Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Four graves and a funeral

I don't have much to say tonight (unbelievable, I know), but I wanted to write something because it's one of the things I try to do each day (except Saturday) as a way to discipline myself.

I spent the day today in my boyhood hometown, attending the funeral of my 91-year-old aunt, who passed away on Sunday. While I hadn't seen her in many, many years, I do have very fond memories of her from when I was a boy. And her husband, my Uncle Ed, is still going strong at 90. Uncle Ed, my late father's oldest brother, is still incredibly handsome and still drives! I could be so lucky when I'm 90.

Whenever I go back there and see family members I haven't seen in years, I'm overcome with memories and feelings and, as usual, they're complicated and deep. It generally takes me a day or two to process them, so I'm not ready to even go there yet. But I can say that today, despite the solemn occasion, was a good day. I even forced myself to visit the graves of some loved ones that I purposefully avoid because the grief that inevitably arises can be shockingly painful.

But I'm back home, and the Cubs are winning (so far), so everything is good. I do need to get back into a better work schedule, and my eating habits of late have been atrocious. But I'm alive and above ground, and sometimes that's good enough.

See you all tomorrow.


  1. I've only visited the graves of relatives past one time. My grandparents died when I was 6 (nonnie) and 10 (gramps) in Wichita, KS. I moved to Wichita when I was 18. I moved out when I was 19. The next to the last day, I went to the cemetery, and after nine years and going from child to adult, I knew exactly where the graves were, even though my dad didn't let me out of the limo because I was such a bawling mess and he was afraid I'd distrupt the service. It took me a year to go there, and only went because I'd not have the opportunity again for who knew how long. I've lost many a friend and relative, but I've never visited another grave. I guess I'm weird about death. I see no reason to stare at a stone and patch of grass. The person I'm looking for isn't there anymore.

  2. Thanks for sharing this deeply personal post Terry.

    My mom died when I was young and for years her ashes were kept in this really creepy place called a columbarium. It made it really hard to visit her.

    When my dad died last year my sisters and I finally got her ashes out of there so that we could do our own thing with them. It has helped.

    Today's guest blogger is Michelle McLean!

  3. 91 years old, and still had her 90 year old husband with her. Sounds like your aunt lived a long, full life.

    I appreciate what you mean about the past trudging up some deep (and at time disturbing) feelings. For me it's not my family so much as when I meet up with old childhood friends.