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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Funeral Chicken


A few years ago I was asked to be a pallbearer for my wife's great-aunt.  She was a very nice lady, her late life hobby was to go into cemeteries and find stranger's graves with inadequate tombstones and buy them big new elaborate stones.  When she died she was very advanced in age.  She had no children and the large majority of her relatives were also advanced in age.

Although I had only met her once I was recruited as a pallbearer simply because I was strong enough to lift as a casket.  I was happy to help out.

As the funeral came to an end I was standing with my wife's grandfather (who had handled the arrangements) and the funeral director came up to him and said "The chicken is the back".  The funeral director proceeded to pull take a pan of steamy, hot, fresh fried chicken out of the hearse and hand it to my wife's grandfather.  Then he left.

I was a bit puzzled.  Why did the funeral director give my wife's grandfather a pan of chicken at his sister-in-law's gravesite?  When I asked my wife, she simply replied that that was just a service the funeral home provided.  A complimentary pan of fried chicken with every funeral.

Funeral Chicken.  I am still confused.

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6 comments:

  1. Ha! Okay, that's wild. I mean, I know that people always take chicken to the house of the bereaved in the South (and probably everywhere) but at the cemetery? I love that she bought tombstones for people that she didn't know. She sounds like quite the lady.

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    1. It was really interesting. I believe a lot of the stones were for children (which she never hard). Apparently she went all out too, I remember them talking about her having stone angels mounted on marker.

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    2. My Aunt was a very special lady. She could never have children and she always mourned the issue. I think that is why she paid special attention to children's stones, and that she identified with the people who lost their children. She lost both of her husbands and was very, very lonely. She had a collection of dolls. She played the piano. She loved my grandfather like he was her own brother and was buried next to the husband she lost in the 60's due to a tragic accident...he was struck by lightening while holding flammable bucket of stuff used in construction, which caused him to burn nearly to death and then live for a few weeks in utter despair. Though she had a difficult time in her life, she was always so kind to nieces and nephews. She had my baby picture on her wall...and my daughter's baby picture. She loved babies. I will never forget how she passed out halloween candy on halloween--she would give one kid a whole bag! She was lively....

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  2. I've never heard of the funeral home providing chicken. That seems to be an unusual service for them to offer. On the other hand, here in Tennessee, close friends of the family bring food to the family of the deceased so that they can eat as soon as the visitation/funeral is over. I was told that's a Tennessee-only tradition.

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  3. Here in Utah we have "Funeral Potatoes". They are served at the luncheons for the families after the funerals. My sister revised the recipe. Hers are called "Killer Potatoes". They are Delicious. I'd love to have Funeral Chicken with Funeral potatoes. LOL

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  4. Here in Utah we have "Funeral Potatoes". They are served at the luncheons for the families after the funerals. My sister revised the recipe. Hers are called "Killer Potatoes". They are Delicious. I'd love to have Funeral Chicken with Funeral potatoes. LOL

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