Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Truth Of An Irish Wake

Following Friday night's vigil and Saturday morning's funeral and burial, my family ended up at my grandparents' house for the reception to celebrate my grandmother's life. It was our first time there as a family since the winter of 2003. We didn't know what to expect and what came at us swung so furiously and joyously that it felt like a heat wave in an East Coast Christmas.

But, I have to say, they ain't kidding about Irish wakes.

They really are one of the most fun things you can attend. As I recall, there was a liquor store run for more whiskey shortly after lunchtime. We screamed Irish ballads as two relatives played guitar, we yelled dirty jokes and we laughed and cried through the many stories we told about my grandmother. In fact, we didn't even have a eulogy at the church, because my grandfather wanted to hear from everyone who wanted to speak after several drinks.

So, instead of staying just the hour we thought we would, my family ended up there for seven hours and, my goodness, I got obliterated with laughter. And whiskey. And Guinness. By the end, I'm sure my hugs made it obvious that I was having a good time...as well that I was wildly drunk. But, it could have been the big goodbye until my grandfather passes, or maybe it was this moment of freedom from anger and sadness, and we all laughed until we realize the tears were real and we were glad to see them.

There's something to be said about the Irish, and it's that even death can be the life of the party.

1 comment:

jason daniel said...

It sounds like there was some closure of sorts...or maybe more of an understanding at least. I'm happy for you.