Monday, March 28, 2011


Monday, the Matron went to a funeral.

She never met the man who died; he was related to her in a married sort of way and discretion shall prevail here. Let's just say there might be a brother or sister-in-law who lost a parent. But the Matron's husband knew the deceased well and demonstrated that he was capable of tearing up for 9 hours without pause.

Let's just note that the Matron was mightily annoyed about the whole funeral event, despite her spouse's investment. First, her children were on Spring Break all last week. Spring Break is a really bad idea, especially when it's 32 degrees and there's six inches of snow on the ground. Mostly it means trying to work while also feeding children.

Merrick: "Mom? Can I have lunch?"

Matron: "No!"

That's sort of how it went.

So there was juggling the jobs and the children for a week and the Matron was LONGING for Monday when they went back to school and she could catch up on work. Think! From 9:17 (not that she's counting minutes) until 3:22, there would be time to work.

Then, inconveniently, on the first day children went back to school, the Matron and her husband spent the day at a funeral.

The drive to and from the event? Over two hours.

The funeral itself? Nearly two hours. We Catholics know how to rock and roll. Ahem, she means stand and kneel.

But as the Matron sat in the church, crabby and critical of the artwork on the walls (really, really, really bad and let's just say the artist aimed for something beautiful and fell on his/herbelly) she couldn't help but listen to the sermon and eulogy.

A man who raised ten children died. There were nearly 50 grandchildren and already half that many great-grandchildren. They were all there and the emotion in the church moved even the crabby, non-committed, uninvolved Matron, who never met the man.

Let's pause here. If you're planning a funeral?

Here's what you do: have those 10 children, nearly 50 grandchildren and various great-grandchildren sing The Lord's Prayer in unbelievable harmony. Because that's what happened. The priest paused the traditional (LONG) Catholic ceremony to say the family had something to offer.

Fifty people harmonized to the Lord's Prayer.

The Matron is not a Christian (okay, stop following her right now if this bothers you -- she's a hard-core Buddhist) but that song? Breath-taking.

Well, okay. Like 20% of the King's. And that's good enough for her. Sort of sucked that crabbiness and impatience out of her and swung her into the present moment, in a church full of 200 grieving people.

Here's to the ones we love and how we lose them. Sort of the universal connection.


trash said...

Voices joined in song are always powerful whether they are praising a god or celebrating life.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Wow. I knew this was going to end with a bang. Sadly, I have no talented singers in my family (unless my sons marry and breed it), but I'd like to go out on that sort of a final note.

kcinnova said...

Wow. I sing in a 4-part harmony group (sometimes it's more like 6-part harmony) but nothing like that!
My mom has planned her service: harp and organ and voice, because those are her 3 loves. She's been too ill for any of them for the past 9 months.