Funeral Taboos

The ultimate taboo is death itself. Our culture is just not very good at dealing with death. Like poo. We’re not very good at dealing with that either. But the thing, just as I taught Kaya the other day, we all poo. She seemed shocked by this, then proceeded to name every single person and animal she knows asking if they poo. She seemed most shocked that her preschool teacher poops. Which makes me think those teachers need more potty breaks.

At any rate, we all poop and we all die. It shouldn’t be so awkward. This post has a lot of death talk. And some poo talk. If you find yourself cringing, click away now.

Top 10 Taboo Moments

1. I would like to describe my Grampa’s funeral as good. Not fun so much as nice. Yes, maybe for the first time ever, ‘nice’ applies to a situation. Is that wrong? Maybe it’s because he was in the beginning stages of dementia and we all knew he didn’t have a lot of ‘life’ left to live. Maybe it’s because he lived a fairly long, good life. Maybe it’s because this small community, his community, came out in full force to pay their respects. I heard stories I had never heard before. I heard stories I have heard many, many times before. All of them so my Grampa. Maybe nice funeral is not so taboo after all.

2. Fun funeral would be taboo. In fact, there is a website called funfunerals.org. Their tag line? We Put the FUN in Funerals! The only thing on the website is ‘The Revolution is coming soon…” Alrighty then. All I can think of is clowns at a funeral. And that is just scary.

3. My mom’s husbandy thing (significant other) making the cremation boxes for the funeral home. He made a special one for my Grampa which is cool. But he wanted to show it off and, well, no thanks. Enough said.

4. The Funeral Director’s name is Drake. Which rhymes with wake. And that just screams mortician jokes.

5. Speaking of mortician jokes, Drake came by while some friends and family were hanging out at my mom’s after the service. He cracked some joke (a very respectable, cute one though not funny enough for me to remember it) which sparked some not so cute and respectable ones by my family. Something along the lines of drunken Funeral Home Conventions full of stiff competition. Then, on his way out, somebody asked, “Hey Drake, when you moved to town, did you put up an ‘Everyone Welcome!’ sign?” Groan.

6. This is not taboo so much as funny. Which I guess is taboo. In a small town, everyone comes out to pay respects. They stop by on their way to their weekend activities. Which means they don’t ‘dress up’ for the service. It was somehow really reassuring and well, right, about seeing jogging pants and running shoes all over the place. My favourite was the black sweats with a black tank top and white runners. Classic funeral attire. My Grampa certainly would have felt more comfortable hanging out with them than his dressed up in black family.

7. Before leaving for the service, Kaya looks up at me with big eyes like she wants a cuddle. She is not going to the service but she is sensitive to the fact that something is going on. I scoop her up and she wraps her arms and legs around me then whispers “Mommy, you look just like a princess!” Poor love hasn’t seen mommy with her hair done, makeup on, a skirt, pretty shirt and heels like EVER! Oh, and they weren’t heels so much as Mary Janes. But Kaya insisted they were heels so let’s go with that.

8. Grampa’s wallet sitting in the kitchen of my mom’s house. Seeing it just sparked one of those moments of realization where you’re like “Oh, Grampa forgot his wallet!” and then you bite your tongue because you remember Grampa does not need his wallet anymore. There was $15 inside. We’re buying Lotto Max tickets with it for the family. I would say Grampa would like that but I don’t think he ever bought lotto tickets. He’d probably think it was a ‘damn waste of money!’ But what the hell else are we going to do with his $15? Buy beer?

9. Oh yes, there was a lot of beer consumed this past weekend. Of everything we did and everything we said and all the stories that were shared, my Grampa would have liked that the most. Us all hanging out on a gorgeous, hot summer day, kicked back and chilling with family and beer. That’s not taboo? Then how about Brennyn bound and determined to drink beer. Mmmmm, beer. Practically her first words. Thanks Uncle Rob!

PS. Rob would say the most taboo beer story should be us drinking Bud Lite Lime. But he bought it for us anyways 🙂

10. I haven’t even touched on poo yet! Well, here you go. Friends and family are sitting around the yard in our lawnchairs drinking our beer and having pleasant chats when I realize I haven’t seen Kaya in a while. “Where’s Kaya?” I ask anybody. Up strolls a friend of the family, a big, burly bear of a man “Oh, she’s #2!” And everyone is there and everyone stops their conversations and I am trying to process if there is another #2 but realize there is not and am all “okay then. Good to know. Thanks for sharing with EVERYONE!” Hilarious.

The thing about funerals is, they are sad and horrible and sometimes there is anger and tragedy, but there is also community, support and family. And lots and lots of love. That is as far from taboo as you can get.

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2 thoughts on “Funeral Taboos

  1. nicely said kari.
    and i kid you not, kam and i had the exact conversation about poo the other day as well. so strange, and funny.
    she was like, “and a spider poos?, and an elephant poos”? etc etc.

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