The guys at the Belmont Diner usually talk about this, that and the other thing. Yesterday it was end of life stories.
Paramedics entered a semi-private room in a nursing home. One of the women had stopped breathing. She was put into a body bag and transported to a funeral parlour. As staff were removing her from the bag, she stirred, breathing very shallowly. Oblivious to the events around her, the lass was returned to her room, none the wiser. Her roommate made the return trip to the funeral home.
One of my fellow diners wanted to pay his respects to a neighbour. He walked into the church and joined the reception line. As he got closer to the family members, he wasn’t recognizing anybody. Oh my … he was at the wrong funeral. A sorrowing wife shook his hand. “I’m sorry, I don’t know you. Were you a friend of Bob’s from work?” “No, I read about Bob in the paper. We worked together many years ago.” So said, he slunked to the back of the church, where he signed the guest book as “Fred Merkovicz” – totally fictional.
One gentleman of the coffee persuasion mentioned his poverty of long ago. Once a very unpopular man died in town. His family couldn’t find anyone willing to be a pallbearer. Our Dinerite finally agreed to help out. Later the grateful relatives gave him some money. Seeing the economic opportunity here, he had some business cards made up: “Have funeral. Will carry”. Worked out fine.
Amid all this hilarity came another perspective. “I worked in India for a few years. People died in the street. A cart made regular rounds and picked up the bodies. They were burned outside of town somewhere. It was so sad. Nobody loved them and they died alone.”
Just your regular twirl of words at the Diner. Hello death. We laugh and we cry.