Most everyone has heard a variation of the joke about the drinking buddies who promised their dying friend they would bring a pint of whiskey and pour it over his grave every year on the anniversary of his death. Of course they promised and they did, but they always drank it first. In response to the Headstone Humor page in More Stuff, Colleen Marie left me a very nice story in the comments. I liked it so much I decided to pass it along here in a post of its own, since comments under the pages tend to get lost over time. Thanks so much for sharing, Colleen!

Colleen apparently assisted once in the burial of a woman who, along with three of her card-playing friends, had met every Thursday for more than 30 years to play cards and enjoy a pitcher of martinis together. On the anniversary of her death, her surviving friends paid her visit at her graveside, bringing along her favorite drink (the traditional pitcher of martinis) and setting up a card table next to her grave. They then proceeded to play cards, remembering to pour her a sip every now and then until their husbands picked them up at the appointed hour. They decided it was one of the best card games they’d  had over the years. Maybe it will become a yearly occurrence. Better than roses!

I hope everybody has friends like that. I know over the years I’ve had friends that would do that for me. If they’re reading this, they will recognize themselves. I leave with one more thing to top off today’s offering of this tip o’the hat to sisterhood as epitomized in the following poem. I’m sure many of us can identify with this one, written by Vesle Fenstermaker, called NEXT DOOR:

On the afternoon of your death
a light rain is falling.

Later I will grieve.
Now I hurry from my back door to yours,
slipping on wet moss.

Inside your kitchen every shining surface
reflects you with a cloth in your hand,
cleaning, cleaning.

Way in the back of a lower cupboard,
lined with glossy paper,
I find the terrible roasting pan.

Yes. Marred and blacked here and there,
and I feel again your hand on my arm
as you ask me,
pretending to laugh at yourself,

to remove it
on this day,
the minute I hear.

Well, it’s gone now.
Safe, like you, from sorting relatives.

Somehow, I’m smiling.
Are you?

 Update: Since I received the comment (below) from Grannymar, it occurs to me this would make an excellent meme for anyone who would like to use it: What would you like the friends you leave behind to do (for you, in remembrance) on the first anniversary of your death, should you predecease them?? Curious minds would like to know. 

7 thoughts on “Sisterhood

  1. I’m glad you all liked the poem. It’s been one of my favorite for years now. And I was just wonderin’ GrannyMar…would that be a meal they cooked themselves or a catered meal from some fabulous place?…seeing as how I hate to cook and all; just curious.

  2. What a heartwarming post. I have friends like that! My sister and I have promised to save our grieving until we make sure the one who has died has clean toilets and sinks.

  3. I’m glad I came back to reread this, as I see the update……what a great meme this will be and over the next few days, I plan to take a stab at it and get my wishes posted. I’ll let you know when I do.

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