December 12th, 2007

When Gram was in her early eighties, she took to saying “If I die” quite a lot. I think she was using it for attention, but it cracked me up.

Me: “Grammie, when you say that, it sounds like you have all of these options, and haven’t quite decided which one you’re going to choose.”

Gram: “Oh.”

We’re an eloquent bunch.

What? It’s news to you that we are all going to die? Do you know something I don’t?

My family accuses me of being a shytte disturber. I prefer “awareness facilitator” as in “The Emperor is naked, dude.”

That conversation spurred Grammie on to take action. She enlisted the reluctant services of my fine furniture/cabinet maker brother, Mr. Trick, to make her a lovely coffin.

Her reasoning? Have a beautiful piece made by someone who loves you, and who, incidentally, will give you a great deal on it. A dirt cheap coffin. Perfect for the long dirt nap.

She keeps it in her spare room to store bedding in. I guess I’m milking the dirt nap thing. *Hangs head in mock shame*.

I have a long time best friend from school days who is a high mucky-muck (Grammie’s description) on the newspaper where we are all from. She spoke to one of the reporters about this whole coffin thing, and he contacted Grammie. High Mucky-Muck suggested they wait to do the story until Mr. Trick came to visit Grammie, so the story would have the two viewpoints.

I have met this reporter socially several times. I like to tease him about being wet behind the ears and things like that. He’s a really funny guy, and quick to respond to verbal torture. This is good, because really, who enjoys a duel of wits with an unarmed opponent? Where’s the sport in that?

I warn him that the combination of Mr. Trick and Grammie is double trouble. Mr. Trick eggs Grammie on to new heights of giddiness when he is around. As if she wasn’t a pissah in her own right.

Me: “Those two will eat you for breakfast, Funny Guy Reporter.”

I’m feeling virtuous, and a little smug, because He. Has. Been. Warned. (Think Oprah, trying to control an interview with Jim Carrey. Ain’t no way to control that interview)

FGR calls the house for directions. Gram answers the phone with “There’s nobody home.”

Mr. Trick recounts the process of researching and building a coffin, adding that he should have built it with a false bottom so it could be placed over the gravesite, easily relieved of its cargo, then re-used. I believe he hollered “Next!” at this point, by way of demonstration of course.

FGR admits to being a little creeped out by the whole deal. He tries to get a picture of the coffin being used as a blanket box, (it’s in her spare room, doing storage duty for now) but Gram hops right in and starts a-grinnin’. No way was she going to miss being in the picture that was her claim to fame.

After the interview, which I was there for, I teased FGR about those two running away with the interview plan.

Me: “You were toast.”

And what do we eat for breakfast?

Snort.

Note: Gram got lots of attention because of this article, which she totally loved. She was interviewed by the CBC (national radio broadcasting network) and had strangers come to her house just to see the coffin. The newspaper image is here.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2007 at 11:47 am and is filed under Grammie, crazy friends, down home, rellies, stories from the olden days. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

14 Responses to “Grammie’s coffin – the backstory”

Just Beachy Says:

That’s awesome! I would like you Gram too.

Just Beachy’s last blog post..Menu Plan Monday 12/10

Oh, The Joys Says:

I’m going to ask my brother to make me a coffin now just to freak him out.

Oh, The Joys’s last blog post..Catch ‘Em

witchypoo sez: he might do it if you’re his favourite sistah.Grammie totally pulled rank on Mr. Trick :)

JennB Says:

I would love your Gram!!! I’m sorry to hear that she’s ready to check out the next realm, but I’m glad that you’re feeling peaceful. I had a dream about my best Gram the other day… she’s been gone for 10 years. I can’t believe it! She still says hello in my dreams.

(also – I can’t get the Commentluv to work when I post here… boo!)

iamthediva Says:

:D Awarness Facilitator is the best thing i’ve heard (read?) all day!

Your Gram sounds like a right hilarious lady full of piss and vinegar… or is that supposed to be pith and vinegar? hm.
Anyway,
you are truly blessed to have these memories.

Angella Says:

Your Gram sounds like my kind of gal ;)

Angella’s last blog post..My Bags Are Packed

Jenny Says:

Piss and vinegar! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

My grandma died when I was 18. She visited me many times in dreams that following year. Then it stopped, but at the most odd times in my life, I’ll get a vision of my grandma’s old house. This past June I did a shamanic journey and met her, my grandpa (whom I never knew in this life) and my great-grandma on the cusp of the Other Side. It was absolutely life changing for me. And for my dad, for whom I transcribed the tape and gave to him for father’s day. The one thing they kept saying is “you don’t have to wait to be here (the Other Side) to talk to us, we’re always with you.” That day my grandma told me that when I get the visions of her house, it’s because she has given me roots. A place to grow from.

Jenny’s last blog post..It’s a Cold, Hard World Baby!

nan Says:

My Gran bought her coffin years ago too. She stored it at th funeral home, but we teased her mercilessly anyway. “all that money? We were just gonna drop you in!” she was buried in it in March, and I am still not quite ready…

nan’s last blog post..quote of the day

zoe Says:

my crazy ass grandma refuses to even discuss her death. she is 80. she drives and shouldn’t…it’s just a matter of time. a coffin for spare linens huh? could he make me one as a toy chest??? that would be wicked ass cool!

zoe’s last blog post..Show some Love

josey Says:

that really is one of the best stories EVER. haha!!

munch munch! ROTFL!

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[...] nausea, it was more in my bowel. I felt it a little with each flush. What I find funny is that my Grammie always called the indoor toilet the flush. Because she vividly remembers the other kind that did [...]

Grammie's Present | Psychicgeek Says:

[...] Every year, I ask her to hang on long enough til I get there, just so I can see her one more time. She already has her coffin special made. She’s perfectly willing to use it. Look at her, all grinning in her coffin. She’s a pissah! [...]

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What's in the box? | Psychicgeek Says:

[...] is a wonderful /backstory to this Gram and coffin thing, and I promise to tell it. Today, I am going to put my brain on hold [...]