Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Final Goodbye

Last night was J.’s wake and today was her funeral. And amongst it all, I’m fighting a nasty head cold that really is trying to kick my butt. My body seems to be giving a most valiant fight, but today I think I started to succumb and in a drug induced fog, I made it through her funeral. I half wondered if I was going to pass out during the internment… that would have been a bad thing.

The wake was lovely. It was at one of our nicer funeral homes and as I’ve said to my husband repeatedly, Father does an excellent wake and funeral. With his thick Irish brogue, there is great comfort in the sound of is voice as he chants and says the prayers. Hearing the 150 or so in unison last night during the wake, give the responses, made me hopeful, if that makes sense. There was of course much crying, but I tried to stay away from it, staying in the back as I do at most of these.

There was a couch off to the side with 8 12-13 year old girls. These girls were in a frenzy of sobbing! They were feeding off one another, one would start, then the other would lose it until all 8 of them would be nothing but sniveling sniffing puddles with wads of Kleenex strewn amongst them. Honestly, I found it annoying. If they had stood and started some sort of self flagellation, I would have had to stand up and say, “OK, enough already, where are your mothers!” I KNOW if they had been sitting with their parents instead of crushed against each other on the couch, they would have been more controlled in their crying and there would not have been this situation that appeared to be a perverse contest on who could honk the loudest into their crumpled tear sodden tissues.

At the internment, I made mention of this to one of my other Mom peers who stayed longer and she said something like, “Believe it or not, those girls were very comforting to the boys. After the wake, the boys only wanted to hang with the girls.” So as annoyed as I was initially, I do believe it served a purpose and if the boys took comfort in being with them in their vast hysteria, then it was a good thing.

I had never been to a Catholic wake where they did the rosary. As I said, Father does an excellent wake. The priest who did my Mother in laws, was a young inexperienced, intense, and emotionally withdrawn priest who actually said the word “Sh1t” instead of some other word during his wake homily... nearly throwing me to the aisle in a peel of laughter. A true live Mr. Bean if I had ever heard one. But Father is wonderful and it was interesting to hear… but I was so lost.

When my husband and I were in the car I said, “And who were all these women he was praying to?' to which he replied, "Hon, it was the Hail Mary. They were all Mary." I asked, "ALL those names were for Mary?!" and then I added, "And did it not seem odd that they were really focusing on Mary’s sexuality when they were praying to Mary? Mother of the Virgins, Mother of he undefiled, Mother of the Immaculate Conception and on and on and on.” He started to laugh and said, “Hon, it was the Hail Mary. Mary was the Mother of Christ and those are all her names.” It was interesting.

I made it through the funeral without much trouble, although I feared the worst when they started with Bridge Over Troubled Waters. That always jerks at my heart. But then as P. and his boys and the family and the Pallbearers, came down the aisle with her casket, I noticed that her casket was draped in the 2nd grade 1st Holy Communion quilt from last year. Every year, our 2nd graders make a quilt. When my kids are in 2nd grade, it is I that sews their squares together. Last year was my year off and seeing that quilt on her casket made me very thankful. I couldn’t have handled it if I had sewn that quilt. Upon finishing the quilt, the 2nd graders always find someone in need of prayer and hope and gift the family the quilt… last year it was J. and so exception was made and instead of the traditional flowers on the casket… it was adorned in a handmade quilt from last years 2nd grade. It was a beautiful touch and sentiment.


Blogger Tammi said...

I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you and J's family today.

I'm glad it was a comforting service.

Now is the hard part.

The prayers will continue.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

My heart is heavy for the family and friends she left behind.

You honor her with your words.

My prayers are with you and her loved ones.

God Bless.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Harvey said...


10:03 AM  
Blogger VW said...

Bou, It is so hard when someone you know dies. {{Hugs}} and take care of yourself!

10:41 AM  

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