Another World

Not the soap opera (though I confess, I do used to watch it way back when). It just stuns me sometimes that people live in their own little world, not realizing how much more there is, even when it’s right alongside them.

A woman I work with lost her husband this week. It was very sudden and we were all surprised. We knew something was up because she wasn’t at work during one of the busiest times of the year, and she’s very dedicated so it had to be something. Well, it was.

By her own choice, she wanted to limit the spread of news, because my office has a grapevine that most news agencies would envy. She only told her manager, who told the rest of their department–with her okay–and because I know someone in her department, I found out and I told someone I work with.

Well, the person I work with is, to put it mildly, a funeral junkie. It’s the craziest thing but if someone dies, he has to be at the funeral. I don’t know why or what inspires him, but he’s there. I mean, seriously; it’s not like the Recently Deceased is going to return the favor. Me, you can’t pry to funerals. I don’t even want one of my own. I plan to leave instructions and enough money to have a kick-ass party. I want everybody to stand around getting pickled while they laugh about all the fun we had. As the saying goes, “Don’t cry because she’s gone. Smile because she was here.”

So today the info came down about the funeral arrangements, and she indicated she wanted the service to be private. My co-worker was actually upset. I mean, really upset. He thought it wasn’t fair. “Doesn’t she need our support? Doesn’t she want our sympathy?” Yes, he was serious.

I told him no, she doesn’t. She wants it private, and she’s entitled to have it that way. He got his nose out of joint when I said, “This isn’t about you.  She’s entitled to plan the services the way they agreed. This has nothing to do with you.”

I just don’t get how people feel they have a right to make a show of their feelings, even if their feelings are only for show. What does this get them? “Brownie points into Heaven”, as my Mom used to put it? No. It does nothing. If she wants to be alone in her grief, she has every right to that. EVERY RIGHT. Everyone handles these things in their own way. She wants to keep things quiet. I’m sure she’s aching from the inside out right now. Her whole life has been turned around six ways ’til Sunday, and it’s going to take her a while to get her direction back. If she chooses a non-standard method of going through it, let her. It’s not about you.

For what it’s worth, I’m serious. I want a big New Orleans-style sendoff, preferably at Citizens Bank Park, perhaps during a ballgame but if not, that’s fine too. They put on a great party. Look up World Series 2008 if you don’t believe me, or better still, check the video of Harry Kalas’ funeral. Each of the players carrying Harry’s casket to the car? Classiest move I’ve ever seen, but I can’t hear “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” without crying like a baby, yet I have 2 different versions of it on my iPod.

How do you want to go out? It’s all up to you. I say, do it with your own personal style, and forget what anybody else thinks. Just like the way we should live life.

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2 thoughts on “Another World

  1. The funny (sort of) thing is that I hate talking about it, but while I was visiting my parents, apparently she and my dad and all their friends are comfortable discussing their final arrangements. I can’t bring myself to even imagine it yet! I’m only 45; I have way too much left to do to begin to consider stuff like that. Of course, my theory is, if I can’t die ’til I finish all my unfinished knitting/crochet projects, I HAVE to live forever. 🙂

    I keep trying to tell myself it doesn’t matter; by then my body is just a piece of meat, much like it is now. (As seen on Facebook: You don’t HAVE a soul. You HAVE a body; you ARE a soul.) And yet the idea of being in a sealed, airtight box makes this asthmatic draw a deep, slightly comforting breath. Really, I just don’t want to know.

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