Saturday, May 21, 2011

Waiting to Wake Up

I think it bothered some people that I didn't cry during the funeral.  It's not that I didn't care or that I didn't love Eddie.  I was just still in that state of shock and numbness I had been in all week.  I honestly did not believe this whole thing was real.  I was sure I was having a bad dream that I would eventually wake up from.  I kept thinking that if I could just get through this day it would all be over, and then I could go back to life as I had known it.  I left the church after the funeral the same way I entered, telling myself to hold my head up and be strong.  I still had the graveside service to get through.

We rode in "that car" again from the church to the cemetery.  It was late Friday afternoon by then so there was a good bit of traffic.  I remember watching as we drove to see how many people actually pulled over on the road as the funeral procession went by.  I realized that people today don't show respect the way they used to.  As we entered the gates of the cemetery it felt like something was squeezing my heart to the point that it couldn't even beat any more - maybe this was really happening after all (to this day I still have that feeling when I go there).

The graveside service was short.  The preacher read the 23rd Psalm, we all said the Lord's Prayer together, then it was over - just like that.  Everyone came by to pay their respects one last time, then left to go back to their own families and their own lives.  I suddenly started to wonder what I was supposed to go back to when I left.  I started to have the same feeling as the night before when I had to leave Eddie at the funeral home after visitation.  Only this time it was worse because I knew what the workers who had been standing off to the side were going to do once we were gone.  The rest of Eddie's family got into the car to leave while Trey and I stayed behind for a few more minutes.  Then I went to the car and let Trey have some time alone.  I remember sitting in the car, looking out the window as Trey said good-bye to his daddy.  There was nothing I could do to ease his pain, nothing I could say to explain why this was happening - I could only sit and watch.  

"Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there. 
I did not die"

-Hopi Prayer

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