blue moon (2)

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Silence ©

We sat in a fairly large room staring at the still figure lying peacefully before us.
It was a somber occasion as we sat remembering bits and pieces of the past while choking back tears of pain.
It was hard.

It was hard when I looked over and saw the pain in someone’s face as they walked up to the front to look at a woman I have recognized all my life.
A dull knife ripped my chest apart when I heard my mother four rows in front scream in agony when she saw her best friend for the first time laying still before her or her brother, my uncle when he fell across his wife’s body.
I kept looking away and choking back my emotions.

Thirty of us sat there in silence.
All family by blood or through love
We sat there in silence grasping for a piece of what we were loosing.
A mother, grandmother, a piece of heaven on earth.

Someone came to stand next to me as my uncle draped himself over my aunt.
“I remember once looking out the window and saw them walking up the street holding hands like a couple of kids” he said.

We sat there lost, off balance.
We sat there for two hours
You sit there waiting for her to sit up and say “Ha, April Fool’s”, but it’s June

The next day, Friday, it was quiet at the funeral home.
A handful of family and friends sat there guarding over their loved one as she slumbered in her crib.

6pm I arrived with the girls by my side as we walked in and sat with the few people that were there with my parents and cousins.
Then around 6:30 a few more people arrived.
Then more and more until they stood 500 deep in line to pay their last respects to this person.
They were friends and relatives from all around.
Some who had never met her but knew her through others.

She wasn’t the mother of Kings or Queens, Prime Ministers or Presidents but she did give birth to three she thought of as such and the little princes and princesses they supplied her with later on.

I watched as many fell against the coffin in angst and disbelief searching for answers to reasons why.
More chairs had to be brought in and two priests arrived to say a prayer for the dead and the living.

6am Saturday
It’s supposed to rain all day today.
The phone rang with my mother on the other end checking to see if I was up.
I was up.

I came down stairs and sat here thinking about today.
The night before I got a phone call and my cousin asking me if I would be a pallbearer.
I said it would be an honor.
My cousins couldn’t pull themselves together to carry their mother so I along with my brother, two nephews and two cousins said we would do it.

7:30am I dropped my parents off where the limo was to pick all of them up to take them to the funeral home and went back to get the kids then off to the funeral home.
I was there by 8am and we sat there for an hour before the priests showed up to prepare my aunt to be received at the church.
When they were done we carried my aunt down the hall and outside to the Hearst.

It was a quiet thirty-minute drive to the church and when we got there the parking lot was full of cars.
At least a hundred vehicles of every size and shape and the pews inside were all full of people with fifty more lined up behind the coffin waiting to follow her in.

My brother and I picked up the coffin then lead her up the stairs and stood by the door waiting for the priest to invite her in then marched down the long aisle and up to the pulpit.
We then retreated to our seats.

It was a forty-minute service then people were invited to say their last respects before they closed the coffin for the last time.
My mother took it hard she collapsed in the pew crying that she wasn’t going to go to say good-bye to her best friend and sister in law and banged her face with clenched fists.
My brother grabbed her and they slowly made it up the stairs with the priest on one side and my brother on the other as she cried all over my aunt.

When my mother had been walked away we picked up my aunt once more and walked out of the church with god’s blessing.
Down the steps and into the Hearst to made our way to the gravesite.
As I was waiting for the Hearst to pull out with the limo the parking lot slowly started to empty until there wasn’t a car left but us and we took that short ride to her final resting place.

Like the previous drive to church this was a quiet one.
We made the turn to the cemetery and around the corner and about a hundred yards away there was an impromptu parking lot surrounding her grave with all the people who had rushed out of the church to get there before us.
They all stood there hold bunches of flowers they had torn from the wreaths that had been placed by her grave as is our custom.

They parted as we raised the coffin over our heads to clear the over tombstones blocking our way then gently set her down on the ropes.

The priests once more blessed her and poured sand and wheat over the coffin and they lowered it down.
He eldest son who had been hard and indifferent for the last couple of months of his mothers impending death broke down as her other son cried out wishing his mother a safe trip to her next stop while her daughter crumbled before them.

Everyone then tossed their flowers into the grave and walked away, all but three.
Her youngest son who quit his job to sit by his mother’s side at the hospital for 26 days until she died and two of her grandsons.
She had asked her son before she died to make sure he stayed there until they covered her up with dirt so he, my brother and her two grandsons, both eighteen did more than that, they stayed to filled in the hole themselves then spread the flowers from all the wreaths on top.

Not a drop fell until we reached the grave and then only for the service and then it stopped.

Now it’s time for everyone to get some rest

At the wake D2 asked for the car keys so she could change her shoes.
Later in the basement of the church my mother looked at D2 as she stood there tall and beautiful and told D2 she will find her a nice boy as she looked at D2 in her nice black dress then down to her …..Addidas running shoes.
“Maybe not” then walked away.

Have a nice weekend



Peter said...

Commiserations to you and your family on the loss of your aunt Walker, after reading your last couple of posts I feel that I may have been a bit too critical of your family in the past (only ever in a joking manner) my thoughts are with you all right now.

itisi said...

Reading this made me all choked up.
This has been a most difficult time for you and your family and my heart goes out to you.
I think the more the person is loved by others, the greater their legacy. Your aunt's legacy will live on forever I am sure.
Peace to you, Walker.

Monogram Queen said...

You really captured the grief and hopelessness when losing a loved one. I can really really relate and i'm so very sorry for your loss.

~grey said...

Beautifully written... as always!

Brought back way to many memories... and feelings. Thank you!

Praying for your Aunt and your families!


BlazngScarlet said...

That was completely gut wrenching ... and raw.
And you managed to capture the emotions perfectly.
I am so very sorry for the loss of your Aunt.