Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

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

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

That whole "ashes and dust" thing

We set the date for Mom’s burial and have begun the long, cold path of planning it. It is my proximity to the clergyperson contracted to perform the service for the burial that dictates me as the one to work with her. I like her and all, but this was a really hard thing to do. We’ve made a bit of progress, and I think it will work out well in the end. The funeral included a reading from the Wisdom of Solomon:

For in her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent and pure and most subtle. For she is a breath of the power of God, a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of God’s goodness.

I like that and want to incorporate something like that into the service. And there’s the fact that we’re returning her body to the earth, giving it back to the land that nourished her. And all of the power and energy and passion she pushed into her community to try to improve resources for and awareness of sufferers of domestic abuse. And that all of the love she gave us is seeping out of us and foisted upon the people around us.

I’m supposed to come up with a ritual, a word, a gesture to encompass all of that?


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