We returned Friday from my mother’s funeral in Michigan. My bride had driven from Ohio to North Carolina for her mother’s funeral, then to Michigan for my mom’s, all in three days. With two small children.
It was a whirlwhind of a week, and between that and the circumstances of my mother’s death I don’t think it has really hit me yet. When you are waiting for nearly three weeks for a death you were told was going to occur at any moment, by the time the inevitable phone call finally comes you are worn out. I only felt anything but numbness a couple of times in Michigan, once when, after meeting with a priest to plan the funeral Mass, my two sisters, my brother and I were discussing Mom’s slow death. My mother spent over two weeks between worlds, emerging from sleep now and again to speak of her mother and father and others long gone. Even my evangelical sister (who crossed herself and recited the Hail Mary at the rosary we prayed at the funeral home) agreed that suffering was redemptive, that there was some hidden, inner meaning to Mom’s lingering death, which in the end was peaceful.
And now we reenter our lives. I spent Saturday busy, working hard, building some raised garden beds. Sunday was restful: the Divine Liturgy, icon painting, grilling. Then, midafternoon, I thought, as I always do “I should call my mom.”
I woke this morning to a dull ache.