My great aunt died Friday and her funeral was Sunday. She was my mothers aunt, her fathers baby sister. She died peacefully in her sleep, which is about the best way to go. I want an epic death like being wiped out by a giant wave or eaten by a dinosaur, but dying in my sleep works too (at a very old age!) Her death was also a bit sudden, she did have failing health, but she was still at home and not in a hospital. I didn’t know the woman that well, but she was my mom’s last connection to her dad who died six years ago.
This great aunt was a very wealthy woman. Like, an elevator in her vacation home at the beach, kind of wealthy. Which means she knew a lot of other wealthy people. She was also Catholic and I’m wondering if all Catholics are rich, if so, I need to be Catholic.
The funeral was held in a Catholic church. I have only seen these churches in movies so I didn’t know they were as gorgeous in real life. It was all so fancy with bowls of holy water at every entrance and huge stain glass windows. There were even these benches that folded out from under the pews so that you could kneel at your seat. Is this common for Catholic churches? I know nothing about the religion to be honest. There were awesome lights that hung from the ceiling that actually looked somewhat oriental. Then, my favorite part, was the massive organ that was on a second level behind where everyone sat. There were also nuns!!
The service was really different from what I am used to. It was similar to my grandpa’s funeral in a way, but the mood was so different. There wasn’t a lot of crying, like people were too afraid to mess up their make up. I’m not judging these people with money, but I did feel like they turned their nose up to me because I showed up in blue jeans. I’m just not a dressy person.
The service started with the priest saying hello or something another. I was too busy watching the people in the stain glass windows coming alive and dancing near the ceiling. I might have been the only one to see that. Every one stood up, then sat down, than stood up, and sat down. At one point I thought my mom had tricked me into some wacky fitness class.
There was a song that everyone sung and a scripture that the priest read. That is about the point things seemed a little weird to me. The pamphlet we were given when we came in had everything written down. Anything in bold the congregation had to say together. I didn’t get this at first and was completely shocked when everyone said the same thing at the same time. For a moment I actually wondered if I had been forced into a cult.
After the priest was done and the family of the deceased said a few things we were lined up to go into another building to visit with the family. My mom and I stood in line for an hour just to say hey to her uncle. We never made it to her uncle in the line, my mom got out of line to say hey to her cousins. One of her cousins took us the the front of the line for my moms uncle. Yep, we cut in line. After that my mom was a mad woman. She was cutting in front of everyone to say hey to all her cousins. I thought it was weird that there were separate lines for all of them any ways. The few funerals I have gone to, the family stood in a line by the casket and you could see them all at once.
I was actually glad that my mom started cutting in lines, I was so ready to go by then. There were so many people and not a single one of them knew the value of personal space! I was bumped into, pushed, and brushed up against so many times I was starting to think I was some kind of animal in a petting zoo. The only difference was no one tried to feed me. I was the unemployed girl in a room full of rich old people. It was draining.
By the time we made it out I was ready to bust a window, or bust a move. I was so excited to have my personal space back that I got a little loopy, though my mom will say I am always like that.
I don’t know if it was because of money or the fact that my great aunt was Catholic, but this funeral was the strangest I have ever been to. I was glad to see the inside of a Catholic church and to get a taste of what it would be like to attend that church. I won’t be converting anytime soon, I like my loud Pentecostal church, but it was a nice, new, experience.