Thursday, July 17, 2008


I'm back from my friend's father's wake and funeral. We drove down to Connecticut on Tuesday, stayed overnight at a hotel, and drove back yesterday afternoon. We were going to stay and hang out at the lunch after the burial, but poor R had had enough. He got to swim in the hotel pool for an hour on Tuesday, but other than that, he had to behave, be quiet, and sit still for way too long over the last two days, so we needed to get him home. We are all completely exhausted. I can't believe I have to work today. I'm in a complete haze.

I'm always amazed at how much a funeral affects me. I knew my friend's dad and loved him, and my heart is just so full for my friend and her sister and mom. And, for the two sweet new babies who will never meet him on Earth. Between the babies coming last week and the wake and funeral and everything, I'm emotionally spent. Last night, I made the mistake of watching "Supernanny" and ended up sobbing on A's shoulder. Everything just came out at once.

And, it's so weird to try to get back to "normal" life again. I just want to be with my friend and hold the babies and help in any way I can. It was painful saying goodbye to her at the cemetery to head home. We kept walking away, then coming back together to talk about little things. I didn't want to leave. But I know she's in good hands this week with her mom and sister and the rest of her family. :-)

Thank goodness I have a big vacation coming up soon! I definitely need it.


Kansas Bob said...

Sorry to hear about your friend's father.. glad that you got to be there to support her.. you are a good friend.

sandwhichisthere said...

you were wise to forgo the after funeral activities. It is a time for the family to remember and talk about the happier times with the deceased and try to shake off some of the sadness and gloom of a funeral.
My Mother's family was very big on wakes and funerals. I think that the wakes were the worst part. There was a levity at the wakes that seemed inappropriate to my Swedish side. It was like a family reunion, meeting cousins, aunts, and uncles that I hadn't seen since the last wake. Perhaps it is the Irish way of dealing with the tragedy.
You were right to get Rix home. I don't know how it affects children but one of my permanent memories is of my Grandmother Holmstrand's funeral. I was only five years old but it was the first time that I had seen my Father cry. He was a tower of strength and reason and it scared me. I couldn't understand that I would never see my Grandmother again. She would sit in her rocking chair, put those big arms around me, and take a nap. Squirm and wiggle as I might, I was trapped for the nap. She was eighty-six when she died, still working as the cook at the Swedish Home in Newton. She was six foot three and was born in Stockholm as Hulda Peterson. She came to this country with her husband Olav, gave birth to three sons, and then her husband died. She worked and raised the three boys. They were a rebellious, boisterous lot but maintained a reverence for their Mother for the rest of their lives. It was something that they passed on to their children. The Swedes do not believe in physical discipline for their children. It just isn't done, they consider it to be disgraceful. My Father only laid those giant hands on me twice. Once when he caught me on a motorcycle and once when I said something nasty to my Mother. He always told us "Your Mother is your best friend.". Conversely, my Mother was Irish and they do believe in physical discipline. I still get nervous when I see a wooden spoon.
I still miss my Nana. I still remember the white apron and the blue blouse she always wore and the lemon sugar cookies she would bake. She was the one that gave me the nicknames I was always known as, Baiba and Yunya. She spoke English with an accent and I still remember "I yust learned to say the vord yelly when they changed the name to yam.". It is important to remember the joy of a person's having lived and not the sadness of a funeral.
From your post, you have had a trying time. Try to take it easy and enjoy the joy of being alive. You have a compressed bundle of happiness and the thrill of living that you created. Take the time to enjoy that now instead of being resigned to look back on it years from now. Kick off your shoes, put your feet in the pool, see faces in the clouds, and laugh and giggle. You got that giggle from your Mother and her Mother, another Grand Mother that I miss. As for the rest of the world "Tellwiddem!",
all of my love, always, daddy

Suztash said...

Hi Sweets,
God has given you such a heart of compassion! Even when you were a toddler, you responded to peoples' sorrow, running to comfort my tears with a box of tissues! You are truly a gift to everyone who knows you. It is a bittersweet time in your friend's family history. I have been strongly impressed by the timing of his passing and the arrival of those two precious little ones, that he was somehow, in some spiritual realm, allowed to see...perhaps even hold his little grandchildren....and they know his touch and voice. With God all things are possible. God has opened up our grief and sorrow to comfort and joy in the promise of being reunited in His presence through our hope and faith in Christ....that blessed hope. This is a trying time, even if it were just the births of twins and all the hormones kicking in and the sheer physical and emotional exhaustion at times. We are so vulnerable. I pray that your friend can rest her mind and spirit in God. He is our Shepherd and leads us by still waters and makes us to lie down in green pastures. May you find the same rest and peace. Be joyful and thankful that God has blessed the family with two beautiful children to keep them occupied and busy and delighted. Love you. Mom

Wanda said...

Yes dear one...there is nothing like a good friend during these kinds of moments.

I'm sorry to hear of her loss, and yours ~~ looking forward to a vacation time will be good.

Love and Hugs and Prayers

Greg C said...

I always feel strange after a funeral. I think that it brings me back to reality that this thing called life is only temporary.

LEstes65 said...

I'm playing Blog-catch-up as my hair dye sets. I'm so glad you could be there for this. You are so special to A&A. And now you will be that special Auntie. I know A&A and D&M are in good hands with you around.

Love you...