Home is moving with the motion of Delta Flight 1664, as Graham and I are respectively in Seats 6 and 5 D. We’re somewhere over Michigan, and Aimee Mann’s “I’m with Stupid” is entertaining me as I write this. Tick Tock bin Trouble will need to wait one more day for his human companions to get home.
Virginia died eight days ago. In the last nine days Graham and I have: organized and endured traveling across country; dealt with the disposition of Virginia’s body and remaining personal effects; planned and announced not one funeral but a funeral Mass and a memorial service; learned the difference between a funeral Mass, a funeral Mass with Rosary, a funeral Mass with Eucharist, a memorial service, and random remembrances of the dead; made endless phone calls to people I hadn’t spoken to in years, if ever; fought with the funeral home and the funeral director; ate absurdly good food at some of Portland’s finest restaurants; used Facebook to inform the world of my mother’s life and death; broken a quarantine of my mother’s community to have a punk rock memorial service lead by an 83 year old Benedictine priest; greeted and consoled more than a hundred mourners; visited Mt. Hood and Hood River; and occasionally slept.
I’m confident that none of the above can be described as grieving.
There’s more to do closing out the details of Virginia’s life. There’s a life of our own to resume – reboot, even – as my mother’s increasing infirmity over the last three years had by the end of her life all but consumed our lives.
I know that’s not grieving, either.
Virginia said that her death would allow her to go home. There’s still work for me to do to accept that she’s gone home, and to reorganize life so it can support our home – which is wherever we are.