Monday’s funeral came and went. The day was lit with a beautiful sky. Good for the family, I believe. I think rain makes the grieving so much worse. The Greek Orthodox priest, whom I couldn’t see because we sat in the “spill over” room, chanted prayers without the cadence and vocal assurance of those I had grown up listening to. Maybe, it was because the Syrian Orthodox church I was raised in had a better chanters program. My Aunt Donna was married (50 years) to a Greek. Which meant, the chanting priest was fab-u-lous.
Earlier that morning, I had managed to eat a sliver of kibbe (a Lebanese concoction of lean ground beef or lamb mixed with fine grain bulgar wheat, onions and spices, and baked–tastes far better than it sounds) and a cup of tea, thinking it’d be enough to hold me over until the after-burial reception that was customary of family funerals. I was famished by the time we had arrived at the cemetery, the one where all her deceased siblings, including my dad, and parents resided. It was a lovely service. However, there was no after-the-funeral gathering where it is customary to offer food to the guests. I kept waiting for the funeral director’s announcement of such, but it never came. Afterward, I was thinking about why that was. I think it might have to do with the fact that, for the first time in our family, the deceased was the wife, thereby leaving a male to think about feeding others. It just wasn’t customary to expect the male to think about these things.
Hungry, we loaded ourselves into the van and left for home. On the way, we stopped at a Sheetz and ate our funeral food on the ride home.