Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Good Grief!

No longer an oxymoron in my books.

My grandfather's service was quite incredible. He passed at 88 years of age; 2 years after his wife, and 4 years after his youngest son (my father).

Our family has been grieving for the past several years. My grandfather's foresight was our saving grace. His wishes were that he wore a specific t-shirt for is viewing. It read "Do Not Disturb" and had a picture of Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sleeping soundly. It's this kind of dark humor which runs rampant in our family.

The following day, at his service, there were photos of him and the family cycling on the wall behind the pastor. As the pastor said "May we all bow our heads in prayer..." a picture of my grandparents kneeling in prayer flashed behind the pastor. The whole family burst into laughter. We tried to stop laughing, but the best we could do were muffled giggles, with a few outbursts sounding more like sobs.

The eulogy was read by my generation (those of us who thought we could keep ourselves composed). I have problems with public speaking at the best of times, but trying to hold back tears while speaking is not something I was prepared for. At my father's funeral, I had planned on singing "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan, but I couldn't even stop crying long enough to speak. I was such an emotional wreck I had to stay in the "privacy room" at the funeral home through his entire service. The song was played though, from a CD. For my grandfather's funeral I volunteered to sing "Angel" and I managed to keep myself composed until the song was over.

I was thanked by many people, and told that my father would have been proud of me, and what a beautiful voice I have, and the courage it took, etc... But all that mattered to me was that I helped with the grieving process. Mine and others. Since my father passed away, and even before then, I've been singing as a stress relief. It really helps me. I am at peace with my grandparents passing, as they were at peace in the end. But my father was too young, and I still have not found closure.

On a different note, this was the first time I've seen this side of my family since Christmas. Some of them I haven't seen in years. It was hard to watch them adjust to the new me. The broken me. Until my one cousin finally got the hint that it's better to laugh with me and at me than it is to feel sorry for me. She gave me a new nickname: Dropsy.

I explained all of the ins and outs of my issues, and the lack of knowledge among my doctors, and the fact that I'm still awaiting a diagnosis for a pretty serious problem. Over the course of 2 days I was asked by many people how I manage to do it. How I manage to keep my "happy face" on. How I manage to not cry (often), or complain (much), or give up (completely). Truth is, I don't even know... But I feel the breaking point is near.

On yet another different note, I FINALLY finished my hubby's sweater!!!!!! I started it in ... November? I think...

1 comment:

Lady of the Ozarks said...

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Take care.