Yeah, that. Dad was buried today, at 11am, and I couldn’t safely be there. My heart was, and my thoughts, and my mind and soul and grief were there, but my body wasn’t.
That makes me feel…a lot of things, honestly. Sadness, grief, regret, guilt, sorrow…
He’s irrevocably gone, now, no doubts about it. Lowering the body into the ground and then covering it up with dirt has a certain cold and cruel finality to it, doesn’t it?
Oddly, I feel like I should feel guiltier about not being there. To be sure, I feel quite awful that I wasn’t physically present at his grave site when his body was lowered into the ground and I will probably always feel very sad and torn about it, but on the other hand my dad would not have wanted me to expose myself to the virus, not with my health problems at any rate. (From December into January he kept at me me until I finally got the flu vax…)
COVID-19, that horrid respecter of no one, is ramping up nastily in my area and he truly would not have wanted me to risk my life to pay respects to his empty shell.
He’s like me – the body is just the vehicle which enables us to exist on this planet, and once we’re through with it, it’s…meaningless? and should be left to return to the earth. We should show respect, of course, through funerals and burials and familial rites and all that, but once the person inhabiting the body is gone, the body no longer serves a purpose other than to remind us of what was and will never be again.
Depending on your funerary traditions, it’s just a cold…mass lying in a cold place in the cold ground usually with a cold marker of some sort so you’ll know which of your dead is where.
It should be noted in one of my famous “interests of full disclosures” that I am by far not a “funeral person”, either. (Got that from my dad, too.) If I knew the person while they were alive, while their heart and soul and mind were engaged, why would I want to experience them without those beloved signs of life?? And when those parts of them are gone on, there’s nothing left but sorrow and grief and…and standing beside an opened and then filled hole in the ground won’t help at all with that.
According to my beliefs, in due course I will see my dead again. They’ve gone on but aren’t forgotten, and until I’m with them again I’ll cry and then eventually I’ll try to remember them fondly rather than with huge fat tears rolling down my face.
We hold our dead firmly in our heart and our mind and our soul because that’s where they are; they are no longer inhabiting the “shell” they used while they were here and have no need for it…”there”. We pay our respects to that which enabled them to walk our earth, and then we let it go, and we keep the parts of them that live in our heart and our mind and our soul because those are the parts that matter.
My mom and my dad mattered to me; she and now he still live on in my heart and my mind and my soul while I spend the rest of my days on this earth.
I appreciate you guys letting me whine and drone on at you about all this. It’s doubtful that relating my on-going saga to you has helped anyone but I really hope it has. We are creatures of emotions and we need a safe, welcoming place to let them run free and I hope you feel that “here” is safe and welcoming for yours, too.
If nothing else, I hope all this has encouraged you to hold on to you living stronger and better. You can’t really do that anymore when they’re gone…and life really is shorter than you think.
Your support, and yes, I include your Paypal gifts in that, has truly been invaluable. I’m sorry I haven’t been in a decent enough mind/emotion place to reply to all your wonderful comments here but I have genuinely cherished each one.
Y’all are some damn fine people, and when you share your grief, I grieve with you. You are not alone.
I can promise you that.
Ok, here’s some generic “end of whine” housekeeping links to click or ignore:
Now go wash your filthy hands (and take your Vit. D – and no, it is NOT a cure-all but, srsly, look up the research on it FOR YOURSELF then make up your own mind). If I’m not allowed to let a stupid COVID virus take me out, then neither are you. I mean, y’all got pets and kids and, like, relatives and stuff who’d miss your ass. Keep it safe and clean.
I’d miss you, too. You matter to me.
I can’t swear there won’t be more whiny parts to this saga but I’ll try not to – I’m sure y’all have hella better things to do than read my rambles…and some of y’all need to get back into writing…