Tuesday, February 03, 2009


We entombed my great-aunt Doucette today.* She was, as they say, a "firecracker", a vibrant woman who made vigorous use of her ninety-plus years of life, equally at ease inspiring uproarious laughter at family gatherings or teaching inmates on Angola's death row. She told countless hilarious anecdotes and was herself the subject of more than a few—including her famous quip at my grandmother's funeral, "When I die... just put my casket by the side of the highway. Then everyone can drive by and say, 'My, don't Dou look natural.'"

She'll be missed. But as Annou pointed out, they must be having a grand old time in Purgatory right now. (Doucette isn't the sort to rush straight off to Heaven. She often insisted, everyone needs to be a little bad.)

And I'll go ahead and say it, she did look natural.

* The service was conducted by no less than nine priests. A free-thinker to her bones, Doucette was also a devout Catholic and a force-to-be-reckoned-with in her diocese.


  1. Is "condolences" the word? It somehow seems not. But I'm sorry that you'll be missing someone who did so much rejoicing.

  2. Thank you. And I was reminded, she specifically requested to be set up by the West Bank Expressway, which somehow makes it even funnier.

  3. Anonymous3:16 PM

    Wonderful! I was hoping you would tell this story.