Yesterday we said goodbye to my dad. The previous 10 days or so had been a flurry of activity; time spent with mum and the family, time organising the funeral and time at work. A Funeral is an interesting occasion I always think; both sad and happy in almost equal measures.
Seeing the flowers in the garden as I arrived at their house. My niece telling me she had written a poem for granddad and wanted to read it out, and in the next breath bursting into tears and saying she couldn’t. Followed by helping her write her card and slipping the poem behind it (later reading the beautiful words was both happy and sad). The relief at seeing both my ex sisters in law after they had said they wouldn’t be there. Seeing my brother, son and nephews carrying the coffin. Hearing my brother read out the words I had written for us all. Seeing my son and his cousins hugging each other in grief.
But what joy to see the 5 grandchildren and their respective girl and boyfriends eating lunch together, and chatting the entire afternoon was such a joy to see. Catching up with cousins I have not seen in months or even years in some cases. Seeing and hearing everyone enjoying recounting memories, enjoying each others company was great too. My relief at knowing the food had lived up to expectation and that mum was coping well.
A funeral is a ritual that we need to go through. It helps bring some kind of closure to the first part of our grieving process. I know we all have a long way to go, but yesterday helped.