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March 10, 2012



"Wouldn't it be great if there were an exercise and healthy eating stage of grief?"--ha ha, and yes.

I'm going to be the squinty-eyed suspicious type, I just know it. I'm very suspicious of people who make more money depending on how successfully they link cost to sentiment/love. I also think it's dumb that I can buy a pretty lidded container for $6 at Target, or $zillion at a funeral home.


The eating stage of grief is a good one. Go with it. When my dad died we had things strung out over several weekends, several hours away from all us kids' homes. Odd schedules, unpredictable meals, all that. I learned the hard way I better just eat whenever I saw food because if I got hungry and hit a "low," things got pretty ugly. So go for the eating thing - avoid that blood sugar drop!


PS - that is a beautiful picture of your mom.


Not even one Big Lebowski quote? When you basically lived a scene in that fine film? Okay, I'll go: "It is our most modestly priced receptacle."

(Love you honey xoxo - you act however you need to act.)


Indeed--anger is definitely where I am right now. And older daughter is furious, especially at cigarettes and why her dad had to smoke. (which I told her was a moot point) I love the way you paint the Villainous funeral director; it is a tough line between dealing with grieving relatives and SELLING. He crossed over that line, in my opinion! Love that photo of your mom.


I sort of love your entire family. If you lived in Chicago, I would force you to be my friend. I agree about the pic of your mom: lovely.


Well. I wouldn't trust Funeral Guy as far as I could throw him simply by observing his jewelry. A pinky ring? Please. (Sorry, very anti-male pinky rings.) And if you'll notice, his wedding band is way up his finger, trying to escape. I wouldn't give him any business in the future.

Again Mary, I'm so sorry for your loss... Exercise eventually became one of the steps for me when my Mom died. I'd go off hiking and commune with nature, and come back feeling tons better. There are lots of steps; mostly you need to be very gentle with yourself all the way through.


Yes, that desk is a tad too polished for my comfort.

I think I should feel lucky not to have felt pressured by the funeral guy when my dad died. I was expecting exactly what you encountered but I had no chance to spew my wrath. And trust me, when I am upset or sad or stressed, I can do that very well.

The main thing is that you guys did what you wanted and it worked out. It also gave you a chance to get rid of some pent up grief. And I think your momma looks beautiful but a tad confused. That's how my mom looks when she really doesn't get what is going on but is trying to be pleasant. I hope I am wrong here.


I don't care if you are an ass.
Fuck that funeral guy.

Toni Miller

When my Mom died I got the cardboard box for her to be cremated in. Talk about cheap, but I had no idea how much I was going to have to pay attorney's etc. My Mom died without a will and it was a horrible experience. I didn't know what she wanted, and I asked her many times. I didn't know anything about her finances. It was horrible and so heart breaking. I loved my mother with all my heart and I miss her everyday. God bless you Mary! Take good care of yourself and understand that all of your feelings are real and genuine and are ok no matter what you are feeling.

the bee

The truth of the matter is that you all had a wonderful send off for your dad. The singer at the church had me all misty and the sight of you kids and grandkids surrounding your mom had me crying. Also, your brother is fucking hilarious!
You all had quite a shock and deserve the eating phase of this horrible process. We can sit outside of that funeral home and drink wine if you like- see how they like that crap.You are not an ass, just grieving and that is ok. xxxxx- bee


Because my dad was very ill about 10 years ago, my mom and I aired everything about her plans on death including the fact that she wants to be creamated and would be pissed if I spent a ton of money on a fancy urn or casket or anything else. I will not feel even a tiny shred of guilt if I tell pushy funeral guy to "fuck that" or similar. If they can't handle that stuff, they really shouldnt be in a business that deals with people deep in grief.

kris (lower case)

when my mom died she was cremated and my brother actually went out and bought a vase/urn to put her ashes in from a dept store because he did not like the choices offered at the funeral home. he also gave me a 'bit' of mom since i wanted some. as i think i said before here that she always joked with my brother to make sure he put a bit of her in the garden for the tomatoes and to keep her ashes on the fireplace mantle so we could tell people that it was 'my mother the ash' on the mantle..somehow that was an family joke. i had her on my mantle for years until we moved.. i'll have to find her and put her back out. and yes, my brother takes a bit of her ash out each year and fertilizes the garden with her.. and don't even think about worrying about how you acted with the funeral guy.. i am sure people have done much worse and yours was really nothing at all.


Ugh. Funeral guy sounds horrid.

Beth Ann

The Funeral Guy who directed my parents' burials eventually got convicted of having his wife murdered! You never know what evil lurks.

Been there. So sorry you are going through this rite of passage. There's nothing to be done except endure. Take care.

robin andrea

It is a strange, strange business to be in. Talking to people when they are vulnerable and not being sensitive to their needs in the moment. Bottom-line mentality at a funeral home is just crass. When Roger and I went to pick up his mom's ashes from the funeral home last October, the woman handed the box to me. It was in a lovely-faux blue velvet container with a single rose attached. The funeral home woman said, "She must have been a small woman, these are so light." Um, my mother-in-law was not small at all. She was quite large and heavy. I almost said, "I think you're giving us someone else's ashes," but didn't really want to engage that way just then. I was shocked. Funerals are a business, handled by people we don't know.

Your mom looks lovely in the photo.


Sure, we would all like to be our best possible selves at all time, but grief manifests itself in different ways and that IS one of the things funeral directors get the big bucks for.


I don't trust Funeral Guy's pinky ring.


Oh no. Part of not having time to post is not having snuff time to keep up with my favotite blotters. I didn't know until today. I am so sorry for your loss.
I do love your resistance to the funeral marketeer.


Oh, Mary, Mary, Mary . . . I can see myself doing the very same thing.

I had the opposite experience when Dad died. But then, Mom and I had Tony tagging along with us. Sad to say, but I think less pressure was applied because he was there.

And what's up with the "rental" casket? I don't get that at all. How come you couldn't just have the urn in the church?

Thanks for this post. It's shown us that, in spite of all the recent sadnesses, you still retain your wonderful ability to write hilariously about your adventures as you wade through your own crazy, bizarre life.

I mean that in the best possible way, of course.


When I went to the funeral home for my mother, I kept thinking about all the jokes she would have been cracking. We totally made fun of the place (using furtive glances).

And, then there were all the Six Feet Under type of things I imagined were going on in this place.


Did he think it odd that you wanted to take a picture of the signing of the contract? Haha.


I like that you're an ass :)


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All funeral guys are not Villain. There is also a good and friendly funeral guy. The thing is we need to arrange a good one.

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