We just got back from five days away, rather unexpectedly. As I mentioned in my last post, my best friend’s mother passed away on Christmas Eve morning. While she had been battling cancer for a little over three years, the end was very quick and somewhat unexpected. Since I was off work anyway because of K being off school, we made the 400 mile trip to be with my friend and her family.
My kids are not official grandchildren, but they did call my friend’s mom Nana. At first I didn’t think it would be appropriate for them to attend anything, but they did – from the calling hours, to the funeral, to the burial. I did spend some time preparing K for what she would see, and aside from a “that sounds creepy” comment, she was not terribly phased by anything I told her. Once we got the funeral home she did walk up to the open casket with me, then twice more on her own. Even B wanted me to carry her close. They have had lots of questions about the logistics of how Nana got into the casket, who dressed her and how she will use the photos we put together. B has been repeating “Nana is dead” or some variation for the last several days.
While we were visiting there was always so much to do, right down to last night’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Even S acknowledges that it won’t really hit her until after all the “stuff” is done and everything settles in when the quiet takes over. When she can’t call her mom, when the phone isn’t ringing, when she isn’t coming over, when she’s not there to ask a question and all the little things that we look to a loved one for. It’s so hard to be there for her when I’m so far away.