Friday, July 27, 2007

I never really know the full scoop...

This is a follow up of yesterday's funeral which involved the family with limited funds which spurred me to write "Am I alone?". Overall I would have to say that everything went well and the family was extremely pleased with all that I did. It was however a little sad, strange and confusing all wrapped up in one for me. Here was a man that had lived 80 odd years, 62 of those years in the community where we were burying him and counting the Minister and my crew there were exactly 16 people in attendance. His family was comprised of 12 people, 1 minister, 2 of us and 1 friend. I know that at his age it is often a common occurrence when the majority of friends have pre-deceased you but, 1 friend.

The family came from all parts of the state, some in fine vehicles, others in jalopies yet they were all there. They all seemed to get along very well and there was no reason for me to believe that any type of trouble would ensue. I would hope that my family would be happy to see my one friend come to my funeral and welcome them with opened arms but this wasn't the case this day. This was a graveside service and we were to meet everyone at the cemetery. The friend was the first to arrive and the last to leave yet in between this there was a scuffle and a "time out" for lack of a better phrase. As the family began to arrive I went to each of them, introduced myself and noticed how almost every one of them, mid conversation, would peer at this friend with a look of disdain on their face. Something didn't feel right but I didn't ask any questions or offer any of my thoughts to them.

We were all waiting for the last two to arrive and were all standing about making idle conversation when I noticed the blue vehicle pulling into the gates. It was at this time that it all began. Several family members turned to the friend who had been standing off to the side and warned her that these two were coming into the cemetery. As soon as the car pulled up the doors were flung open and this huge hulk of a man started bounding toward the friend all the while saying that he was going to kill her! Just what I needed! All I can say is that a huge feeling of relief came over me as the Sheriffs car pulled up behind the last two "guests" car almost instantaneously and the shouting ended. I'm still unsure of how the Sheriff got there at just that precise moment but I was sure glad. There was some private conversation between the Sheriff and the friend and then they both walked to her car and she eventually pulled away. The service went off without a hitch, HA!, and the family wound up apologizing to me about the incident which I still don't fully understand nor do I really want to. After the family left, the friend returned again and watched us close the grave. She seemed very distraught but was absolutely reluctant to accept any assistance when offered. I eventually left the cemetery with her sobbing over the now filled grave. As I said, sad, strange and confusing.


paisley said...

she was more than likely daddy's mistress of girlfriend.. family members never understand that those relationships are as real and honorable to the people involved as the ones they have ...and usually resort to some kind of ruckus to prove they are superior beings....shame is,,, the friend was probably the one that loved him most of all....

MedStudentWife said...

We all have a story that no one other than yourself knows completely.

You did what was right for the family and the friend. She at least had a chance to mourn :)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to think the people that showed up, though a startling small number were the people who mattered. I think it would be better to have a small core than a bunch of plastic people who just came for the "after party".

I'm not trying to make light of the post, I am being absolutely serious here, but maybe this man had to change his identity at some point in his life? I imagine someone in hiding might not want to make too many ties in the community. Or maybe he was just private.

I like that thought better than him being the last of his group of friends (sans the one who showed up) to die.

- - -

When my mother died, the funeral was the most uncomfortable situation I could possibly be in. She had been in the hospital plus hospice for over two months in a vegetative state. The doctors told me she had suffered damage to the brain. Her heart was strong and she could have probably lived 20 years on a machine.

I talked to her doctor and neurologist to see if there was any hope that she would recover. They told me slim to none. She had a living will that specified that she didn't want to kept alive by artificial means. I was her medical segregant, so it was up to me to decide if it was the appropriate time.

In the end I couldn't bare to see her like that.

Her family blamed me, but at least they had enough respect to simply ignore me during the service.

- - -

I'm a little biased. I have to sympathize with the friend. Either she was very brave and must have loved him very much, or she was very guilty and hurt him pretty bad. I'd like to think it's the first option.

I can only image how you felt, or still do. Thanks for sharing.

MedStudentWife said...

ABC... I'd like to think the first vice the latter.. she loved him and showed up irrespective of all there...

back to past comments about mourning & dignity