Thoughts after the Funeral

by - Friday, January 21, 2011




After a very long day (which really started yesterday morning), I am back in our apartment in California. I have been very blessed, and it has been a while since I have had to do the whole family funeral thing. There was a lot of crying, hugging, and remembering, but I was most surprised at how much laughing there was. People had so many happy memories to share, and it was a comfort to all of us to see the siblings laugh over memories of their dad and their family (since they were all together). Also, I think people just needed the relief after so much sadness.

There were two viewings at Morrison's Funeral Home in Oil City. The place is a big Victorian house filled with the weirdest knick knacks (I especially loved this cross-stitched version of Picasso). Nick thought it was weird that after spending so long in the room, small talking with people you don't know, you sort of lose sight of the point of the whole thing. I think it does sort of desensitize you to the body in the room, while simultaneously circulating around it. The next day, at the funeral, two different pastors spoke, and Nick's Uncle Bill was belting and riffing like Whitney Houston. They are a great family, and I loved watching them appreciate each other as a way to honor their Dad.

It's amazing the things weeks like these bring into focus. I don't want to fall into cliches, but when a person passes away, its like a link that connects all these different chains together. Having some one suffer from Alzheimers as long as Grandpa Shiley did creates a new dynamic, but you could really feel the ways that link carried on even after he couldn't recognize it. They stuck together, in some ways, for him, and though it is painful to watch them grieve, it's also beautiful to see their resolve to stick together, even with the little dramas that happen with family.

If none of this makes sense, I forgive myself, because I am sleep deprived and avoiding going to bed without Nick.

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1 comments

  1. i'm really sorry for your and nick's loss, barbara. this whole thing was really touching and this line especially resonates with me: "Having some one suffer from Alzheimers as long as Grandpa Shiley did creates a new dynamic, but you could really feel the ways that link carried on even after he couldn't recognize it."

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