Yes, I’m back from Chicago. I really appreciate everyone’s support over the last week. It wasn’t always easy, and sometimes it was downright rough, but we’re getting through it. It was really good to be at home, surrounded by family (that I knew and that I didn’t, from near and far), watching other people get through this in their own way.
I’ve been to very few funerals in my life, and even fewer visitations (well, for people I knew and cared about, that is). They were both very different than what I expected. I mean, they were exactly what one would expect, but my experience of them was different, if that makes sense. The visitation was interesting because so very many people showed up, and in many ways it was a very happy thing. When we got there (just after 4:30 on Thursday), things were a little somber, but the visitation had just started at 4. By 6, it was really much more chatty than anything else, and by 8 we were all tired but generally happy. Friday, the funeral, was exhausting, and I don’t think any of us (myself, Alison, and Josh specifically) were expecting that. For only an hour long service, we were just pooped afterwards. There was lunch at my cousin’s house (catered by the family’s favorite Chinese restaurant in town), and when we got back to Dad’s, we all immediately laid down for naps. It was amazing how tired we were.
I slept better on Friday night though, not waking up for the water softener or whatever it was that was making all the crazy noise the night before, and I didn’t pull the sofa out into a bed like I had the night before, so I was a bit more comfortable. Saturday we went out for coffee with one of our cousins. The girls had gone through their mom’s jewelry and taken what they wanted, what was valuable, and then asked us to look at what was left and take what we wanted. Alison and I thought that was very nice, and we both came away with a handful of things that, while perhaps not technically valuable, are still very nice and will be very special for years to come.
And then we drove back to the Twin Cities. Or attempted to, at least. Just south of Rockford, there was a major car accident and we ended up sitting on I-90 for 2 hours before finally deciding to turn around and take the long way (through Iowa) home. So while we left at 1:15, they dropped me off at my house at midnight, and didn’t get home to their place until nearly 1. That made for a very long day.
But, it’s all done and over with now. As… horrible (for lack of a better word) the funeral was, there was at least closure at the end, if for no other reason than we were just too tired to keep on as we were. Maybe those of you who have gone to a few more funerals than I have are familiar with what I’m talking about and are just sitting there saying “duh,” but it’s really quite new for me. I had two co-workers die in the last two years but didn’t go to the funerals or visitation. I’ve been to a funeral as support for someone else, but not for myself. The last visitation I went to was during college, and was just because I was out with Mom and she wanted to stop in (it was one of her co-workers spouses). There was a funeral for a great-uncle when I was in high school. And before that, my Grandpa’s funeral when I was 7. So, you see… not so much on the grieving and funeraling in my family. That’s not to say that the future doesn’t hold plenty of potential for that (potential isn’t always a happy thing, you know), but our history has been full of life without much of its [necessary] counterpart.
Anyways, I really appreciate the support I’ve gotten. I may not have acted like I needed it, but I was grateful [ir]regardless. I’m doing pretty good right now, though I’m guessing there will be times in the next several months where that will not be the case (like Christmas this year – we’re going home to celebrate with Dad’s family), and we’ll just deal with those as they come. As for now, life is back to normal. There is a new cat at the house, my homework is done for the moment, and tonight we’re grocery shopping and writing [hopefully] the rest of our wedding thank-yous (today is one month!!!!!).