On the day of your mother’s funeral, you will wake up and it will feel like any other day until you remember that it isn’t any other day. Someone will force you to eat breakfast and tell you when it is time to get in the shower. While showering, you will cry and wonder just how you will make it through this day.
On the day of your mom’s funeral, you will look at your dress and think that it is really pretty and then shake your head because it’s such a shame that you will never wear it again. You will get dressed without remembering how and maybe even laugh at how comically large your sunglasses are.
As you drive to your mother’s funeral, you will notice people going about their day as if your mother didn’t just die. At first, you would feel angry, of course, and it will take you a while to see that it is a good thing that life continues even when your heart is broken.
On the way to your mother’s funeral, you will look up to the sky and think about Heaven a lot.
Your mom will be wheeled into the church. Your brothers, husband, uncles, nephews, or friends will all look very handsome in their crisp white shirts and dark-colored suits.
On the day of your mother’s funeral, the pastor will evangelize, and you will silently pray that someone will be saved from hearing God’s word. That way the fact that your mom died and you had to have a funeral would at least seem purposeful. There will be Bible verses read, and songs sang, and you will try your best to avoid eye contact with that irreverent family member who laughs every time someone sings a bad note. Someone, maybe you, will do a eulogy, and it will be funny and sweet and perfectly embody who your mom was and why she was so loved.
And then for the very last time, she will exit the church.
On the day of your mother’s funeral, you will see people you haven’t seen in years. Friends of your mother who knew you since you were a child, old friends who saw your Facebook post and came to support you. People will call you by name and speak to you, and you will politely smile back and accept their hugs and condolences and then you will whisper to your sister, “Who was that?”
You will see the relative who hurt you, and you will have to remind yourself that today is not about them. Someone in your family will upset you, and someone in your family will make you laugh.
You will have to answer too many questions about how she died.
On the day of your mother’s funeral, your husband and kids will be extra loving and you will be grateful for them in a way you never were before. Somehow all the children present will organize themselves into a game of tag or hide-and-go-seek and right there amid somber adults, squeals of laughter and joy will ring out. Once again, someone will ask you to eat, and you will walk around with a plate of half-eaten, mostly forgotten food.
On the day of your mother’s funeral, people will say their goodbyes and say what a great funeral it was, how the weather was (insert description) and how proud she would have been of you. They will leave you and your loved ones to feel the impending silence that accompanies loss. It will feel like being abandoned, but the next few steps are yours and only yours to take. The well-wishers will return to their loved ones and only you and a few others will walk this grief journey.
On the day of your mother’s funeral, you will clear dishes, and empty bottles, and pack things away in cupboards and drawers. You will wonder if the house will ever feel the same.
You will cry, and you will feel a sense of loss like never before.
On the night of your mother’s funeral, you will kiss your kids goodnight and promise to keep sharing stories about your mother with them. You will crawl into bed feeling a whole different kind of tired.
The day you dreaded has come and gone. You cried but not nearly as much as you thought you would. You were annoyed but not as much as expected. You faced this day with as much dignity and grace as you could.
On the night of your mother’s funeral, you will realize you are more like your mother than you thought. That all the lessons she gave you are alive and well within you. And the fact that you survived this day is a pretty good sign that you can survive other days too.