The other night, my girlfriend and I went to dinner at a burger restaurant in the mall near our house. With my fries, they gave me some BBQ sauce that was fantastic and delicious, so my girlfriend asked what brand it was, and our server told us. When we got home, my girlfriend looked up the brand and found their website, and on their website discovered “bereavement platters”, which was just an absolutely hilarious combination of words, to be honest. But, it made me think that there’s a part of funeral services nobody ever really talks about; catering.
I’ve been to a few funerals in my time, and I can’t remember a single time they were catered. I remember after my grandfathers funeral, we all went out to dinner at his favorite restaurant, but nothing was catered. Then again, I suppose you might need to have an actual wake in order to have funeral catering. Either way, it made me think about how, even before you’re in the ground, they’re making plans to eat at your funeral. Life goes on, even hours or a day after you’re gone. It makes me feel so insignificant, but not in a bad way for once. It makes me feel like, listen, you’re here while you’re here, experiencing what you experience, and once that’s over, it’s over, and life just keeps going. Everything we think is so important, so crucial, it really doesn’t mean anything in the end, at least not in the long term.
Yes we impact people, yes we change lives, yes we leave a legacy of some kind. But you know what’s more important than any of that?
Tiny 4 cheese quiches on doilies. That’s what.
But in all seriousness, funeral catering really hammered home to me just how fucking fleeting and unimportant all of this really is. All the things I worry about, all the things I hope to achieve, all the things I’ve failed at. It all fails to match up to the fact that my hopes, my dreams, my goals will one day be secondary to my future wife spending the day on the phone, making sure there’s enough cocktail weenies to go around at my wake. It puts everything into perspective, but in a really good way. It makes me not feel so bad about not accomplishing things, about failing at things, because you know what? Somebody’s most important decision one day will be what sort of drinks to serve when I kick it, and that’s pretty hilarious.
I may create a menu, in fact, so that my future wife knows exactly what to serve. My funeral may be the only thing in my life that I have total and complete say over how it goes, so why not plan it down to its every last detail before I die? I want lots of desserts, I want napkins folded like swans, I want peoples meals to be served on trashcan lids, because everything we eat is garbage, so why not be upfront about it?
So, via the odd realization of funeral catering, I feel like I’ve finally had a breakthrough of some kind, in which I don’t worry as much now about failing, or succeeding, and am just happy being, right here, right now.
Because one day I won’t be.
I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the satirical online newspaper of “Nowhere, US”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip.
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