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Saying Goodbye

We had the funeral over the weekend. Please know & trust that yours truly acted all the way up. I tried to hold it together, but in the end it all fell apart.

Let me back up & say that, for the most part, the service was lovely. There were some things that should've been done differently -- and I'll share them at a later date -- but my cousin preached ever so eloquently. Then came the moment of truth, also known as the viewing of the body.

Everyone handles that thing differently. There are those who walk by, look at the guest of honor, and keep it moving. Some check out the main attraction, and then come to where the family is to show them some love. Still others come to the family first & see the deceased last.

When it comes to the family, the situation is handled according to their relationship with the person of note. My cousin, who hadn't seen Granny in a while, wept the whole time. When it was time for the parting view, she cried even more. My brother, the youngest of the grandchildren, was hurt. While he never made a sound, he cried at the casket for the longest time. My mother and my uncle, Granny's primary caretakers, were very calm. I believe they'd made their peace with the inevitable long ago, so they just looked & sat down. My grandmother's other son was hurt, but I think his was more guilt-based. He and his wife, whom I'll have to you about at a later date, stood there, looked, and sat down. Then it was my turn.

Against the advice of all involved, I went to the casket alone. The thing was that there was an odd number of people on the front row, and I was absolutely not going up there with my grandmother's other son. One of my favorite cousins offered to go with me, but I thought I'd be cool. After all, I'd already made it through the viewing of the body and the wake. I thought I could just go there, look, and sit down. And I tried. Really I did. I looked at my dearly beloved Granny, my first friend and best magic, and tried to say goodbye in a solemn and dignified manner. I wanted to stand there like my brother and cry silently. However, all my good intentions came crashing down like a house of cards when I realized that the reason the number of people was odd because she wasn't there.

I put my hand over my mouth to hold it in, but I couldn't do anything to stop the sobbing. Then I escalated to full-fledged hollering as I doubled over. At this point, I felt several arms around me as they carried me out. When I got to the back, I slipped to ground and just boo-hooed like a baby. One of my cousins rocked me as she comforted me with, "Look at all the love Granny left you. And think of how much fun she must be having up there with her loved ones." I stayed like that for a long time.

Finally, I pulled myself together enough to get up off the floor and go back in the sanctuary. By that time, they'd loaded Granny up on the hearse and my family was getting in the limo to go to the cemetery. The worst was over.

Comments

Janelle said…
I hope you felt the loving arms of your friends. We couldn't be with you in person (KImora still has my jet..heffa!) but we were with you in prayer and spirit.

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