20 May 2010


Well, the funeral was today.

Wait a second, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Last night, there was a visitation for friends and family (and whatever morbid members of the public who read the obituary). The first hour was only for relatives and my Uncle's closest friends, and it was open casket. It was pretty disturbing to see him in the casket. The funeral home had dyed his hair red and put makeup on him to hide his dead complexion. His little girl had put Lammy, her favorite stuffed animal, in the casket with a drawing of her and her Dad. Barry didn't look anything like he used to - more like a sculpture from a second-rate wax museum than the body of my Uncle.

The funeral was today. My other uncle is in the Minnesota Police Pipe Band (yes, he plays the bagpipes. He's awesome like that) and he got the pipe band to come and play for the funeral. It was held in a scale model of the Hagia Sophia, and while the 'scale model' part sounds cheesy, it was actually quite beautiful, visually and acoustically.

My aunt Nancy asked me to read in the service, which I did - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, the "there is a time for everything" passage.

After the service, Barry's casket was escorted out of the chapel to the pipe band, and everyone drove to his burial plot. It's beautiful, sitting in the shade of some big shade trees on a sunny hill beneath a mausoleum. Everyone else was so sad and hurting so much that I started crying, which was embarrassing because right around then, people started meeting and greeting each other. Bah. Don't get me wrong - I love my Uncle dearly, and I do miss him, but it's not very pleasant to meet some awesome cousins with tears and mucus running down your face. >:(

The cemetery staff shooed everyone away, and we drove to a loft to have lunch and talk. I was whisked into a whirlwind of meeting obscure relatives whose names I've forgotten.

Now, throughout the whole thing, I kept thinking that the funeral and the pomp going into it was far too serious for my Uncle. After all, he was the type who would try to outrace the mosquitoes on his boat rather than wait for them to fly off (true story, we did that once. He wasn't touched, but I got a couple hundred bites. Yes, I counted). No, Uncle Barry would be wanting a wake, in the true Irish style, Guinness and all. He got one, actually. After the official lunch, Aunt Nancy and her close family and Barry's friends headed off to a pub.

There are far too many songs to express how I'm feeling, so I'll leave that to tomorrow's post. So, instead, I'll go crash on the couch and watch a documentary about people dying in World War 1.

Also, I'm in no mood to talk with people, so emails, chats, anything will be deleted if they arrive tonight.

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