Wednesday, October 28, 2015

DAY 1512... Death

We all know that I hate change.
Hate is probably not a strong enough word.

And let's be honest here...
Death is a HUGE
and most permanent change.

Death is rough for me to talk about.
I'm definitely the kind of person who laughs when things are awkward and uncomfortable.
I tend to make jokes because I have no freaking clue what to say.
Is there anything you can say to make someone feel better after they have just lost a parent?
I really don't think so.
But then again,
I've never lost a parent.

Last week I attended my Aunt's Father's funeral.
I didn't laugh.
In fact I cried way more than I even thought I would.
I have always been a crier, 
but motherhood has made me soft.

Can I just explain that when I cry during a commercial or a movie or a real life story,
I'm not crying because I think it's happy or sad.
I'm crying because I put myself in that person's shoes and I feel the emotions that I think that they would have felt and it manifests itself in tears.
Massive amounts of tears.
I cry all the time!

It doesn't help that we crazy Mormons insist on singing "God Be With You Till We Meet Again"
as the closing hymn at funerals.
I love the song,
I love the meaning,
I love the intention.
But seriously,
I can't keep it together singing that song during sacrament meeting,
let alone at a funeral.
Thanks a lot Kolipoki.

Anyway, back to the funeral.

This was a man who I have known for 11 years
and has always treated me like family even though we were not blood related.
He saw me through numerous boyfriends,
and knew my own little family.

He was is an amazing man.

It was such a blessing to be able to attend his funeral.
It wasn't something that everyone could do.
My Mom and I packed up my kids and left Idaho at 6am to be able to get to Salt Lake City on time and we drove straight back home afterwards.
That is definitely not a trip I would make just for anyone.
I reserve that kind of craziness for the people who really matter.

He really mattered matters.
My Aunt really matters.
She is one of my best friends and one of the best people I know!
I would do ANYTHING for her.

It was a military funeral and that made it a thousand times more amazing!

I also experienced another unexpected blessing in this garbage dump of a situation.
I could quote Juno all day long!

I experienced the opportunity to teach Aniston about death and The Plan of Salvation.

I battled back and forth with myself on whether or not  I was going to attend the viewing, purely for Aniston's sake.
Did I really want her to see the body?
Would see understand?
Would she start screaming like my little brother did when he saw my Great Grandma at her viewing?
There were just so many questionable things.
We ended up going.

Aniston just kind of stared at the body, especially after I explained to her that he was not just sleeping.

I often take the same stance in parenting as I do in my everyday life.
I don't beat around the bush.
Honesty is the best policy,
and there's no point in hiding truth from anyone.
And that includes children.

Judge me if you want...

Aniston kept asking why.
Over and
Over and
Over and
Over again.

I explained to her that everyone dies, which is sad, hard and not fun.
I explained to her that we will miss people after they die, but that that's okay.
It's okay to miss somebody and to be sad that you no longer are able to see them.
But then I also explained to her about life after death.

I explained to her that we will see those people who die again.
I explained to her that we are able to be with our families and loved ones after we die.
I explained to her that we would be made perfect after we die.
She asked me if that meant she wouldn't have her scar. (read about that here).
Which makes me think that she understood what I was saying and definitely made me cry.
But can we really be sure that she understands?
I mean she is only 3.

It was definitely a wonderful opportunity to teach,
and for me to grow as a parent.
It was one of the first opportunities that I have had to address something as a parent that was slightly uncomfortable and put me at a loss of words.

But it's those things that make us most uncomfortable that help us grow the most.

Death is hard,
and when the day comes that I lose a parent or a sibling,
I will be a mess.
There's absolutely no question in my mind.

But I receive some comfort in knowing that I will be with my family for eternity and that death isn't the end.
Not really.

I recently read a quote from President Russell M. Nelson that really shed light on death for me.

Death is hard.
Death sucks.

But it's something that happens 

I'm so glad that I was able to attend this amazing man's funeral with my children.
It was a wonderful memory in despite of the circumstances.

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