Monday, May 01, 2017

Mourning after

Last Thurs Spouse & I packed up the dogs and several days' worth of clothes and left for VA.  We arrived at Spouse's sister's house just before lunch time so we took her and her older son (nicknamed Baby David) to lunch.  Afterward we stopped at a few stores because Spouse wanted some new pants for the viewings/funeral, and Spouse's sister needed a few things too.  That night we ordered food in and looked through a bunch of old photos collected from Spouse's mom's apartment.  We pulled out about 100 of them to use on the memory boards and in a slide show.  Here are some of my favorites:

Evelyn loved sitting in her back yard

Evelyn was a member of lunch AND dinner Red Hat groups

Glamour Girl in her kitchen

That adorable little boy in the grey suit is Spouse

Memory board #1

Memory board #2
It was fun and somewhat therapeutic to go through all the old photos.  And yes, that's Evelyn riding a camel in Egypt in the center of memory board #2.  The woman got around!

On Fri the family arrived at the funeral home at 1:15 for the private family viewing, then set up the memory boards and slide show.  Next was a viewing for friends at 2:00.  According to the guest book about 75 people came, including many of the residents and staff of the retirement home where Evelyn had lived.  Spouse's boss came from DE with her husband, and several friends of ours came too.  We had a break from 4:00-6:00 during which time the family had a light meal and I picked up my aunt Mary.  Then came the 2nd viewing from 6:00-8:00.  Approximately 125 people attended that one, including our dear friends Mike & Clark, Ron & James, Kerry & Hugh, Kelly, Justine & Liz, and the retired pastor and associate pastor of the church we attended in VA, who are still dear friends. While it was obviously a sad time, I can say that it wasn't overly sad.  Friends shared cherished and often humorous stories about Evelyn and I imagine there were likely as many laughs as there were tears.

The funeral mass was at 11:00 in the Catholic church Evelyn attended for many, many years.  There were likely 150+ people there including our good friends Steven & Thad.  For me, this was sort of the 'finale' and I anticipated having trouble keeping my emotions in check, so I planned my coping mechanism.  When I felt like I may ugly-cry, I would think about a hilarious situation involving Evelyn at a restaurant.  Spouse & I were out to dinner with Evelyn when a familiar looking woman was seated a few tables away.  Evelyn thought it was her old neighbor Pauline who had moved away 20 years prior.  Spouse suggested to his mother than Pauline would now be much older than this woman so it likely wasn't her.  Spouse's mother persisted that the woman was wearing a ring just like Pauline, so she decided to approach the woman at her table.  The brief conversation went like this:
Evelyn:  Excuse me, are you Pauline?
Woman:  No.
Evelyn:  Are you sure??  You look just like her!
Questioning whether the woman was sure of her identity still makes me laugh to this day, so I knew it would help me shift my mood when it became too heavy.  Fortunately it worked.  Immediately after the funeral mass there was a lovely luncheon in the parish hall.  In addition to eating lunch, it was a great opportunity for us to thank our friends for coming and chit-chat.

Afterward Spouse & me, aunt Mary, and Steven & Thad all went to Spouse's sister's house and hung out for a while and visited.  Then I took the dogs and my luggage and rode back to DE with Steven & Thad.  I needed to get back and Spouse was going to stay for the internment on Mon morning.  After feeding/walking the dogs and getting them settled at home, I joined Steven & Thad for a quick dinner and then headed to the Blue Moon to perform in the Legends show.

Sun morning I was up early to hold a moving sale for my clients.  They'd intended to include the furniture/furnishings with the sale of their beach home, but the buyer is going to live there full-time and already had her own stuff, so I offered to hold a moving sale for them on Sat.  Due to the funeral I pushed it to Sun.  I advertised it on several buy/sell facebook groups and had a GREAT turn-out.  I sold nearly everything in the house, including an old ironing board!  After the sale I went into the office to catch up on emails and administrative tasks.

1 comment:

anne marie in philly said...

what a life evelyn led; and such a beautiful woman too. she will be missed.