I’ve been mourning my Dad’s loss for several years as his short-term memory vanished and being able to have a conversation got more difficult. The loss of the car, the end to his racquetball and the changing dynamics of his independent life muted his humor. The sudden end due to cancer was a shock.
We have been mired implementing his burial plans and communicating the details and information about his death to our extended family, friends and his vast array of former colleagues. I cried so much the first two days, I was starting to worry about myself and wondered if my glum was preventing my children to feel like they could grieve. By Day 4 I could discuss that my Dad died without breaking into tears and each day has been getting better – until today.
They say it’s normal to feel the roller coaster of grief as you process your loss. We were asked to return to the funeral home to identify my Dad. My one brother stayed in town and is helping manage through the details.
When we arrived we are told we will be escorted to the parlor, I’m confused. I thought we were going to the basement cellar where they would roll out body in one of the morgue like storage units you see on TV and confirm that is our father. I even brought a sweater on this 85 degree day for fear I would get cold.
My Dad is laid out in an open casket in his “dress blues” with an American flag over the casket. He looks peaceful and I find myself rushing to touch him one more time. Loved.