There's a lot of work to do to get ready for a funeral. There's the funeral work. My brother did that. He asked me a lot of questions, getting my opinion. Luckily, being raised by the same mother we're in sync with so many things that it wasn't a battle or an ordeal. He'd call and say "I'm thinking this" and I was so thankful he'd thought of something I didn't find any reason to find fault with it.
I'm grateful for that. I know some people have to deal with their grief in addition to sudden battles over burial or cremation, viewing or not, what prayers what songs, what what what what? It becomes a power struggle. Maybe it's an ego struggle as everyone pushes their own agenda. I don't know because it wasn't my experience. My brother had good ideas as we walked toward this new experience together and I was grateful for them.
On my end there was the travel. There is the travel prep and then there is the travel itself. I'm not sure which is more tiring.
We acquired dresses and suits and ties, and checked the tires. Preparations were made of various sorts as we got ready to head north.But most importantly, we had to tell our kids.
Everyone knew that Grandma was very sick and wouldn't live long. I suppose that's the reason no one questioned this sudden flurry of shopping. But my brother and I had agreed to tell our children at about the same time before we did a general announcement in the land of social media and as the sun set I got his message that he had told his children.
We were sitting in Chilli's having a typical sub-par meal and so at one point I shared the information with them. I felt numb as I said the words. "Grandma died today."
They stared at me with blank faces, but the calm might have been more disturbing than a huge outburst. They acknowledged what I had said, and seemed sad but at the same time I don't know what I expected. A friend of mine recently said "Dammit feel my shit the way I want you to" as a joke. But that's how I felt. I wanted someone else to feel as gutted as me and I felt guilty for wanting it to be my children, I guess I just wanted to not feel so alone in this pain. I worried and worried about how they would take it. Then they took it with sadness but calm and I felt like they didn't seem to care as much as I wanted them to.
Then I felt bad for feeling like that.
I remember the spectacle of it all being actually quite fun, so many people and so much visiting plus all the food. It wasn't bad. It was happy because of all the love and family being around.
I suppose that then it shouldn't have surprised me that despite my own sadness, my children found fun and activity on the way there.
We crossed rivers and states and traveled north to the land where our people live and our people have died. It was a long drive and it was past bed time when we rolled in.