saying goodbye again

This is going to sound bad.  I know it sounds bad. Just let me explain a little.

We’re burying my dad this weekend.  Yep, two months later we are finally burying my dad. He was cremated but we wanted to allow people to say a proper goodbye so we had an open casket for his wake and funeral.  He died on a Sunday and before he died he made us promise to wait until a weekend for the wake and the funeral so no one would have to take time off work.  So, right off the bat there were a lot of factors preventing us from actually burying him the day of his funeral.

So, ok.  Two days after the funeral our funeral director came over with my dad’s remains and my mom and I sat down and tried to nail down a date that would work for our immediate family and it turned out to be a lot harder than we thought.  This is the part that sounds bad- we have just been really busy.  We couldn’t seem to find a day that would work for us, my aunt, and my uncle who lives in Wisconsin for April.  That was actually ok since I think all our heads were spinning anyways.  Plus the walk was going to be the 30th so we knew that date wasn’t going to work.  I was out of town the next weekend, then my mom went on her Boston trip (which was supposed to be my dad’s next “milestone”) the following week.  Then my boyfriend had 2 bachelor parties in a row which my mother forbade him from missing.  Then Zack and I had two weddings.  So, here we are on June 11th interring my dad.  I feel horrible trying to explain to people that we were just really busy and couldn’t find a date that worked for everyone.  It’s not like we were putting it off or anything it’s just that every time one of us said we could move something in order to do it we all agreed that my dad would be so pissed if we started cancelling stuff.

Anyways, it’s happening this weekend and that’s just how it is.  I feel pretty ok about it.  It’s not like this is another funeral or anything.  It’s mostly going to be a 15 minute prayer service by the grave and then whoever wants to will go out to lunch with us.  The only thing that bugs me is that his name will be there on the grave… I feel like I can do without seeing that but what can you do I guess.

I never really grew up as a “cemetery person.”  We never went to the cemetery to visit anyone when I was growing up.  Both of my parents had the belief that when you go to the cemetery that person isn’t there.  I agreed too.  I don’t need to drive out to the cemetery to feel close to my dad- I feel close to him in our house, when I watch a certain movie, or when I do something to make him proud.  Don’t get me wrong I am not bashing anyone that makes regular trips to the cemetery to visit loved ones.  I think that everyone is allowed to grieve whatever way they like to.  I’m just saying it’s not for me.

So am I nervous about this weekend?  Not really.  Am I uncertain about this weekend? Yeah.  I think my emotional stability is still a little off so who knows how I’m going to react.  I’d like to think that at least for this I can be really strong.  I just have to keep reminding myself that he’s not really there.  We may be leaving his actual remains but we’re not really leaving him there.

 

Allison

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saying goodbye again

8 thoughts on “saying goodbye again

  1. You guys are doing what you thought is best – there’s no “right” time. My boyfriend’s mom still has the ashes of both of her siblings more than a year after her brother passed, and three, (I think) years after her sister. She’s waiting for a time when she feels up to making the trip back home to West Virginia where her family members can all come and be together. Sometimes this happens quickly, others it takes a while.

    Are you and your mom keeping any portion of the ashes? I only ask because we never planned on burying my dad, and instead got him a really nice urn, but my sister and I each got photo frame with a sealed container of his ashes inside; this way, even when we move away from our home area, we’re still carrying a small part of him with us.

    I agree with you, though – I think that seeing his name on a stone would almost be harder than every other reminder of him being gone; it jut seems so final. Good luck this weekend.

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    1. I thought about keeping a little bit of his ashes but I decided not to because I honestly don’t know what I would do with them. I just couldn’t come up with a good idea and I thought it would be best to just let them go. Although, I think your idea is really beautiful! Thanks for the kind words… I’ve really been having a hard time trying to explain to everyone that we just couldn’t find the right time. I think they think we’re dragging out the process but we really aren’t. We just want everyone who wants to be there to be able to be there. As it gets closer I’m getting less anxious about it which is probably a good sign. I think I’ll do ok tomorrow!

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  2. My Dad died of colon cancer in 1985. I rarely visit the cemetery, but I feel him nearly every day since that time. When I read his name I am reminded of how when I was a little girl I would read his name on his office door (with ‘Public Accountant’ underneath it). I always felt a sense of pride when I read his name because I knew he’d come out of the Depression Era with nothing, and worked hard to build his own business. Reading his name in the cemetery I’m still filled with pride, but I do still guard myself against the sting of the memories related to losing him. The bottom line: there’s no one ‘right’ way to do all this, and undoubtedly you and your family are doing the best they can. It’s very thoughtful of you to provide friends and family with this opportunity, and I’m sure they’ll appreciate it and share great stories with you at lunch following the brief ceremony.

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words. The service was actually really lovely. It was quick, relatively painless, and the lunch after was a great way to catch up with everyone. I couldn’t have been happier with out it turned out. You’re right, when I was there I felt more emotions than just sadness. It wasn’t as bad as I had set it up in my mind.

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      1. I’m happy to hear it all went well for you. Sometimes I think our minds are the worst enemies of our hearts, especially in emotional times. Be gentle with yourself, and hold on to the good memories.

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  3. Dear Allison, I wish I had beautiful words of wisdom or healing for you, but sometimes there just aren’t words… I’ve just found your blog and I’m so moved by it. I was diagnosed with brain cancer 2 years ago, so it always helps to see things from the caregiver’s experience. Hoping that despite all you are going through, you find some semblance of peace and strength. Xoxoxo

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    1. This was very sweet of you! I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. I’m finding it so helpful for me while I go through this. My hope is other people might find it helpful as well even though all people have different experiences. Thank you for making my day!

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