Guest Post | Comic Relief with Susie Finkbeiner

susie_finkbeinerWhile I would love to claim that the blog today is 100% my work, that would be a lie. You’d see right through it. For one thing, you are smart people. For another, Susie Finkbeiner (who did write today’s post) introduces herself within the post. And I’m glad that she does, because Susie is totally worth knowing, following, and reading. Be sure to pick up her newest book, My Mother’s Chamomile, when it comes out later this month!

***

Here’s a story I hardly ever tell. But I’ll share it with you. Because, you know, you’re special. Super special because you follow Josh Mosey’s ultra fantastic blog.

My grandmothers died within days of each other. It was Spring Break of my sophomore year in college. Worst Spring Break.

Ever.

By the end of the second funeral in a week, I was exhausted. Grieving deeply. Just done.

I looked at my grandma in the casket and lost it. Completely. Fell into a total meltdown.

So, I did what all melodramatic people do in the midst of grief.

I ran.

Hands over my eyes, I ran out of the funeral chapel. Down the hall. Reason caught up with me and said, “So, uh, Susie, where are you going?”

I saw a room with couches. It looked like as good a place as any to sob. So, I went in. Sat down. Cried and cried and cried.

“Susie?” My cousin Eric stood next to me.

“Oh, Eric. It’s just so hard.”

“Um. Yeah.”

“It’s been such a terrible, horrible week.” My voice wobbled with more sobs.

“I bet.”

Now. My family isn’t all that emotionally demonstrative. I mean, I am. But not the men. They’re a bit calmer. Subdued.

But, “I bet”? Really?

“Aren’t you sad?” I asked.

“Yeah.” Eric lowered his voice. “But…um…this isn’t the place for you.”

“That is exactly how I feel, Eric. I don’t feel like I belong in this place of grief, either. No one does. But it’s part of life. You know?”

“I mean, you don’t belong here.” He looked back and forth. “I mean, you shouldn’t be in here. It’s the men’s bathroom.”

I looked up and saw that what he said was true. How had I not seen (or smelled) the urinals on the wall across from me?

***

Death itself isn’t funny. Grief doesn’t tickle. It hurts. Right?

But sometimes funny things happen to us when we grieve.

Someone remembers a story about Grandpa popping out his bridge and scaring all the grandkids.

A child (probably one of those grandkids Grandpa scared) says something WILDLY inappropriate in the middle of the funeral prayer.

We notice that the magazine on Grandma’s side table had Tom Selleck on the cover and our older sister says, “She died a happy woman”. (It was a TV Guide. Yes, that makes me old).

Sometimes, we get a little dose of comic relief.

my_mothers_chamomile

Releasing February 15

My novel My Mother’s Chamomile (releasing February 15 with WhiteFire Publishing) is about a family of funeral directors. Death and grief are their job.

I tried my very hardest to write in some humor. To give my readers a little break. A chance to breathe.

Quirky character here. Physical humor there. Sarcasm and puns and a cranky octogenarian.

I believe that in the middle of mourning, we need mercy.

Sometimes that mercy comes to us as a laugh or a funny story we’ll tell for years.

Do you have any funny funeral stories?

***

Bio: Susie Finkbeiner is a wife and mother living in the beauty of West Michigan. When she’s not busy writing, she enjoys playing Scrabble with her husband, zoo trips with her kids, coffee dates with good friends, and quiet moments to read. Susie is the author of Paint Chips and My Mother’s Chamomile, both published by WhiteFire Publishing. Susie is represented by Ann Byle at Credo Communications.

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6 responses to “Guest Post | Comic Relief with Susie Finkbeiner

  1. I don’t have a funny funeral story. The closest I could possibly come is the minister at my grandma’s memorial service saying, “I didn’t know Clara, but I’m told she….” True, he didn’t know her. She was from another state. We brought her to live with my mom when she was to sick to live alone. But it was the last thing I expected one who is a comforter to say.

    I totally agree, that laughter can help us with our grief. It’s a gift from God.

    • Ooo. Suzie! I’ve heard that one, too. I think that’s a case of someone not really know what to say. I have, however, heard a preacher say something like, “Clara’s family has been sharing the most wonderful stories with me about her…”

      • That would be better, I think. But I’m sure it’s an uncomfortable situation for them, since they are dealing with an upset family. We don’t get upset when we talk about it, of course. We just laugh.

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