We had a memorial service rather than a funeral. She was so sick and had retained so much water that it was best to have her cremated and hold a service without showcasing her body. It was a short but kind service. The pastor was Lutheran, and I was able to use the moment to show my husband the importance of tolerance. Her family is very Christian, and when he began the "Our Father" prayer, the room filled with voices joining in the words, including my own. He asked me later why I said that prayer with them, and I was able to talk to him about tolerance and respect. No, I am not a Christian, but Debbie was, and her family still is. In honor of her memory, I have no problem offering a prayer to her God for safe journey and happiness in the afterlife, for those are the intentions I sent behind my words. Prayer is powerful and personal. Besides, right then was not the time to make a case for paganism. I think he understands better now, but we'll see what the future holds.
I received many thanks from folks I didn't even know for being with her when she died. I found that to be awkward, and I wasn't sure how to respond. Somehow, "you're welcome" just didn't seem right, you know? I am pleased to say that although I was at a loss for words in person and in prayer, the Kindred were behind me, beside me and all around me through this difficult time.
I am healing well, though there is so much more to work through, and I am rather drained. It's difficult to be the one everyone leans on--especially when you are hurting inside yourself. My own mother managed to kick me while I was down without even trying, and I am making peace with that, as well. I definitely feel different, like everything is in flux. I'm starting to wonder if it's been this way all along, and I've been trying to force constancy into a constantly changing world. Gaia beneath me is alone unchanged. I am grateful for her strength now more than ever.
I will see my Grove tonight for this first time since the fourth of July. I'm looking forward to hugs and love and group prayer. This empty girl is in desperate need of being filled up once more.