Thursday, August 21, 2008

Smack Down at a Funeral

I had thought that I had seen it all, with regards to my husbands family; that is until yesterday. Rick had a feeling that his aunt would try to cause problems and he did not want to bring the kids to the funeral because of that. But I did not want them to miss out on being at their Great-Grandmother’s funeral.

Granny’s showing started at 11am for immediate family members, my family was there at 10:50. His aunts and uncles were not there until 11:20, and they had requested that no one be allowed in until they had all arrived. So we had to wait for all of them, so basically they were late for their own mother’s funeral.

Finally they allowed the rest of us to come in, and everything was going well… Until… Tina and her kids & grand-kids showed up. (Tina’s husband was Charlie, Granny’s youngest child that committed suicide a few months back) Tina & (Rick’s) aunt Barb had been into it since before Charlie died, after Charlie’s funeral Barb took out a restraining order out against Tina. So as soon as she saw Tina walk in to pay her respects (with Granny’s grandkids & great-grandkids) she started yelling, “No, no, no get that Bitch out of here now. Get out, Get out, Get out now!”

Tina was crying (because of Granny, not Barb) and she took her grandchildren up to pay their respects. Barb had already walked to the back of the room to get the funeral director to have her removed; she was being very loud and obnoxious. Everyone was trying to talk her into just letting them pay their respects and leaving, but she wasn’t hearing that. She was cussing and screaming, and the next thing I knew my husband was rushing past me towards the back of the room (I tried to grab him but I missed), once he got back there he slammed the double doors in Barb’s face. She busted through the doors and screamed at him not to shut the doors on her, he said something about the kids not needing to hear all of that, and she shoved him, then she shoved him again (trying to get him to hit her I’m sure) but Rick just threw both of his arms in the air so that EVERYONE could see that he never touched her. Then she called him a big headed Bitch. (I think he started laughing at her) but she was still yelling at Tina, then Barb and (Tina & Charlie’s) daughter Lindsey started arguing (Lindsey is 18) all of the sudden Lindsey grabbed Barb by the neck and almost flung her to the ground, Barb’s eyes were about to bug out of her head. (It was so funny) By then the funeral director and some of the men in the family took everyone outside.

I stayed put with the kids for awhile, but finally I told Khrys & Court to watch the two younger ones so that I could go find their father. When I finally found everyone, I walked outside to see two Sherriff’s cars pulling up. So they split everyone up to try and find out what had happened, by then Tina and the kids had already left. The Sherriff questioned Rick 3-4 times, and he stated that he was not going to arrest him for shutting the door in his aunts face (although she was trying to get him arrested) and he couldn’t make him leave, but if the funeral director wanted him to leave they would ask him to politely do so. The funeral director was standing nearby shaking his head no; he didn’t want Rick to leave.

So after we all wrote our statements out for the police, the funeral director approached us again and stated that Barb was now demanding that Rick be ejected from the funeral. Rick told him that if she would agree that he would stay on one side of the room and not say anything to her if she agreed to stay on the opposite side of the room and not say anything to him. They approached her with that request and she told them no she wanted him to leave. So Phil and Paul (Rick’s cousin & Uncle) went and got Pastor Mike and he spoke with Barb and her husband Larry, and finally got them to agree with it.

The funeral director came and asked me & Rick to have a word with him privately. He told us that he really appreciated the way that we handled the whole situation, and that he could tell that we had really good character; he just wanted to let us know that.

We went back into the chapel and waited for the services to start, (with people coming up to us to tell us the obvious, THAT BARB IS CRAZY). Then Barb finally came back into the chapel and sat in the front pew on the right hand side (we were in the third row on the left had side) When all of Rick’s other aunts and uncle came in they all sat in the front pew right in front of us, Barb and her husband sat in their pew all alone. I thought that single gesture spoke louder that any words could. (Which if nothing else that whole episode kept Barb outside for almost two whole hours!)

Because of everything that went on that day, once everyone was seated Pastor Mike started the services (25 minutes early). Granny looked beautiful, much better than we had seen her in the past two weeks. She had a pastel pink dress on with a matching beaded jacket. I don’t think everyone had a chance to grieve properly because we just all wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. Which, really, was too bad.

Pastor Mike said that God had recently laid something on his heart to do with two extra acres behind the church, next year he was going to plant a huge garden and when he harvested and canned all of the food he was going to take it to the food banks around town. He told us all yesterday that he was going to name the garden after Granny; it’s going to be called the Tina Stamper Victory Garden. I thought that was sweet of him. In the past few years he has officiated over all of the funerals in my husband’s family, Tabitha, Ryan, Greg, Judy, Charlie, and now Granny, so in part he is like one of the family.

He also went into how many children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren Granny had, in all she has one hundred thirty four decedents with two more on the way! What an amazing and full life she had.

I just wish that everyone could have been a little bit more respectful at her service yesterday. She deserved at least that much. Rest in peace Granny, we love you.


Kate said...


This is the first time I've visited your blog.

May dear Granny rest in sweet peace.


Susan C said...

It sounds like you and Rick handled yourselves with a lot of class and control.