Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This isn't a sad post

A couple of years ago, I lost a wonderful friend, Peggy, to breast cancer. We belonged to the same online support group and had actually vacationed together a few times. I had arranged to meet a few of our other BC buddies so that we could go to her funeral together.

You had to know Peggy’s relationship with her control-freak German mother, the Hun, to really appreciate this situation. They had always had a “strained” relationship and her mother was quite the prize. I wasn’t even sure she was human. Their fights, complete screaming matches, were legendary. Hun repeatedly told Peggy how much she hated her and how worthless she was. Peggy would simply say, “Oh mother, I love you too” and laugh it off.

When Peggy knew she was going to die, she spent a lot of money mail-ordering a 50 pound chunk of rose quartz that she absolutely adored. It rested on her dresser in the sunlight where she could gaze at it whenever her eyes were open. It made her mother SICK. She was furious that P spent “ow-uh money” on such a frivolous thing. She ranted. P smiled through her oxycontin haze.

She also made her final arrangements. She didn’t want the Hun to have any say in how she was making her exit. She put everything in writing; that she wanted her service held at the funeral home since she wasn’t religious, then selected cremation and paid for her urn and a beautiful plot overlooking a lake. She selected beautiful music. Rock was to be played by a guitarist and classical by a pianist friend from the local symphony. She was at peace.

During her final 3 weeks of life, the Hun stopped holding the phone up to Peggy’s ear when we’d call. “She’s sleepink,” she would tell us in her staccato German accent. One of our friends who lived near them would visit Peggy. It was during those times that we could talk softly into Peggy’s ear, tell her we loved her and continue to make sick jokes about cancer. We “victims” tend to do that with one another, even as death looms near.

It was during this time that we discovered the Hun had been inviting her “church people” (as Peggy would have called them) in to see Peggy. The Hun wouldn’t let Peggy’s own friends talk to her, yet she invited total strangers in to “counsel” her dying daughter. Peggy was too weak to protest, and her mother guided her hand in signing checks to buy bibles, dozens of them, which were now covering every surface in Peggy’s room. If Peggy had been aware of this, she would have had seizures.

When the BC friends gathered from all over the country for the funeral, we realized that cremation was her only wish honored. Everything else was pure Hun.

The service was held at “Peggy’s new church.” We were the first to arrive; we even beat the funeral director & watched as he carried her in, using both hands. We went up front to read all the cards on the flower arrangements and I almost fell over. On Peggy. The director had set her urn on the floor right next to a pew. I didn’t see it, but I heard it clang as my foot connected with it.

Thankfully it was sealed tightly. Slack jawed, we all stared at each other, I looked down and said “Sorry, Peggy” and we burst into laughter. It was SUCH a Peggy moment; she would have appreciated my kicking her urn. Especially since that wasn’t the urn she had picked out and paid for. Again, the fucking Hun had to have the last word.

People that Peggy didn’t even know gave her eulogy. They were “church friends” who spoke mostly of her mother’s special love. The music? OMFG—as a German-American, I recognized the German national anthem as the first tune. I even sang along to show my BC buddies I knew what I was talking about. I felt like I was at the Olympics. Holy shit. There was no rock. There was no classical. There was no guitarist or pianist. There was an old church man playing the old church organ.

We were sure we could see that urn jiggling as Peggy turned over & over in it. If she hadn’t been cremated, I’m sure we would have seen hives on her face from being in a church.

In defiance for Peggy, none of us stood or sang religious tunes when called upon by the minister who was a stranger to our friend. We were furious that her wishes weren’t respected. We felt like the Black Panthers and almost raised our closed fists in silent solidarity, but we realized that since these people only knew the Hun (and not Peggy) we’d look like assholes. Not that it mattered, we just wanted to show more respect for our friend than her mother did.

Do you wanna know the worst part? Instead of being laid to rest in her beautiful lakefront plot, she is currently sitting on her mother’s mantel. I’m sure the Hun takes time out of her busy life to yell at her every single day. Fucking bitch.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooooh, that back-atcha karma is so coming!


10:45 PM  
Blogger Lost said...

Dear gawd. Peggy needed to name an executor to have her wishes carried out - THAT would have been one in the Hun's face, wouldn't it?
When my beloved granddad passed away we followed his wishes down to the letter - including not even having a memorial because (as he put it) he "didn't want anyone crying over him". It was hard, really really hard on all of us his family but we did the last thing we could do for him - follow his last wishes.
I think that Black Panther salute woulda been awful funny though lol.

12:00 AM  
Blogger It's Me, Maven... said...

People like the Hun make me ill. They are nothing more than emotionally abusive, narcissistic, ego-hounds.

R.I.P., Peggy.

11:34 AM  
Blogger No_Newz said...

Hun is going to have some icky bad karma from all that crap. I'm sorry you lost a good friend.
Lois Lane

12:28 PM  
Blogger Melody said...

Hopefully Peggy will haunt the Hun for all of eternity. I'm sure that Peggy is still resting peacefully, in spite of her mothers defiance.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Pissy Britches said...

Fuck that. Someone needs to steal them ashes from that bitch ass. God, it amazes me how people are such idiots.
Sorry about your friend. I don't know how Peggy didn't kill her damn mother.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Pisser said...

PANTHER POWER! I agree. Let's swipe Miss P off the mantel and take her on a road trip as befitting her final wishes.

The Hun sounds like one of those people who is too mean to die. I'm so sorry for your loss but thankful she's finally away from that horrid woman-!

I just don't know how you manage to be heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. This reads like an episode of Six Feet Under, but it just kills me because it's TRUE. I'd love to see it in publication...you should stick it in dear Peggy's urn-!

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