Monday Mourning

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their words of sympathy and kindness during the past week.  I may have spent several years exploring death but nothing prepared me for the emotional wallop of losing my mother-in-law. I really enjoyed being around her and I will miss her presence in my life.

Instead of an official eulogy written by one person, each member of her family wrote a few words about her and it was read during the visitation the night before her funeral.  Here's what I said...

I loved Lovina’s no nonsense demeanor, her colorful use of language and her appreciation of art, words and cats. Without judgment, she allowed her children and grandchildren to be who they were, however weird their behavior or hair style might look to others.  She loved to laugh and I enjoyed exchanging stories with her over coffee at her kitchen table or out on her back deck.  She was a hoot.

And she was.

Do you know what gave me comfort? It was simple, really. I had had the conversation with her about her end of life wishes before she died.  I remember sitting at her kitchen table and we talked about cremation and burial. (She was buried.)  Our conversation didn't freak her out, at least I didn't think it did, and I got a sense of what she wanted. Because of that simple conversation, I was able to relay to her children what I knew and hopefully that made their decisions a little easier.

Definitely not easy, though.

Death is difficult, but I have to say that having family, friends and food around helps.  I am so grateful that Lovina's nine siblings and some of their spouses came to spend time with us.  Also, I'm grateful to the multitudes of friends who gifted us with casseroles and sandwiches and chips and cookies.  I could barely think this week, so it was nice not to have to worry about grocery shopping or food.

Now, as the family members take off for their homes and we are left with just our thoughts, the real work of grieving will begin.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again, talk to people you love about your end of life wishes.  It's NEVER too early.  Have a wonderful week.  I will be posting sort of sporadically this month, but I'm sure you understand.