Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Part IV: The Influx

So many friends and family members came into town Monday afternoon for the visitation and to stay the night for Tuesday afternoon's service. After seeing Mom's body for the last time, we all returned to the house where most of our friends and family were already settling in. My domineering cousin comes in handy sometimes, and she and a family friend orchestrated the warm-up and preparation of enough food to feed the twenty-five or thirty people. She sent one person out for disposable bowls for soup and another for more Mike's Hard Lemonade. When everyone had eaten, they washed the pots and wiped down the table and countertops. All of the food they heated, of course, was meaty, so I had Ramen noodles for dinner. Brooke had a Swiss cheese sandwich.

That night, I took requests for copies of the CDs we had played, and the response was overwhelming. I drank Mike's, made CDs, and talked marriage versus civil unions all night. Evangelical "Aunt" B was in the room for that but had the tact not to contribute to the discussion. She made Mom proud with that. Mike and Laurie stayed late into the night, typical for our gatherings with them, and we reminisced about joint family vacations and the debacles and hullabaloo thereof.

Tuesday morning, everyone was on edge. I freaked out at Paul for trying to do (irrelevant!) laundry when I had other, more important laundry to do. In retrospect, my anger was excessive, but by that point, his disregard for others was an ongoing theme. Nevertheless, we were all cleaned, coifed, dressed in clean clothes by the time we needed to leave.


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