a funeral and a wedding

in less than one week, i will be attending a funeral and a wedding.

Uncle Wade’s funeral was this weekend.  in a whirlwind trip, my parents and sister drove to Memphis (nearly 8 hours), visited with family, did funeral stuff and drove back.  everyone came and went so quickly…it was if we were rushing from every direction to this one spot, just to see how long each of us could hold our breath before rushing away.  i so looked forward to visiting with my aunt and cousins from North Dakota, to only talk with them for about 15 minutes.  i didn’t even get to say good-bye, which i’ll admit i prefer.  then it’s like the conversation never ended…

the service itself was beautiful, tho i couldn’t bear to look long at my uncle in the casket.  he was so other than himself…i just couldn’t let that be the way i remembered him.  my dad spoke and shared some memories, to which everyone laughed and cried.  then we took him to the veterans cemetary for the military service.

i was doing relatively ok until i turned instinctively, and whispered, “Good-bye, Uncle Wade.”  something about the simplicity, as well as the finality of that statement struck me and i was uncontrollably crying.

not much about the weekend left much space for true processing and grieving.  if we weren’t eating, or at funeral services, we were trying to cram as much family time in as possible, as well as meeting and attending to non-family visitors.  i left feeling extremely anxious and it wasn’t until i came home and shared the experience (and tears) with my roommate that i began to feel some relief.

my uncle and i were not “close,” but it he was much like the main beam in the ceiling of a major structure.  you don’t really realize how important that beam is until it’s destroyed and the whole structure changes.  i think that is one of the greater parts of grieving: the mystery of what the world will be like without this person in it, and the fear that it will be worse.

this weekend i will be in the wedding of one of my best friends since high school.  tonight i travel to good ‘ole Leb-tucky for the rehearsel (i keep wanting to say recital).  we are all spending the night together.  i’m hoping to get in a run in the morning, before beginning all the festive-ness of getting ready together/readying the bride.

i am feeling better and more ready for this (post-funeral), but am semi on autopilot, just trying to ride the wave of caffeine and sweet feelings through tomorrow.  Kyle will be joining me at the wedding so I’m glad to spend some time with him. 

we spent the last two weeks apart from each other, he in Kansas City on business and me in Memphis.  it was extremely hard, i won’t lie.  but it was very revealing of how important this person has become to me.  even though he wasn’t present, he was such a comfort and support through the death and funeral, allowing me to just cry and talk about how great my uncle was, and how good God seemed to be in the midst of the details.  so thank ful for this man!

and thankful for a beautiful weekend to celebrate the beginning of lives together.  God is good, and redeems all things.

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