Friday, October 12, 2007

Broken people

“Her husband just died, she doesn’t need to be dealing with this shit.”

That was Mom this morning.

They were married for more than 30 years. They tried and tried but couldn’t have kids. They worked their asses off. Her, caring for elderly and severely disabled people. Him, crunching numbers for big steel. He was retiring soon and they wanted to travel a bit and enjoy life.

I don’t think anyone ever heard either of them say an unkind word about anyone. Ever.

They loved each other way more than most married couples do, which is saying a lot these days.

Now he’s dead.

It’s unbelievably heartbreaking.
They had a memorial service for him in Nevada, but he was to be buried next to their infant son in a Michigan cemetery.

Except the Catholic Church only allows one funeral mass per person and when she tried scheduling a second memorial for the family in Michigan, the church said no.

So she went to another Catholic church – didn’t tell them about the Nevada service – and of course they agreed to do it.

Did I mention this woman is a former nun? She’s a good Catholic through and through.

But she had to lie to her own church so her husband could have a second service.
He’s in the hospital dying and a relative asks her for his car.

She’s losing her husband and losing her mind in grief and losing everything that’s been her life for 30 years.

And they’re offering her the fine deal of ‘making payments to her’ for his car.
She wanted two people to speak at the mass: her husband’s college buddy and my father.

Again, the church said no. Only priests are allowed to speak at Catholic funerals within the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Fortunately, all of the regular priests were at a retreat the day of his mass and she got a surprisingly compassionate guest priest who told her “hey, this isn’t my church, of course you need the people who really knew him to say a few words.”
Another relative criticized her decision to ‘take on the Catholic Church’ by having a second mass.

This is the same woman who paid to have her marriage annulled after nearly 40 years and five kids.
Her husband is dead. She’s just been through the worst thing that can happen.

And Broken People somehow manage to make it even worse.

Broken people can’t see beyond their own shit to be compassionate.

Broken people would rather make trouble for someone at the worst time in their life than make a difference.

Broken people can’t say anything nice – they’re constantly picking and criticizing and causing trouble because they feel so terrible about themselves, they can’t possibly feel anything good for anyone else. Even when they need it most.

Someone has died suddenly and unexpectedly. It is a tragedy.

Isn’t that when most people realize that life is short? Isn’t that the best time to be exceptionally kind to each other because you Just Never Know? Isn’t that when you forgive and forget every Bad Thing that’s ever ever happened to you and hug each other like you’re never gonna have to let go?

Broken, small-minded people.

I know these people. They are part of my family. And they disgust me.

[Editorial note: If you’re family and you’re offended by anything here, be sure to read that last part about Broken People over and over and over again until your head finally POPS out of your ASS. Thanks so much.]
I am listening to: U2 - One
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Disgusted


msmoo1 said...

First and foremost, I am blessed in many ways. That said - thru my personal battle with cancer - I have had people say some of the most ridiculous things to me - but the two that stick out most in my chemo fogged mind are: my first cousin approaching me at my surprise benefit that awesome people in my life threw for me to help me pay some bills in the midst of fighting to live, she said and I quote "If you die, you can come to me in my dreams, because I can communicate with the dead and I keep a pen and paper next to my bed and I write what they say down." and almost as unbelievably sensitive was a "friend" who said after I survived the cancer that he, and again I quote "I don't know how to deal with you now since you survived, emotionally I had already written you off."....gospel truth on both of those. There are insanely selfish people out there and as my Pops always said "You can't cure stupid!"


P.S. - don't even get me started on the Catholic church.....


sadly, that is so very very true.
My sympathies to your family..I can't imagine what life would be like after spending 30+married years with my beloved only to lose him too soon.
Thoughts and prayers for everyone-including the broken ones in your family-

s.ray said...

What kind of CAR did you get??????

Taxman said...

My condolences to your family. I'm assuming the deceased's car was a hybrid and, as you know, it's difficult to find a good used one. I'm curious as to whether anyone has actually claimed the car or if there is some sort of auction process?

Hedy said...

Dudes, that is so cold. But thanks for making me laugh my ass off today. Helps with the anger some.

A little background: I am by far the most liberal person among all our friends/family. Some of the more sadistic of the bunch take great pleasure in giving me shit over the fact that I'm NOT driving a Prius or some other green machine. I've taken several months of good-hearted (and much deserved) ribbing over that fact.

As for what I'm driving: It's totally awesome. It's a [syntax error! processor could not complete request]

Posolxstvo said...

Point 1: I don't really have a point 1, except to say I wish to high hell that I was surprised by the behavior you and MsMoo1 described. But I am not. I have seen it too. And I think you're being overly kind when you call these people "broken." But maybe that's because I don't know them. They just sound a bit dim, socially speaking. And as one who is a recovering social dimwit, I should be expected to have more sympathy than most...

Point 2: I know what you're driving. I have the satellite imagery. I have the CIA dossier. If you want me to keep it to myself, you'll have to send $10 (Canadian) to my numbered swiss bank account.

Hedy said...

Pos: You'll take a check?

the dilf said...

Hey pos....This satellite imagery thing....does it show her topless????

Dave said...

Pos, you don't have access to Illinois DMV? And, the Canadian think doesn't work now that the currencies are about even in exchange rate. Having grown up in Detroit, I remember a 30% exchange rate.

To the more serious stuff, I feel for you Hedy. Family and friends can be crazy. I grew up Lutheran. My father was a leader in the small congregation where he lived, Mesick, MI. About six months before he died he'd had a falling out with the minister about something that isn't important and boycotted the church along with some of the other members. When he died, the minister would have nothing to do with the matter. We imported a minister from Portage, MI. The church people went to the church, moved the long tables, the kitchen equipment and other necessary stuff to the town fire hall under the alternating fierce and embarrassed looks of the minister.

The Portage minister did a really nice send off in the back of the fire hall with the whole town present, sans the pain in the ass minister. We did the procession to the cemetery with those few that hadn't attended lining the couple roads we travelled. Then back to the fire hall for some pretty good food.

Being the lawyer that I am, I wrote a letter to the head honcho of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod in St. Louis setting out what I thought about his minions with a copy to the minion in question. Never got a response.

To my mind, not to get too serious, a big problem with the "Church" in America is that has become a social club that embodies all that is wrong with clubs. Are you like us? Come on in. You look a little odd, are you sure this is the place for you?

I'm rooting for S. Ray's take on the new bomb.

Mom said...

Amen, and thanks Hedy for posting this.

Posolxstvo said...

Dilf --

Topless? She doesn't drive a convertible. What a strange question.

Hedy said...

Okay, now you're scaring me. :)

the dilf said...

But pos...that's untrue....she has YET to tell us what she's driving.

right hedy????