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August 17, 2009 - Michael Palmer
When we lose a loved one, in the beginning it isn't so much a matter of moving on, as it is of getting through each day. There are many tasks that will keep us busy in the first few days. Making arrangements, contacting relatives and friends and the of course calling hours and the funeral.
Having lost a sister-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew recently, we have been well schooled in opening and closing costs for the cemetery. There are certain costs that are immediate and thankfully the people who operate the funeral home we deal with have been family friends for three generations.
The calling hours were well attended and per her request, the casket was closed for the public, however, due to my sister's diminished abilities to comprehend language, it was deemed to be a necessity that she be allowed to see the casket. It was a bit disturbing to the aunts and uncles to see Renee try and wake mom up. I believe that she was aware of what it meant to see mom in the casket, but like many of us, there is shock and denial when these things occur.
The remainder of calling hours went well and specials thanks must go out to Teresa Mc Enroe and her daughter for their help and all the food they brought for the family get together after the funeral the next day. You may have gathered from the previous chapters that Mom's side of the family have some short-comings in their helpful genetic composition.
Everyone in the immediate family went out to eat following the calling hours and while each of their family units picked up their own tab, there was no offer made to pay for Dad's meal from either side.
Due to the surgery to remove a kidney and a heart murmur, not much life insurance could be purchased for Mom and that meant there would be a large bill left to pay for Dad. They did ask about finances, but suggested that we seek the assistance of the church grievance committee for financial help when they heard the bad news. I am not sure what planet they attend church on, because none of us had ever heard of such an organization, especially at a church where most of those attending are not much better off than your average retired social security recipient. (There I have said it, now that chapter is officially closed, none of us really expects to see any of them again, so let's leave it at that.)
Moving on ..... When we lose a loved one we never get over it completely, but we get to a point where we are back to feeling like ourselves. We may still feel a little numb, but we move on. We all have our usual daily activities we must do, and that helps. As the days and months pass, though, the grief slowly fades.
I know Mom would not want us spending much time mourning her. We will never forget her and will miss her always, but life goes on.
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