I'm back from PA. The past week+ have been some of the hardest and most heartbreaking days ever for me. As my aunt said sorrowfully when she saw me coming up the church steps at Nona's funeral on Saturday morning, "This is the saddest day of my entire life."
I agreed wholeheartedly.
But together, as a family, we proceeded. We greeted those who attended the church service, we walked up the aisle after the casket, we released her soul (in an official Roman Catholic capacity, although I know that her essence was already long gone and soaring.) And Dadorelli went to Communion! Talk about a miracle on Earth just for my grandmother.
We said "goodbye."
I said (in my head,) "Talk to you Sunday?"
My father and I cleaned out her house, I went to the cemetary every day after the motley crew waiting outside the small on-site chapel buried her. But, nothing ever felt better at home...or easier. I couldn't believe that this thing I worried about and fixated on my entire adult life had finally come to pass. They spelled her name wrong on the death certificate; maybe if I went over to her house, she'd be there waiting on the porch in her turban and Greta Garbo sunglasses? Would my aunt keep the three small plastic tubs that she had left in the freezer labeled "Sauce" in distinctive script? What if I forgot her voice?
I eventually exhaled and just came back here to Boston.
Recently, I've had ok and really-not-ok days, which I guess that I expect for some time. Grief is such a sly constant companion; its sneaking attacks are unexpected and swift. At least soon I won't have to spend nights alone anymore since The Prof is moving into my teeny apartment until we find a place together. I'll have a companion, a portable human space heater, and a night light. Hee hee. We'll be in cramped quarters, but if that means I won't be alone with my thoughts then I welcome the distraction of Red Sox games and constant playback coverage, er, I mean of having another person here.
Anyway, I mostly wanted to say a heartfelt *thank you* for all the kind emails, cards, and calls that I received over the past week...you know who you are. I might not have responded (yet,) but I truly appreciate the sweet thoughtfulness.
So I'll conclude with a pretty photo of some peonies that I found on Flickr; Nona had a vase of these flowers in plain sight of her bed so now I feel affection for them as they might have lifted her spirits when I couldn't be there.
A hope for cheerier days ahead,