I woke up this morning about 9:30 to the sound and feeling of my big grey cat pawing my bed, telling me it was time to eat. I opened my eyes and looked around, for a second I wasn't sure where I was. I was in a fog. Quickly, though, my mind snapped into place and I realized I was home, in Greenwood and one of the longest weekends in my life had come to a close.
Yesterday afternoon, as my mom and I drove home Western Maryland, after laying my father to rest. I found myself thinking quietly "has it been a week already? Has my dad been dead that long?" As a matter of fact, I wasn't a hundred percent sure that yesterday was, in fact, Sunday-- I had to check the masthead of the local newspaper to confirm that it was Sunday.
My dad would of been very pleased with the funeral and commital services we had. They were both packed with Grace and God's Love. The Monday after he died, my mom and I sat down with the Lutheran Hymnals. We looked at each's funeral services and decided the new Lutheran Service Book's funeral service was the "best." It really flowed nicely. We borrowed a couple things from the Lutheran Worship.
I must stop here and say this: pre-plan, and pre-pay for your funerals, if you are able. Both of my parents had the forethought to do that and it was a blessing for both my mom and I that my father had done so. It made every so much easier (and to a certain degree, cheaper, too).
We had an open casket. He was dressed in a blue suit, brown shirt and tie. He didn't want to be buried in a clerical. He did, however, have a white stole place over his hands and single red rose in the casket with him. He looked peaceful.
Surprisingly, my fingers are the same size his were. I am wearing a ring of his-- his "pastor's ring." A simple gold ring with an opal top with the Chi Rho symbol carved on the top. My mom doesn't think I should wear it because I'm not ordained, and I'll probably take it off eventually, but right now, I just want to wear it. I'm not sure why.
There has been very little sadness since my father died. As a matter of fact, I was concerned about my lack of mourning feelings, if you will. So, I actually went to the book store and looked through some "death and grieving" books. I learned one thing: there is no right way to mourn, but as I skimmed through the books I discovered something else. The people these books talked about didn't have anyone to place their grief on. If nothing else, these five weeks in general and the last week in particular, have helped me relise that God has been in control and if I believe what I say I believe than my father is with his Lord. He is in Heaven and he is more than happy. To be honest, I haven't had many feelings of mourning, but I have had some feelings of jealousy. I want to know what is he seeing, what is he doing? Basically, what's it like?
My mom and I are doing okay. We were both thankful to get home safely.