Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Ruth died this weekend. She said it would be in July and she was right. I think some people just know when it is their time.

Ruth was able to die peacefully surrounded by those that loved her and she knew she had said all that she needed and wanted to say.

At times, death can show up so unexpectedly. Other times it shows up and hovers... As much as I hate someone standing over my shoulder there might be some comfort in the warning. Either way when it leaves it steals a part of who we are and abruptly takes away all the moments that we dreamed about and looked forward to. It robs us of laughter, friendship, conversations and intentions. I quess it's the overwhelming loss of those things that we often grieve about. We always feel we have more time.

A well respected funeral director and my late mentor often said, “Grief is reaching out to someone when you need them the most and they’re no longer there.”

Ruth had a peaceful expression when I saw her at the viewing. Though her time was up, she had made a difference in this world by how she viewed the world and the way she treated others. She was ready to go and I am happy for her.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

when ya gotta go, ya gotta go

Reader beware: the following story is about poop and having to go real bad...

Good 'ol Denny's. Nothin like some runny eggs, cheese hashbrowns, greasy bacon strips sopped up with a biscuit and some sausage gravy. ummm ummm good.

We've all been there but we don't talk about the occassional aftermath of such a feast. First comes the sweating, then the pucker, then the "oh * " I gotta go! Then you just pray as you are hobbling to the bathroom that the clean pair of underware you put on this morning is still clean.

This story was told to me by Tom. (Tom is a director I work with who used to work in the city at a funeral home while serving his apprenticeship)

Poor Jim. A super nice retired guy, in his early 70's decides...hey, I'll help some people out, get a part time job at a funeral home! Little did he know that some funeral directors can be arrogant SOB's.

Most of his co-workers know that every morning Jim wakes up at the crack of dawn and heads to good 'ol Denny's. One particular morning he arrived at work to find he was scheduled to drive a limo for a service they were having. That day they had to leave quite early and they arrived at the family's house just on time. Jim got out of the limo and ran over to Dick, the funeral director who was driving the other limo. The conversation went like this...

Jim "Dick, I have to go to the bathroom really bad."
Dick "Jim, you are going to have to hold it...we will be late for the church"
Jim "You don't understand, I really have to go...I'll just ask them if I can use their bathroom."
Dick "You CAN'T Do that!! Just hold it. "
Jim"Dick, look, I have some good friends that actually live just down the street..I know they will let me use their bathroom! "
Dick "No. We have to go."

So the family came outside and the two funeral professionals smiled and kindly opened the doors. On to the church they went.

This story is like a terrible movie where you can imagine the ending but hope it isn't true.

As the limos pulled up to the church Jim got out with as much pride as he could muster...and waddled into the church.

Poor Jim. (There are depths of humiliation that most people can't even fathom.) He had pooped his pants in the limousine while driving the family to the church.

*the above names have been changed to conceal the original identity of those involved.