Well, thanks to a 1/4 of a Xanax, I made it to the funeral, and I'm glad I went. I was a little fucking creeped out for the first 20 minutes or so, but the meds kicked in soon after and the terror level dropped significantly.
But I have to tell ya, and my apologies to the faithful out there, but cheezin' rice, I REALLY don't get this whole religion thing. It was a Catholic service (but really, it could've been any denomination), and I swear to crap, they were making the shit up as they went along. (And seriously, no disrespect to any believers out there. Do not take my heathenous musings as anything but that.) The sprinkling of the holy water on the casket, the metal incense ball thing the dude was waving around (which smelled strangely like burnt pencil), the whole Eucharist thing with the eating of the body and the drinking of the wine/blood (?!), the weird-ass kneeling bar that I had to pull out from under the bench in front of me, the fanciful vestments of the pastor (tastefully traditional but with inlaid fabric from what seemed to be a Red Roof Inn bedspread), the hymns, the many gilded tomes that were brought forth, the lady who kept leaving her seat to go to the bathroom and each time she did it, she would bow to the giant Jesus hanging from the ceiling who, by the way, seemed to have been sculpted out of honey-butter.
Seriously. It really seems like some insane person just made a bunch of shit up, packaged it, and said, "There you go -- I give you religion. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go meet a giant badger on Mars -- we're having a picnic and then we're going to wash our hair with potatoes!"
Don't get me wrong -- the organist rocked the hizzy! I could sit around and listen to that dude play all day long. And I actually sang along with some of the hymns, adding in some 7ths and 9ths and going all Bohemian Rhapsody on their ass. When the dude really cranked the big, fat chords out, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. He had a total Deep Purple thing going on, for sure. That part was awesome.
I think the thing that bummed me out the most was that, of the nearly two hours I sat there, the pastor talked about Jesus or God or a buncha other bearded and robed dudes for about an hour and forty minutes. But I only heard about Bob, the guy WHOSE FUNERAL IT WAS, for like 20 minutes... if that! I wanted to hear about his life and who he was and all the things he did and why the church was packed to the fucking rafters with people who thought he was the nicest guy ever. But all I got was a 3 minute speech from a friend of his from the Masons or the Knights of Cydonia, or whatever, and a seriously heart-rending speech by Bob's son and his SIX other siblings.
I mean, face it, the paster TOTALLY BOGARTED THE SERVICE!
I guess I can see why they do it that way -- if, instead of fixating on this horrible, unexplainable individual death, you couch it in this grand master plan laid out by this all-knowing and all-loving supreme being, it's way easier to handle the randomness and awfulness of it all and you can actually get through your life without your head going all "Scanners" on you. But I'm telling ya, I think everyone would've gotten a hell of a lot more out of it if they had just sat in a big circle on the floor of someone's living room and told stories about the dude and passed around some photos and gotten fucking soused.
That's a religion I could get behind.
But, like I said, I'm glad that I went. I think Kim said it best when she said, "It's only fitting [I] remember him, since he always remembered [me]." And that was the subject of my dinnertime Mike Brady sermon to the spawnage when I told them that the best way to live on after you die is to live an interesting life, have as much fun as you can, and be really nice to people and make lots and lots of friends who will continue to talk and write and blog about you, long after you're gone.
Then Miss O plugged her ears and told me to stop talking about death or she's gonna have nightmares.