On Thursday, my grandma died.
She was on the decline for a while, entering Hospice while the family emotionally prepared for her passing.Â While she hovered on the brink, I had a chat with Jesus; I told him that heâ€™d better be there to personally greet her at the gates of Heaven after she attended daily Mass for nearly 90 years.
I think Jesus had a scheduling conflict, because my grandma miraculously woke up out of Hospice, was coherent for a couple more weeks, then died peacefully Thursday morning.
When I got the news, I felt at peace for two reasons:
- I knew she was being escorted around her Heavenly Dream House by the Man himself, and
- I knew she was finally driving my grandpa nuts, cooking him terrible goulash and making up for their 12-year separation.
I also felt sad, and instead of crying like a normal person (like my cousins), or looking serious and stoic (like my uncles), I did what I normally do at funerals: desperately tried to shut my brain up.Â Every time Iâ€™m at a funeral – and I mean, every time – my brain is all, â€œHey, gurlll! Youâ€™re trying to look solemn!Â Hereâ€™s a totally inappropriate thought!â€
The last time I attended a funeral, I spotted a woman wearing an $8,000 mink coat while carrying a $40 nylon purse.Â Instead of paying any attention to the ceremony, I obsessed over that coat/purse discrepancy, wondering if she had lost all her money and, if so, why she didnâ€™t sell the coat and pay some bills.
This time, I noticed some serious streamer action as we entered the church.Â There were long, rainbow-colored streamers hanging two stories high, from the ceiling to floor.Â In fact, there were rainbows everywhere, and I turned and whispered to my mom (in true confusion), â€œDoesnâ€™t the church hate gays?â€
Thatâ€™s definitely the question to ask in the middle of a Catholic funeral.Â Definitely.
I hereby ban myself from all future funeral attendance, because Iâ€™m the worst at it.Â The rainbows represented Easter and rebirth (or something), which Iâ€™d know if I ever went to church.Â At least my involuntary bad behavior stays (mostly) inside my head; if I were one of those people who giggled in stressful situations, my grandmother would have reached down from above and â€œhit me with a ball bat!â€ to remind me how a grandchild of hers ought to act in church.
…maybe that wouldn’t be the worst thing.