Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Part and Parcel

Today has been another cold and miserable day that kept all of us inside. Thank goodness Sammy had school this morning or I might have decided to take the kids to Goodwill. Just to look around at all the crazy stuff – what did you think I meant?

It looks like we will be going to yet another funeral this week, as Chris’s uncle passed away this morning. It feels like we’ve been to lots of them lately. Well, not lately exactly, but the frequency seems to have ramped up the past few years. We just went to his aunt’s funeral before Christmas. For that one, I had to go get something appropriate to wear for the winter, and it’s been getting far too much use since then.

There’s something special though about the way this little town comes together to take care of its own during times like these. Chris comes from a village, really, even though it’s just outside the giant metro area where we live now. Everyone knows each other, and speaks in terms of how this person was a This and married a That. And when someone dies, there’s no question as to what will happen. There will be a church service, and a graveside service, and then everyone goes to one of the 5 or 6 (seriously, I lost count and they all have acronymy names, so forget trying to differentiate) halls for a meal. All kinds of potluck. At every single one of these, the family of the deceased (isn’t there a better way of saying that?) is always trying to pawn leftovers off on anyone they can find. It’s just what they do. And it doesn’t matter what that is specifically, because it’s about the spirit of enclosure, of caring, of being together. As someone new(ish) to the experience, it’s really quite beautiful to behold.

Weddings are similar in their tradition, too, and a whole lotta fun, I must say.

So while I’m sad for the reason, I’m happy to go to these funerals. It makes me feel like a part of the hive.

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