Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gold Stars

Count 'em...1-2-3-4-5-6. It has been a six gold star bullshit week. Before I say anything else, I have to thank my sister JJ and Poodle for helping me to keep my sanity.

This past week has been incredibly difficult. I know I've bitched about my father's wife in the past but just like Wynonna said, "It all comes down to love." They loved each other and as difficult as my dad can be, and as much as some of their wedding vows were put to the test, she stood by him and loved his droopy old ass off. And he loved her weird, occasionally eccentric and financially irresponsible ass off.

Bullshit Star #1

They were together for four years, but only married for 15 months. And he is utterly heartbroken. There is no amount of comfort that I can supply that will make that heartbreak go away. There is not one bit of wisdom or Sag philosophizing that will make any part of that seem fair, in any way. For someone with control issues, this was some fucking bullshit!

Bullshit Star #2.

Do you know how many details go into planning and arranging a funeral? TONS. I have only one piece of advice: Do everyone you love a favour and prearrange your details. For yourself and your sexy time partner. Tell your closest family members to make their own arrangements. It. Is. Fucked. Who has the brain power to deal with grief AND arrange to bury someone? Which leads me to...

Bullshit Star #3

It is fucking expensive. Why we don't hear of people secretly getting buried in parks or backyards is beyond me. Visitation. Cemetary. Reverend Honorarium. Luncheon. Casket, vault, flowers, preparation and on and on... And that's not even going "Top of the Line." There was a solid bronze coffin. $7 000. ??? My dad pointed it out and the director explained that it offered excellent quality and protection. I could not be stopped. "Protection from what? She's already dead." I received no answer. Thank God my father is deaf. As for the "vault," I had no idea, but the coffin is laid inside a concrete vault in the ground for added protection. Again, I asked, "Frommmm...?" All I got was "It's a provincial legislation." Unless of course, it's to protect US all from being swarmed by zombies who have managed to dig their way out of the flimsy $3,000 casket they were buried in.

Bullshit Star #4

The family. I tell you...if you want something done, you better get your ass in at the start and have your say. My father chose her burial garments based on an old family tradition. Those who passed in their sleep have always been buried in pyjamas and a robe. It sounds a little weird but there it is. So, since she died in her sleep, he didn't really think of anything else. My sister spoke with my "step" sister and was told, "Whatever your father wants. He is her husband and he should get what he wants." Right? The DAY BEFORE the visitation, her 4,000 year old mother calls me to ask what she's going to be buried in.

Mother: Her wedding dress, I hope.
Shirley: No, not quite so formal. It is evening wear, though.
M: Well?
S: She's going to be buried in her p.j.'s.
M: Oh, Dear.
S: Sorry, but it's kind of a tradition.
M: I guess so. There's all kind of traditions. I once went to a Macedonian funeral and I nearly swallowed my teeth when I saw people putting money in her hands!
S: Neat. I gotta go.

Twenty minutes later, Mother's other daughter calls to say that there's no way my stepmother would ever be seen outside of her home in her pyjamas! We called the home. She was already dressed and highly recommended not to be redressed. JJ called the family back, explained, and was told, "Well, that's completely understandable. Thanks for trying."

Fuck. You. and your...

Bullshit Star #5

Not a single person on her side offered to do/arrange/pay for a thing. Everything was handled by either myself, JJ, Poodle or my father. Even my mother and my stepfather were there since Monday to help clean, shop etc. The only thing we got was..."Thanks for everything." I only wish at that point in the week I had the brain power to ask, "Oh, you're welcome. But what specifically are you most grateful for? Hmmmmmm?" WE did/arranged/paid for everything. SRSLY. The lot of us are out for a ton of money and not one person offered any help.

Bullshit Star #6

And the final Gold Bullshit Star goes to the 4,000 year old "You're-my-'step-grandmother'-which-is-so-made-up-but-I'm-still-going-to-call-you-by-your-first-name-Old-Woman." Push, push, push since the boat that I row. She was just relentless in her old woman ways. The pinnacle for me came at the service. Now, I don't know much about Catholicism except for all the guilt, hypocrisy, pedophilia and Jesus on a cross. However, I did learn that at a Catholic service, if anyone wants to say anything about the dearly departed, it has to be done at the beginning. Not the middle, not the end. And you need to let the priest know so he can arrange it. This woman GETS UP during the PRAYERS and says that she wants to say something about her daughter. Honestly, if cameras were kosher at a funeral I would have snapped a pic of his face. "Now? During the service?" Oh, yes. NOW. She only took about a minute to say what she wanted but clearly this was disrespectful and completely inappropriate. Under other circumstances I occasionally applaud the inappropriate but not this time. Get away from me, old woman.

Big Sigh. I'm home. I'm more clear headed. I've got a ton of shit to do this week before heading back out to the middle of nowhere on Thursday to take my "shift" of Dad Watching.

Thanks again for everyone's well wishes!


  1. You have my deepest sympathy in dealing with all the bullshit! And I know the "step" crap all too well. They prefer to drop the "step" but I always add it, or correct people when they refer to me as a blood relation. Like hell!

  2. Kevin, so so sorry you and your dad had to go through all this. It's hard enough go through the grieving process yourself...but somethimes it's even harder watching someone you love go through it. As much as we want, there's little we can do to ease their pain. But we're channeling what we can your way to funnel it to you dad. Take care.

  3. Ack, I know how that goes - I had to arrange everything for my father-in-law when he died suddenly in 2006. And I mean EVERYTHING - church, liturgy (incl reading, music - I even wrote the eulogy!) luncheon, after-luncheon party, photo boards for wake, flowers...

    Our one saving grace was that (this sounds a bit crass but...)the funeral director advised that we should cremate because he was too *far gone* to have an open casket (he was found by police a few days after he actually died). So that gave me a week to put things together.

    I lost 5 lbs in the process from the activity and stress!

    I hope you do enjoy the tooth whitening treatment - sounds like you deserve a day to pamper yourself!!!

  4. I think you have to take back one star-- because the funeral provided so much blog fodder.


you better make this good.


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