Friday, July 30, 2010

Indiahoma Funerals

We don't have a lot in Indiahoma, Comanche County, Southwest Oklahoma. There's a lot of poverty and unemployment. There isn't much to do in Indiahoma besides hang out or go to church (we have 6 churches).

What goes on in an insignificant town like Indiahoma? Community. Everyone comes out to the ball games. You don't have to have a kid on the team to root for Indiahoma. School Board meetings are important events. We need the school to keep the town alive.

What impresses me most are the funerals. Everyone comes together to comfort a family in their time of grief. Cards, calls, visits, and food are lavished on those stricken with grief. We had another funeral today at the Baptist church. The choir had singers from the other churches and the pews were filled with members from every denomination in town. The pastors gave a personalized service because they know the deceased and his family. After the service are hugs, handshakes and words of encouragement.

Lunch is served to the family either before or after the funeral, depending on what time the funeral is held. Today's funeral was a morning funeral, so the family returned to the church after the cemetery and found dishes and plates and bowls of food piling high in the Baptist Fellowship Hall, cooked and delivered by the people of Indiahoma. The look, the smell, the taste all say, "We love you."

I've been on the receiving end of the Indiahoma style funeral and experienced how palpable the love and support of the community is. Are other places like this? Do you have different but equally meaningful funeral traditions?

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