January 22, 2008
grieving DC family seeks sleep.
I don’t recommend an 8 am appointment with the lawyer followed by a meeting with the bank bookended by detailed and sterile arrangements at the funeral home only blocks from your work. Days are much better spent eating Twix bars while wearing men’s boxers or having your eyelashes waxed. I genuinely mean both.*

The funeral home, despite the warmth of its staff and the efforts of an able interior decorator, was cold. Removed. Stilted. Like a five-star hotel with first-rate art and broken radiators. For the two hours I was forced to be there I couldn’t shake the thought that my father - or his body as people are prone to calling him these days - was somewhere in the building. Alone. Without us watching football side by side and consuming illegal numbers of Snickers bars.

I wish things hadn’t end this way, with papers to sign and the complete removal of my dad from the process. It’s an inhumane procedure, this onslaught of forms and decisions, a practice ironically designed for humans. Sign here. Date here.

This does not suit him. It’d be beautiful if a waving and healthy Dad had just faded in dramatic fashion like the victims at the end of every Cold Case episode. No forms, no awkward protocol, just his ridiculously cool self giving us a final nod and moving on into the sunset. Although I could do without the show's faux music video production. My father would undoubtedly agree.





*Although listening to Hootie and the Blowfish on 11 on repeat? Slightly more painful.


38 Comments:

Blogger Sizzle said...

i remember the funeral home part of it all so vividly. i kept thinking, how can my dad be here, cold and alone? he must really want a cigarette. (but sadly, that's what got him there in the first place.)

you have been in my thoughts. i'm thinking of you.

xo,
sizz

Blogger sadielady said...

I am so sorry for your loss ...

Blogger ETK said...

Kris, I wish I had the words to express how sorry I am and how much I feel your pain. We're all thinking 'bout you, ok?

Blogger Anastacia said...

My heart is bleeding.

Hootie and the Blowfish? Oh, Kris.

;) Just trying to keep it light. I'll save the good stuff for texts and mid-morning phone calls. Love the socks off of you. (But only your over socks, when you're wearing them 80s style. I know what you do to your foot skin and quite frankly, my retinas are forever burned. I'm sorry, but it's true. You know this.)

Love you, doll. Always and for-evah, just like the old song.

Blogger Prettylyf said...

May he rest in peace

Blogger WildbillthePirate said...

We all want to relate to the recently departed. To tell them how much we loved them, how empty we feel and how it will be a struggle to be here without them. In my Philosophy, they know all of this and more because they are no longer seperated from Life itself, but part of the Greater Whole.

Be there for your Mom & siblings. You may have lost your Dad but she lost her Man, who she Loved, married, had & raised children with and was as much a part of her as her lungs or Heart. She will need you now. As will the Rest. They won't acknowledge it right away but they will Remember.

I think you are a lot stronger than you think Kris. I wish you Strength, I wish you Rest and I wish you Peace.

Blogger sid said...

So sorry for your loss. Wish there was something I could say that would lessen your pain.

Blogger Lola Goetz said...

i'm so sorry sweetie. love you & thinking of you. *hugs*

becky

Blogger Diane Mandy said...

I've never boon through this expierence, but I can imagine how sad and unreal it must be. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Blogger JordanBaker said...

I still remember when Georgetown informed me that they'd lost my uncle's remains (due to a paperwork mix up since he'd inconveniently decided to die on a Friday afternoon). Behind the part of me that was dealing with the mix up and the part that was being frantic, I couldn't help thinking "Oh, he's enjoying this. . ."

Big hug.

Blogger Ryane said...

Oh Kris...I am so sorry for your loss. When you are ready, I am still serious about meeting for dinner, or coffee or whatever... I'll keep checking in to see how you are doing...

Blogger Heather said...

I remember when my husband died and all of the arrangements that just HAD to be taken care of. This had to be done, that had to be signed, everyone wanted a decision. All I really wanted to wake up from this nightmare and be LEFT THE HELL ALONE...

Again, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Blogger Tyra said...

Today marks 11 weeks since my father died. The news is both good and bad when I say that your pain is proportionate to your love for your father. If time heals all wounds as they say, it must be a long time. I share your pain and my thoughts are with you.

Blogger Chris said...

Thinking of you.

Blogger HKW said...

My heart aches reading this and it goes out to you

Blogger gorillabuns said...

unfortunately, i'm the one that ALWAYS has to take care of such decisions, paperwork and everyone else's grief. i've become quite a vision of detachment during such times and only concern myself with making sure i don't dump someones remains in my car as i take a corner to fast.

thinking of you and raising my nightly cocktails to you and your family.

**cheers and hugs!**

Blogger Chantel said...

Yes; my Sisters and I used the funeral arrangement time to have the "big fight" that's been brewing for years. All very dramatic; all extrememly funny. Although I think the poor funeral guy was mortified at our psychotic family dynamic.

Blogger Frankly, Scarlett said...

I can't imagine how sad and numbing this experience must be.

My heart goes out to you, really.

Blogger Ashley said...

i know it's been said, 100 times over....

but i'm so sorry for your loss, kris.

take care of yourself and your family. you are all in my thoughts.

Blogger Amyella said...

I hug you.

Blogger Kelly said...

Lots of love, honey.

Blogger Jorge said...

I've actually been reading a lot about the "sterility" of death ritual lately. I've also been listening to a lot of interviews, of which there are a surprising number.

It's a horrible shame.

I've been trying to work on my will (unsuccessfully), and one of the details is how I want my death celebrated.

It's an eye-opening experience how little "humanity" is left in some of the funerals (and funeral homes) i have visited (too many, really).

In these situations I find it helpful to allow my mind to wander, picturing how the deceased may really wish to spend their final days - the days between death and closure. Maybe it's my imagination, but I feel that at times I have connected with that person spiritually, to say my own goodbye.

I really wish that I would have been lucky enough to meet the man that brought such an awesome person into the world.

I mean, everyone should meet some Canadians at some point, right?

Blogger TexInTheCity said...

Ghost Whisper. Now THAT is the way to go. You are chillin with Melinda and your loved ones and as soon as your done making nice-nice you get "the light." Although now that I think about it, my dads light was most likely the big screen with CNN!

Trying to keep it light for you,
Tex

Blogger Keith said...

Yeah, this time really sucks, but it will be over soon enough. *hugs*

Oh and Hootie? Why Hootie? You need cheerier music, :)

Blogger bandick said...

Oh. Krisser. I'm so, so sorry. I've been absent for a while dealing with, what turns out to be, inconsequential shit.

There is nothing to say. Stupid jokes are all I know, but there are none stupid enough to make this funny.

I love you, Krisser. You've always been my bosom blogger.

Blogger t2ed said...

I'm very, very sorry. To go along with your tv theme, have you talked to either the guys at Six Feet Under or Pushing Daisies?

While not knowing him, I like to think your Dad would have approved of the big dance number. It would have been tasteful. As far as you know.

Blogger Blue said...

Thinking of you and yours, Kris. Have been through this and it sucks big time. (((((((((((hugs and good thoughts))))))))))))))))

Blogger Kim said...

What's wrong with Hootie? I happen to like him and his blowfish. Don't hate.

And you can't tell me American Idol didn't help. ;)

Here for you, sweetpea.

Blogger Wanderlusting said...

Sounds repetitive but I am SO sorry for your loss. I've lost a lot this month too and I don't know what I would do if I lost my mom, dad or bf. You are in my thoughts and prayers :)

Blogger Wanderlusting said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Melliferous Pants said...

Oh Kris. I am so sorry you are going through this.

You and your family are in my thoughts.

xoxo,

Pants

Blogger k said...

i have no idea how you are managing to write anything about the experience at all. i'm awed.

(and thinking of you.)

Blogger Dawn Allynn said...

My heart goes out to you, I know the pain of this process well, and it so hard. At the loss of my niece I kept thinking how I hoped that it could be more personal for my children if they lose me, I so hope they could have the joy of my life to remember me by, not the little details that occur because of my passing.

My thoughts are with you.

Dawn
http://dawnallynn.blogspot.com/

Blogger tallglassofvino said...

yes, the process is numbing, but the numbness is a layer of emotional protection, keep that in mind. it happens because we need it to happen, or we'd be torn asunder, and it thankfully eases off just about when we're ready for it to.

again, I'm sorry for your loss. hang in there.

Blogger kerrianne.org said...

I know it's little consolation right now, but I too am sorry for your loss. It sounds like your father was amazing. Thinking of you.

Blogger Canaan said...

I'm reading your blog for the first time, and these hit me close to home.

I completely understand the helpless, angry and lonley feeling of being at the funeral home and knowing your father is there. Alone. Not with you. It's something I didn' think words could explain.

I haven't been able to put into words what that's like to my friends, who haven't been through a loss of their father.

Thank you for your post. My dad past away in May 2006, and reading your blog is the most comfort I've had about it in a long time. I'm sorry for grief, it doesn't go away, but it gets easier to remember the happiness you had with him.

Blogger Whimspiration said...

LOVE! *hug*

Blogger Proinvestorsblog said...

That is unacceptable for a funeral home to treat you so cold, I work in the funeral industry, and as a funeral directory it is your job to be there for the family and to make the difficult time they are facing as easy on the family as possible.

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