It is hard to believe that it is only Tuesday. There has been so much activity since Mom died that there just hasn’t been time to really think.
The good news is that she had planned out her own funeral and had written her own obituary so we didn’t have to make a lot of decisions when we met with the funeral director on Sunday. The only real decision was when and given that all four of us had to find ways to get spouses/kids up, we settled on Thursday. That would also give time for the notice to go out and for people to make plans.
We used Mom’s email account to send messages to out of town people to break the bad news and we posted the link to the Funeral notice on her Facebook page. Kind of weird to use her social media sites to spread news of her death but it does provide some closure. Her friends and neighbors were also spreading the word so I think we have hit the people they really cared about. Dad got a couple of calls in the hospital on Saturday night and several more on Sunday once the notice went out.
Dad right now is a volatile mix of grief and fear. He wants to remain in the house but acknowledges that he needs help with meals and transportation and that he needs a way to be able to quickly contact people. We had some stumbles on Sunday and Monday because I guess we were trying to do too much and that just lead him to dig his heels in because there were things he absolutely had to remain in control of.
There was also much planning of how to unite the rest of our families. For my brother and I, it was relatively easy since we are just a couple hours away by car and drove up. But it meant that we drove back today (I’m home now) and will drive back up there tomorrow to meet up with everyone and then come back again after the service on Thursday. There were also arrangements to be made – booking the kennel for the dogs, canceling my dental appointment and all dance lessons for the week. My other brother and sister were calling spouses to make flight arrangements and to arrange pick ups since the nearest airport to my parent’s house is about 45 minutes away.
The four of use went out to dinner on Sunday night and shared some stories and toasted Mom. We took Dad to dinner on Monday night and shared some more stories.
With everything going on, there hasn’t been a lot of time to really think about things. The grief isn’t that far beneath the surface though and it comes out from time to time. I’ve been able to hold it together for the most part. For some reason, the hardest part is reading comments of support both to me and those that people left on the funeral website. I guess because reading those is just a real obvious reminder of what has been lost. I posted a link to the obit on my Facebook page and Mom had requested donations to the local humane society (and another charity) instead of flowers. Well, one of my dance friends saw that and decided to make a donation in my Mom’s name at their local humane society. She sent me a message to say that had been done and I had to run downstairs to get away from everyone.
What is going to be hard is leaving after the ceremony. I know Dad is not looking forward to being alone (he has said so many times). There will be neighbors there but I’m sure he’d love to have one or all of us hang around but our lives are elsewhere and it just isn’t possible. He has said on many occasions that he should have gone first and, to be honest, we all hoped for the same thing because she could have better handled being on her own.
It is funny that sitting here at home typing this feels a little more normal but there is going to be a new “normal” and I don’t know yet what it is going to feel like.