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A grave error

English: Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Basil....

These sorts of things seem only to happen to Basil.

This weekend, while attending a relative’s funeral, he found himself in the wrong place at the right time.

He took back roads from the church to the cemetery to avoid getting caught in cross-town traffic, and was rather smug that he made the trip as quickly as he did. The fellow at the cemetery’s gate waved him along, urging him to hurry since he had another group right behind this one.

That should have been Basil’s first tip-off, but no, he forged ahead and  joined a large gathering at a graveside service.

The priests’ black robes and incense seemed right, but there was something off about the crowd.

Stuck in the mud at a fair distance from the immediate family, he kept trying to find his uncle, but had no luck.

The women beside him weren’t familiar, but he presumed that maybe they’d been sitting behind him somewhere in church.

The chanting finally crystallized the whole scene. These prayers were in Russian, not Greek.

He was at the wrong grave.

That was awkward enough, but how to leave?

He tiptoed backward as quietly as possible, smiling blandly at the mourners around him, then silently gritted his teeth as his footfalls across the paved roadway echoed across their service.

Back in the car, he wended his way through the graveyard and found the right group, now two-thirds of the way through the service he was meant to attend.

Better late than never, I guess.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


6 thoughts on “A grave error

  1. Oh, my! It sounds like a scene from a movie. I hate to say it, but all caskets look alike!

    Posted by Rachel | March 10, 2013, 11:20 pm
  2. Why did I have images of Mr. Bean floating through my mind as I read this story? lol. Is there such a thing as a funeral crasher? Too funny.

    Posted by Priscilla Sharp | March 9, 2013, 8:03 pm
  3. Please assure Basil that he’s not alone! I once sat through half a funeral service before realizing that it was for a nun, not my friend’s father. Ooops. And when my SIL and I went to a friend’s funeral, we got separated from the rest of the procession (never hire a race driver wanna-be to drive the hearse!) on 95. But my SIL said she knew what cemetery we were going to. Fine, but there were at least 5 burials at the same time. We drove to what she thought was right, walked to the group and didn’t recognize anyone. Got back in the car, drove to the right one as the finished lowering the casket. Sigh. So, it’s not only Basil. He and I will have to exchange stories one day….

    Posted by Karen Waggoner | March 9, 2013, 7:23 pm

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