The funeral was to be brief and at graveside. I was invited to represent the friends of the family with a few reassuring words. The pastor was offering the same spirit from the church family. And my ex husband delivered the bulk of the comfort with an emphasis on how faith gets us through the hard times. Three "ministers" (don't quite see me in that category usually) and we all knew the threat of Houston heat far outweighed anything we could say.
What we didn't factor into the equation was the rain. Actually, make that monsoon! A shower minutes before we were to leave the facility where we first gathered kept us inside a bit longer. Soon the sun was out and we took to the cars and traveled the winding path to the graveside. That's when the skies opened up.
Walking to the tent-covered grave pretty much meant I was soaked from the beginning -- even though I was walking with my friend under a sunflower shaped umbrella. And being soaked meant that my sheer skirt and blouse -- chosen because they would be cool in the heat we KNEW would be there -- were now sucking against my backside. Pinching them away caused just enough breeze that within minutes I was shaking in the "cold." That went well with the winds that were blowing through, the water dripping through the cracks in the tent and the rains now blowing sideways into the family seating area.
I reached to wipe away the water pouring down my back and noticed that my hair was completely drenched. But all of this mattered very little because I was absolutely focused on not embarrassing the family. Which meant I had a mantra going on in my head, "Yes you're slipping out of your heels but whatever you do DON'T LEAN ON THE CASKET. DON'T LEAN ON THE CASKET. DON'T LEAN ON THE CASKET."
I may not be ordained but that just didn't seem to be appropriate funeral protocol.
After the three of us shouted down the elements to deliver our thoughts, the rain finally subsided. My friend told me later that her brother would have loved the shower. I was glad, in fact happy that she could see it that way, but I still wanted a towel.