Jun 072013 11 Responses

And After the Funeral She Hit Him in the Nuts

The funniest place I frequent is the funeral home.

Most people don’t know that. They don’t need to know. Yet in order to survive dealing with death on a daily basis, people need to laugh.

The hardest I’ve ever laughed at a funeral happened a few years back.

The funeral was for one of my favorite church members. He and his wife had been married for 60 years. They had never attended church before coming to ours in their 70’s. They were two of my favorite people.

A few months before the man died, they were in my office. She was down the hallway when a co-worker of mine ask the man, “What’s the key to being married for 60 years?” The man quickly responded, “Tell her every day you love her.”

When the woman came into the office my co-worker asked her, “What’s the key to being married 60 years?” She responded, “Tell him every day you love him.”

A few months later, as the man was dying in his hospital room I recounted the story to him. He said, “Yep, that’s the key to marriage, memorize her answers.”

The funeral was more difficult than normal. This was a special couple. Having been married for so long and without having kids of their own, I felt a deep kinship to them.

As the funeral ended, I took my spot at the head of the casket as everyone filed by to pay their last respects. After the chapel was emptied, my co-pastor went to the widow and gently said, “If you would like to have one last look, I’ll walk with you.” The frail lady agreed, rose to her feet and took a few steps.

The pastor was going to walk behind her in case he needed to catch her. She didn’t know his plan and realized he wasn’t beside her. She quickly turned to motion him to join her and as she did, she hit him right in the nuts.

He winced. She was in such dismay she didn’t know what happened.

As the widow made her way toward me for one final look at her husband of over 60 years, I lost it. I couldn’t control myself. If you think it is hard to stifle a laugh while sitting in church or at a funeral, imagine how difficult it is when you are leading church or a funeral.

I quickly turned and covered my face fearing the widow would see me laughing during the moment of her greatest grief.

As she looked at her loving husband one last time, I heard her say, “Could you check on Kevin, he’s taking this pretty hard.”

Apparently as I turned and shook from laughter, she thought I was overcome with grief for my friend.

I was sad for my friend. I was sad he wasn’t there to see his wife hit the pastor in the nuts. He would’ve loved it.

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11 Responses to And After the Funeral She Hit Him in the Nuts
  1. Becky Harris Reply

    I would love to share this because it’s hilarious. But if the MIL sees the word “nuts” used this many times in something I like, there may be trouble.

  2. Tracy Winchell Reply

    Beautiful. My dad’s family loves “critiquing” funerals. It’s their way of coping with the loss of a dear, loved one. I have always enjoyed lying in the floor listening to my aunts & uncles hold forth. When it’s the funeral of someone I love, I can take comfort in being with people who simply love me. No strangers to impress or console. Just blood kin. My daddy was very close to his Mama. Provided for her financially & emotionally from when he was 19 through the rest of her life. He was fiercely loyal to her. Which is why my cousins and I, at Cornwell Funeral Home in Danville, burst into laughter as my daddy came out of the viewing room and hollered across 100 people toward my cousins and me – “JoBob, do you wanna come view the CORPSE?” Earlier, my aunt walked into my grandmother’s house with two of my grandmother’s dresses. My mom asked what she was doing with those. My aunt replied, “I left one at the funeral home. I reckon where she’s going she don’t need but one dress. My Mama and my cousins and I have talked about those moments dozens of times. We laugh, we cry, and we understand our parents. They endured so much hardship. Their loyalty toward one another is unquestioned, even when they’re not speaking to one another. They’ll “do” and provide. Without comment. For my daddy, his beloved mama was gone. A corpse was all that was left. He knew he’d see her again. Today, he is with her. She probably sulled up at him over being called a corpse. Their stoic perspective is borne from pain. It’s a defense mechanism, yet it’s authentic and, perhaps, how God calls us to celebrate life and mourn death of believers. It’s part of life. Laugh. Cry. Move on. Maybe someday I’ll master my family’s legacy.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Everybody mourns differently. What one family finds helpful, the next family would find blasphemous. The key is to mourn your way and let others mourn their way. I’m deeply drawn toward the families who laugh and cry.

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  5. Sue Holte Reply

    This is priceless!! Just priceless!

  6. […] A few months later, the man was sick and dying. I went to see him and recounted the story. I asked, ... kevinathompson.com/15-tips-for-a-better-marriage
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