Today last year was the day we went to our Momma's cremation. It was me, my sister, our brother, sister-in-law, and niece.
None of us wanted to be there, but all of us felt like we should.
We listened when they explained the procedure and soaked it in when they described how long it took. We declined when they asked if any of us wanted to say anything - we'd already said it all to each other and we know Mom heard us. None of us wanted to push any buttons to set the process in motion. We just wanted to be together and let Mom know we were there for that.
She was in a cardboard casket. We rented a casket for her funeral because it would have been a waste to do buy a casket and then watch it burn. Our funeral guy was more than helpful in letting us know the logistics of our plans. The funeral home already had Dad's ashes and they explained to us how they would mix them together - which sounds kind of creepy, but was perfect for them.
The funeral guy pushed her in, and we stood there for several long minutes. Our funeral home had sent a guy and he was amazing - kind, supportive, and understanding. He gave us the details and left us on our own with our grief, as he should - but he was in the background, should we need him.
And then we left, realizing the smoke went right over our brother's house. Maybe kind of creepy, but also kind of comforting to know that Mom was spread in the air over his house.
Our private viewing time of Mom was so bad. She was so full of fluid and so disproportionate to normal that it was not comforting. We were all in major distress mode. The funeral home did their very best for her, and apologized to us later because they'd done all they could do to make her look normal. Hell, they did a fantastic job considering how many IV's she had going and how much fluid they were pumping through her. It was rough. I kind of wish we'd done things differently, but there was no way to know...
I never blogged about this before because I couldn't. Maybe I still can't because I'm not catching the nuances of that day - of my sister and I talking nonstop on the way there and not saying a word on the way back, of going to our brother's before we went and drinking coffee and wanting to just sit on his couch and stay there forever. Of going back to Mom's knowing we had to go home that night and go back to our day jobs the next day. Just the two of us stayed that night and went to work from Mom's like we had so many times since Dad died.
And now we're looking at a year since we started clearing out the house. We're almost done. We're tired. We're sad. We're freaked out that within the next few weekends we won't be together every weekend, so we made a pact - we'll do what we need to do at our own houses (and FFS. trust me, it's a lot - I have a mini fridge in my dining room. AND a mini Christmas tree...) and then we'll each help each other with projects. We're going to be busy for a long time because the list is pretty freaking long... Ha!
But it's good, because we need to be together.
So, yeah. I know I'm a downer right now. I'm sorry for that. I don't even have a fraction of my grief out here and I don't know if it's possible for many people to understand the depth of it... It sucks. I do what I have to do and I look forward to the weekends spent at Mom's with the sibs. And that's going away soon... Weird stuff.