Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday December 29 – Joan’s Funeral

We are definitely in winter hibernation mode. I lay in bed listening to the deep steady breaths you take as you sleep. It’s like listening to the waves on the beach. It’s very comforting. I could stay in bed and listen to your breathing all winter.

What’s left of the morning, you spend with Chris G while I wash your hair and shave you for Joan’s funeral. You didn’t want to leave home, but the bus was on time and got us to Joan’s funeral in good time.

As we go up the ramp at the front of the church, I absent-mindedly asked if you ever thought you’d have to use the ramp. You shook your head and got choked up with emotion. I don’t think it is what I said that caused the release of feelings, I think it was just being at the church and feeling what the church represents to you. Love and fellowship with the congregation.

Joan’s funeral was very well attended. She had touched many lives. It was a beautiful service. I had to get a stockpile of tissues, before the service even started, for you three times. Finally, I asked if I could just have the whole box.

You had a mixture of tears. Tears of sorrow and tears of joy and love. I think your tears of sadness were for Joan and for yourself. Your tears of joy were for the beautiful people and love that you felt in the church.

One of the hymns; ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ is one of my favorites. I cried during that song. After the service, you reconnect with many people from the church. “I love these people.” You said.

I talk to many people too. One lady who we had met a few years ago, Margaret, came and sat with us. She had been at the hospital a lot lately visiting her mother. We knew her because we had rented a cottage in Cape Breton from her when the children were still very young. Her mother was discharged from the hospital but now is back at the hospital again. It’s been a rough time for her.

You are impressed that Margaret remembered us. You tell her of your love for Cape Breton, and how much you loved our stay in her cottage at Beaver Cove. I suggest that, next summer, when you are out of the NSRC we could do another vacation in Cape Breton. You are filled with happiness at this thought. You tell her of your dream to buy property in Cape Breton and make a retirement home.

During the conversations you had, you recanted the adventure you had falling out of the chair numerous times. You boosted of Quinn’s skill at comforting you. You also talked about your brother Bill.

Bill told you that you are family and he cares about you. After talking to Bill about your gratitude and appreciation, you have promoted Bill to brother from brother-in-law.

I make arrangements for the children to stay with a friend during Dad’s funeral. I worry that they will be confused about death and what it means when it is so close to your ‘almost’ funeral.

After the service we head back to the hospital. I get you settled but I didn’t want to leave you at the hospital. You tell me that you want to be there for me tomorrow at Dad’s funeral. I’m am comforted at this thought, but I don’t know if it is possible. We need the wheel chair bus and permission from the Dr Feltmate.

It was very hard walking out of the room after I said goodbye. I won’t be able to visit later in the evening because I’m on-call for the night. This is something that Dad would have done without a thought. Somehow it seems fitting to be on call on the eve of his funeral.

At dinner, I ask Tara and Quinn how they feel about going to Dad’s funeral. They want to go. Tara wants to sing a song with Fran and Erik at the service. Secretly, I’m glad they will be there with me.

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