Saturday, October 01, 2011

First you scream No

Working my way through the grief cycle. I knew it was trouble when the caller ID showed the folks' phone number so early in the morning. I thought, oh no. Dad fell and broke a hip this time. Of course, the news was much worse and completely unexpected.

First you scream -- No! It can't be true. It's a terrible mistake. Then you deal with the immediate aftermath. The arrival of the nearby family members. The hugs. The tears. Softly murmured recollections of good times. The sound of heart wrenching sobs from a behind a closed door. Sometimes they're your own.

The funeral home. The insensitive funeral director trying to talk Mom into a more expensive option than they had already paid for long ago. Gratefully, Dad made his preferences clear. A speedy cremation. No public viewing. A private strewing of the ashes.

Oddly the most comforting moment was when we got home again. The very religious neighbor came over to ask if it would be okay to mow the lawn. Then he asked if he could say a prayer. He prayed for us. The heathen survivors. To find peace. Somehow it helped.

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8 Comments:

OpenID klavierzimmer said...

Libby, I'm so sorry. I too dread that phone call. Thinking of you and wishing you strength.

Marcellina

3:51:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Thanks Marcellina. The support of my internet family has been a great comfort.

8:39:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I had some years of false alarms at all hours - the 100 mph trips to a hospital 60 miles away, my father lashing out in his frustration at my mother's helpless deterioration; but
I was there when my mother died as she had hoped we would all be. She wasn't aware though. All that was her had fled already.

I'm not sure it wouldn't have been better to miss it and learn by phone. It's not good to watch people die and it's hard to stop remembering, but there's no getting around the grief even if death is a relief. It took a while to hit me and three years later it still hits me at odd moments and I think you never get over it. It becomes part of you - just like your parents always have been.

8:41:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Funny. I was just thinking, selfishly, that if he had gone slowly, we all would have been at his bedside to say goodbye. But a slow deterioration would have been horrible for him. He was a proud man and a guy who needed to feel useful. It was already killing him that he couldn't do the yard work like he used to. Being bedridden and helpless would have been a horrible way for him to go. So I'm grateful, for his sake, that it was quick.

9:55:00 AM  
Blogger Southern Beale said...

So sorry to read this. Sending you light and peace from my corner of the world ...

10:09:00 AM  
OpenID klavierzimmer said...

Going quickly is good; we should all be so lucky.
I reached the point a few years ago of always having it in the back of my mind, that as I say goodbye this could very well be the last time, for all we know. It's sobering but yes it does make one appreciate the time left.

Capt Fogg, I don't hear of the false alarms, being so far away. I'll only hear the final bad news when it does come. Maybe that's a good thing too.
Marcellina

2:03:00 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Now that the formal grieving is over, the informal part starts and it takes a while to get through.

Having recently gone through it I would recommend you keep in close contact with your mom and be open to talking about your dad and all the memories you have with her and other members of your family.

Laughter and tears are your friends right now.

4:48:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Thanks so much my dear friends. I can't begin to tell you what a comfort your support is to me.

8:23:00 AM  

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