Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Humbling Experience...

On the 23rd of October, I wrote about my Dad's death.  Today, I am going to write about the time from my Dad's death until his buriel, that took place on October 26th, 1988.

As I mentioned in my entry relating to my Dad's death, we received the phone call from the Hospital in Toronto, about 6:30 am, that my Dad had died about 6:15 am.

I had been sleeping on the couch in the livingroom, but had woken up about 6:00 am and just couldn't go back to sleep.  As soon as I heard the phone ring, I knew what had happened, before anyone even picked up the receiver to take the message.

My heart sank.  It was all I could do to breathe.  To be honest, I cannot recall who called some of my Mom's family, who had in recent years moved from areas in/around Montreal, to Clarkson/Mississauga.

However, within a relatively short time, my cousin B arrived at my parents' home.  He knew someone would have to go to the hospital in Toronto to pick up my Dad's personal effects and documents.  My Mom didn't want to have anything to do with seeing my Dad's body, picking up his personal belongings, or seeing anyone at the hospital; it seemed she couldn't handle it. 

What a kind person my cousin B was; especially to me, that day.  You see, up until that day, I cannot recall ever having met my cousin B.  I had heard about him, just as he had heard about me.  B took control over the whole situation.  He didn't just offer to drive my brother Glenn and I to Toronto, he insisted.

B was kind and loving, gentle in nature; he made sure I knew that he understood my situation with my parents and that he didn't want me to feel uncomfortable, because he understood our family and it's history.  It seemed that there were past divisions within our family realm, on a regular basis.  Not just with me and my parents.

When we went into Dad's room to see him and verify he was dead, B came with us.  I cannot recall ever feeling loved by a family member, as much as I felt loved by my cousin B, that day.  He helped us get sorted around and drove us back to my Mom's home.

Mom refused to go to the funeral home to make the arrangements.  My older brother B, my younger brother Glenn and I were elected to go.  I believe I may have written in the past about something that happened at the funeral home, but I cannot recall to be sure, so here goes.

The funeral director had to take a phone call, just as my brothers and I were to be led downstairs to view caskets.  The part of the hallway and the staircase leading to the basement was in darkness.  You have to picture this in your mind:  I have trouble seeing in complete darkness. 

In fact, whenever I would go upstairs at my Mom's home at night, I would have to count the stairs, to make sure I didn't trip and fall down the staircase, because my Mom didn't like lights on in the middle of the night!

First, one brother said to the other, "After you!", to which the other brother replied in return, "No.  After you!".  This went on until I couldn't stand it any more and I led the way down the dark staircase to the funeral home's basement.  lol  How I did this, I will never know, for not only can I not see in utter darkness, but if I had been in my right mind and not in shock, I would have been terrified!

After all, what if we made a wrong turn?  What if we didn't count the doors properly and entered another room, other than the room we were directed to find?  What if we entered the room where they work on bodies?!  I think I would have had heart failure!  LOL

The time spent with family and friends during the times of visitation didn't shock me a bit.  Some family and friends of my family spoke to me, while others did not.  It's amazing how people truly are.  While it made me feel uncomfortable at times, I just prayed to God, my Father.  To Jesus.  To the Holy Spirit.  And, I forgave them.

My Dad's funeral was one of the largest I had ever attended.  Between his friends, family members who came from out of town, my Mom's family members from both in and out of town, hockey associates and friends, fellow masons, some of my friends, etc., the funeral home was literally overflowing with people in attendance.

I tried to not feel uncomfortable when I overheard people ask who I was.  Or, when they said they didn't know Dick had another daughter.  I tried to smile and be friendly to all, even those who chose to ignore my presence.  Jesus helped me through each and every moment.

Considering the circumstances of my relationship with my parents and knowing that most people just would/could not understand, I made no apology.  Nor did I speak of it.

Every minute, I felt like I was in a mode of prayer, asking God to give me composure, to not let me cry, so others could think ill or make rude remarks about me.  He helped me, every second.  I know I could not have gotten through that whole ordeal without Jesus.  Thank You, Lord!

All in all, it was a very humbling experience.  One I pray I will never have to endure, again.  Under any circumstances. 

I was grateful to those who were kind to me.  And, I forgave those who were not.


Until next time...

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