I had a friend who was a mortician AND a comedian. He always said it helped him keep his other job lighter. Okay.
Les? I will remember his name sooner or later. He wanted to have a Halloween party. He had the hots for one of my girlfriends and offered to make us dinner. The spinach, we took one bite and spit it out onto the table. We couldn't help ourselves. We asked what did he DO and he just followed the package directions. One package of frozen spinach, one cup of salt. I should have declined on the Halloween party.
Steve Dudley, a grand old friend, said he would go to the party with me. (Steve, where are you??? ) We took off, got to the grounds but didn't see any evidence of a party. We pulled up to one building that had Miami Vice type clear ice blocks in the walls and a door. You could see movements beyond the blocks, light inside the building. This might be the place? We sat for a minute, deciding if we wanted to proceed or not, and the door opened. A tall geeky looking guy in white lab coat came out, covered with blood. The smell of formaldehyde was unmistakable. Oh yuck. Steve asked for Les, the guy slowly and silently pointed to a normal looking house within the grounds. Not a word. Off we went, shivering and laughing once we got out of ear shot. He watched us all the way.
Inside the residence, Les and the party was forming. He moved the party over to the mortuary once the others had all gone home for the night. Standard stuff, punch that looked like blood, one of his buddies popped out of a closed coffin in the coffin display room. We all had a blast.
I pulled Les aside and asked if there was anyone in the viewing room. He took me there, unlocked the room for me, but asked me to keep this to myself. He would relock the room when I was done.
Two coffins, separated by screens and curtains into two family areas, one quite large and another smaller area. This was one of the largest learning experiences of my life.
One large side contained a plump old woman, white hair. She looked happy. Sweet. Pastel dress, lace, necklace of pearls, holding a bible and a rosary and flowers, several items placed there by her family? She was still in the area, and the feeling was one of deep contentment and peace. Stillness. Acceptance.
On the other side was another old woman. She was rather stout, dressed in victorian black and no frills. Plain grumpy expression. Harumph. She was still there, too, but much stronger. She was mad and she didn't care WHO knew it. Grump. Grrrrr. Very strong, very angry. Very uncomfy.
I returned to the party, shaking off that anger as best I could. I pulled Les aside, told him I was done, but could I ask him, what was the circumstances of both the ladies?
He shrugged and said the first lady died in her sleep, and the turnout tomorrow was expected to be quite large. She was very loved and mourned by a large family and many grandchildren.
The other lady? She had committed suicide. It was hard to get any cooperation from her family, and she was almost buried in a pauper's grave. The family must have been almost glad to see her go and they didn't expect any significant visitors the next day.
I didn't need to clarify which was which. I knew. We left right after that, I had enough and was strained by the viewing room.
This had taught me well that people don't always scoot on right away. They can hover, for what ever reason, for what ever length of time. I suspect Mrs.Grouch hung around a long time after Granny floated on.