Throughout the funeral, the frostiness drifted stagnantly in the air. The brother's family was in the back of the room while my father stood at the front of the room greeting people as they came in. He conducted the mentally exhausting work of spending hours hearing, "Sorry for your loss" from the many family and friends who would miss my grandmother. How many times can one hear "Sorry for your loss" in one short period of time? Better, how many times should a person have to hear such a phrase?
Here was the lesson. The
pain of death is already painful enough. If you have pain between people who
have not died but are there mourning, the pain can be even greater.
I didn't cry. I wanted to. I reached the point where tears were about to well up and flow from the ducts of your eyes. My heartbeat escalated rapidly. I felt my face turn red. I didn't feel like I was holding back tears. My mind was racing; that kept the tears from coming.
Watching my father take one last trip up to the casket, with his back to me, his wife by his side, and my brother walking up to hug him. My father bending over to kiss the body that had been prepared and nicely done up, the people in the room staring, and his brother's family crying.
My father, stepmother and brother all hugging each other in front of the casket, myself knowing I had to be up there going up to hug my father and give him what little comfort I good, and then, finally, seeing my father and his brother embracing and holding each other for that one moment that was the culmination of the funeral ceremony, this human ritual, the way we give ourselves permission to let go of someone who has died.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).