Notes from a Funeral

I had planned on writing this post on Tuesday.  Instead I found myself sleeping most of the day away not just from exhaustion, but from an allergy attack.  

This has been an incredibly long week even though I only worked three days.  It hardly seems possible that we were going to the viewing only a week ago.  It truly seems ages ago.  

I did ok up until the cemetery.  At the Sunday viewing there were some tears, but mostly hugs and being happy to see everyone even if it was at the funeral parlor.  Tears were shed, but not gut wrenching ones.  The surprise for me was that my mom broke down as soon as we got in sight of the coffin.  I did not expect that.

I felt pretty together the day of the funeral until about 10 minutes before the service started.  Then the organ music started and that was it.  I couldn't stop crying listening to that sad sound.  I spent many minutes cursing music and music teachers.  Funerals are sad and meant to be filled with tears and I did my part.

Next was the procession to go to the grave site.  The service was in Kirbyville, but she was being buried in Orange which is about an hour away.  We took back roads because that's how you get around in the country.  And there were more tears on the way because almost without exception people pulled over until the procession passed.  Not just cars, but even 18 wheelers and huge service trucks.  People honored the procession and it was a beautiful gesture, one that will probably be extinct in 20 years.  I know in many places it isn't possible to pull over safely, but on this day I was thankful.

Then the cemetery.  We parked and walked to the tent set up.  I looked at the bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds and I lost it.  If no one had been around I would have been sobbing.  Instead I was trying hard to hold it together because I would have been the only one who came unglued.  I mean her husband, her three sons and her grandchildren were fine so I knew I had to hold it together, but I didn't do a very good job.  At least I didn't make noise.

After we went to my cousin's house which was nearby for food.  I pulled in and dropped my mom and grandmother off and then stayed in the car and let out some of the sobs.  My cousin pulled in a few minutes later and I was still crying and he hugged me.  I just had to let it out after holding the sobs in all day.

And then we were eating and talking and laughing and it felt like every other family gathering except that Aunt Gail wasn't there.  I had the strangest notion that one of the reasons families get together right after the funeral is to get right back into family gatherings without their loved one.  Back on the horse so to speak.  

Monday was hard, but as my cousin said, our family is full of love and it made it easier.  

Weekend Rewind

My Aunt Gail