Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Memorial

  So...my sister's memorial. It was...intense. Yeah. I think that's the best word. I had been vacillating about going up until the hour I had to leave. I decided to go. The whole trip down, I was a wreck. I kept going over scenarios in my head. What if dad showed up? What if I screwed up my song? What if the building burnt down? My poor husband kept telling me that it would be OK.
  We finally drove into my hometown. I was almost fetal in my seat, so anxious about what would happen. We stopped at my mom's house and picked up my grandma. She helped calm me down by saying she had already recruited my uncle to be a bouncer in case dad showed up. Then she said how she planned on punching him in the nose if he did. I love my grandma.
   The first part of the memorial was the service. A few people talked about Stef's life. My stepdad spoke, and he really ticked me off. Instead of talking about Stef, he talked about Mormonism, the Plan of Salvation, and scriptures. I was really offended by that. A, most people at the service were Mormon anyway. B, Stef hated Mormonism (and God) with a passion. C, Stef didn't like stepdad very much, and would have been angry that he spoke at all, let alone played the grieving dad. I could almost hear her say "Maybe he should have shown this more when I was alive." Or perhaps that was just my thought. Who knows?
   Then it was my turn. I sang. I had found the perfect song that summed up our relationship. Oddly enough, it was from My Little Pony. So I sang that, and couldn't keep it together. There was just so much emotion. From me, from the song, from the people at the service. It was really difficult.
   After the service was the memorial part. Mom had laid out quilts, scarves, pictures, and scrapbooks of Stef's life. A lot of people were there. People from high school, middle school even. People who were in Eating Disorder rehab with Stef. People who knew her in college. It was a bit surreal.
   Because of Stef's and my strained relationship, she either told others she was an only child, or that I hated her. Yet everyone there knew who I was and wanted to hug me and talk about Stef. And I really struggled with this, because my emotions about her are so, so conflicted.
   I chickened out. I left after about 20 minutes of the memorial. I just couldn't deal with all of the huge emotions. Especially not around other people. So I made my husband drive me home, while I processed things the whole 2 hour trip.
   I think I upset my mom. I know I upset some people that wanted to visit with me. But I don't care. I felt that it was more important for me to be OK then play small talk with people I barely knew. Heck, even with those I knew well. I was hurting on so many levels, and for so many reasons, that I didn't want to deal with anyone. And I'm OK with my decision.
   I'm glad I went. I'm glad I left early. I don't know if the memorial will be closure for me, or if that will just take time. I know it was good for my mom. Which was probably the whole point.
  Oh, and my dad never showed up.


  1. I thought about you a lot this weekend. I'm glad that your dad didn't show and that you were able to leave when you needed to. Also you chose a beautiful song for your sister. Hugs.

    1. Thanks. The song sounded a lot better when I recorded it for this video! It was almost intelligible during the service.

  2. Don't feel bad. I would have left too. You were brave for what you said. I hate using funerals as a plan of savlation. I think it's disrespectful to the dead and to the living. Just let people grieve.