1. Since we've covered the standard "where do you go when you die" question, let's get a little deeper. When you do die, would you like to be able to watch your funeral?
I think now that I would, but chances are I will be too busy.
2. Catholics must have the longest funeral services ever. I think there is a lot to be said for the traditions that they keep, but it was just so depressing. I'd like my funeral to be much more upbeat, like those I've seen in New Orleans. What type of funeral would you plan for yourself?
I want lots of music. I want the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy said the evening before, I want my choir so sing me out. I want my children and my friends to get together and celebrate my life on earth and pray for my soul in purgatory. I don't want to be canonized at the funeral. I want a great homily that makes those present really think about the 4 last things. When my husband and I got married, we focussed our energy on the wedding Mass, and let my mom worry about the reception. I want the same focus for my Requiem Mass - focus on the importance.
3. As a child, when I was angry sometimes I would wish that a parent or teacher would die. Thank goodness wishes like those are never granted. I think it probably takes the loss of someone important before you learn the value of life. When did you first realize that life was so fragile?
I think that I was rather young, I don't think I ever didn't realize the fragility of life.
4. When we said our final respects to Grandma H. today, I though about her impact on the world. No, she didn't cure cancer or make sweeping changes to society. But she did leave a legacy of four sons and a daughter, who in turn have children and grandchildren. And maybe that was her purpose, to launch future generations that will accomplish great things. Some of us are here to make a huge splash in the pond of life, others are here to direct the ripples in the water. Of the people you've known personally who have passed away, what sort of legacy, impact, mark or achievement did they leave behind?
My in-laws were both devout Catholic Christians. As my second parents, they helped me to become a better mother to my children and wife to my husband. They also raised 6 wonderful children including my husband.
5. One thing that struck me at the funeral, was that there were so many men were dressed in casual clothes. I was brought up to believe that men should always wear a suit to a funeral, as a show of respect. Maybe these men were never taught that. Maybe they just don't own suits. Maybe that I am just old fashioned and not hip to the times. Do you think there is an "appropriate" way to dress for attending a funeral? Or is it even important?
There is always an appropriate way to dress. Formal occasions call for formal clothing, unless you are some kind of emergency worker and had to rush to the occasion. But even so I think that being a little late but carrying oneself in a manner that speaks of respect is better than showing up sloppy.
6. Grandma H. was far enough along in life to have been able to plan ahead for her funeral, even down to the tiny details such as song selections. It was nice to finally attend a funeral where they didn't play "Amazing Grace!" My choices would be "Ode to Joy" and "I'll Fly Away." What are some of the more memorable songs you've heard played at funerals?
I don't even want to go there! The inappropriate choices at some funerals makes me wince in memory. One song I do want for my funeral (unless it is in Lent) is For All the Saints (sung to Ralph Vaughn William's Sine Nomine) - all 7 verses. Sung loudly and with joy!
7. I've been craving some home-made pickles for years now. Not just any, but the kind my dear Great Grandmother made. It's been over 20 years since she died, but I can still remember just how her dill pickles taste. No one in the family has even attempted to make them since. Today at the funeral I overheard someone wishing that they had asked Grandma H. for her home-made noodle recipe but now it was too late. Do you have any favorite foods that only one relative made, and the recipe died with them?
My grandma in law made a lemon pie, and I was able to get the recipe from her before she was too ill to remember it. Alas, I have not been able to get my grandmother's tuna casserole recipe, and she is still alive but unable to properly communicate it to me.
BONUS: Is it true, all of those things that they say about you?
I have no idea. What do they say about me?
Today's Comment Question: Do you like pickles? If so, what kind?
I love pickles, especially sour dills, pickled green tomatoes with tons of garlic, and pickled pepperoncini.