TW: Death? Horrible Family?
The last of my great aunts passed away last week. Yes, it was very sad, but I didn’t know the woman especially well, so I’m really fine. What was LESS fine was knowing I was going to have to spend time with my Horror Show side of the family at the funeral. They’re bigoted hoarders who never finished high school (blaming this last bit on “black people”), lied to get disability (which they’re super proud of), and are basically pill-popping nightmares of human beings.
I don’t have much contact with them. I like avoiding contact with racist nut-jobs, even if we are related. ESPECIALLY if we’re related. I’m going to call them Hill People from here on out, just for simplicity’s sake.
Pictured: HAH. I FUCKING WISH.
Within their own ranks, the Hill People have been at odds. There’s some very complex feud going on that I can’t begin to parse, though apparently it has to do with one member’s alcoholic father making death threats at her via social media involving her kids. Though gay and currently suffering from HIV, he married his high school sweetheart (my cousin) because he wanted kids. And now somehow here we are: him threatening to murder his only daughter and grandchildren. Also, he was in a knife fight a week ago (ETA: NOT with his daughter! Thank god for small favors...) and the bandage kept oozing throughout the funeral. Needless to say, this made the whole funeral awkward as fuck.
SPEAKING OF THE FUNERAL...
It was 103 degrees. It was an outdoor service. I thought I was going to pass the fuck out. The preacher had never met my great-aunt, so he ranted about how lazy my generation was compared to her “Greatest” generation. It was maddening. Then my other cousin, great-aunt’s daughter, wanted a “last look” at the body and nearly tipped the goddamn casket over. This was considered an improvement from when her dad died — that time she insisted on riding with the casket (like, hugging it) all the way from the funeral home. She’d also spent the evening brushing her mother’s hair... for a closed-casket funeral. I’d be more worried about her, but she only gets like this when grieving; she’s not a part of the unhinged Hill People clan.
The graveyard is behind a shoddy convenience store... which had just been robbed. So there were cop cars every where. When one family member sang a hymn, some random dude hoisting a 40 in the parking lot applauded. Also, the place backs up to a railway. Two trains went screaming past during the service. SO PASTORAL.
Then the 103 degree heat turned into a foreal fucking HAIL STORM. At this point, I feel sure it’s God hocking loogies at us and chortling. It was so bad that people were stopped dead on the highway with their flashers on because you could not see to drive.
Somehow half the family wasn’t invited to the wake. There were hurt feels. Tension manages to rise even higher. Of course it was the “normal” half of the family left out, leaving myself and my parents to the Hill People... who, remember, aren’t really speaking. See: Death Threats. Then the bereaved (hair-combing cousin and husband) got lost on some back road and didn’t make it to the Wake for 2 hours, then arriving with a smoking engine that ultimately resulted in having the thing towed to a local station for repairs.
Finally, to add insult to injury, my poor mother managed to drop her piece of funeral pie down the front of herself. I can’t tell if she was more upset about the shirt or the ruined piece of pie. Either way, it was the perfect end to a nightmare day.
When I told this story to the lovely FictionalWoman, she nailed it: “If we had a Southern Bingo Card, we’d have a blackout.”
Tell me your insane family stories, GT!