June 04, 2006
Saturday we held a memorial service for my mother. Informal by the traditional standard but all the more meaningful for us as a result. Friends and family both got up and talked about my Mom, including myself. Mom was organized and prepared to the very end; she picked out the music to be played and wrote her own obituary.
Prior to the memorial there was a private family ceremony at the cemetery where her remains will be buried. I felt the minister did a wonderful job of speaking there and I think everyone was pleased.
After the memorial the family members (fourteen in all!) gathered and my parent's house and we had home made spaghetti sauce with pasta and salad for dinner. There were stories, laughter, and tears. It was the kind of gathering that my mother would have loved.
The day did bring some release for me as I expected, but I am still not through letting go of my mom. I don't know if you are ever through letting go of a parent. It seems so strange to call my father on the phone and not be able to say, "I'd like to talk to Mom." I know that he is working through his own process now. This afternoon when I talked to him after arriving back in Kansas he said he was a bit antsy. From my own experience I know all too well what he is talking about. My brother and sister-in-law are going down to Decatur Monday and Tuesday to help him with some of the initial decisions and housecleaning. And he is talking about a couple of short trips to see friends, which I think is good.
I am pleased that he is planning activities and looking forward to taking pictures. Without something living to offset the gapping hole in his life I fear he would rapidly decline. Grief needs to happen, and it will; but in its own time and intermixed with living.
For myself I will continue to move forward with my life. I have no idea where it will take me next, but I am looking forward to find out what else is in store for me.