Thursday afternoon, I took Chloe Jo out to a friends house so I could go to a funeral. I had never actually met the woman who passed away, but her daughter and sister are members of the church we are members of. Her son has also come to worship services several times. The woman who passed away was a member of the church, but she has been ill the whole time we've been here. The daughter said it was a sort of relief that it is all over now. She didn't say this in a mean *I hate my mother* way. She said it in a loving *I'm glad my mother is no longer suffering* way.
Sunday evening, her son asked 4 of the ladies of the congregation (including me) to be a flower girl at the funeral. Of course, I said I would do it even though I have never heard of this in my life. I actually thought they were joking at first and then immediately felt bad when I realized they were serious. This is a tradition commonly followed at a funeral of an African American person. There were several things that are different and I'm thankful that I now have had the experience. This is what I wore to the funeral.The flower girls traditionally wear all white. I told one of the other flower girls that this is the first time I have ever worn all white to a funeral. I even had to go find a dress and shoes because I don't normally wear white at all. I have always thought it wouldn't look good on my pasty white girl skin. I don't think it was quite as bad as what I thought it would be, though!
The flower girls walked in first and sat on the front pew. At the end of the funeral, we got up first and the funeral director handed us each a flower arrangement and we walked out first. Russell and I didn't get to sit together, but that was fine. He had to read a couple of scriptures anyway. He also wrote 3 prayers for the funeral and they were beautiful! Sometimes it surprises me that he has come so far from where he was when he first moved to preaching school.
Another thing that African American funerals are known for is the length. We were warned by several different people that it would be a very long funeral. Honestly, I didn't think it was that bad. It started at 2:00 p.m. and we left the grave site at 4:30 p.m.
All in all, it was an interesting experience and I'm glad I was able to be a part of it.