Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Death Tastes Like Chocolate

I noticed that one of the people whose blog I follow hadn't written anything in a while and had recently posted something.  When I read her latest post I discovered that her grandmother had died and that she was having a difficult time with it.  She talked about how she had never really had anyone in her life pass away before.  My heart went out to her and, as I finished reading her post, I realized that my mouth was watering.

Pavlov trained dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell by
repeatedly ringing a bell then feeding the dog.
Let me explain.  I know this sounds weird, but hearing news of someone passing away makes me think of hot fudge.  Specifically, of Friendly's hot fudge.  Much like Pavlov's dog, I have been classically conditioned to want a hot fudge sundae whenever faced with death.  It's my Grandma's fault.  And quite frankly, I think she would be pretty proud that she inadvertantly left that little subconciuos nugget in my brain. 

Here's the story.  Unlike my cyber-friend, I have gone to many, many, many funerals starting at about the age of six or seven.  We had a pretty large extended family full of older people who I would see once or twice a year; enough so that I knew who they were, but not so much that I was devistated that they were gone.  I actually think that going to all these funerals was good for my developing psyche.  I learned how to mourn and how to move on from the sadness.  My Grandma was my greatest teacher on how to move on.

Grandma was a terrible influence at funerals.  She would crack jokes like, "This party is really dying," or "The host is a real stiff," which would cause me to giggle, then get the look from my parents.  They never believed that it was Grandma causing the problem. 

Grandma had a larger-than-normal sweet tooth.  So, since the whole family was already gathered for a funeral and we were still alive and needed to eat, she would insisit we go to Friendly's after every funeral.  Since most of my family members inherited her sweet tooth, there wasn't much argument from anyone.

I think it took no more than a half dozen funerals with Grandma before death became synonymous with hot fudge.  Thankfully, my mind took comfort in the hot fudge and made funerals less depressing instead of the alternative, which probably would have left me sobbing every time I ordered a Cone Head Sundae.  Perhaps I would be thinner now if hot fudge made me sad, but I don't think I want to live in a world where hot fudge is depressing.

So, that's my story.  I'm really sorry about my friend's loss, and I hope she finds her own version of hot fudge to comfort her during this time.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to get some ice cream.

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