I attended an uncle's funeral in the past couple of months. I know that funerals are probably one of the worst times imaginable for everyone in attendance. The family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances of the deceased are all dealing with the loss of this person.

The friends, co-workers, and acquaintances have the added burden of trying to be comforting to the bereaved family. They feel as if they have to say things, when in actuality their very presence is enough. Because of this need to say something, we must endure the most inane comments ever to pass the lips of man.

My least favorite of all of the comments that I heard at the last funeral I attended was "He looks so natural. It's like he is just sleeping." First of all, he doesn't look natural; he looks dead. Everything that is important about the man has left his body, and all that is left is a lifeless shell that has been pushed, prodded and generally manipulated, so that we can all stare at the corpse for a couple of hours before we bury it under six feet of dirt. Secondly, if the person saying this thinks that they just look asleep, remind me never to be severely ill with this person as my primary caregiver.

I have decided that this kind of tripe will not be dished out at my funeral. I have already begun to get my friends to agree to squirt anyone stupid enough to speak such trash with squirt guns. Sure, it's not "respectful of the dead," but as the "dead," I figure I can do what I want.

It was God's will.

Bullshit. Some people believe in a god with nothing better to do than personally handle each humdrum human birth and death. Some people don't. But for some reason this brand of piousness is a lot more common around funerals. Of course, it can't really be that comforting to have to think that God had it in for your loved one. "Why is Daddy gone?" "It's all God's fault."

I'm glad my grandfather had a great sense of humor. Some things heard at his funeral:

"You can hardly tell he had cancer."

"I'm glad Eleanor wasn't alive for this."

The following, however, are all from the pastor (who I might add never met my grandfather in life)... which makes them oh so unforgivable...

"I talked to Elmer this morning and he wants you to know he's okay and misses you all very much."

"Now I know Elmer and you, his friends, called your little group the Merry Makers. He told me you liked to sing. Can anyone think of a song?"
::sounds of confusion, trying to be helpful an elderly lady says, "Row Your Boat."::
"Great. Okay, now can all of you come up front and sing 'Row Your Boat'?" "C'mon, you know Elmer would have wanted it!."
::disguntled and confused collection of people goes to front of church and pathetically sings 'Row Your Boat'::
"Well that was wonderful. I feel better now. Elmer feels better. How do you feel?"

I went to the funeral of a very close friend of mine. It was a suicide.

The background

The story was as follows: Nancy (19) had a heart condition meaning she had to take a particular medicine once a day. She also had bipolar disorder, although she usually kept that side of her very well hidden.

On one of her worst depressions, she decided she'd had enough. She took all her heart medicine pills at once - more than 20.

She called her boyfriend, who is also a good friend of mine. He called me, after Nancy had seemed particularily down, and she had been a bit too insistent on telling him she loved him.

I got in my car, and drove to his place. On my way there I called a doctor from my cell phone, and had him go to her house. By the time Nancys boyfriend and myself arrived, the doctor had arrived as well. He called for an ambulance helicopter, but it was too late.

Nancy was still alive when the helicopter arrived, but there is no such thing as an antidote to heart medicine, and her life faded away as we were holding her hands.

What happened in church

As for what happened in church.... What really got to me was the minister saying

"It is sad what happened, but God chose to take her back at this young age, and this is something we will just have to accept"

God my ass. Nancy chose to leave life. The fact that the church didn't even acknowledge that it was her own choice made me sick.

I miss her. And even though I think she made the wrong choice, She made her choice. Leave God out of it.

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