Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What if you gave a funeral and nobody came?

I was all worried yesterday about getting too tired, because I had a long rehearsal (of really hard music, it turned out) and then a concert. And this morning I had to go in at 9:00 and sing a funeral.

I was relatively okay--I needn't have worried so much. My practicing and exercising has been paying off in increased stamina.

I was unprepared for what actually happened at the church this morning. Nobody came. The only people there were the priest, me and two altar boys. And the funeral home people. And of course the deceased. So I stood there and sang away into the void as best I could. I felt so sad. I wanted to do a good job anyway.

Apparently the elderly lady for whom I was singing had arranged her whole funeral, including flowers, and prepaid the entire thing and arranged to have it in our humongous gorgeous church. She had a son, I know, who was unable to attend. And apparently nobody else.

I think there's a lesson in this somewhere...

12 comments:

POD said...

I am glad that woman took care of herself. What if she waited, having expectations of someone else planning her funeral? And no one planned or attended?

She had some good self-esteem to do it all herself, like she cared about her life and wanted to give herself a good send off. Thank goodness you were one of the folks there to acknowledge her existence and sing her praises.

Melissa said...

I do think that's exactly what I would do. I think she just outlived everybody or something.

the Bag Lady said...

Melissa - I am so glad that you sang for her. This post made me cry.

I've never been able to sing at funerals -if I see anyone crying, I cry, too - not good for singing, as I'm sure you know! I've even choked singing at weddings... took me a long time to learn NOT to look at the father of the bride!! :)

solarity said...

My uncle was a florist. Of course, in a fairly small town there's always somebody there if only for curiosity, but yes, often really old people have no one left who's well enough to come.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

MizFit said...

Im choosing to think of it all POD's way.
the self love and self care.

this made my heart ache and yet happy.

and hope she did out live everyone...

Missicat said...

Wow, that is sad. Guess it is a good thing she planned it all out ahead of time....sounds like she knew what was going to happen. Who knows, maybe the real gathering was with her friends on the other side!

Melissa said...

Thanks all of you, and Missicat--what a beautiful thought.

POD said...

Melissa, Thanks for your comment on my post today. I appreciated your words. I don't always comment back because I'm thinking not too many people revisit so I wanted to let you know.

I knew you were a tiny little thing...(jealous!)
And the knees are a huge part of our journey - fer shure.

Tom Rooney said...

This woman will never be forgotten now because in her death she touched you.
I'm sure that your singing brought joy to her soul.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow. That is so sad.

So you know how it always seems like an unfortunate thing that the dead can't actually see and appreciate all the folks showing up to celebrate their lives at their funeral? In this case, it seems like a mercy that she didn't have to know that no one came.

I thinks it's so lovely that you gave her your best when you sang.

I guess the lesson is to reach out to one another before it's too late. I'm just hoping that some of the people who couldn't be there for the funeral were able to visit, write, or call before it was too late. That would mean more than showing up for the funeral.

Dr. J said...

Yes, that's sad and unfortunate. I can understand, however how funerals can be difficult.

At least you did your part! I remember when I first started teaching, I had a lecture to give and only a handful of students showed up, so I canceled the lecture. The Dean kindly informed me that if even one student showed up, it was my job to deliver the lecture :-)

Melissa said...

Hm. Wonder if it's your job to give the lecture if NOBODY shows up?? Nah, that would be narcissistic.