Sunday, May 3, 2015

Kids'First Viewings

Tonight J. and I went with the folks to a Viewing.
I hope that it is okay for me to share some things about it.....

My hope had been for J. and I to help keep my nephew "entertained" so that his parents could talk with visitors and such. Kids have  hard time enduring those long moments, right?

So I brought some books and confidence we'd make my nephew's life a lot more jolly. We walked into a beautiful place. The paintings and quotes on the walls, with the bright light from a setting sun shone through and illuninated the area.

I am far right with my sisters and mom is the other book end of this picture.

"J. DEN!"
a familiar voice

hollered from across the place and he came racing to us in his checked shirt and chinos.

I pressed my fingers to my lips and then showed the boys the books and he was all for that!

(For ten seconds. )

Then he just wanted J. to join into all the fun of the place. Which was older but redone inside to look brand new. Two funerals were in separate rooms and so we headed our way and I tried to sign in quickly so I could play Aunt and do a good job of sitting on the couch.

Me and Padre

However, as I sat on a couch and randomly looked over to see how things were going I found J. on the floor being rastled by a two year old.

Remember the Crocodile guy- his name has escaped me. That's what it looked like. An alligator wrastling with a big guy in that barrel roll.

I sat up straight and hesistated for a minute.

After a few rolls and J. getting to his feet and replacing his glasses, we met eyes. I didn't have the courage of the lady who took charge of her kid in Baltimore but I in my sternest "lip talk" from where I was sitting I asked:
"What are you doing?????"
my palms lifted upward and shaking my head as if I were stumped by a complex math equation.

With all that a mother's body language could imply about being in a church/funeral home and trying to keep it sacred I widened my eyes to say: "Don't wrestle right now for heck sakes!"

This viewing was refreshingly more laid back than most I had been to because of the circumstances. It was the tragedy of a little child. Or a close pal gone too soon. And I have to insert I did not know the person and was there to simply support. So to see my grown son acting like it was fight night- I wondered if we had just amped the kid up by coming!

J. picked up O and came over to me.

"Mom, he was pulling my hair!"

ME: "A little kid brought you to your knees by just pulling your hair? Are you kidding me?"

J: "No, Mom, you don't understand he goes for my glasses too and tries to rip them off and when he pulls your hair he is yanking it out, not pulling. "

I looked at the sweet innocent child who had, seconds before, taken his shoe off and chucked it simultaneously taking down J. into the alligator roll.

I had to agree that he needs two" handlers." Adult sized. So I pulled out one of the books. Which he sat through 2/3 s of because, to him, everyone getting together is a party. Right?

Talking about family whilst around

My first viewing I was two. I had a dress on that had a slip that made it even more fun to twirl. And I was cute. So I got a lot of attention. And I saw my Great Grandpa in the casket and it was odd to me but not any more frightening than visiting him when he was alive!

He was old! I was a little more intrepid but then he would give us candy and then it wasn't a big deal.

Before we had gone a family member was worried about J. going.

"Are you okay with being able to see someone who has passed?" (complete paraphrase)

J: "Yeh. I'm experienced with it." he answered as if a viewing and seeing a loved one's body minus their spirit was now second nature to him.

The thing is, we have been to viewings. And we do honor Memorial Day. We like to travel to the gravesites of our loved ones, share the same ol stories, and place flowers where they are buried. It has deeper meaning than I will go into here but for all intents and purposes; he wasn't afraid.

Fear and wonder can surround those moments of when it sinks in an you possibly see a closer loved one and the sting of death is much, much more emotional. Difficult. Unbelievable.

You want them here. Yet, if they were suffering you want them to be releasd of that in a mess of conflicting emotions! If they lived a long, full life of 103 like my grandma- it is a bit easier to let them go as a great grand kid.

Kids can say some interesting things too-As if extra angels were dispatched to help those who are mourning around them.  Kids, I learned from tonight, bring everything full circle. As adults and their parents, we live for them. And we them.

They are what keep us going and keep us alive. The will to live is never stronger, it seems, than when you have someone depending on you.

Tonight, O said goodnight to his Pappa as they left. "See ya, Papp!" he said. And then told his mom:
"He's sick- he's sleepin'."

How wise they are! I know that he is alive and well in a different place and got to leave the sleeping body for a time. And in time his grandson and his son will see each other again.

I believe that.

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