Watching and Wondering….

Today was my friend’s mother’s funeral. She was laid to rest in the cemetery of the church I attend.

As a perpetual people watcher, which I am more so in Chapter 2 of my life, I noticed some things that most probably missed.

I am often asked to sing at funerals and when you are called to provide that service for a family, you have your mind more on trying to remember the tune to the next song you are going to sing, not looking at the family because you can’t fall apart in front of them and wondering when the preacher will be done talking.

Not singing today provided me a chance to be more present.

First of all, I am thankful my friend talked me into a closed casket funeral for my husband. I would not have wanted those who attended to see me say my “final goodbye” to him. That was done privately, at the funeral home before his Earthly remains were transported to the church.

Secondly, today got me to thinking about what my final wishes are. I knew exactly to a tee what my late husband wanted and I fulfilled those wishes. Had I have gone first, he knew what my wishes were, at that time.

That may be changing now. I don’t know that I want the pomp and circumstance that goes along with me leaving this world.

I don’t like everybody looking at me. I don’t know that I want the traditional Southern viewing. I was joking with another friend today that I would like to pre-record what I would like to say to some people, have a wire attached to my jaw and have someone pulling the string as the recording played and line these people up. That way, I would have the last word. Morbid I know but I do have a somewhat twisted sense of humor in stressful situations.

I was the only person there who know to some degree what the lady’s husband felt. Everyone else at the service, would be going home to their spouse or they had them by their side. It is a small town after all and you knew everyone who came in

I watched as the pallbearers loaded the casket into the hearse. There were grandsons, brother’s-in-law and a couple of men from our congregation.

I watched as we slowly walked behind the hearse from the church to the cemetery. The daughters got on either side of their father.

The in-laws walked directly behind their partners. Nothing was said, they just fell in behind their spouses. Just moments earlier, they had been the supportive, sturdy husbands. As they walked behind their wives, I saw one of them wipe his own tears. He made sure that his handkerchief was put away before he took the seat beside his wife to once again be the source of strength she would need to lean on.

I watched my own parents. My mother was fine until the body was put into the hearse for the last time. My father as usual, stood to the side. Watching in the way that he does. This type of thing makes him uncomfortable to say the least.

As we walked down the hill, I looked for my daddy. He was at the back of the line of mourners. He would not come near the grave. Once again he stood to the side, standing beside his own brother’s grave.

My mom didn’t go to the cemetery at all. She went around the church and got out the food that we had spent the morning collecting so that when the family came back up they would have a meal before departing and going to their respective homes.

There were a great deal of memories that came flooding back. There was really nothing to say except, you are loved and it is really okay to cry. Tears are healing. Tears speak when your heart doesn’t know what to say.

I still haven’t decided what my final wishes are. I do know that I need to get it written down. The one who once knew them, had to go before me

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