was born did she give up flying.** (Two tickets to Hell for my siblings, please.)
One cousin asked if she could bring any food to the post-funeral lunch. Then she remembered she doesn't cook. After all the guests were gone from the house, though, I found that she'd brought an alternative. A bottle of Irish booze tied up in grocery bag in my bedroom. You have to love family. (I guess she didn't want to share?)
Even though some of us couldn't keep from crying (I did not, shut up, that is a lie.) it was a nice tribute to her. I think my feisty grandma would have liked it...particularly, the hidden booze.
But not, you know, the music.
**Also a lie.