Throwback Thursday: That Time I Almost Hit a Priest

This post rescued from Livejournal, originally posted March 12th, 2005. My father’s ashes were going into the little container-thingy in Orangeville, and my mother had asked that I come be there for the ceremony. My then-boyfriend/now-husband Dan came with me.

The priest at the internment ceremony was the same priest from the funeral. He just wouldn’t shut up! He started on this rambling story about how some king off ill repute made some priest ring a church tower bell for forty days straight. At least he didn’t make him ring it at night, mercifully – ha, ha! Here he paused to look at us all with a big smile, so we all took turns smiling back and offering our weak “ha-ha”s in return.

If I’m going to be honest, at this point, I was trying hard not to smack him like a disrespectful poodle. It’s cold, snowing, and I want to go away from this bus-station-like box contraption that we’re putting my fathers ashes into.

My nephew starts to make noise (he’s bored – God, kid, aren’t we all?) and my sister shushes him.

The priest goes on about how after those forty days, the tower suffered structural damage and collapsed! Gee!

(I’m really holding my hands at my side now, less I strangle this man. Just. Shut. Up!)

He explains that the tower took time to rebuild, and isn’t that fascinating, and then finally he gets to his longwinded point and says, “It’s been 102 days since Kenneth died, and you’ve had that much time to rebuild your towers.”

WHAT?! Rebuild my TOWER? This is the dumbest metaphor ever. Some of my thoughts may have shown on my face, because Mr. Dude squeezes my hand in a way that says “please don’t go to jail over this man.”

I heroically resisted the urge to scream at the priest ’til spittle flew, and then he made us all, one by one, touch the plate over my father’s ashes container holding thingy. Buddy, don’t enforce an action at a funeral. Poor Mr. Dude – I could hear his “what the fuck do I do now?” in my head, as he tried to decide which is less offensive, touching it or not touching it, since he only met the man once and he was only there for me. Argh.

It turned out we were saved by an unlikely source, though. My niece helped out by throwing up, so the rest of the tower-building, E.T. phone home finger-touching not-funeral that wouldn’t end finally ended.

Mr. Dude and I took my mother to brunch, and then home, and had some quiet talky-time until my sister arrived with my still-ill niece, my nephew, and the general energy of a typhoon. My niece threw up all over my mother, and Mr. Dude was off like a shot to “look after Dawson” (coincidentally in the other direction from any vomit) while I chanted my usual mantra of “don’t throw up, don’t throw up” and got paper towels.

Hopefully we don’t catch whatever my niece had. It looked bad.

On the ride home, we listened to almost all the rest of “A Home at the End of the World,” which is good, but rather dark and – bonus points – part of the story is about one of the characters deciding where to put his father’s ashes. Mr. Dude gave me a big grin when I started talking to the character and told him under no circumstances was he to find a little box somewhere and hire a priest with a bricklaying fetish.

All in all, I’m glad we came home tonight instead of waiting for Sunday, as it gives us Sunday to be ourselves all day and be quiet.

We also came home with my mothers old DVD player, and a new suitcase. It’s impossible to leave my mother’s home without inheriting something.


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