Funerals & Fried Chicken

M’s mom passed away last week and the funeral was Friday. I’ve been thinking about the funerals that I’ve gone to over the years. I’ve been to many…

In the late 70’s / early 80’s, my grandmother was on the Senior Usher board of our church. Whenever a senior usher from another church in Baltimore died, she’d put on her uniform and represent our church at the funeral. When members of our own church passed, we had to go to those funerals too.

As a young-un, I preferred services that took place in funeral homes. Instead of being confined to a pew (sit there and be quiet!), I could roam around a little to the other viewing rooms. I’d look at the different people and wonder why some of the signature books were blank.

It probably sounds morbid, but I had no concept of death other than what the pastor said: the people were sleeping and would wake up in that great getting up morning. Plus, if you stare at a body long enough, the chest almost looks like it’s raising up and down (slightly).

My grandmother’s funeral (in the early ’90s) was the first funeral that I went to for a close family member. I don’t remember that actual service. However, I do remember that for a week leading up to the funeral–everyone and their mother dropped by our house to offer their condolences. We lived near a Popeye’s, so most of the visitors showed up with a box of fried chicken. And biscuits.

We had so much fried chicken that I swore off of it–for about a week.

Now, M’s family had an assortment of food there. I wasn’t going to have anything. I was just going to sit back on the fringe while the family interacted. Then, M’s brother–with his deep voice–called my name and said, “We’ve got fried chicken.” It was more of a command than a suggestion…

I used plenty of napkins; didn’t get any grease on my suit. 🙂

Published by Tawanna

Sometimes writer, most times editor. Lover of mysteries and 70s/80s horror movies. Author of The Next Girl (short story collection) and The Closet Case (mystery).

3 thoughts on “Funerals & Fried Chicken

  1. “We’ve got fried chicken.” It was more of a command than a suggestion…

    Brilliant! So much is conveyed in this one line, Tawanna.

  2. Hey tp!! Sending my condolences to you and M.

    My first funeral was for my mother’s dad. I didn’t really know him. Just met him once but I cried like a baby at the funeral because everyone else was crying. After that, I tried my best to avoid funerals. Wonderful blog.

  3. @Skye: It was indeed a command. In fact, my sister came in the room and announced that there was food, but it sounded like a mandate.

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