Thursday, February 22, 2007


My aunt’s funeral was my first family funeral.

It was a sad event. It was also a learning experience.

The day of the funeral, all the women went to the hospital to dress the body. They then bought my aunt’s body to her house in Andheri. My aunt was my mum’s sister, who incidentally married my dad’s brother. So relations on both sides were present. Once the body arrived, things got underway.

First there were the photographs. A note about my mum’s side of the family, they are the world’s most loveable drama queens. And all six of them love to out do each other. They were all obviously sad and crying, but I couldn’t help but note that when the camera came out, they began to cry even harder, and make the most grotesque faces you have ever seen.

Why in the world does anyone take pictures at a funeral? I mean I can’t imagine sitting around one day, taking out the album and saying remember the day when Aunty passed away, let’s have a look at all the crying faces…
Then they started the prayers, followed by hymns. And the five brothers and sisters would sing loudly, each trying to sing a little louder than the other, and every time someone new would enter, their voice would falter and they would start bawling. At first I felt sorry for them, but then I began to wonder the odds of them crying with absolute emotion every time some one new entered…..

When it was time to go to the church, I was told that we would walk to the church which was about five minutes away behind the hearse carrying the body. So holding onto my mum we started walking, and then I hear a strange noise at the back of us. I turn round and there is a five piece funeral band, bellowing out the saddest music you have ever heard, and as we walk, it is as if the world around us has stopped, and we have entered into a strange movie.

At the grave site, I got massacred by the flies. When they were ready to lower the body into the ground, the family was requested to kiss the body for the last time. Now I have to let you know, that I did not want to kiss the body and had avoided any direct contact with the body all day. So I reached down touched my hand on the forehand and kissed my hand. I thought I got away with it, till I felt my mother push my head down, and my dad push my back down, till I kissed the forehead, which was cold as ice. Let it be known that I was forcibly made to kiss a dead body and I am now scarred for life.

As they lowered the casket into the ground, I just couldn’t believe she was gone.

What struck me for the rest of the trip, was how life doesn’t miss a beat once you’re gone, things just move forward on and on.


Miz JJ said...

I can not believe you made me laugh about a funeral.

This brought back the memories of my granny's funeral in Tobago. My dad took pictures of the open casket! I was not impressed. I hate open caskets and am totally opposed to them.

Still laughing at your parents pushing you down to kiss your auntie. Sorry, I am a bad, bad person.

Jdid said...

my thing with funerals in barbados is that almost everyone wears shades in the church. itshighly disturbing to me.

oh poor child what a traumatic trip you had. kissing dead people having strange oompa loompa people feel you up. you need therapy chile.

bitsandgiggles said...

My grandmother died about two years ago. She was one of the most important people in my life and I still can't imagine kissing her body.

You've had quite the adventure.

GC (God's Child) said...

I could imagine kissing the body if we wouldn't wait so long to have funerals. I mean if it's die today, buried tomorrow, hey, that might be alright. But we've got to have everybody fly in from everywhere. And that makes a body yucky.

I feel badly for you. I don't know but I think I'd still feel a bit weird about my own lips.

Abeni said...

Pictures of the dead in the casket is morbid.Yet, people keep on doing it.I didnt kiss my grandmother but I touched her

scratchie said...

lol and still laughing...sorry :( I never understood the videoing and photo taking at funerals either.

Crankyputz said...

Hello All, its ok for laughing....i was trying to strike a balance between how sort of funny i found the whole event, with how truly sad I felt by my aunts passing.....but what an experience....Jdid, my cousins did the sunglasses thing at the grave site...and my dad whispered to me slyly "Check out the men in black"

I will be scared for life for having to kiss the dead body...i still can feel the cool on my lips...ughhhhh

Mani said...

Cranky, you made me laugh at your aunty's funeral, shame on you! My aunt likes to kiss the foreheads of corpses a lot. Blech! Why in the world...? Is that like a new thing now for people to kiss their dead relatives corpses? Yeesh! Sorry you had to go through that.

Your statement about life just going on is pretty much how I've always felt. I've compared it to falling off a merry-go-round yet no one stops the ride. Pretty soon everyone stops staring at you lying on the ground and resume enjoying their ride. Morbid.

jennifer starfall said...

i got that lesson recently. it sucks for those of us grieving, but if the world stopped every time someone loved died, none of us would ever do anything.

but i've never had to kiss a dead body when i didn't want to. that stinks.