Saying Goodbye…

June 24, 2009

family2We spent the hours after the funeral and the luncheon yesterday at the house. Of course my dad and the Chowchillan’s were there, as well as Isaac’s good friends Mark and Sonny, Aunt Lydia and Cousin Victoria. In the tradition of all of the summers that I have spent in this house, we had good food, several hours in the pool and lots of laughs together.

This morning we all gathered together at Cuca’s in the Tower District for breakfast – another family tradition, and then drove to the cemetery to place my mother’s urn into its final resting place. My dad had found the perfect place: a niche protected from the elements in a room filled with sunlight filtered through windows that look out upon a view of grass and trees. Mom’s niche is right next to one of these windows. I think she would have liked that.

I will not share our private moments at the cemetary on the blog. Please trust, however, that every word that was spoken, and every gesture that was offered seemed to feel just right for the moment.

However, I will share this. My mother’s urn is a beautiful box made of cherry wood that fits within the niche perfectly.

We had asked my aunts Irene and Lydia to place a stone cross into the niche not knowing that just the urn alone would leave little space for anything else. I adjusted the urn a little to the left and the cross was then able to fit alongside the urn, although admittedly, the symmetry was off.

As we all started to walk outside, my niece Sophia went back to the niche on her own, and quietly placed the cross on top of the urn. She then added a small silk flower with a broken stem and some petals that she had found discarded out on the lawn.

When I looked back for one last glimpse of the niche, all of my senses immediately recoiled at the thought of a childish pile of salvaged plastic flowers adorning my mother’s urn for perpetuity.

 I was then suddenly reminded of my mom, who loved to adorn every surface of the house with her keepsakes. While all of the clutter would drive me crazy, mom would never allow to me touch any of the items that she kept on display, not because they were expensive or rare, but because they were important to her…everything from expensive art books to cheap post cards and old pieces of wood or rocks that she had found on the beach. And yes, on occasion, fake flowers.  

I knew that Sophia had made the right call. Symmetry was restored and the glass window was attached to the niche protecting all of its priceless contents.

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One Response to “Saying Goodbye…”

  1. Linda Haymond Says:

    I see the events you share unfold in my mind’s eye as though I am there. Knowing a few of these precious details eases some of my feelings of loss. Much like Sophia’s ability to arrange lovingingly the objects for her Abu, you know just what to write and I can only, again, say thank you.


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