My mother-in-law passed away a couple of weeks ago. I loved her dearly. She was an excellent mother-in-law: loving, supportive, and non-invasive. I never have been, nor can I ever be (and wouldn't want to be if I could) a mother-in-law. It can't be easy.
She didn't want an obituary written. She didn't want any fuss made over her. She was over-ruled by her children. Memorials and funerals are for the living, not for the deceased.
Today is mom's memorial service. Actually, it's a memorial service for her family and friends. She happens to be the honoree. A couple of weeks ago, I posted about laughter in funerals. I think there will be laughter in today's service--at least I hope so. Laughter heals as much as tears. There's no reason the two can't be mixed.
My wife is holding up well, as are her siblings. The past couple of weeks have gone a long way toward passing through the grieving process. We have been waiting for this day, for this service. Waiting with a strange mixture of dread, hope, love, and sadness. The dread is that no matter how well done they are, no matter how deep the belief is in an afterlife, death is hard for the living. There is a finality to memorial services and funerals that is as hard to accept as it is necessary. The hope is that it will go well, the memories happy and strong, and that everyone will feel better having said their goodbyes.
I'll have some tissues in my pocket. Maybe I'll need them, maybe I won't. My wife will probably need me to have them handy for her.
I take comfort in the solid belief that I will see her again, in a happier place where time has no meaning and the ravages of age and infirmity are but a dim memory.