Monday, September 14, 2009

Tales from the Funeral Home

[Alternate Title: If It Weren't So Sad, It Would Be Really Funny]

Vol Fan's grandmother passed away on Wednesday. Thankfully, Vol Fan was en route to Knoxville anyway and was there to support his Mom.

I love my husband for so many things but one thing that I especially love him for is knowing how family drama eats away at my soul. So he told me to stay home. He didn't want me to have to deal with all the things that were likely to happen, all the cold stares, all the ugliness.

I felt like a rat - feeling like I had deserted him in a time of need. He very bluntly told me that he didn't need any emotional support. He had dealt with the sadness of the lack of relationship long, long ago. He was mainly going to support his mom and be the bouncer, if needed.

And it was.

Vol Fan's grandparents were of meager financial standing. They paid their bills and put food on the table. But they didn't have enough for a villa in France or anything. But that hasn't stopped the vultures from circling.

Ever since I joined Vol Fan's family, I have been shocked at how they behaved. Even 20 years ago, they were fighting over who would get what when Pepaw and Memaw died. And they weren't dead!! So you can imagine how lovely things are now that they have both passed.

After Vol Fan's father died in 2002, there was a mad rush by the vultures to convince Pepaw and Memaw to change their will. Now that REB was gone, they wanted things to be divided 6 ways, instead of 7 - completely cutting out Vol Fan and his siblings..

So at the visitation, one of Vol Fan's aunts stood at the door and told people that Memaw had left debts (which she didn't) and that the family was taking donations. And of course, people believed her and handed her cash, which she promptly put in her pocket. Once someone got wind of this, it was all they could do to keep a brawl from breaking out between her and another of Vol Fan's aunts! And she was doing the same thing at the graveside today.

A daughter of Memaw's sister (with whom Memaw had been in a feud for the last 6 months) showed up and started yelling and cussing the lot of 'em. "All you Brownings are assholes.. blah.. blah.. blah.." And she had to be escorted out.

All this drama had Vol Fan wound pretty tight. So at the graveside, he almost cracked. Up, that is.

He was a pall bearer. As he stood in his dress clothes and tie listening to the preacher go on about how lucky they were that they had such close ties with such a wonderful matriarch, his mind couldn't help but laugh. If the preacher only knew.

And then the preacher went on to mention just how lucky they were that their family wasn't feuding over money, that's when he cracked. He had to stifle a laugh. I hope everyone thought it was a cough!!


Marsha said...

I expect much of the same in atrocities once my own parents pass. I'm trying to convince them to change their will and leave it all to charity to stop the buzzards, but I don't know if I'll get them convinced before the day comes.

Grandma J said...

I'm laughing, and I know, I shouldn't be...not at all.
I had elderly neighbors who had four grown kids. Anytime one of them would visit there would be all kinds of hell breaking loose. At the husbands funeral, his widow and son kept exchanging vulgarities across the aisle as the priest tried to ignore them. Finally the priest closed his bible and exited the alter...never coming back.

I'm imagining how profitable it would be to stand outside funeral homes taking donations as a career.

Seriously, VolFan is a stand up guy, no regrets.

T said...

I'm so sorry for Vol fan. Families are so hard to difficult to deal with - we've had some of those same issues when my Grandma died.

Hang in there and be gald you can be sane for him when he gets home! He's so going to need you!!

Living on the Spit said...

Hey, you just described my father's funeral expect you forgot about the part where no one from the family called to tell he had died. I found out two days later from a freind who had called to see if I was all right.

I am sorry that Vol Fan is going through this right now, but at least the insanity stops with you all!

Those people deserved to be laughed at!!

Linda said...

What in the world is the matter with people? No child should expect an inheritance, and most folks should go when their money runs out.

I am so sorry for your hubby, but I hope you will continue with the story about what happened at the meal, or whatever they did. I'm sure it will be 'hilarious'!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I find this behavior so amazing. What is wrong with those people????
I also love that your husband spared you from all of this. He is a good man, but you already knew this!

Snooty Primadona said...

Families can be so horrible, can't they? VF is a good man for going, knowing what he had to face. However, I'm happy to hear he got a chuckle out of it.

I've been catching up with your blog and all I can say is Whew!

I'm so sorry to hear about your ankle. That just totally sucks. Big Time. I'll be thinking about you on September 21st and sending good thoughts your way...

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. LAWD! TAKING FAKE DONATIONS?!!! Um ... you can't make that stuff up. That is CRAZY. And I'm so sorry : (

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Woody---I'm so sorry that VolFan has had to go through this.. BUT--like you have said, he's heard all of this for years and years. What a horrible family.

Glad you didn't have to be there... You will be alot more help to him once he gets home. Hopefully, he won't have to deal with that family much at all anymore. I hope his poor mother gets FAR away from all of them. What a mess.

Sympathies to VolFan---and HUGS to you,

Mental P Mama said...

I think I may be seeing a book in all this....Hugs to Vol Fan!

imom said...

I'm sorry for Vol Fan's loss. I'm guessing it's going to get worse with the family before (or if) it gets better. *hugs*

George said...

While reading this I alternated between laughing and thinking "she's got to be kidding!" I really didn't think people acted this way, but obviously they do. Vol Fan was wise to keep you out of that.

big hair envy said...

I wish you were kidding, but I've seen it happen before. Why does death bring out the "ugly" in people???

You are blessed with an amazing man:)

VE said...

I'm sure I'm related if you go back far enough. I'll take my piece in a cashiers check. Thanks! ;)

smiles4u said...

Are you kidding? I know things like this do happen but it just blows me away that people can act like this. How nice that your husband was okay with you not going. If I would have been your husband I would have had a hard time stiffling my laughter at listening to that preacher!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Oh this sounds like a replay of my Step-Dad's funeral. People kill me to think they are "owed" something!
Hugs to Vol Fan!