Krissie: Another Funeral, Another Show

Seriously. There was a benefit dinner and show last night for GAAR (the Greensboro Arts Alliance & Registry) and it was utterly fabulous. We had David and CJ, Charlie and an astonishingly talented young woman from the area play Shakespeare’s lovers, and it was funny, riveting, romantic. I’d forgotten just how much I loved Shakespeare. I’d also forgotten that back in my youth I memorized both “To Be Or Not To Be” and the entire balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet.” Ah, youth.
There was one troublesome thing about it, though.
Charlie is 24 years old, the son of the director of GAAR, and he’s darling. He was the assistant stage manager in TSOM, as well as the priest and a a Nazi, he was on Broadway by the time he was seven, and he was the one who chose the selections and acted in half of them. He was brilliant. He went from Romeo to Richard the Third to Lysander, all of them funny and sly and charming (yes, even Shakespeare’s evil Richard had a certain reptilian charm).(And guess who I found the hottest? How well do you know me?)
Anyway, Charlie’s going to be a doctor. He wants a normal life, a wife and children, he’ll probably do family practice or pediatrics (not going for mega-bucks). He’s level-headed and sweet and hard-working.
But his gift! (She wails). Not for me to judge — I’m sure he’ll find his balance in the long-run. Having grown up in the business, he has a more jaundiced view of what life in the theater involves. He’s wise for his age (well, wise for any age), and he’ll make the right choices for him. It’s just that he was sooo good, and the thought of him throwing that away …
He’s not throwing it away. He’ll be saving lives. Except, of course, I believe that art has the ability to save lives. Gotta hope and believe it’ll work out as it should.

And then, for the third week in a row we have a funeral. Three weeks ago we buried my mother. Last week it was Uncle Walter. Today it’s Francy, a sweet, sweet woman who was a dear friend of both Richie’s Aunt Alice and my Aunt Emilie. She had a long, valiant fight with cancer, and was lucky enough to be able to make it up here to spend her last weeks, and after a lot of pain she went quickly and peacefully.
But I’m just not sure I can face another funeral. At least this one is in the church, not at the graveside. But in a way that might be even worse — since I didn’t have a church service it might just let the floodgates loose.
It’s about 70 degrees with a breeze and a clear blue sky. I want to be outdoors. So that’s what I’ll do.
Self-care. My god, isn’t that a major part of Reinventing one’s Fabulousness? And how often do I do it? Not very.
Another sign that this is really working.

15 thoughts on “Krissie: Another Funeral, Another Show

  1. Ah, Krissie. Big hugs.
    Do you have to go? Can you say a little blessing at home and send a card to the family? You must look out for yourself and your own mental and physical health. If you feel you want to go, then well and good. But don’t go if you only think you must. Under the circumstances nobody would expect you to show up.
    On a brighter note, glad you got to enjoy some Shakespeare. I haven’t been to any shows for a couple of seasons and I do miss it. We have a few outdoor theaters here that are fabulous. Maybe next year. : )

  2. Redwood Kim says:

    You’re in mourning. Send a card, send some flowers, send a story of your memories of her. Skip the funeral. Stay home and mourn.
    As for the other – I have a frend who is an OB, the mother of two daughters about the age of Sweetness and Light, a rolly derby team member, and a stiltwalker/fireater in a circus. (I know – I get tired just typing it.) He’ll be busy for a while, but I have no doubt he’ll share his gift again.

  3. Ylva Hedin says:

    Intersting how the old saying “death come in threes” always seems to be right…

    aaaanyway it was not that I was going to write. I was going to write. DO not go, if you dont feel like it. Send a card a flower or something, noone would be upset you just lost your mum and thats a really big big thing! You do not have to put on a happyface and go and support others, you need to take care of the fabulous woman that is you!!

  4. What Kim and Robena said. I don’t think you need to go. Be outside. Say a little prayer, talk to the departed, maybe cry a little.

    Funerals are for the living. You don’t have to be there to pay your respects.

  5. Lois says:

    As to the funeral – go if you want or send a nice card. Sometimes the extra funerals are hard not just because your mom’s was so recent but because our empathy is so heightened. Remember the ‘old wives tale’ of there are always 3 deaths in a family? I hope this means yours will be over (even tho they are not really related). When my father died we had one of my daughters godfathers die 3 weeks earlier, a cousin 2 days earlier and then my aunt the next month. A similar thing happened with my sister. Mourning on top of mourning.

    The president of the University that 2 of my daughters went to was writing a book on multi-talented people. It is pretty amazing how many generals, statesmen and doctors through history were also artists. The school really strived to accommodate students who were double majors in diverse subjects. So I think Charlie will do well. How great to have a Dr. who can think outside the box, has a fantastic bedside manner, a great memory, etc.

  6. Lynda says:

    The most talented actor I ever knew personally–I was madly in love with him in high school–became a doctor. I think his specialty is pain management. He’s also a talented violinist. Despite all his artistic accomplishments, he wanted to help people in a more direct way. Can’t fault a guy for his priorities.

    Hugs on the loss of your friend. Skip the funeral. Send flowers or food or a card, whatever seems appropriate. As others have already noted, you’re in mourning. Everybody will understand.

  7. Maria Powers says:

    I went to a funeral this morning of a beloved high school teacher, coach, head usher at a local Presbyterian church,father, grandfather, husband and lover. Those were the words used by his eldest grandchild to describe him. He was married for 57 years to the same woman. He raised a family and his son put it best, “My father’s legacy is one of decency.”

    Mr. B was all of those things, and I hope when it is my time to go that I too will have a legacy of decency.

    It is late in the day and no matter if you went to the service or not, you shared your love with her. This is the most important thing. You are helping us all reinvent fabulousness. Thank you Krissie.

  8. I have a rule that I never go to funerals unless they are close family or close friends. Otherwise I would spend all my time at funerals and life is too dang short. Same with weddings, wedding showers or baby showers. I will send gifts or cards but I just don’t go.
    I feel justified in this as I don’t particularly want people to feel obligated to show up when I die.
    Take care of yourself, Krissie. You deserve some tlc lately even if it comes from yourself.

  9. jinx says:

    I hate most funerals. I can hardly imagine any worse event to commemorate my own demise than a gloomy, reverent, dismal get-together in a church setting, with sad andante classical music playing on an organ or piano, and people wearing black and/or speaking in hushed voices.

    What I would wish for would be some kind of interactive thing, where everybody would have a chance to speak up, say what they knew of me, good or bad, with music playing of the sort I used to like, and a collection of things that reminded people of me on a table somewhere. Things to talk about, memories to share, jokes, music, laughter — and maybe a buffet table and a bar.

    THAT would be an awesome funeral. It could even have some singing, tapdancing nuns! Why don’t funerals like that get done?

  10. Thea says:

    THAT’S how we do funerals in California! Bring in the marching band, cue the mariachis, ask the speakers to raise hands, put the filmed bio on continuous loop. Then announce – since it’s at the Hyatt – the bar is open and serving.

    I’m amazed each time I travel out-of-state for memorials they don’t do it OUR way.

  11. Maria Powers says:

    Isn’t it amazing Thea? Mr. B’s funeral yesterday was wonderful. It reminded me of what a fabulous person he was. A person who lived his faith rather than preach about it. A person who made a promise rarely but when he did he kept it.

    In fact, I know the kind of heroes I’ll be writing from now on. Ran into friends and acquaintances. We shared stories and celebrated the memories.

    We give good funeral, which we usually don’t call a funeral anymore, out here. Of course, maybe it is just our friends and family and not the whole state. It’s a big state with lots and lots of people. I am sure that you can find the other kind of funeral if you want.

  12. Micki says:

    I think this too — if he’s happy saving lives, he’ll be fine — and he can always act on the weekends, depending on his practice. (And if anyone shouts out in a crowded theater, “Is there a doctor in the house??” he can jump out like superman. — Another thought: I bet he’ll have a great bedside manner.)

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