My father in law’s funeral was today.
We left home early this morning so we could have lunch at my mother in law’s house by noon. She was understandably nervous and kept asking if we’d make it to the funeral home in time and we tried to reassure her just as often.
Of course, we were in time. (TomTom knew the way.) The girls went to see their grandfather one last time, and were allowed to help close the coffin. I think that will be a memory they will cherish for years to come.
The memorial service started with Beethoven’s beautiful Moonlight Sonata.
Next came the eulogy, in which part of a poem by St. Augustine was aptly recited.
Speak to me as you always have, do not use a different tone, do not be sad.
Continue to laugh at what made us laugh.
Smile and think of me.
Life means what it has always meant.
The link is not severed.
~ St. Augustine
After the speech we listened to the second movement of Beethoven’s Sonata Pathétique.
I’m always moved when I listen to this piece of music, and today was no exception. I just closed my eyes and let the music work its magic.
Then there was a short closing speech, a moment of silence remembering the life of the extraordinary person my father in law was, and in closing more music. Chopin’s Nocturne op.9 No.2
Thankfully, things weren’t nearly as awkward as I had feared they would be. Of course I wore a nice dressy suit. And, because my mother in law also wore a suit (albeit a lady’s suit), nobody looked at me twice for wearing a suit. So that was a relief.
Also, everyone was really quite friendly, and many of the relatives came to have a short chat with me. Of course it helped that it was after all my father in law who had died, and my being visibly disabled really seemed to make for a good conversation topic. 😀
My balance bike, my silversplint rings, the wrist brace… they sure got people talking. After all, most of them hadn’t seen me in a little over a decade, when I could still walk and none of us had ever even heard of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome yet.
My head was doing me in by the time we got back to my mother in law’s place, but that wasn’t too surprising seeing I’d been up since half five this morning, which is really a couple of hours too early for me. Other than the headache and fatigue, I was doing fine though.
We stayed with my mother in law till after supper, and had a good time with her. She was quite chatty and more relaxed than I’d seen her in ages. Like a huge weight had been taken from her shoulders – which is probably all too true. My father in law was by no means easy. Not even before he got ill.
I think I’ll be able to tell her soon(ish) about my gender issues and my wish to transition. She might actually take it quite well. We’ll find out when the time is there. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.