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Grief is weird.

(CW: death and dying, Catholicism, Bible quotes)



My sisters are planning my mom's mass today. So, lemme back up: my mother, who's name was Joy, (and a good chunk of my family) are devout Irish Catholics and the home parish for this is the local Jesuit church, St. Francis Xavier. Because my mother was basically a pillar of the community for so long, there's a lot of weight about doing her final appearance Right. Mom would demur, but in this case I think she'd be wrong; lots of people knew my mother as "Joy From Church" and lots of people loved her, especially because she was always about the open arms of love that she thought was the Basic Catholic Message. My mother was not without (sometimes great) flaws, but she believed in her heart that it was her job as a Catholic to love everyone, and she worked hard to make that happen.
Anyway, for the Catholics, there's a specific mass that's said as part of a funeral. And so my sisters are working out the various readings and music and prayers that they want to hopefully do my mother justice. Mom liked John, and didn't like Luke, and hated Paul. She liked thinking about what (she felt) Jesus Actually Said, and then trying to take that to heart.
And I suddenly realized that there was no way I was going to be able to hold it together while talking about my mother's favorite bible passages. There just wasn't any way. Shit, I'm sitting here in my hotel room just thinking about it and I'm blubbering like a fool. And my falling apart doesn't help my dad (who's 76, on 100% oxygen, was married for 57 years, and has just lost the love of his life) keep it together either. So I noped out of the meeting, and let my sisters do the work (and to be clear, they both feel responsible and willing to do the work, but it doesn't escape me that this is all emotional labor that we all are leaving to the women).
So now I'm washing clothes (because I packed for a three day trip and now I'm staying here for a week) and trying not to dump my grieving on everyone else in my family who is ALSO in the process of grieving. And thinking, again and again, of Psalm 30.

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

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