Sunday, November 06, 2005

strange rituals

strange rituals…November 8, 2005

Big Daddy passed away
I got the news on Tuesday evening that Big Daddy finally let go, and passed away in his bed at the care facility. He had a living will, therefore no feeding tubes were implanted, and no machines were used to prolong his life. My father drove up there earlier that morning, and sat with him for 12 hours. Finally he told him "Daddy, I know you are a fighter, and you are strong, but you dont have to fight anymore. Its okay to let go this time. You can let go" Dad was with Barbara, a woman who was dear to Big Daddys heart and who took care of him after my Gram Betty died in 2000. He loved her. Dad and Barbara sat with him for hours until they just needed a break and left for a moment to get something to eat. Thats when it happened, Big D finally let go. I am convinced that he just didnt want my dad to see him go. I remember the last thing Big Daddy told me. "You listen to your daddy" and I kissed him on the cheek and promised him I always would. He didnt want my sister and I there those last days, he didnt want us to see him like that.
He wasnt able to eat, and had lost a startling amount of weight since I last saw him. My parents both warned my sister and I that he had lost a lot of weight, and was a shell of the man we once knew. It was shocking. There he lay, in his nicest suit and tie...with a copy of the Louis L'Amore novel he had been reading before he died, as if he had just fallen asleep his best clothes. He loved westerns, I think thats where he is in his heaven, he is a cowboy in the old west walking with the Duke. He was so skinny I barely recognized him, but it was still Big Daddy. Dad brought us over to the funeral home before anyone else got there so that we could take it all in, in private. They had put a lot of makeup on him and my sister and I giggled through our tears as we thought about what he would have to say about that if he were alive. I can hear his voice as if he were right here (in a deep southern accent not unlike Boomhower) "Donnnt craa baybuh, ah'm the wuun who shuud be craa'n ah've got all this gal damn maykup own!"
Funerals are weird. You die, some strange guy puts you in your best clothes and forgets your shoes, you get positioned into a coffin where a bunch of people you love and a bunch of people you barely remember come and stare at you, and then they all sit around talking to eachother and saying "oh arent the flowers beautiful" as if you werent even there. Then people bring food, and they dont stop bringing food, people calling and coming over constantly offering their condolances and more food. Then you get placed in a church on display and people come to hear some old guy talk about you as if he knew you and everyone cries. Then you get all closed up in the coffin and shoved into a hearst and driven to the graveyard where only the closest people to you come normally and they watch as they put your coffin wherever it goes and say goodbye. Then everyone comes over to your house and eats the food that your family has accumulated over the last few days since the death and pick through your belongings. When I die, I want to be cremated or at least buried in my pajamas, and I want people to have a party afterwards and everyone gets to pick something they want from my stuff, but just one thing, like a party favor, no crying is allowed.

¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•. jenni


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