Mom’s funeral was Saturday. Time to move on but before I do I’m going to throw out a few things I’ve experienced and learned in the course of one of the more memorable weeks in my life.
Here’s the thing, as horrible an event as losing a parent is, it’s real life. It draws out emotions and people and experiences. It’s all so human. There are lessons to be learned and realizations to be encountered. Here are some of mine. I may or may not have more later.
This one is obvious, but family and friends are so important in times of crisis. The support they provide is far greater than the sum of the parts. It’s an amazing source of strength.
I’ve never before been present for a person taking their last breath, much less a loved one. I’ve seen 10,000 people die on TV or the movies or read about it in books. Nothing prepares you for the real thing.
My mother died in Springfield’s Memorial Hospital. Her mother died there too, 36 years ago. Neither woman was originally from here.
Funeral homes charge out the ass for their services. But damn if they don’t think of everything at a time when you need someone taking care of even the smallest of details.
I had a dozen friends tell me that mom was their second mother. One of them was this guy. I’m sure my sisters had the same experience. I had no idea I had so many siblings.
I’ve reconnected with Springfield’s beautiful Oak Ridge Cemetery. It had been 20 years or more since Id been out there. Mom is there now. Well her ashes are, in a niche in the chapel. When the funeral home guy told us we had several options as to where mom’s remains could go, I spoke up immediately and said mom would, of course, like to be at Oak Ridge. She was a very inquisitive woman, always wanting to know more about everything including history. What better place could there be? She would enjoy being a neighbor of Abe Lincoln’s. Who wouldn’t? Plus, she was a very social woman who enjoyed people, and Oak Ridge, according to their literature, is the second most visited cemetery in the country, right behind Arlington National Cemetery. Perfect.