Sunday, June 28, 2009

The First Funeral Since

Our daughter Stephanie has a job she has had all through college. She is very fond of many of the ladies who work there. This week, one of my daughter's friends at work lost her grandson. Her grandson Tim was about 22, and for some reason, likely a car breakdown, ran across the interstate highway in broad daylight. Sadly, he was hit by a car and killed instantly.
Since everyone where Stephanie worked was so supportive and came to Daniel's funeral, (or the "Celebration of his Life" as we called it) I felt it was really important for at least Stephanie and I to attend this one as well. This would be the first funeral any of us had attended since Daniel's passing, if of course you do not count the funeral we had on the farm for Daniel's 15 year old German Shepherd Jake, who passed this winter. Attending this funeral was going to be harder than we thought.
The visitation was held at the very same funeral home in which Daniel's funeral occured, seven months ago. In addition, many of the same people attended. I also wore a similar dress and shoes. It was different in a number of ways though. First of all, when we entered, there was no board stating that the funeral was for Daniel. Instead, there was a name I did not know. Secondly, the woman who looked totally in shock and whose friends were there to comfort her, was not me. It was very cold both outside and in the funeral home when we had Daniel's funeral, but this time, it was hot both outside and inside. The casket, which looked just like the one we chose, was draped differently, with a fishing pole, and a sign which said, "Gone Fishin'". There were also two well done picture collages of their lovely son at both ends of the room. He had many friends and a sister who resembled him. He had been a gorgeous boy. Stephanie's friend, his grandmother seemed happy we'd come.
The funeral directors were very gracious to Stephanie and I, as they remembered us well. At least six times we saw friends who said, "We've GOT to stop meeting like this". Somehow it seemed longer than seven months ago, and sometimes it seems like yesterday, but it's never ok.
I did have a chance to talk to the young man's mother. I told her who I was, and I told her about losing Daniel seven months ago. She was concerned about ME. I told her that God would always be there with her, and that her son would find a way to tell her that he is ok, still aware,and home safe in a manner that she will understand and in a way only he would do. She replied that she thought he was there at the funeral at that moment.
I did also hear from Daniel, but very briefly when he made a joke about one of the funeral directors.
Afterward, I took Stephanie to Daniel's favorite music cafe where we listened to live music and had a drink. (I'm afraid it's diet soda with my juvenile diabetic daughter and myself.) Daniel wasn't there. I could not feel him there. He must have had better things to do in Heaven.
Today, it is seven months to the day since Daniel's departure and about eight months from my father's. I miss them both immensely, we all do. I am so sad when I think that this journey is just beginning for another mother and for another family.


  1. i am astonished at your courage, bravery and compassion to go back in to that funeral home only 7 months later. i am glad that you have the fortitude and stamina to handle these types of situations so gracefully. i am so proud to call you my friend.

    your friend,

  2. Kymber, I am so proud to know YOU. I knew I would feel sorrowful, but I felt as if I owed another mother who is grieving, respect and compassion that she might not get, if someone who's lost a son recently didn't go. As it is, I think she had a lot of support, but I am happy to offer more.

  3. of course you are happy to offer more, regardless of whatever sorrow you might have still been dealing with. that's why i am proud to call you my friend. that's why, Jane. because you are filled with compassion, intelligence, understanding and empathy. i wish everyone in the world had half of what you have. xoxo


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