I still have trouble saying that word.......funeral. I most often just say "the service." That sounds less traumatizing, less painful. Much easier for me to say.
The day arrived, Thursday, December 11th. It was a cloudy, dreary, rainy day, similiar to the one of my aunt Becky's "service," 4 years prior. (Mom's sister) We got up early to be of the first at church that morning. My stomach was in knots. I had not eaten in a day or so. I felt like I was going to puke. My legs were heavy, not wanting to go inside. I did not want this day to come. It made everything so real, so final. I had been going to this church for many years of my life, and always entered the doors with such joy and peace and happiness. But not this day. The flowers were beautiful. They filled the whole front of the church. But this time they were not there to decorate the sancuary for Easter or some program, they were there for Mom. It was almost over-whelming, so real. People were already arriving. Everyone was in black. I could not believe all the people who had come to pay tribute to Mom that day. It seemed they just kept coming and coming. It was so comforting to see old friends of the family and loved ones, yet with every word, glance, or embrace, also came a great sting from the pain of reality.
It was finally time........to be ushered down the aisle for that long walk. The sancuary was uncomfortably silent, with only the piano playing softly. I felt all eyes on us, but could not see them, for mine remained staring only at the carpet before me. I could not look up, not even once. I remembered the last time I had walked down that very aisle was the day of my wedding, where my husband-to-be was waiting for me down front, with a big boyish grin on his face. How different the walk would be today. Oh, yes, I would be walking down the same aisle, arm-in-arm with my Dad, just like before, but not with tears of joy this time. Only tears of sorrow. No groom was waiting for me at the end of this walk, to join lives and promise me a happy ending. No, I was walking toward a pit of emptiness, where a part of me would be lost forever.
Somehow we made it, and the service happened........just as it was written. It was beautiful, honoring Mom and glorifying God. It would have been exactly what she wanted. The Pastor spoke, the euolgies given, and many tears were shed. I sobbed and sobbed (and still do today) as I hear the words of the songs.................
When I think back on the times, and the dreams left behind
I'll be glad cause I was blessed to have you in my life.
When I look back on the days, I look and see your face,
You were there for me, you were there for me.
In my heart I'll always see you soar above the sky,
In my dreams I'll always have a place for you, for all my life.
I'll keep a part of you with me,
and everywhere I am there you'll be.
With your final heartbeat, kiss the world goodbye
Go in peace and laugh on Glory's side.
Fly to Jesus, fly to Jesus, fly to Jesus and live.
I love you, Mom.