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The Spirit of Dick is With Me

September 17, 2012

So I just got back from a week in my hometown; an unplanned trip for my grandfather’s funeral.

It was one of those trips where things just naturally and instantly go downhill but I was determined to keep my head up. My boyfriend was a big help, too.  I had exactly six hours from landing in Toronto from New York to unpack, wash my clothes, pick out our funeral outfits, repack and fly out. Unfortunately, I’ve lost a bunch of weight so I was swimming in all of my formal dresses. I grabbed a belt, hoped for the best and packed one that seemed only two sizes too big.

As soon as we landed and rented a car, my boyfriend drove me to the first dress shop he saw. He demanded I take the time to go in a pick out a dress even though I wanted to drive straight to my hometown. I ran in, purchased the first dress that fit and ran back out. Unfortunately this presented a new problem. In my haste, I  had only brought silver jewellery with me and this dress had a gold buckle.

After driving the two and a half hours to my home town, my boyfriend dropped me at my grandmother’s and headed to The Beer Store (the people in my home town drink beer like water so this gesture was much appreciated by my family). He returned with two cases of beer, a 40 pounder of rye and a pair of gold hoop earrings that probably cost twice what their worth because there is only one fine jewellery store in my home town and it’s not known for deals.

It rained on the day of the funeral. I felt secretly pleased over this development. Why shouldn’t the weather suit my mood? In my mind, there is nothing quite like the obnoxiousness of a shining sun and chirping birds when I’m watching someone I love being dropped six feet into the ground. Of course, this did present new problems, which were quickly solved by a trip into town. My boyfriend and I bought half a dozen umbrellas and 24 of those personal sized Kleenex packages, which we distributed among family members and friends.

I, personally did not believe I would need the Kleenexes but other more wussy people might. Although my grandfather was a god to me as I grew up, I thought I could remain strong and calm. After all, I’m from the North! We don’t cry. We laugh in the face of pain and tragedy. And believe me, my biggest worry truly was that I would burst out laughing during the service. See, my grandfather’s name was Dick. I had never in his life heard someone call him by Richard, his formal name, so I knew that would not change for the service. How was I supposed to sit straight faced through a half hour of someone saying, “Dick was loved by all”, and, “Let the spirit of Dick embrace you”?

Turns out, it wasn’t a problem. As soon as the service started I began bawling like a three year-old and I didn’t stop until later that day. I even had to skip the reception, choosing instead to have a few stiff drinks and cigarettes in an empty parking lot on the opposite side of town. I’m not sure how other people handed the whole Dick thing because I didn’t turn around to see. I thought my boyfriend might handle that task for me but, apparently, he was too busy handing me a buhzillion of the Kleenexes I told him I wouldn’t need.

Anyway, that about wraps up my trip. How was your week?





4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2012 5:13 pm

    No shame in tears. I’m from the north, too, and when my grandpa died I thought I’d be able to tough my way through it. I mean, his nickname was Spike! Brings to mind tough guys with leather and tattoos. No luck with me, either. But that’s love. Sorry for your loss.

  2. September 22, 2012 2:58 pm

    Sorry for your loss. It’s strange how those things can happen. Even stranger, if you would’ve had the tissue ready…you might not have bawled. That happened to me at a funeral and I just knew I would break, but all that tissue just cluttered in my purse. I didn’t cry until days later. Life is full of surprises!

    • September 23, 2012 12:01 pm

      You might be right. Next funeral I go to I will have a purse full of napkins…or maybe I’ll wear one of those fashionable toilet paper dresses! Of course, they only come in white. Damn, foiled again.

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