Last night my aunt asked how Dad was doing. Mom, my sister, and I were all sitting out on the patio with my aunt and uncle. My sister launched intothis thing about how she thinks he's had time to prepare himself, etc. I guess maybe he's good at putting on a front, at least visually. But when I am in the room with him, I feel like my heart is breaking, even when he's sleeping.
I did ok at the funeral home. I was really having a struggle with myself over whether or not I wanted to touch him. I've had mixed experiences doing that in the past. My mom's dad was very thin and touching him really upset me. When I talk or think much about death stuff, I see images of him and feel him, and it probably doesn't help that I have very few memories of him alive to counter that.
Touching my granny, on the other hand, was relieving and beautiful. She still felt like herself, and that helped a lot with the closure process. I'm glad that I had that experience because it helps to know that all people's bodies aren't creepy feeling. Papa, though, was also very thin. So I was worried about my reaction and didn't know what I would do.
I didn't have to make the decision. Dad just walked me up there, took my hand and started showing me the entire thing--and Dad's just always good about how he does stuff like that. I didn't feel forced at all, and I knew it was important for him to share this with me. That made it beautiful. Mom's good at describing things, and I remember her describing my granny to me. But it was different with Dad. He had me touching Papa's hands (the scary part), but also he had me touching his clothes, the picture of Grandma that was in his pocket,his hat on his head, his face... The idea of touching his face was scary until I actually did it. The skin on his face felt almost natural, and that helped offset the impact of touching his hands.
Dad also showed me the flower arrangements they had done, and that was cool. I could even see the flowers, and they're very pretty. I used to think all the flower get up was silly, but I'm becoming quite aware that the flowers have a calming effect on the visitors. I'll have a lot more to say about funerals in time.