faire le deuil

  • This is the third day in a series of funeral rites for my Grammy.  She wished to have a memorial, which was done on Saturday with the obligatory time spent with family and friends after.  Requiem Mass was said on Sunday with yet another gathering to follow.  Today, her ashes are interred with my grandfather at the Veterans’ Cemetery.  As this was Grammy’s desire… I believe I could have gotten through this in her memory.  Here is where the trouble lies:
  • No one will let this simply be about Grammy, especially where I am concerned.  Every comment is about Mom and it very truly feels like services for her – services she did not want and services that – quite frankly – I cannot handle.  Everyone is looking at me wondering when I am going to cry/scream/breakdown – never.  We are not allowed to have emotions in my family… so why do we try to mourn?
  • Mourning is a public and mutual sharing of grief by very definition.  It’s rituals and practices have always been more about the display of death so that others can share in it.  That is fine… if one is able to do that.  But if one has been raised in such a way that the public display of emotion is disgraceful, mourning becomes nothing but uncomfortable and more pain than comfort.
  • I cannot cry.  In the last three days, I have shed not one tear.  Oh… at home, when alone, when something strikes me enough to break through the numb haze – some tears have come.  Even those get swallowed down though.  I know that if I start – I will not stop.  Personally, I do not believe in the public practice of mourning.  I, like my mother, simply wish to be scattered someplace meaningful to me and my closest loved ones.  I seldom go to funerals… and never for the deceased.
  • I do not need to go to a memorial to mourn or grieve for my Grammy.  I memorialize her in small ways constantly.  I wear the scarf she knit.  My favorite coat is a suede coat with a fur collar that she gave me – vintage from the ’30s.  I have many memories of her.  I do not personally believe that she is in a position to care whether I am at her memorial or not.  But there are other living members of my family that do seem to take some comfort in me being there.  My best friend’s grandfather died not long ago – a man I loved well too – and though I would not have gone to the funeral for his sake, I went for hers.  She needed me.  I am just so frustrated by being expected to grieve publicly when that goes against my very nature… a nature passed down by the women I am being asked to grieve publicly for.  Does that not contradict and disrespect their memory?
  • At least this ends today.  At least this part of it ends today… the grief will never end, but at least I can keep it private and personal where it belongs – well aside from what finds its way here.  There will be other traumas… cleaning through Mom’s things, scattering her ashes, and even just working my way through this.  I still feel like I am swimming through jello and do not know top from bottom.  But being expected to stand there and put on public display for the comfort of others – that ends today.
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l’art imite la vie imite sont

Please understand that at this point, I am still numb.  My mother died between 8 am and 11 am PST.  Yes, it is natural for children to bury their parents, but I have lost both of mine at young ages (54 & 65).  There is no discernible cause of death.

By my belief system (Pagan) , my mother is now in the Summerlands where she will examine her Akashic Records and her life before being reincarnated   By my belief system, death is but the next step in an eternal journey.  That does little to help those left behind.  I am riddled with questions:

  •  did she suffer
  • did she know she was my entire universe
  • is there something I could have done
  • what do I do now…

While there are a million practical details to sort out, I find myself not yet up to the task.  I also find myself unable to find beauty in this death.  Right now, above all things, I want the one person whom I have always turned to with my troubles and my broken hearts.

I want my mommy.

beauté dans la mort

Depending on one’s beliefs, the true beauty in death is the end of suffering.  While anyone who knows me, knows that I have always been one to find the macabre and dark themes beautiful, I have more personal reasons to do so now.

At approximately 1 am, on the 24th day of March, my Grandmother passed from this world into another.  Her beliefs were vastly different than mine – but even by her own standards, she had no reason to fear death.  On the contrary, life had become a cumbersome burden of pain and morphine.  She could not speak, could not breathe, and was in no way herself.  I was with her the day before she died and was lucky enough to have said goodbye.  She was coherent – though she could not speak… a fact that almost made it worse.  Still, mourning is not for the spirit of the dead as much as for the living left behind.  My last words to a grandmother that I was very close to were “I love you” and she squeezed my hands.  While many in my family are left crushed by this tragedy – I am at peace.  She is at peace and her well being is more important than my own.

Still… it is odd to think that I live in a world that does not still hold her in it.