July 1, 2009

The Sendoff.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:55 pm

LeeAnn wrote a post about the death of someone who apparently will not be missed much by many.

It reminded me of a wake I attended many years ago. It was held Down Neck in Newark in Rucki Funeral Home (known by everyone as “Rucki’s” — pronounced “Rookie’s”), which was The Place to be laid out back then. You could always count on a couple old Polish ladies from the neighborhood coming in off the street to view the body and cry, even though they didn’t know the person in the casket.

Anyway, the deceased in this case was a guy who was one of my uncle’s buddies, and he was sort of a Soprano’s type fellow (although he died of natural causes). I only vaguely knew him, but I went because he was my uncle’s friend. The funeral home was packed with flowers and people, and all the friends of the deceased lined up to console the widow, “Yo, if you need anything, you just call. Anything at all – just call.”

Based on the outpouring of affection being displayed in the room where the body was, I figured the guy had been a friend to everyone and had been the salt of the earth, so to speak.

After a while, it was time to retreat to the smoking room for a break. My uncle was there along with several of the men who had offered solace to the grieving widow. I figured that I would join in with the deceased’s friends in some light repartee about what a fine fellow he was and how much he would be missed.

We stood in a small circle making small talk until one of dead guy’s friends said, “F**k, this funeral shit: they should have backed up the garbage truck to take the c**ksucker the f**k away.”

I think lots of wakes at Rucki’s were like that.

It’s a Jersey thing.


  1. We probably need more funerals with honesty like that.

    Comment by hammer — July 1, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

  2. …… brother?….. you should come to a Tennessee funeral……. the only difference is that they have .12 gauge shotguns instead of 9mm’s………

    Comment by Eric — July 1, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

  3. Eh..it’s cheaper. We only got so much space. 😉

    Comment by RT — July 2, 2009 @ 12:08 am

  4. I went to a wake once (hillbilly wake, deep in the WV hills) where the funeral director indicated it was time to go by flipping the lights on and off. One of the drunker “mourners” yelled out “Last call!” And everyone quietly left.
    This was after the near-fistfight amongst the female relatives as to who got the fake flowers.

    Comment by LeeAnn — July 2, 2009 @ 12:49 am

  5. It ain’t a Jersey thing…trust me.

    Comment by Sam — July 2, 2009 @ 8:50 am

  6. “Thou shalt not speak ill of the dead.” That hold true down South too. I’ve sat through some funerals listening to the Preacher give a glowing eulogy and I don’t know how they kept from laughing out loud or puking.
    On leaving one such, I recall someone saying “That was a damn fine funeral…a lot better than that miserable SOB deserved.” And so it goes….

    Comment by Tbird — July 2, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

  7. I don’t know the right people… or I don’t attend enough funerals… Heh.

    Comment by Teresa — July 3, 2009 @ 1:10 am

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