I had only been in one funeral home my entire life. I almost got my ass kicked by a crazy pregnant girlfriend — the father of her child happened to be my ex. The only reason I was there was because it was my best friends brother who lay grotesquely in the coffin. The smell and the crowd of humans was enough to make my head spin. I didn’t even realize I sat right next to her. Next thing I knew my friend was pulling my arm out of socket flinging me in a seat between her and her sister to protect me from Crazy.
I recall the ominous feeling I had as I watched the full room form a line to walk by the casket. My blank eyes watched as the dead man’s girlfriend collapsed into the coffin, wailing hideously. My ex — the dead man’s best friend held back tears. His blood shot eyes burned my flesh, as he looked at me heartbroken. All ill feelings and torture he put me through fell to the floor as I felt the pain shake in my own body. I wanted to take away all of his hurt. I was swelled with compassion and my eyes welled for him. Gripping tightly onto the casket, I watched him swallow. His Adam’s apple moving up and down gulping pain and tears. I could do nothing. Crazy was watching — misguided jealousy she thought we were flirting.
My body shrouded with foreboding and cold; I could not stop my tears. Stabbing pain ripped through my heart and flesh. Covered in an impending blanket of dread — I wanted to run out of there. The dead man’s mother, wearing a blonde wig due to chemotherapy taking all of her hair, walked with the grace of a beauty queen. Her lashes bled thick crusty black, eye-liner trenching each eye lid, eye shadow perfectly painted, lips drawn with such quality, eyebrows tattooed, and her fake cleavage pouring out as she bent down and kissed the forehead of her dead son. She slowly lifted up, turned to face her audience bowing her head — the tears finally came. I couldn’t figure out if they were for show, tears for her son, or tears for herself.
There was no way I was going to walk by the dead man. I can barely deal with the shell of live people — looking at the carapace of the dead was too much to think about. After sitting through the ordeal, I watched my ex leave coaxing me with the ache in his eyes. I wanted nothing to do with the mongrel, but I didn’t want him to hurt either. I couldn’t go to the gravesite. Gravesites had too many positive memories — I didn’t want it ruined with Crazy and Dead Man. I went home and sobbed for days. My tears poured out for the pain the other people felt. They also drained because I was in shock at how wonderful everyone said the dead man was.
He wasn’t wonderful — he was an ass. He was a complete and utter jerk who felt like it was his personal mission to destroy any ounce of life they had. Nevertheless, we do not speak ill of the dead — unless you are dead yourself.
It was the last time I ever stepped foot into a funeral home. I am not here by choice today. I am here because I have to be. I requested that I would not be brought here, but others found it necessary for them to do so. For them to feel better. For them to get the closure they needed. My request was only a minor detail.
I didn’t even go to my grandfather’s funeral. My mom called me and told me he was in the hospital — again. He had been in the hospital so many times throughout my life. I can’t even count. At one point, I thought to myself “Die already”. He wouldn’t. He was dead a couple of times, but the doctors brought him back to life. It made no sense to me. Let the fool die. He was the one who would not stop smoking. He would not stop eating. He would not exercise. I watched his lifeless body, hooked up to machines, with each breath he convulsed. My grandmother sat right next to him — she looked at me and said: “It’s ok, his heart just has to work a lot harder. He’s not here anyway.”
I stared at her blankly. She mistook my face for being worried about him. I wasn’t. My mom told me to go. She was worried about me being upset. I had no emotion. I felt nothing. I felt like I was inhuman because I felt nothing. I had been empty with emotion for him a large portion of my life. The scar of his fragile, huge pumping body gasping air is in my mind forever. I stared at him not because I was upset, but because it was the first time that he could no longer control any of us. His words could no longer slap us with pain. He could not ridicule or mock. He lost all power. He was no longer the king who sat on his thrown — keeping us on a leash.
He was a saint too when he died. It was a good thing I did not go to the funeral. I am not sure I would have been able to keep my mouth shut. I have all of these years. I have sat in my pain-scorched silence — not wanting to hurt my mom or my grandmother. Don’t speak ill of the dead. Forget all of the damaging and hateful things they ever did. Erase all memories of abuse, slander, torture, forget it all, and remember how great they were with others. Family doesn’t count.
All of the details about family members are tucked away. Funny how family can be the closet to you and you never know them. Or you know too many of their details that other members of the family don’t — most of the time they chose to ignore. Ironically, strangers can know the best parts and give the most impressive eulogies. And some of those strangers are your cousins, aunts, brothers, or fathers. They haven’t a clue who you really are — only who they thought you were. The real you is hidden away in a capsule longing to confess all that you accomplished, but cannot because they really do not care. They do not truly want to know your details. Not all families I guess — maybe it’s just mine.
The funeral is over here, I am now waiting around. Feelings of disgust and anger flapping through my ghost-like bod. I am hurt and crushed — I am not surprised. Very few people came. Not many friends, that’s what happens when you keep yourself isolated and secret. Does it matter? The way I see it I would rather have a few true friends attend than a bunch of people who knew nothing about my existence. Who am I a fooling I don’t even have a few good friends.
The room was full of people without a clue. No idea about the person lying in the casket. Had they any inkling they would have respected the wishes and not had a funeral at all. Several family members got up sharing how wonderful this dead person was. They shared the same stories — the ones they shared at every family event. Nothing changed only the fact that death filled the air. Some were crying, I am not sure why. There was very little communication when the vessel was full of life and any attempts were shallow, stale at best.
Not a single soul mentioned anything about the writings, or any type of impact the frame achieved while breathing. The words were filled with mundane details some of which were either fabricated or false. I was expecting at least one person to step up and say something about the words that had been contributed while living. No one acknowledged anything. All of the poetry, stories, and details of this once lively life now sat blinking on someone’s computer who quite possibly had no idea the author no longer existed. I am being presumptuous thinking anyone read it at all.
It seemed such a waste to have so much to share and no one to share it with. The lack of responsibility to relationships was rather appealing. There was no need to commit to anything, and no one else committed anything either. A mass of isolated sharing, feeling a sense of community without community. The internet who knows the real you, and all of the eyes attached to bodies know you too. They know you more than most people do, but they don’t know you at all. Just like family, sitting across the room speaking about how you were such a wonderful person. You were so caring, and loving. Constantly sacrificing everything for the family.
They know nothing. The word sacrifice is nice to use when one has passed on and you have no other words to detail the person. The blanket positives that are poured out because they have no idea who is lying in the casket. The person who existed, but was always invisible. The person who tried to share themselves repeatedly only to be dismissed. The person who was tormented for a lifetime of loving so much that it caused physical pain, but was not loved back, or noticed for that matter. No love was shared until death took its toll. To finally be loved when death has arrived seems to be quite the scheme of the devil.
These are only details, small details among the dead and the living. The rules that come with passing time. Every stroke of finger writing out the details of one’s life doesn’t usually matter until they are gone. And if they die young, they become legend. All legends die lonely. Empty, is their heart vessel and their story is never truly revealed it passes along with them. The details of their heart, and the emptiness of being lonely. People love the legends after they are gone, but when they are alive…well, most of the time they are an object to be adored and worshiped.
My thoughts are vanishing and I am losing my footing. I feel quite shaky. I am alone, and it is quiet. It is much like it has always been. There are people all around who do not know me. They never took the time to know me. Many presume they know me. The truth is…they never let me know them.
Alone we come into the world and alone we leave. It seems a silly purpose at times. Pointless, but there has to be something. There has to be meaning in all the details we leave behind. Someone has to know, or care in a minute way about our stories. Right? I hope I discover what all my hidden details are about. I hope I discover the answers for why I lived in such heartbreak. I hope when the passing through is over something makes sense.
I hope. I feel tired now. It has been a long day. And it is time for me to go. My eyes feel heavy, but my mind waves on. The details, the details, what of the details? Even if I lived a life of heartbreak, and no one knew me or cared enough about me, I remembered their details. I wrote down all of the wonderful things about them. All of the things I loved and treasured. I captured all of them in my words. I breathed life creating their images with my words. I loved those who did not love me back. Even those who were awful I still wrote of their goodness. I lived out my purpose and I can leave in peace.
The details will live on. Maybe one day I will know that someone wrote details about me — breathing life into my existence for eternity. Possibly, when a star twinkles or two galaxies collide parts of me will live and I will finally know that someone thought the details of me were worth expanding.