I know that funerals are no laughing matter. But sometimes funny things happen at them.
Last week MOTNSO (“More Often Than Not Significant Other”) and I planned to attend his Aunt’s funeral in neighboring San Juan Capistrano; she was a docent at the Mission Basilica and that’s where the services were scheduled.
We left in plenty of time and arrived to find a crowd of people milling around just outside the entrance, where we could see from a distance was a poster board with photos and memorabilia pasted onto it atop a table. MOTNSO glanced over as we went to park the car and said “I don’t recognize anyone there.” I didn’t even know who to look for; I’d met his cousins (and the now deceased aunt) once, over a year ago at a wedding and I am not known for remembering people I’ve met when there is alcohol involved.
We strolled over and went up to the display. I was looking down at some lovely papers filled with childish scrawls, lauding the virtues of their “GG” (Great Grandmother?) as MOTNSO perused the photos and the formal portrait of the newly departed. Suddenly he burst out with “That’s not my aunt!”
And it wasn’t.
Well, this became a huge problem since he was delivering the eulogy and we had no idea where everyone was and whether or not we were even in the right place.
There was a Mission liaison helping out with the arrangements for “GG’s” funeral and we went up to her and asked if there could be somewhere else on site his aunt’s funeral could be. We were both pretty familiar with the buildings having visited there many times and we only knew of a small chapel which would be an unlikely place to have a funeral. Was there some other place that it could be held? She shook her head. We asked if there was another funeral scheduled for later that morning; perhaps we’d just come at the wrong time? Another shake of the head.
MOTNSO frantically tried to reach his brothers, who also planned to attend, to no avail. We were bordering on panic as the assigned hour for the Mass, which now could be miles away for all we knew, was rapidly approaching. Then I remembered that he’d clipped the obituary and had it in his wallet to give to his parents when he next visited them. He took it out and sure enough, it was scheduled here, at this time. Then MOTNSO asked me what the date was…and it was a truly huge “Oh, DUH!” moment… we’d showed up 24 hours too early.
We had a good laugh over the whole thing and decided that maybe we’d created a new expression to complement the old adage “Late for your own funeral” since we were…
Are you ready?
”…early for someone else’s!”