Today was an emotional day for me, especially the evening. My step-dad’s mother passed away last week and her NY funeral is tomorrow. Today there was a visitation, which I assumed would be like a wake. You go, you talk to family and say sorry, then leave. I was wrong. There was a service, with three preachers and family members testifying about what a faithful and wonderful woman she was. The service was about two hours. My step-family is a mix of Baptist and Methodist, from Jamaica. It was an interesting experience. I didn’t grow up attending church or any religious institution on a regular basis, but now attend synagogue somewhat regularly. I was uncomfortable sitting there hearing about how the one way into heaven is through Jesus in a way that felt accusatory. Also, open caskets are freaky when you’re used to closed.

At the same time, I hadn’t seen most of this family in years, decades for some of them. I stopped going to family things when I was a sullen teenager, and since he and my mom split up over a decade ago, I haven’t keep in touch with any of them except him. I thought I’d be sort of ignored, but noticed as the one white girl at the service. Instead, people recognized us (my brother was there too) immediately. I was greeted with open arms by so many wonderful people. I met spouses and kids that I didn’t know existed. I was overwhelmed by how welcoming they were and how glad they were to see me. My step-dad’s family is really great.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to the funeral, which will be another couple of hours of testifying, hymns, and preaching. I’ll be with family, but I’ll be uncomfortable with the service. I’m just feeling torn and needed to express it. Thanks for reading.