I Couldn’t Say “Funeral”

I spent Thanksgiving with my mom. It was wonderful except for the fact that she has become quite adamant that all of her affairs must be in order prior to her passing so that my sister and I will not be left with chaos. As a result of her decision, every time I have visited my mom within the past year, she updates me on the status of her plans and explains where all of the new important documents are hidden and what phone numbers I should note. I found I have handled all of this remarkably well thus far. The organizational freak in me commends her effort and I must admit that I am comforted by the fact that all of her wishes and desires have been executed and notarized so there is no confusion when it is time.

Yesterday, she gave me a copy of her “funeral card.” The card which contains the information of the person I must contact once my mother passes. You see, she has also already handled all of the details about the funeral, from the cards to the flowers to the music. I literally only have to call the number on the card and tell the person the location of my mother’s body once the time comes and that person will handle the rest. Of all of the documents I have reviewed for her and of all of the conversations I have had with my mom about this topic, this one stopped my in my tracks. I found that when I tried to say the word “funeral,” I could not do it. I got as far as “fun…” when I trailed off and proceeded to refer to it as “the card.” As much as I tried to hide it, I know my mom sensed that I was uncomfortable and she reminded me that all of this was so that my sister and I don’t have anything to worry about when she passes.

I understand that death is a part of life and yet, I realize now that I will never be prepared enough for her passing. There is a part of me that aches at the sheer thought of her leaving. The part that kept me from saying that word.

I do, however, take much comfort in the fact that I am able to help my mom during this phase of her life the way that she has helped me throughout my life. It’s beautiful how life is cyclical and I have no troubles saying “thanks.”

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