May 21, 2007


I ended up going to my friendís visitation on Friday. I filled the truck up with gas, $160.00 worth (It were on fumes) and made the 3 hour drive. At this time I want to say the Verizon Wireless Navigation system on my phone rocks. Trust me, I would have never found the place. As a back up I had Mapquest directions and they werenít accurate. Like going the wrong way down a one way. But thatís not what this post is about.

I have never been so insulted by anyoneís actions like I was at the visitation. When I arrived I did not recognize anyone else there, I figured they where her family and friends that werenít re-enactors. At first I didnít even see her husband, Shane. You get so used to seeing re-enactors in their period clothes that when you see them dressed in modern clothes you donít recognize them.

Slowly I made my way through the receiving line. By the casket was her bed jacket with trade silver on it. In the casket she laid wearing modern clothes. I didnít really start to think anything was ďwrongĒ until I saw how the family was lined up. It was in this order: Mother, Father, Shane, brothers and sisters. As her husband Shane should have been at the head of the receiving line. Well, maybe I was wrong on that. I come to the mother shake her hand and tell her Iím sorry for her loss. She looked at me quizzically and asked, ďDo I know you?Ē I explained that I was a re-enacting friend of Deniseís. She gave me this look and in an irritated tone said, ďOh.Ē I received the same cool reception from her father. Shane of course was warm and welcoming. He looked like he needed a friend.

After I finished the line, I watched the family. Shane looked like he had been put through a ringer; I mean worse then being at your wifeís visitation. They had a video slide show of pictures of Denise, only one of the pictures had her in her re-enacting clothes. This is really weird because most re-enactors I know identify themselves as a re-enactor. It is more than a hobby; it is a way of life. Youíve probably figured that out by reading me for a while. Finally some other re-enactors showed up and I was able to talk with them that is when I got the rest of the story.

Apparently the family didnít like Deniseís Native American beliefs and re-enacting. She wanted to be buried in the bed jacket and they refused to do so. Due to circumstances that are not my story to tell, the marriage is not legally recognized by the family or state so Shane had no authority to override the parentís decisions. When Denise was sick the family didnít visit, assist or comfort her as they should have. Except for her sister, whom I was told actually was accepting of Deniseís choices and was very supportive.

The whole thing really just pissed me off.

Most of the re-enactors drive 2+ hours to be there, some even came from Minnesota. For the parents to be rude to us when all we were doing was pay our respects to their daughter was uncalled for. I guess it is because I couldnít be that way, I canít understand how others could. And I could go on, but Iím not going to. But remember folks, if someone you loved dies, respect them, their last wishes and the people that come to pay their respect. Youíre honoring a life, not making a statement.

Posted by Contagion in Things that make me go, "GUH?!?!" at May 21, 2007 05:27 AM | TrackBack

" ...if someone you loved dies, respect them, their last wishes and the people that come to pay their respect. Youíre honoring a life, not making a statement."

Well said - and I am sorry about your friend and for your loss. She obviously had a good friend in you...

Posted by: Richmond at May 21, 2007 09:25 AM

But the shame of it is is that a lot of families do use others funerals to make statements about their views instead of following the wishes of the deceased ..

It's that way in my family alot ... I hate going to family funerals ...

Posted by: Quality Weenie at May 21, 2007 10:04 AM

Grrrrrr. Selfish bastards.

Posted by: caltechgirl at May 21, 2007 10:54 AM

Sorry that happened to her and her husband, and that you caught some of it. Some people have no class or consideration, and are just selfish b******s who insist it be about them. Such people are scum, and at that I may have just insulted a few million slime molds... Dad and I had a pact/plan for dealing with some of that, figuring the hole was deep enough to hold two (or more) as needed. My condolences to her husband, and to you and others of honor who had to witness such boorishness.

Posted by: Laughing Wolf at May 21, 2007 01:22 PM

Condolences to her husband. She should have been celebrated. I am so glad you were able to pay your respects to her.

Posted by: Oddybobo at May 21, 2007 09:16 PM

I am glad you could make it, as I was not. Unfortunatly, I had heard that all that you described was going to happen. When I received word of her passing, the notice said for re-enactor friends that wished to leave a token or momento to make sure and pass it to her husband and that he would make sure it made it in the casket.

As re-enactors we will have to hold our own memorial service.

Posted by: Petey at May 21, 2007 09:33 PM

*sigh* It's so sad when families pull crap like that. I guess somehow it makes them feel like it's something they can control in a situation that is totally out of control. Unfortunately, they always manage to hurt others because of it.

I'm glad you were able to make it there and give him some support. I'm sure he didn't feel quite so alone with someone who understands.

Posted by: Teresa at May 23, 2007 05:54 PM