Eight-year-old great-grandson asks if there will there be snacks at the funeral

Lefty Graves

Child singingPhoto byNicole GreenonUnsplash

** This article is based on nonfiction by actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission

My friend and I grew up together, and we’ve known each other for most of our lives. We’ve shared a lot of ups and downs. Both of our families strongly believe that children should be at a funeral even though they don’t fully understand what is happening. It’s a good way for the children to say goodbye, and it helps them to understand that the person isn’t going to reappear suddenly.

When her mother-in-law recently passed away, my friend asked me if I could help her to keep her five kids corralled at the funeral. I loved her mother-in-law dearly, so I promptly agreed to help her with the kids.

Arriving at the church for the funeral, I took her five-year-old and her eight-year-old under my wing while she managed the two-month-old baby and the other two children. We sat with the children between us so they couldn’t escape either end of the church pew we were sitting in without them having to first pass by us.

At the appointed time, her eight-year-old son was invited to the front of the church. He had wanted to sing a favorite song that he and his great-grandma often sang together one last time. His dad adjusted the microphone for him, and his aunt played the piano while he sang their favorite song.

When he completed his song, his dad stepped forward to reset the microphone for the next person, but before he could say anything, the eight-year-old said, “oh, one last thing” looking directly at his mother, he asked, “will there be snacks later”? The entire audience in the church began to giggle, and pretty soon, the entire service erupted in laughter.

Apparently, singing one last song to great-grandma had worked up an appetite. His dad assured him quietly that there would be a dinner served after the service and escorted him back to our aisle so he could be seated with the rest of us.

I’m sure great-grandma is still smiling in heaven today over the incident. I know that the family is still talking about it, and now that he is in his late teens, he has never lived it down. We all ask him if there will be snacks later when we see him. It definitely helped to lighten a heavy day. Do you have any funny stories or memories from funerals?

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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction recovery, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming, and an eclectic mix of other topics. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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