11 hours ago
Sunday, January 31, 2016
The Living Go On Living
The funeral was beautiful and so peaceful. We arrived just before 9:00 a.m. for the family viewing and then others arrived at 9:30 a.m. At 10:45 a.m., the funeral director closed the doors for The Family Prayer. He invited anyone who wanted to come up to the casket for a last look to do so. After that, he invited any of the grandchildren who wanted to come to "help tuck Grandma in." One grandson approached and got to do that. It was so sweet. The funeral was full of wonderful music and some great talks. The graveside dedication was lovely. A daughter-in-law who lost her dad to the same disease at age 7, brought balloons for all of the grandchildren to release, something she remembers doing for her dad at his graveside. I loved the idea of it because it's something the children will likely always remember and I think it transitioned them from this long somber time back into something more childlike and familiar.
I have to say, my mother-in-law is now an honorary citizen of this small Nevada community. People who didn't know I was her daughter-in-law were standing around at the cemetery singing her praises. She is such a Christlike woman leaving home to help her sister-in-law at a time of crisis not knowing when she would get back. Four weeks later, she finally made it home. She was so helpful not only with the personal care of Aunt Chris in the hospital but with the funeral planning and all the emotional support. She washed dishes, swept floors, did laundry, played scribe as cards were opened, and any other thing she needed to do. It's the kind of person she is. People were hugging her at the funeral. After she got up to greet one couple, she sat back down next to me and I asked, "Who were they?" She whispered back, "I don't know!"
So we left the cemetery to head back to the church for the luncheon: BBQ pork sandwiches on homemade rolls with side salads and a variety of chips and cake. After the attention-grabbing, life-altering, emotional roller coaster of losing a family member, the Living just go on Living. We ate. We ate lunch as if it's the most normal thing ever. Because it is. The kids got bored and began chasing each other around the cultural hall. We went back to the house. We changed into casual clothes. The kids were playing all over Grandma's house even shoving sippy cups out the doggy door. But Grandma wasn't there.