I wanted to look my best for my husband’s funeral. Why? It was one of the worst days of my life. Why shouldn’t my clothes reflect that? Old pajama pants and an oversized T-shirt. THAT should have been the approved dress code. Screw showing respect for the recently deceased- they’re dead! They don’t care! But no. You have to look “nice”. So you go out and spend even more money to look good. I bought a beautiful dress. Actually, I bought two. One was appropriately funereal and the other one was more “me” and was super comfy. I wore the appropriately funereal dress in the end. Why? Because I loved the other dress more and would definitely want to wear it again and it wouldn’t feel right. Or would have a meltdown the moment I put it on. This wouldn’t be a problem if I could have showed up in sweats. But you can bet your ass that I spent most of the funeral without shoes on.
I wasn’t going to put the kids in black. They are too young and it felt wrong. But my boys surprised me. When I mentioned going out to get them funeral clothes, Thing Two promptly stated that he was going to buy the nicest tuxedo they had. Tuxedo. I gently let him know that people don’t typically wear tuxedoes to funerals. However. If he wanted a tuxedo, then by Jesus, he was going to have one. He changed his mind on the tux. Thank Christ. Thing One and Thing Two ultimately poo-poo’d my thoughts of khakis and nice shirts, choosing instead to go with black pants, shirts with ties, and jackets. My little men in jackets!!! My aching heart was full…..until they began having entirely too much fun with the choosing of the clothes. It hadn’t even been 72 hours at that point and here they were, each trying to out-fancy the other. Who does that? My kids. And then the She Beast. She, of course, hated every. single. dress. The ONLY dress she liked looked like some type of 80’s neon nightmare of ruffles, flounces, and petticoats. Someone had obviously robbed a rainbow for that dress. It was hideous and completely inappropriate but I had told the kids they could pick out whatever they wanted….I think my grief tears turned into tears of joy when the dress wasn’t to be found in her size. At least that is what I told her. I didn’t even look.
But seriously, why do we care? Clothes are the least important thing. I had to tell my children that their father was dead. Who cares what the fuck you are wearing after something like that. I had to be the one to look them in the eye and destroy their worlds. To watch their little faces go from hopeful that we were going to go visit Daddy soon, to realizing that the night before was the last goodbye. I had to be strong for them- but not too strong to where they didn’t think I cared. I had to choose how much to tell them about the end. And reassure them once again that everything WOULD be ok. And shortly after telling them, I had to leave them to go and plan a funeral, because that shit doesn’t wait. I had to decide when exactly to cremate him- did I have a layout and let the kids see him one more time or go ahead and just get it over with? Could the kids handle seeing him like that? It was one thing to see him having lost nearly 100 lbs while he was still alive and able to hug them and tell them he loved them. But could they handle it now that he was gone? What was going to be their last memory of him? Lying in a casket or smiling so big when they showed up to hospice after not seeing him at all the week he spent in ICU? Why was that even a question?
So no, clothes are not at all important for a funeral. But we all sure did look nice.