There are so many surreal moments after someone dies. The first is the moment you get the call. The next is when you walk into a funeral home and say they’re gone for the first time. Then, there is the moment you view their body; it’s clear the soul is gone but the face of your loved one remains. Time flies after that. After all, there’s so much to do.
Notifications must be made. The insurance company has to be called. Arrangements have to be settled like a casket, flowers, and prayer cards. The minister has to be contacted. Clothes have to be brought to the funeral home. Photos must be selected for the slideshow, the program, and the social media posts. You have to write an obituary, a eulogy and lay out a program. You have to order food for after the wake and after the funeral. There are so many details.
When the services are over, you have to send thank you cards to everyone who reached out. You even have to listen to people who didn’t contact you initially about your loss or who missed the services explain themselves. You have to pick up your copy of the death certificate and you cash the insurance check that doesn’t even come with a note of condolence. And, a million times a day you answer the question, “how are you doing?”
As bad as all of those things are, the worst is when it’s quiet. It feels like the world has forgotten someone you loved so much; that life just moved on as if their absence doesn’t matter. The truth is flowers like the lavender across the street from my house still grow, rain still falls, hours tick on, the days add up and the void is still there. The memories, the late night one sided chats, and prayer are the only things that make any of it bearable.
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