I don't handle death too well.
Well, duh. Who does?
But today's funeral was somewhat surreal for me. As the foreigner, I only caught about 50% of the conversations. Being a new (yet old) member of the Spanish family, I had very little context with most of my family here.
So I really felt like an outsider, even though my place was within the inner circle. I couldn't quite grieve among the group. I'd rather weep in private, maybe with a few people I'm close with... and then be among people.
Fortunately, I haven't been to many funerals. They are always sad, and full of tears - which is to be expected. Yet most have had a memorial type gathering after... Usually with lots warm hugs, consoling smiles, and homemade casseroles, pies, and all types of comfort foods. Maybe that's just the American way.
Today's Jewish ceremony here in Spain was just the gathering at the mortuary, followed by the burial at the cemetery. That was it. Afterward, we all went our separate ways. No flowers, no reception. Maybe that comes later?
I don't like cemeteries.
I don't like the ritual.
I don't like the concept.
I don't want to go to them, nor would I want anyone to ever feel obligated to go to one on my account.
First off - if I can be a donor, that's what I'd want this vessel that is housing my spirit to go to - science. If I can't... well, I'd want to be cremated. And maybe be buried with a sapling that will become some sort of tree.
Kinda like in that Jodie Foster movie "Little Foxes" - where that girl says she want's them to plant a pear tree, so that in future years, people can come by, have some fruit and say "she's tasting good this year". Well, maybe that's kinda gross. I'd prefer apricots.
Just as I don't like cemeteries - I just don't like maudlin & morose funerals. Have some sort of informal gathering at some favorite place... with lots of yummy homemade comfort food. Pile-on all that dairy I've been lamentably missing all these years. (damn that lactose intolerance!). And just share some stories, and reminisce. Something relaxed and easygoing. With hugs. And tears. And laughs. And smiles. Pretend I'm in the room enjoying seeing all my friends and loved ones remembering me fondly. Without the drama.
Rest in Peace, my dear tante Lisette. I absolutely adored you. I feel blessed that I got to know such a fabulous woman who lived an extraordinary life full of love, kindness and generosity. I miss you tremendously. I almost feel guilty that I didn't get that haircut you always wanted me to get. Almost. I still prefer my hair long. x