Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Life and Death - Part 3

So, our friend has been laid to rest...

We had a service in her daughter's church yesterday, and the burial was this morning.

So different than everything I knew from my younger years. I remember when my grandma died. The visitation - "el funeral" was the fun part. All the grandkids-about 20 in total, including me (I was about 9 at the time)- were having lots of fun. The visitation was not a 2 or 3 hour deal, nothing of this "pay your respects" and leave. It was an around-the-clock affair. It was, besides, a social event. You mingled, you stayed as long as possible, you prayed a rosary or two (that, if you were catholic-there was always a person skilled in praying the rosary at every funeral). There was always a kitchen with "galletas export soda y chocolate caliente" (saltines and hot cocoa), and even pastries at times. Around 10 or 11 pm, only the close family remained, and many stayed the whole night, because they can't "dejar el muerto solo" (leave the dead body alone-that is no longer allowed in Puerto Rico; everyone leaves at midnight and come back the next day).

Our friend's funeral was emotional, but subdued. You could hear sniffles, and everyone had tears. But no loud wailing. At the burial site, no one had to be restrained so they would not jump in the hole where the casket was to be buried...a common occurrence in Latino burials. I never seen anyone actually jump in, but they tried...

The one thing that is the same: It hurts. We may show it differently, but it hurts. Is all over now. She rests and is at peace. Life goes on. We will miss her but eventually we will be at peace with her departure. My postings from now on will be more cheerful (hopefully), unless, of course, we are faced with a huge loss like this!

Rest in peace, Sharon. We would be forever grateful for everything, especially for being such a spoiling, surrogate abuela to our daughters...they better keep an orderly, neat office up there, somewhere for you!

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