Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Funeral Shenanigans

As you recall, Whitney Elizabeth "Nippy" Houston departed this life on February 11, 2012. That was also the date that we buried my father. The funny thing is everyone called me on that day to see if I was okay about Whitney and exactly zero people asked me if I was okay about my father's funeral. Well, it's because they already knew that it was well with my soul.

So the Tuesday prior to the Saturday of the funeral I get all these calls all night long. I didn't want to answer my phone so late and I already knew why I had 38 missed calls starting from around 3 am til like 6 am. I decided I'd call back on my own time after I got off work and after I went to a meeting that I needed to attend. I made up a story about leaving my phone somewhere and not having access to it so that I wouldn't have to answer a bunch of questions about why I didn't answer the phone or why I didn't call back.

Suffice it to say my suspicions were confirmed. My father had passed early Tuesday morning. My mom wanted me to rush home at once. I had to tell her to pump the brakes cause I had to tie up loose ends where I lived in Maryland before jumping on the road for a 9.5 hour drive home. I stayed from Wednesday through Monday of the next week...or maybe it was Tuesday. It was Valentine's Day--I remember that detail because I pushed for the funeral to be on Saturday so I could spend Valentine's Day with my current love interest. My father might've been dead, but I still wanted some Valentine's Day booty.

When I arrived I learned that the arrangements were pretty much solidified, but to my horror the funeral costs were exorbitant. My father did not have life insurance since the insurance he had was tied to his former job. And you know how it is, the sicker you get, the less likely people are to give you life insurance. Believe you me, I tried to get insurance on that joker many times, but I was denied each time. Yeah...even Colonial Penn is fake...all those lies about we take anybody. Well...actually they say they won't ask you any medical questions....however I suspect they just do some investigative journalism on their own to find out whether they should deny you because of the extremely high risk. So without insurance, of course [black folks we gotta do betta] we had to cover it ourself. The initial cost of the funeral was a little over $10K. I was ain't got no $10K to throw in the ground. Here's a small way I cut costs. The casket was $2400. I was ain't got nothing cheaper? They showed me a picture of one that was $ looked good enough to me. They were like we can go in the vault or somewhere so you can see it in person. I was like...I don't need to see it. It's $500 and I'm already sold. I also wanted to eliminate the limos and let us drive our own vehicles. That would've saved another grand, but my mom was adamant about having the limos. I was like...well...why can't we rent some from the people who do them for prom? We don't need $1000 limos. Anyway....managed to get the cost down to like $8300. We didn't have the entire amount so myself, my mother and my sister put together $5K as a good faith thing so they would go ahead and have the service and we agreed to pay the rest off in installments. Service went okay. I was pretty much comforting everyone else since they were distraught and I was like, "I wonder what food they have in the back." After the service we took an extended ride to the cemetery to bury the body. When that was over we went back for the repast...(i don't know why the food after a funeral gets a special name) where his side of the family came by and offered their fake condolences and admonishments about keeping in touch with each other and all that jazz. Of course I haven't spoken to virtually any of them since that day.

Mom kinda entered a mild funk/mini depression for about a couple months. Eventually she snapped out of it. They hid it from me though because I would've gone back home. If you read the other recent posts, I wasn't working for several months so I was definitely free to be at home for a month if needed be. She's better now and I hope that she'll continue to get better.

In terms of Jay Emm Bee making peace with everything, he did. The night before my father passed I remember vividly being in the movie theater. This urgency to pray came all over me. I prayed about the issues of the past and asked for total release from the bondage of anger and utter despising. God moved and took it away from me. This was roughly 1030-1100 that Monday night. About four hours later (Tuesday morning around 3 am) is when he passed. Look at God. I made me peace and I believe that is when my father was cleared to leave this earth. So it turns out, perhaps it was me who kept him alive for so long.


Ladynay said...

yeahhhhhh soooooo the line about wanting the services on a certain day so you can get some Vday booty......smh

Sunny said...

Your a mess.

But its funny how that happened. Once you made peace he was able to pass. Some people don't get that, they leave on a sour note and unfinished conversations.

Thanks for sharing and I'm sorry for your loss.

JayBee said...

@ladynay: i might as well be honest and transparent. i wanted to be there to support my mom and all, but i also need some support to ;-)

@sunny: thanks for the condolences. yeah...i made my peace and it is crazy how the transition was directly after that. truly, it is well with my soul.

Don said...

Man, don't I understand exactly what you mean where you speak of fake condolences. I been there, myself, regarding friends and family that put it on so hard that I have to tell them it's okay. My dad's funeral and his mom 'a funeral are two of the reasons why I am pretty much banned from a couple of my aunts homes. Cause I never fail to tell them what I really think of them in such a heartwarming manner.

I'm tripping where you spoke of still wanting to kick it with your woman. Too funny.