Yesterday I was very blessed to get to say goodbye to one of the most extraordinary I know. My dad married into the Fischer family when I was very young. Back then, all I knew was this HUGE family was very loud and intimidating. But, I was welcomed in with huge open arms by my step mom's dad and mom. Mr Fischer never saw me as his daughters stepdaughter. I was always part of his family.
Years have passed and my dad and step mom divorced, but that family still stuck with us. Mr F friended me on Facebook, because he was NOT your typical 80yr old. He wanted to know technology and welcomed it.
As I walked through the line yesterday, I was emotionally taken back to my own Granny's visitation and funeral. I remember being part of that line, and that day. Yesterday, I went home to my husband and child and went on with my life. I didn't burrow under the covers and lock myself in the bathroom like I did when Granny died. I loved Mr F, don't get me wrong. But there's a difference in being at a funeral as immediate family, and being a visitor.
Visitors go home to normal. They don't go home and realize they have just buried a piece of their heart.
Visitors have probably rested the night before. They weren't kept awake by memories and tears.
Visitors have probably sat down to a meal the past few days. They aren't running around making plans and not stopping to eat.
Visitors can leave after visitation if they choose. Family often has to go to graveside.
Visitors go back to normal. Family has to find a whole new normal.
Most of the funerals I've been to, I've been family, so it was a different reality to go as a visitor. I couldn't help but feel a deep, sad empathy for the Fischers, and even now tears are coming. Because I *know* today wasn't normal for them. I know it was a day of beginning to heal. For me, it was a long, long process.
The Fischers aren't new to loss, though. They've been through this before. With Mrs. Fischer and Diana, a daughter to the Fischers, and a mom and grandmother to others. So, I know they know what to expect. But, I also know each loss is different.
I truly hope this family continues all those great family gatherings they had for so many years. And, I hope they know Mr. Fischer will be there. Always.
Fly high, Mr. Fischer. I'm glad you're at peace and with your true love again.