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Never die in Florida...

My dear friends came over for dinner last night. Her mom had passed away two weeks before. I knew her mom and loved her. She was very special and still vibrant and living life to the fullest at 91. Two weeks before she died she was playing golf. Her death come suddenly and quickly. If there is a best way I guess that's it.

Because my husband and I share a very special and loving relationship with R. and her husband and because enough time had passed R. was able to reflect on some of what had gone on regarding her mom's funeral. She started this way. We were at the table and she looked across at us and said, "Never die in Florida." She started with the funeral director who called her "Hon" and her brother M. "Buddy". Oh, and since the funeral guy (I think I'll call him "Putz" - non-Jews, ask your Jewish friends what that means) didn't want to travel to R.'s mother's house to make the funeral plans he reluctantly agreed to meet them halfway.

At a deli!

Picture the scene- sleazy Putz is on  one side of  the booth, his oozing pastrami sandwich and soup (I think it was soup) is in front of him and the funeral papers spread out around the food. Here's the gist of the conversation while he ate..."So Hon and Buddy, whaddah you want? The chapel? It'll cost you extra. What? Only seven of you? Just a graveside service? Jeez, that'll mean I gotta get a guy out there. I suppose you'll wanna check that it's your mom in the coffin. Tell ya what ya can do. We'll lift the lid before we lower her into the hole and you can check. What? You don't wanna do that? Guess you'll have to climb in the van and check then..."

Thank God R.'s mom was not able to hear any of this! She'd have socked Putz in the face!

But wait. It doesn't end there. Next comes the cemetery. It's June in Florida. It's hot. One of the cemetery guys - I'll call him "Schmuck" tells them since its boiling outside they can wait inside in the "conference room." until they're ready for them.

Conference room? Yeah, right! When was the last time any of you were in a conference room where one wall displayed end sections of the full assortment of coffins for you to choose from???? This is where the family was told to wait before they buried their beloved mother!

If the dead only knew. Again, thank God they don't.

Never die in Florida.
I have a feeling there's no good place for dying. So it really is a good thing that when you die you're dead and don't have to know how disgustingly the putzes and schucks who are in the business of dealing with the deceased are treating them and their loving families.

Dearest Celia, I'm so glad your life was full of love and joy. I will miss you dearly. May you truly rest in peace.

postscript from my friend R.  about my blog entry:" I thanked you for your beautiful comments about my mom and said how much she loved you!

I added that the soup was in fact split pea. Then I added the story about upon arrival home when I called the funeral chapel about the obituary, they warned me about the Edith Hal lettering fees for the stone. Told them that I had a couple of months to worry about that, at least until after the shiva...

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