there & back

April 15, 2011

I’m back from the shortest trip home┬áI’ve ever taken. It was kind of intense and much sadder than I had expected, although I’m not really sure what I was thinking would happen. The sadness stems from lots of things, but mostly I think it’s about getting older and time passing and living a couple thousand miles away from my family and being part of how some people cope with some things and being totally apart from how other people cope with other things. And of course there’s just plain old grief over someone I loved so much dying.

The funeral was sincere and straightforward and heartfelt. The songs were perfect. Heartbreaking but perfect. I could barely sing for crying. And the eulogies were so personal and moving. My uncles and my mom did an amazing job of planning a service that was about all of us and my grandmother, which is really hard to do and I’m incredibly grateful they did it. They made ┬árituals matter in a personal way. For instance, I was one of the pall bearers and it meant a lot to me that my family was willing to break with tradition to include me in that. I can’t articulate why, but I really wanted to help carry my grandmother’s casket to her burial plot.

Other things happened too while I was home. Even when someone dies there’s not just death. There was the sound of thunder and seeing lightening from the plane and the sunny skies the next day, with the temperature rising to almost 80 degrees. My mom and I got to spend a big chunk of time alone together and it’s been a while since we’ve done that. We ate at Steak and Shake and did errands and we laughed at ourselves a lot. I also got to go to my Aunt and Uncles 50th wedding anniversary and see all my cousins on my mom’s side and hang out with Ty and have lunch with my dad’s oldest cousin, Pattie and her son John and his wife Becky. Pattie called everyone deary, which seemed very sweet. We talked about family history and they told some stories I’d not heard before.

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