Who Lives at the Funeral Home_proof

Copyright © by Dr. Corlissa Wilson Published in Powder Springs, GA by J&C Legacy Publishing. Illustrated By: designgraphic11 ISBN: 979-8-218-41239-5

Yesterday my Nana died. My mom says she passed away. I am mad, sad, and scared, all at the same time.

I listened to my family talk about foods Nana cooked, her favorite things to do, and how much we loved her. I played my video game to try and think about something else, but all I could think about is Nana.

As I was getting ready for bed, I heard Mom tell Dad they were going to the funeral home in the morning. I’ve never been to a funeral home before.

I have been to visit my family members and my friends at their homes, but who lives at the funeral home? I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking about Nana and the funeral home.

The next morning, after breakfast, my parents are ready to go, but I have to stay at home with my sister, Morgan. “Mom, why can’t I go?” I asked. “Matthew, today we are going to do a lot of talking about what kind of service we are having to celebrate Nana’s life.” “I want to decide how we remember Nana, too!”

I stand in the door as they get in the car. I am trying not to cry, but I do any way. Mom looks at me and says, “Just come on Matthew and hurry.” I give her a slight smile because I can go. I need to know who lives at the funeral home.

When we get there, Dad pulls up right in front of the building. It doesn’t really look like a house but like a church and a house together. The sign outside says, “Woodland Funeral Home.” I am not so sure I want to go in. My mom grabs my hand and a man comes out to greet us.

“My name is Mr. Floyd, let’s have a seat in here.” Everyone sits down at the table and talks about how to remember Nana. There is a day for people to come and see her called a visitation and another day for the funeral. Mr. Floyd tells us, Nana needs her favorite dress and even a hat if she liked to wear them. I hope we remember to bring her glasses because she couldn’t read without them.

Mr. Floyd takes us into the next room filled with pretty boxes in all different colors. They look really long and some are open and some are closed. Mom says that everything I remember about Nana, like how she always smelled like vanilla because loved baking and the way she laughed so hard she cried, is not there anymore. Her body will be in the pretty box but all the things I love and her spirit are in Heaven.

There are so many things I remember about Nana. Dad comes, stands next to me, and say, “Everyone doesn’t believe in Heaven and that’s their choice, just like everyone is different. Our beliefs are learned from our family and the people we love.”

“These boxes are called caskets,” explains Mr. Floyd. “This is where your Nana will have her eternal rest.” I guess I looked confused becasue he says, “Nana, will be kept safe in her casket and it has soft lining in it. “Maybe you can even choose the color, if it’s okay with your Mom,” said Mr. Floyd.

Mom looks at two caskets, one that is gold and one that is pink. “Matthew, choose the one you like the best,” says Mom. “I think Nana would like the pink one becasue that was her favorite color.” “Great choice Matthew, pink is Morgan’s favorite color too! The casket will go in another big box called a vault,” she said. Mr. Floyd explains that the vault will keep her body safe too.

“Mom, I am really worried about where Nana is, does she live at the funeral home now?” “She is here but no, she does not live at the funeral home now. The people who work here are going to get her dressed, fix her hair, and do her make-up,” Mom explained. “We will get to see her before her visitation,” Mom says. “A visitiation is where lots of family and friends come to see us and remember Nana.

The next day on the way back to the funeral home. Mom looks at me and asks, “Are you okay?” “Yes, but Mom who lives there? Who lives at the funeral home?” My dad smiles and says, “No one really lives there, Matthew. There are people working during the day and night to help families like us, who have lost a loved one.” When we get back to the funeral home, Mr. Floyd leads us to a room that has music playing, lots of flowers, and the pink casket I picked out.

Nana is in there now and it looks like she is sleeping. Mom says, “She looks peaceful, thank you Mr. Floyd.” “But Mom, Nana doesn’t look like Nana to me. She is not smiling. Mr. Floyd says, “Remember, all the things you loved about your Nana are already in Heaven. This is just her body.” “I drew a picture for Nana, can I put it in the casket?” “Of course,” says Mom.

I place the picture on the side and when I move my hand, I notice Nana feels really cold and I jump back. “Remember everything that made your Nana special is not there anymore and because she doesn’t have body heat, she feels cold,” explained Mr. Floyd.

I was thirsty, so Morgan took me into the room next door to get something to drink. Ms. Marie, a lady who also works at the funeral home, brings me water. I want some cookies too, but I don’t see food. “Here you go, can I help you with anything else?” Ms. Marie asked. “Sort of, I still have lots of questions. My Mom told me about a visitation but what happens next? And what is a funeral?” Morgan is tired of my questions, so she leaves me with Ms. Marie.

Ms. Marie explains, “Tomorrow a car will pick you and your family up and take you all to the church for the funeral service. Some people have their funerals here, at the funeral home, but your family decided on a church instead.” I asked her, “Will this be scary?” “Sometimes it can be but tomorrow everyone will experience a lot of different feelings.” “Oh, just like I did at first,” I said.

“Right, there may be some people who cry a lot and some may even scream because they are sad your Nana is gone.” Ms. Marie also told me a funeral is something like a celebration. Everyone there will celebrate Nana’s life. Nana was not just my grandma, but a daughter, wife, mother, aunt, cousin, and friend to others. Ms. Marie also told me, “While we are celebrating your Nana’s life, you are remembering all the special times you shared with her too.”

Since she works here, I think I can ask her who lives here. She should know better than my Dad. “Ms. Marie, can you tell me who lives here?” She smiles and says, “No one lives here.”

Ms. Marie continues, “A funeral home takes care of family and friends until their funeral, cremation, or burial. Ms. Marie also said, “A burial is when we take the casket to a grave site. There is usually a person who speaks and chairs for the family to sit on. After the casket goes into the grave, families either hand out or leave flowers on top of the casket after it is put in the ground and then covered up with dirt. For a cremation, the family is given an urn with the ashes of their loved one to keep at home.”

Finally! People who work at the funeral home don’t actually live there. Nana stayed there after she died and until her funeral. The funeral home is just a safe place to help families say “goodbye” to people they love and everyone at Woodland Funeral Home is there to help.

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