Funeral Service with Surprise

I have lived in a deaf community all my life. At first I grew up with them, and later I worked for as a sign language interpreter for them. I am very familiar with her signs, their way of getting attention. When my hearing friends meet, it is a chicken farm that is talking. Cackling, laughter , they can create an exuberant atmosphere.

Once when I wanted to meet a deaf congregation in the USA, I searched for a long time in the big old building without finding the group. I went from door to door with my ear listening, hoping to be successful. I'm not saying that deaf people talk silently, but there is a big difference. It sounds more like there are only two or three people in the room.

My family, for example, draws attention to itself, like many other deaf people, by patting the other on the shoulder .. one .. twice taptap .. It took this little history to make my story understandable.

My uncle had passed away and my mother wanted so badly to attend his funeral. It was important to me too, because we couldn't be with his wife's funeral. It's a drive of about 300km and to be safe, we drove in the direction of Braunschweig taking our time. The route is very busy and it wouldn't be the first time a traffic jam slows us down again. But this time we were in Salzgitter on time. The small group of mourners were already standing in front of the chapel at the cemetery, there was still time to greet everyone. Then the pastor came and we went into the chapel where my uncle's coffin was already laid out. In front of the coffin, a photo from good times. I still remember that I was amazed at the wide spaces between the rows of seats. I was delighted that there was an architect who thought about it, elderly people with walking aids could easily walk between the rows.

There was still time to relax before the pastor gave the talk. I communicated with my uncle. Thought of the good times and the many meetings with us at our home or with the family in Salzgitter where he lived. At some point the pastor started to speak ... or better to sign, because apart from a few hearing people only deaf people were present. I didn't hear, didn't look what there was to report. My thoughts were with my deceased uncle, I asked him to show himself, to send me a sign. Nothing happened and I concluded that this was probably not yet possible for him. My mind wandered around all the family members who had already left and I was still wondering if he would meet some of them. Then I tried to concentrate on the pastor when I suddenly felt a tap-tap on my left shoulder. I looked around, looked next to me .... next to me nobody was sitting, only two seats further, more than an arm's length and behind me? Behind me was the wide passage that didn't allow arm's length either. None of those present looked after me, who was that? I smiled to myself and was happy. There was no other explanation than my uncle's familiar taptap making himself so noticeable.


Farewell Helmut, it was a good time

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