Never too many flowers for Grammy. The wreaths completely covered her grave. But we'll keep her memory uncovered. Never to be forgotten.
It’s been a while, I know. I’ve had quite a rough time. I would like for it to end. I really thought that Saturday would bring it to a close, and I would go to sleep, and magically, on Sunday morning, all would be right with the world. No.such.luck. I woke up, yes. But nothing was right. I felt out of it. I still had a killer headache. I curled up on the couch and just slept. I read a little, but mostly? I just slept. I woke up when it was past the time that I should have been on the road, on my way to the weekly FamJam. I refused to be early. I didn’t want anyone to talk about it.
I didn’t want to hear how beautiful the service was. I didn’t want anyone to mention how “good” she looked. How good could she look, laying in a box? I mean, there’s no denying that she was a beautiful woman. Beyond beautiful. But don’t insult me. Or her. Don’t say she looked good, laying there, dead, in a really expensive, beautiful box. No. I don’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to hear people tease about how my mother went up with her twin brother to read a responsive prayer, but didn’t actually read anything. I didn’t want anyone to jest about anything. It was a funeral. It was somber. It was a rough time for everyone. There is really no need to rehash it.
I didn’t want anyone to comment on the fact that a lot of dignitaries were present. My uncle is kind of a big deal here, so yes, ministers of the gospel and ministers of government departments were there. I didn’t want people to say how good the Prime Minister looked for a change. Or how nice it was for the Deputy Prime Minister to attend, although he was on crutches. Or how the political divide was absent as the leader of the Opposition was also there. I didn’t want anyone to go on and on about how respected my uncle must be, to have so many people in their uniforms there, in support of him. Or my sister’s coworkers who were also there in a large number, uniformed. Or my mother’s friends who were not in uniform, but were there, nonetheless. They were there to help me from the graveside to the car. To tell me that things would be okay. To remind me to be strong for my mother. To give warm hugs. To assure me that I could call them any time. How kind, to be there for her, and for me too. How kind. What true friends.
I wanted to hear no talk of the beautiful solos. That lady really sang. She saaang. Like there would be no tomorrow. The words she sand penetrated my body, and seemed to fight to get out of my system, but they were trapped, and my body shook. I didn’t want anyone to bring it to my recollection. I didn’t want to think about it, or experience it again. The way I cried with no control. I didn’t want to hear, even in my mind’s ear, the sounds that escaped my mouth. Knowing that I’ve never cried like that before. Not at a funeral. I’m accustomed to crying quietly. No one around me would ever know I was crying unless they saw my tear-stained face. But not that day. That day, people saw the vibrations of pain and grief move my body, beyond my control. People heard the sounds of anguish and struggle exit my mouth, surprising even me. When that lady sang the second solo, I could have curled up and died. Great is thy faithfulness? Who’s faithfulness? Who was more faithful than my Grammy? WHO?! GOD?! God has been faithful in watching and letting us suffer through her illness with her, and taking her away from us, leaving us to continue to suffer without her. Yes, she’s out of it now. But only after immense pain. Maybe she was holding on for us? I don’t know… Maybe His faithfulness is great. I just know that hearing her sing about it… It was almost too much for me to take. I saw my mother, two rows ahead of me, shake, similar to the way that I shook. I saw my father wipe his face with a handkerchief. I remembered that Great is Thy Faithfulness was my grandfather’s (his father’s) favourite song. A priest sang it at his funeral. And the church became a forest of waterfalls.
I didn’t want to fall victim to looks of pity. Or questions like, “How are you doing?” Especially knowing that it was written on my face. My swollen, red eyes told the story of my day. My constant squinting was evidence of the seemingly eternal headache. My tight mouth was an indication of the fight I was in, against myself, to keep from crying. My nose, red and chapped… My hair, unkempt. My dress, unthought of. My legs, unlotioned. How was I doing? As well as a pauper on the street, perhaps?
For all those reasons and more, I refused to go early. I ate in a rush and left the table. Avoiding all conversation. All questions. All eyes. I left. I curled myself up on the couch, and mindlessly watched television. Dragons Den came on. I was pleased. Something that I could watch with the right amount of thoughtfulness and the right amount of thoughtlessness. I watched two episodes. Then there was nothing. I moved into the room without a television. I curled up on the couch with my new nook and read a little. My mother’s friends came to visit her. How nice! I wondered to myself, Will I ever have friends like hers? (Can you tell? I don’t have many friends. At all. There are just a few. I figure I have a lot of family, so no need to pile my life up with useless people. I choose friends carefully.) They drove all this way (my great-grandmother’s house is rather far) to come and see her. They brought her one of those giant greeting cards. Everyone from work signed it, along with nice little messages, telling her they missed her, and hoped to see her back to work soon, and that she needed to get well soon. (This card was not one of sympathy, but a Get Well Soon card, from she was out sick.) Along with the card came a letter-sized envelope. Cash. They took up a collection. I didn’t count it, and at the point, I don’t think she had either. Maybe they told her how much it was. After greeting them, I didn’t pay attention to their conversation. But I’m sure it’s enough to cover her next round of medication. Blessings. Finally. A reason to smile. A little less stress for her. And for me.
I was ready to go home long before it was time. I left my laundry in the washer. I couldn’t take it any more. I was ready.to.go. I got about halfway home before the tears started coming. I found myself intrigued by the way the tears dripped and dropped. Down the sides of my nose, around my mouth, and then DROP. Right onto my chest. They didn’t roll down my chin, down my neck to my chest. They just dropped. Like a jumper off of a cliff. That’s the way I wished my emotions would act. Just jump off of a cliff, never to be seen again. Over the edge, to the point of no return. Instead, they stuck around. Possibly driving me to the edge. Lord knows that if I take the plunge, there won’t be any return. I see the edge. It’s in sight. But I just.can’t.go.there. There would be no turning back.
I hope everyone is having a great week so far. I’m working at keeping busy. Lots going on at work. I haven’t been able to read any blogs. WP wouldn’t let them load. Lots of catching up to do. Those of you who miss my comments, I have not abandoned or unfollowed you. WP has been punishing me. I’ll be back. If you’ve seen any cool/fun/funny posts that I may have missed, please leave links. I could really use some good reads for my spare time. Many thanks!