Tag Archives: Emotions

Stewing Away on the Back Burner

I know I should let it go. There’s nothing to be gained except a small satisfaction for me and perhaps my brother. My mom wants to just forget about it.

But I don’t want to let it go. I want an apology. A real apology, not an offhanded remark about “getting off on the wrong feet”.

And then there is the fact that perhaps there is nothing to apologize for. That we were hyper-sensitive and that any rational person would have let it slide. Perhaps we should have not gone to the funeral home the day Dad died, but waited until the next day. But we were ready for it to be over. We’d already spent 4 and a half days knowing that this was how it would probably turn out.

Here’s what happened. (I know I’ve mentioned this on Facebook and have told many friends about it — so feel free to ignore this post if you already are sick of hearing me talk about it).

In a nutshell, we believe that the young man who helped us plan my father’s funeral was rude to us in the initial moments of the planning process. I called him on it and he changed his attitude. Perhaps that is all that needed to be done. However this was not someone selling us a wrench at Ace Hardware. This was someone who was supposed to help us deal with the grief of losing a loved-one.

I stewed about this for about a month, then wrote a letter to the director (who was out of town when we used the services of his funeral home). I’ll post the letter (names removed) after the break.

When another month passed and I’d not heard back from the funeral home director, I sent him an email. I never got a response to the email.

I sort of figured that if he got the letter and the email and didn’t respond, it was not worth dealing with anymore. I’d gotten it off my chest and that is all that mattered. I nearly forgot about it until my mom callled me a few days ago and said that the funeral home director left a message on her answering machine. I asked her what he said and she said he wanted her to call him back but she was reluctant to do so. She thought she’d ramble on and make no sense. I said I’d send her a copy of the letter I’d sent him and then she’d know what was in it.

That evening I accessed Mom’s voice-mail account — we had it set up for that when she was here and I was curious to know what he said). Here is, verbatim, what the funeral director said:

Yes, [Mom’s Name],  this is [funeral home director’s name] of [name of funeral home]. I’ve been meaning to get ahold of you but I’ve…I’ve…it’s just been on my back burner and I really wanted to talk to you regarding a letter that Dona had sent me regarding the funeral services for your husband. I just wanted to kinda touch base with you and I had a couple of questions for you. So if you could, at your convenience, give me a call back [phone number] I’d appreciate it and I’d like to speak to you. Thank you.

The next evening I called my mom to see if she’d called the funeral home back. She hadn’t and pretty much said she didn’t want to and didn’t know what the big deal was. Maybe the person who helped us was young and inexperienced. She said it was part of the past and didn’t want to deal with it any more.

I can completely understand her point. After all, I was already done with it before she called to say they had called. But now I’m upset again. Upset that it took him 70 days to call. Just another, in my opinion, insult to us.

I may call him myself to tell him that Mom’s done with it and doesn’t want to reopen old wounds. I may tell him that I’m disappointed that it took so long for him to contact us. I may write a review on Yelp. Or I may just sweep it under the carpet and move on.

There are not too many other options for funeral homes in my home town. This family owns the two main ones and as Pastor Keith said on Facebook the other day, they’re the “biggest game in town”. I don’t know what we’ll do when we need funeral home services again — many many years from now of course.

Letter I wrote after the break.

Continue reading Stewing Away on the Back Burner

Hair!

My hair has gone through many changes over my lifetime  which is probably true for everyone — well most women, at least.  Since I first started making decisions about my hair, it’s been long  (to the middle of my back), short (pixie cuts), and permed (short, medium and long). It’s been highlighted and colored (self and professionally). I’ve used electric curlers, blow-dryers, flat-irons, curling irons, and Velcro rollers to style it. I’ve just left it to dry naturally. I’ve pulled it back in a ponytail. I’ve worn it in braids. I’ve had bangs and no bangs.

In the 1980’s I probably changed my hair-style every 6 months. A friend of ours, who we saw a couple times a year, commented that he never saw me with the same hairstyle one time to the next.

Thinking about it, I believe that my hair is a measure of my emotional state (or my emotional state dictates my hairstyle  — or both). In the 1980’s I think I was trying to figure out who I was, and tried on new hairstyles to see if I could discover the real me.

In the 1990’s I think I tried to have easy-to-care-for, but stylish hair because I had young children, but wanted to look fashionable.

In the 2000’s I think I wanted to avoid anything that would make people think I was trying to look younger than I was, so opted for shorter styles, and didn’t go to the stylist as often as I should have gone, especially when I took some years off work and went to part time. The less frequent visits to my stylist and the resulting not-so-nice hair put me in a funk which resulted in me not really “caring” about my appearance which put me in a bigger funk.

A few years ago I tried to grow my hair long again, but didn’t like the look — I felt that the length pulled my features down, so had Doug cut it short again and the funk continued.

Recently I thought I’d try long hair again, and this time learn how to use a flat iron or curling iron properly. Oh, and products. Lots of products. Doug has been very supportive (he has long hair himself) and thinks the long hair looks good on me. I think he’s right. I feel good about my hair and appearance again.

I bought a new curling iron and the first time I used it was wowed by the results. It takes a long time, so I don’t use it that often, but when I want to look glamorous I do take the time. Usually I just blow it dry (if that) and pull it back in a ponytail. Just knowing the glamorous me is possible is all that matters.  It feels good to feel good about my hair again.

A Door Opened

Door at the National Cathedral
An open door -- taken by Clare F.

Back when I still liked watching news programs like 60 Minutes or 20/20 I remember seeing a segment on one of those programs about a woman with autism who developed a better slaughterhouse. I may have been a vegetarian at the time, so the idea of slaughtering cattle was not as upsetting to me as it is now that I eat the end result.

Having worked with autistic children during my tenure as a teacher and having read a number of books about autistic individuals, I found this woman’s story fascinating and kept it tucked in the back of my mind ever since.

That’s why my visceral reaction to the preview of the HBO film, Temple Grandin, surprised me.  I adore Claire Danes and I find Temple Grandin’s story amazing but I was dead-set against seeing this film because… why? I’m not sure, but I think it was the whole cattle slaughtering thing and the fact that a gentle hug made the cattle less upset about their death. I didn’t want to think about the cattle’s last moments. I just wanted to buy meat at the grocery store and pretend it grew on trees. Or just materialized there in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Hey, magic!

I recently commented on a post by Lali that, when I was a vegetarian, I vowed that if I ever ate meat again I’d first have to kill an animal — to prove I was not a hypocrite*. Since I’ve never killed an animal, I am a hypocrite and while, on a day-to-day basis, that doesn’t bother me, occasionally it does. Perhaps that’s why I refused to even consider watching the film. I didn’t want to confront my hypocrisy.

Last night I did watch the film. It was excellent. It changes nothing. I’m still a hypocrite but at least I admit it.

*when I was young and had not had that many life experiences, being a hypocrite was probably the worse thing I could imagine being — it ranked up there with murderer in my mind.