Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Can't(or)

This may not make any sense. It's going to be a getting something out of my weak ass chest sort of a thing. Read at your own risk. I won't feel slighted if you skip over it, promise.

Sometimes I'm a little harsh. Specifically when people are asked to do something emotional or as a favor or something and they say they "just can't" or "can't deal" or whatever they say. I'm not saying it to be mean. It's simply that I don't understand it and today is an example of why.

For years when I thought, preparing myself, about Auntie Blanche's funeral I thought that I would sing something. I agonized over which thing to sing and came up with a number of choices, some better than others (Selections from Best Little Whorehouse in TX = bad, Handel's Messiah = better). And, yeah, sometimes I practiced them, they were versatile songs, it wasn't like I'd just sing them at a funeral. The more I practiced and the closer we got to the actual funeral the more I realized that choosing to sing at Auntie Blanche's funeral is proof positive that I am crazy as the proverbial shit house rat. Who does that to themselves? Why? What sort of masochistic fuckwad have I become?

So over the course of the last couple of months I thought to myself, "Hey, you know what, you don't have to do this. Yeah, she'd want singing and your singing would be the ultimate tribute but sometimes, you know, sometimes something is just too damn hard. She'd give you a pass if you needed it. Go on. You need it." I made peace with it and felt OK about it and wished I could sing, look forward even to singing the hymns but also felt relieved that I wouldn't have to do the too hard part.

Auntie Blanche requested that the Twenty Third Psalm (Brother James' Air) be sung at her funeral. Today the request came down that I sing it.

Of course I'm going to because, come on, after everything she gave me I can't give her this? Maybe you could say no, maybe a lot of people could, but I don't see how.

All that being true, man, this is going to suck big, hairy donkey balls, you know?

12 comments:

  1. I simply wouldn't be able to sing.

    When April died, the pastor opened the floor to anyone who wanted to say something. We could just stand up, say what we wanted to say, and sit down. Easy, right? I wanted to stand up and simply say "she was my friend," but I couldn't even manage that.

    April WAS my friend, but she and I were no where NEAR as close as you and Auntie Blanche. If I couldn't say four words out loud, I can't imagine how you're going to get through a whole psalm.

    I'm just sayin' that there's a different between "won't" and "can't."

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  2. I couldn't say no.

    Just think of love when you sing it-perhaps have a wee drink before the service to soothe the nerves.

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  3. Being given an open opportunity and being asked to do something are different. I'm betting that if April hadn't died suddenly, if she'd asked you to read something you would have done it.

    Mrs. G, the service is at 11am, looks like I'm going to have to pack my own flask. I have to speak and then sing, which is fucking worst case scenario. sigh.

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  4. woof.
    i don't even know what to say other than I'd give anything in theworld to be there with you.

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  5. I think it will be important to prepare yourself for the possibility that you might be a little too choked up to sing very well or even make it through the piece. Don't worry about it being "good enough" because whatever you are able to do will be good because it will come from your heart (it's for Blanche, not the people at the funeral).

    Whatever you are able to do will honor your aunt and don't beat yourself up if it's not the best performance in the world.

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  6. I'm so proud of you.

    Just remember that anything you do will be a tribute -- a beautiful performance shows how much she taught you, a breakdown shows how much she meant to you, something in between shows some of both. You are honoring her just by saying yes.

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  7. I wouldn't be able to say no either.

    I second what jrh said.

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  8. I couldn't say no and totally get that by NOT saying no....it does in fact suck big, hairy donkey balls.

    Singing for her will not only express the love that you feel (even if it is through a shaky, tear filled voice), it is likely to give comfort to a great number of people.

    Use your gift, Kizz. You might hate it this time, but you won't regret it....I promise.

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  9. Sing steady my friend. You will do her proud.

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  10. Sing. Sing a song. Make it simple.
    When you get up to do it imagine we are all there in a choir behind you.
    You're not singing alone.
    You have back up dancers...
    da do da do.

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  11. At Neill's funeral I read a poem he had written about himself. One of the hardest things I've ever done. I was an hour late to the service and almost missed it entirely, but they threw me onstage as soon as I got there.
    I'm glad I did it. It meant a great deal to his friends to hear it. Thankfully it was a funny piece, so that helped to hear their laughter.
    One of my greatest regrets is that I allowed my anxiety about it cause me to be so late and miss everyone else's tribute to my guy.
    Bless your heart.

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  12. well, bravo to you. I wouldn't be able to do it.
    Reading from a piece of paper is hard enough. I was a blubbering mess at my grandmother's funeral. She was so special to me.

    one trick is to tell yourself 'I'll feel about this later'. I'm sure you have a lot of tricks up your sleeve with your acting experience.

    hugs.

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