Friday, 29 June 2012

A funeral.

My Grandad died, rather suddenly, on Wednesday. Obviously, it has been a horrible time, but today was the worst. He's Jewish, and so I had my first experience of a Jewish funeral.

And seriously, I don't mean to offend anyone who is Jewish, but I hated it. Funerals in general are obviously horrible, but I hated these traditions even more. I hate the fact that they are all about misery and sorrow instead of celebration of their life, and all symbols of happiness (colour, flowers etc) are forbidden and I hate the fact that the people who go to the funeral bury the coffin. It was horrible, and so unlike my Grandad. My Grandad would have wanted a big party with everyone laughing, having a good time, singing and wearing silly hats, and instead we had to go for 45 minutes and wallow in self-pity. It was SO unlike him, he always loved to laugh and make others smile, and I hated it.

On the other hand, even though they only had 48 hours notice, best part of 100 people showed up. This does go against Jewish tradition, which states only close family should be present, but my Grandad would have wanted others there. They all had such lovely things to say about him, and it was wonderful to see how many lives he touched. He was a very busy man, involved in so many things, always helping others and it was such a tribute to see so many people there.

We then held a small wake, with only very close family, again against tradition, but my Grandad always loved a good buffet at a funeral. I think we did him proud, eating lovely food, not touching a drop of alcohol, and sharing lovely memories. We've all had a cheerful afternoon actually, after the funeral, sharing memories and playing silly games.

We even invented, what sounds like, a pretty sick game, but it is so typical of my family to turn sorrow into joy and laughter. We play 'snap' with the sympathy cards - we have over 60 and so are now getting many duplicate cards. The first person to spot a duplicate card when my Grandma opens a new one, points at it and yells "SNAP" and gets a point. It sounds quite inappropriate, but if he were here, my Grandad would be the first to join in. We always want to laugh in our family, and we're probably the only family in the world who could sit and laugh when opening sympathy cards. It really is what he would have wanted though, he was such a positive and vibrant person. There was never a dull minute with him around, and we will never lose that.

I miss you, you batty old git. I hope you liked my eulogy <3