When my MIL died on Christmas we had no funeral, no service - according to her wishes. She was cremated and we brought the ashes home where the box has been sitting in my living room for months.
We decided to hold a small graveside service in the spring, and in consultation with DH's aunt, (MIL's sister) we picked the Saturday before Easter. We figured it would be nice weather, we could spend the weekend in New York with the old aunt and uncle, and everything would be fine.
Thursday night we heard from the Aunt that she has an infection on her leg and is in the hospital. So she can't come, but we're going to do it anyway - the plans are all made and mentally we're ready. We plan to drive to New York for the day only, hoping for nice weather.
Typically yesterday was a rainy, rainy cold day - so rainy that we couldn't talk in the car as he had to pay attention completely to the road.
Really, how nasty is it to be at a graveside service, with the rain chucking down, and the cold wind blowing. It was so classically awful that I couldn't believe it, it was movie quality awful.
We had the service under umbrella's, wept, hugged and then it was done.
Since she's been dead for 4 months, I didn't expect much emotion in a way, but I also didn't expect that having this funeral would mean so much to me - i.e. bringing it home that she's really gone. It struck me very hard that this was it, done, finito. But I also had a very strong feeling of closure - which is good, very good.
The best thing about the day was that a semi-estranged niece came for service - drove down from Maine with her partner for this event. We haven't seen this niece for about 4 years - lots of baggage there but she came thru in the end and it was much appreciated. We had lunch together after the service catching up, and then we both drove the 3 and 5 hours back to our respective homes. We're hoping for somewhat closer relations with this niece, but will not hold our breaths.
The cemetery was one of those where they have lines and lines of mausoleums - all built in different styles. Some are like Gothic churches, there was one made mostly of glass (do they expect anyone to enjoy the view from inside?)
I decided that I would like either a replica of a thatched cottage or a pyramid with the walls covered with art inside. Since I think either one of those would cost a ton of money, I guess I do plan on "taking it with me". I think it would be interesting to build something like that, and suddenly understood the power of planning for this inevitable event.
We also had to go to the monument place to etch MIL's name on the headstone and while there, I was fascinated by a life side statue of an angel. It was all smooth, and must have been made by sandblasting instead of actual carving. So I also decided that - perhaps in front of the thatched cottage - I should have a life size, or close to life size - statue of Miss Em, with her yellow shoes. She wouldn't have to be sad as in the picture below, but rather welcoming in her cheery way.
Well...whatever it takes to get thru a difficult day is OK with me. Imagination helps, family helps more.
Have a lovely Easter day if you celebrate, or simply get together with friends and family. What could be better!