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Pappy Burl: The Four Funerals In My Life

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I’ve only dealt with four funerals in my life. I guess that’s a good thing. Some people have to deal with more and go through more pain. Most of the deaths and funerals I seem to have mostly forgotten. Only one instance I remember the most and felt the most despair over.
The first was Pappy Burl, as others referred to him as. I was real young when he died so I don’t actually recall what I called him by. I didn’t know him well, probably only met him a handful of times, but mother knew him and my uncle lived with him. I am sure he was a part of the family somehow. On my mother’s side. Pappy Burl was up there in years. Old, bald, and grey, everything typical in an elderly soul. He had to wear an oxygen mask, rolling the silver shined tank everywhere
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The funeral home was beautiful and I remember it being large. Since I was an adolescent everything at that time seemed larger than they actually were. I don’t think I really knew what was going on, but I did understand that he had died and mother was upset. I think I only cried during the funeral because she was too. I didn’t know most of the people that showed up during service or most that were in his home afterwards. I know he had a huge home on top of a hill in a town I am familiar with. I know I’ve been there before, but not sure how many times. I have two memories of being in that house. One was when I was in the kitchen, mother was talking to other adults about my previous bad encounter.
On the way to his house I had used the middle finger while talking to mother. I remembered seeing it used on “The Beverly Hillbillies” film I watched at my aunt’s house earlier that day. I was doing something and stuck my middle finger in the air not paying attention to anything I was actually doing. Mother seemed petrified and hollered at me. I was confused, didn’t know why I was yelled at in such a manner. What was so bad about a finger. Nothing was explained, just a
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I guess it is now the family’s funeral home choice. The funeral was just like others. There was the viewing, everyone would come by to see the open casket. We would mingle with others, some of who hadn’t been seen in ages. It was odd how the food was prepared. Typically for family gatherings there would be a nice feast. Delicious food with plenty for everyone to have seconds, but funerals, no. For funerals, we had already made sandwiches bought from the local store. Gross compared to our normal meals. I get it though, no one wants to cook when you are emotionally distressed.
During the part where everyone sat together while the preacher or funeral director spoke became awkward. There is crying mixed with the annoyance of sniffling, while the family is huddled and seated close together. Our preacher, who is also a relative, asked if there were words that wanted to be said about Pap. A memory or thought, anything would do. It stayed silent, the preacher waited and still no peep. Everyone had thoughts, but all too sad to speak them. Now when we go to the cemetery to gaze upon the grave, we see a small eagle statue cemented on his
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