The visitation and rosary for Mom was Wednesday and the funeral was Thursday. This was a very unique experience for me and I felt like I truly did experience it and live it rather than simply go through it.
My family and I saw many people we haven't seen in a long time, not face-to-face anyways. People tend to say hat they wish it weren't under such circumstances, but I count myself as a little weird because my personal proviso is "Yes, but we are still seeing each other." That still makes me feel good. Drawing something positive from a painful experience, maybe? I learned afterward on Thursday that there were people lined up out the door and some people couldn't stay for one reason or another and had to leave to tend to their obligations at hand. I saw relatives that I didn't expect to see because I knew they had something pretty dire going on in their lives. We wouldn't have blamed them for missing Mom's funeral, but they came anyway.
One thing that touched me hard was when friends who didn't even know Mom personally came. My friend David rushed down from work to attend the wake. When I saw him, I rushed over to him and hugged him. Then he got up and made a statement at the end. I almost died. The next day at the funeral Jeff, one of my best friends from ISU came. Then I saw another best friend and his wife who drove down from Roseville (Saint Paul), MN just to support me. It meant a lot to me.
My girlfriend came down and blew her cover on her own at the funeral home. Before she did that, she tweaked a couple of things on my mom as she lay in state. She did the same at the church before the funeral started. She apologized, but to me it was something she felt she could do to help, and my family appreciated it.
I hadn't said the rosary in about 20 years. Since then, they've added a fourth set of mysteries and they have added a "gift" to each mystery which is the equivalent of a concept of each mystery on which to contemplate. I said it like I hadn't skipped a beat. I participated in mass like not a day had gone by and like I had never left. I knew the steps and the church and even though it didn't feel like home anymore, I didn't care. I knew mom would have liked it and I was doing it for her. It wasn't about me.
Life is surreal without my mom.