My Great Aunt, sister to one of the finest women I'll ever know, passed away over the weekend, and services were held on Tuesday. Beautiful services attended by a very good and patient 2 year old tot (though water and animal crackers did keep the beast at bay). I knew my Great Aunt, but not a huge amount, so I took her passing in stride, but as usual, the big three factored in.
1. Being there for family, but mostly my Pops. The old man (who just passed the half century mark) got a big heart, and it really comes out when something big hits the family. I don't know if my bro picks up on it as much as I do, but I think than when he's got us around, he's got a little bit more room to be himself, couple more close shoulders to lean on, and it lets him know that we're there for him.
2. The unwritten curse of the oldes sibling. I, like my father before me, am the older sibling, and as such, makes for the stereotypical type of love, support, and action that speaks "I'm here to love, help, console, and to lean on." It's almost as if, since his mother has passed away, my Dad has become the foundation for his side of the family, and he leads by example very well. (Dorkingly so, I had a great taste of this in college, 14+men looking up to you for direction, advice, and how to do laundry :P). So, with every move my Dad makes, I'm always make sure I'm within earshot or eyeshot of my Dad, soaking up every piece of example and information I can get from him.
Course, once I saw him cry at the funeral, it was damn hard not to breakdown myself. I cried several tears, and luckily Pink was there to help me subdue the waterworks.
3. Last, but most certainly not least, the most frustraiting aspect of any funeral.'
I've come to piece with my own mortality, I know that once my dirty old man days are over, it'll be time for me to kick the bucket and move on to Other Worlds Than These. However, something I'll NEVER be prepped for is the passing of Pink. EVER. Being nearly 100% introvert, I occupy my "social" time with the "What if" moster, and for me, Pink's passing will be the ultimate test of a loved one passing on. I've ran through several different scenarios and in nearly all of them, I snap in an unbridled bit of fury and hate for this soft crude matter we call home. I think for the most part, when I'm quiet and thinking about funerals, Pink's passing is what causes the most tears...more so than the passing on a loved one.
After all, all my loved one's remain immortal in my heart, and that's the true essence of immortality though.
2 funny moments did occur.
The first, when friends were talking about my Great Aunt, Pink asked me if I had any kleenex. Unfortunatly, I was only prepaired for Little Blue's needs and had a pocket full of animal crackers (which, btw, are not good tissues I'm told) :). So she whispers in her teary faced voice, "At my funeral, you're going to have a tissue box for everyone." Without a moments thought, I said. "No."
"Napkins, I'm going to have napkins." (Pink has this napkin fetish that she cannot throw away any unused ones, so if there are any left on any table, she keeps them and places them somewhere in her purse, car, desk, or table. She gets so many sometimes I have to find ways for them to "creativly" disappear i.e. "I don't know what happened honey, they all just blew out...(into the trash can at the gas station). She now has permission to keep as many napkins as she likes as long as I follow Storage Tub Girl's advice and buy some tubs for the occasion.
Second is credited to Little Blue. The gravesite was on the extreme outskirts of Warrensburg, MO, so there was cow pasture next to the grave yard, and you could hear some cows mooing into the wind. Little Blue, understanding that cows do indeed go "moo," but have never heard a true to nature "moo" said this when we were under the tent at the grave site:
"Daddy," In his "everyone else is quiet I'd better be quiet too" voice.
"Yeah buddy?" I whisper back.
"Do you hear that?" (meaning the mooing)
"Yeah, I do."