Im so happy to be home. I was up at 5am to be at my aunt’s by 6:30 so we could be at the funeral home in CT by 9:00. I knew the day was going to be physically exhausting but I had no idea how emotionally exhausting it would be. (Warning: this post will probably ramble about non-If related topics including references to songs from the Catholic church, so it may not be interesting to some but I need to write this for myself)
Funerals are sad as is losing family members-no matter how old they were. Even if I wasn’t that close to the person who died I always feel sad for those left behind–children, spouses, siblings, friends, etc. Aunt Phee had hardly been coherent this past year after a stroke, so her death was not a surprise. In fact it was more of a relief because she had suffered too much. Then why was I the only one there crying????
Seriously, I think I may have been on candid camera today in a prank to see how much they could make me cry. Im sure I am just majorly weepy from this progesterone and/or pms, but either way it was a tear jerking day. It all started in church as they played “Here I Am Lord“. I started to well up because I think the song is beautiful and it also stirs up so many memories for me. Selfishly, I was not crying for my Aunt. I was crying for me. I felt like I just wanted to kneel there and sob for everything that I’ve been through this year. I felt like I wanted to let out all of the anger and hurt that Ive been bottling up for so long. But I couldnt. We were in a small church for Aunt Phee’s funeral and nobody else was crying.
Then my fear came true. The organ started to play “On Eagles Wings” as I had suspected it would. It is hard to describe the feelings that this song evokes. Basically the first time I heard it was at my little brother’s funeral 16 years ago. I cant hear it and not think of my father sitting next to me and sobbing. My father, who I love and adore more than life. He is as dashing as he is cool, and charming as he is strong. He is always been my hero. Seeing him in such pain forever changed me and was one of the biggest heartbreaks of my life (right up there with IF). We dont talk about my brother ever because I think we both dont want to make each other sad by bringing him up. Strangely, my father was sitting 2 rows behind me. As soon as the choir sang, ” And he will raise him up on eagles wings“, I lost it. I dont think many people noticed thankfully since they were in line for Communion. I sat there, trembling and wanting so badly to look back at my Dad. I just couldnt. I knew he must have been upset too but I couldnt bear to see it. I started to turn my head and just froze. I knew if I saw his sad eyes it would make me inconsolable. And if he saw mine, it would only break his heart more. So I didnt look back. Later, his girlfriend told me that he too broke down during the song. I wish I could have been there next to him holding his hand. But through the years we have gotten so good at putting smiles on for each other, being strong and remaining composed. I know it’s not necessarily good, but we’ll just have to continue to cry privately for now.
The Recessional song was “Be Not Afraid”. Another tough one and with another beautiful message.
Aunt Phee’s burial plot was shared with both of my grandparents. I had not been expecting to see their graves today too so it only caused more chin trembling and more tears to stream down my face. Thank god I didn’t wear mascara today.
After we left the luncheon, I thought I was done. That was until my aunt threw in the Josh Grobin CD and proceeded to play it twice in a row. “You Raise Me Up” just kills me and always makes me think of my Dad, which only made me want to sob my eyes out. But not in the back seat of my aunt and uncles car. Instead I just sat there as tears streamed down feeling a lump in my throat so big I thought I was going to choke. When “Time to Say Goodbye” came on I really thought I was on a hidden camera show.