My sweet girls,
In my short 38 years, I’ve unfortunately been apart of many funerals. The whole day is just awful, but to me the worst is the “visitation”. Basically what happens is people you know and many you hardly know come to the church or funeral home and they want to express how sorry they are for you, but they have no idea what to say. Sometimes they say really stupid stuff.
At Poppy’s (your Nanny’s dad) funeral, Aunt K wore a skirt that Poppy told her she looked nice in, a few weeks before he died. To Aunt K, she was wearing it for him. Well, some older lady that your Aunt K had never met before walked up and said, “Don’t you think that skirt is a little short for a funeral?” (Btw, it was to the knee.) Aunt K just smiled and told her that her Poppy liked that skirt on her.
You will have people you hardly know hug on you and tell you how sad they are, and the next minute it looks like they are having a reunion and laughing it up. Try to remember that funerals are sometimes the only place people will come together. They MAY BE having a reunion. They may have not seen “great aunt so and so” in years. I know it doesn’t make it right or fun that they seem so happy when you are so sad, but try to be understanding.
Here are some tips that I have learned.
1. Put a pack of tissues in your pocket. The funeral home or church usually has boxes of tissues but when you go to the burial site the tissues won’t be there.
2. Take a bottle of water with you. You will need it! Trust me!
3. Take gum or mints. You will have people “in your face” all day.
4. Go to the bathroom in between the visitation and funeral and then again before you leave for the burial.
5. You don’t have to wear all black. Especially if the person was a believer. You know where they are, you can be “JOYFUL” for them.
6. Be gracious. Listen to the stories that people will tell you. Later, when things have calmed down, you will remember the stories. YOU WILL REMEMBER WHO SHOWED UP TO THE FUNERAL! These people are real friends! (Even if they say stupid stuff.) They showed up at a really awkward time FOR YOU! Nobody WANTS to go to funerals. They DO because they love you.
7. IT’S OK TO CRY! (T, this is for you! 😉 ) Don’t bottle it up. Even if you have to do it in private, let it out.
By the end of the day, You will be exhausted, and you might even be a little angry. This is normal. Get something light to eat and go to bed. BUT GET BACK UP! Don’t let the grief take over. Live your life!