Misplaced grief, part twoPosted: June 8, 2009
Its been a week since I’ve had a chance to blurt out anything new. Had a chance to spend the weekend out of town with great friends, so work had to be all consuming in the days leasing up to my escape. Thanks for sticking with me!
A few months ago I ran into what had to be the ultimate in misplaced grief. This is worse than any “In memory of…” sticker plastered on the back of some pizza delivery guy’s Kia.
To set this scene up for you, a little personal revelation. I have a son who has just finished his junior year of high school. He is among other things, quite a musician. His high school marching band competes in regional band contests around the state.
Back in the fall, we went to a marching band competition with my son’s band. One of the things they have at these events, as a fund raiser for the host school, are something called band grams. You pay a couple bucks, write what you want the PA announcer to say to your band or your child as the band marches onto the field. As each band comes onto the field to set up for their show the announcer usually sends out about 20 of these things. They are making a little money on the duty all parents of teenagers have to bring as much shame and horror into their lives as legally permissible. Most folks use it to let their kids know they’re proud of them or maybe play a little joke.
On this occasion, while I was in the stands after my son’s band performed, I heard this announcement over the PA as another band took the field to compete:
“Mary, play that clarinet! Your dead grandmother is watching from heaven.”
I recognize that I am capable of some disturbed thought, but I could not make up something like that. If nothing else, I’d have to make it a little less horrifying so it would be believable. Except for the name, that is literally the announcement someone paid to send to their child. I actually wish I was making it up because I wonder what will become of this poor teenager with a family that thinks like that.
What is the thought pattern here? Is Mary to be inspired or horrified by that? Did they consider the poor kid might be a little distracted by that? How much of a window into Mary’s life does Grandma have from up there?
I’m going to need to establish a policy here for all my friends and family. If I precede you, and I have the ability to watch you from where ever I am in the afterlife, please know I won’t watch all the time. That would be kind of creepy for both of us.
So if you were to do something after I’m long gone and then say to yourself, “gee I hope Omawarisan didn’t see that”, be assured I’ll have stopped looking before you really got started. There are just some things I don’t want to see. I hope I can expect the same discretion on your part if you move on before I do.
In addition, if I hear you tell someone I am watching, there will be problems. For instance, if you were having a beer with friends and I heard you tell them that I am watching from heaven I would fly down, knock your beer into your lap and go back up to heaven. You’ll think it was a weird accident. It will be me.
This weekend I did a little road trip with my friends. No beer was spilled.
Thanks for not peeking, Grandma.