wake

Mar. 9th, 2015 07:17 am
jinian: (bad wolf)
[personal profile] jinian
Dad's wake was Sunday. We couldn't possibly have had more beautiful weather, sunny and over 60 F, and about 35 people came. It was really great.


In the morning I washed a lot of windows and did a bunch of other housework. It's good to have something to do and feel like you're honoring a person, not that Dad cared whether things were perfectly clean.

Kinda lost track of things while making the pie, as I was not really okay emotionally and haven't been sleeping right for almost a week. Plus I don't have my sent mail archives right now, which is where my good recipe lives. Six large lemons was too many! And they were sour. (I wished [personal profile] rushthatspeaks could have been there to pick them for us.) First round of making the filling didn't work with the too-acidic juice, had to restart with more water. Pale crust due to Crisco and unfamiliar oven, but it was fine. I really could have gotten away with the six lemons, since more filling would've fit in the unexpectedly large pie plate, but it was quite sour as it was. Dad would have loved it. Little cousin D spat it out reflexively. :)

Can people not show up to things early unless requested tho, kthx. I still needed to shower and change at 1:40.

PI came! I had dressed up some to match her, since I knew she'd be more formal than the family was likely to be. Hope she was more comfortable as a result. She attacked the mushroom soup the minute the lid came off, it was really cute. When she was leaving she had to process her own dad's death a little.

Wim came too, and it was good to see him. I got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in ages.

Yesterday was the first time that I needed to deliberately put my upset feelings aside so I could get shit done. Which I did, and impressed the fuck out of people, and isn't that why I do anything. I'd gotten up way early because I had a speech in my mind when I woke up. Mom had wanted someone to say something, so I said I'd make a toast. Got people to draw the blinds and called up cousin K who couldn't come, and went for it. Notes on my phone, K on my phone, worked nicely. A couple other people talked after me (my half-sibs didn't want to, though they thanked me for checking in advance) -- I took the phone around, feeling like a reporter. Niece L said Dad had taught her how to accept people for who they are, which was so sweet, and aunt S said she hadn't liked this much older guy at first but it only took a very short time for her to understand what Mom saw in him. Then Mom pointed out that Dad had expressed a desire to marry her, aunt S, and their mother, so he'd definitely liked S back. :)

Then things wound down slightly, and I said we should open back up to the lovely day. There were compliments on my poise and how perfect the toast was all day afterward. More importantly, I think it really made Mom happy.

(Was I thinking of the beginning of Dragonsong? Yes I was.)

One of the guests had a little playlist of songs Dad had wanted played at his wake! We didn't know he had talked to anyone about that, and Mom and I had failed at making a playlist that made us happy. (We then correctly decided that it'd be plenty loud from people talking without adding music to the mix.) The three of us sat outside in the driveway for a little bit and listened to the songs together.

Woody Guthrie's "Roll On, Columbia" (this was the version he had, and I like the intro)
Robbie Robertson, "Night Parade" (we knew about this one: Dad's ideal driving song because of its interesting percussion rhythm, which unfortunately is a bit hard to hear on my computer speakers)
Johnny Cash, "Riders in the Sky" (hard to argue with Johnny Cash, but kinda random song choice)

My cousins are so shocked when I drink any alcohol. I said maybe that's why I feel so comfortable with roommate M, who's always trying to get me to have a beer with him, I'm used to being the only one not drinking. But the ruby red grapefruit vodka made amaaaazing screwdrivers, and we had gin and limonata too.

So much food. So, so much food. We didn't even wind up making the salad we'd shopped for, there was so much already. Most of it got taken away again, which was a good choice. We also got lots of beautiful potted flowers -- anthurium, azaleas, a hydrangea, two lovely orchids, cobalt-blue ~daisies (love these and wish I could recall their name) -- and a couple of cut flower arrangements, one wonderful and one of fluorescent-dyed daisies that Mom hates. :)


This morning we're meeting with the funeral home to arrange Dad's cremation. The plan is to scatter his ashes in the river next to the cabin, the next time I visit. Then I'm heading up into Seattle to visit the lab, see M-pig, and get some stuff from the storage unit. Then tomorrow afternoon I'm flying back to Boston.

So far, so much keeping it together like a boss. Not sure when I'm going to be able to sleep properly or not have my stomach unhappy, though. Probably I will allow a day of crash on Wednesday and return to work Thursday. I don't really have an icon for this, but Bad Wolf is pretty damn close -- stretched too thin for my actual capabilities, but accomplishing the world. Sometimes whether I like it or not.

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