Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Your Turn in the Chair

I have attended many funerals in my life and accompanied the long procession of cars to the gravesite for the final burial. I have seen the chairs, covered in cloth; the ones that the closest family members sit in during the prayer service. I have seen other people’s sadness and their tears but nothing prepared me for the day when one of those chairs was reserved for me.

I don’t want to sit in the chair. I do not want to see my Mother’s casket lowered into the ground and I sure as hell don’t want to say goodbye.

I do not care that she lived a long life or that her suffering from her illness has ended. I do not want to hear this is a “celebration” of her life at the funeral. I am deaf, dumb and blind to all of that because my heart is breaking.

There is something about a Mother. She is the glue that holds a family together and the common denominator that bonds her children.  She is the safety net you can always count on because she always has your back. She will tell you she loves you even when you are being a pain in the ass and she will always forgive you in the end. You unwittingly, and sometimes unwillingly, are her pride and joy.

When I was sitting in that chair I came to the realization that she loved me and nothing else matters. I also realized how much I loved her, more than I ever knew.  I began to see her in a different light and appreciate the things I took for granted. I examined our relationship and wished I could erase the times we fought or were angry because it all seems so petty now. My mind waded through my memories of her and I stopped to savor the good ones.
I also saw her through the eyes of others, who experienced her outside the role of Motherhood and who shared with me a beautiful side of her I could not see. Perspective is everything and a new one was born through the stories they shared with me at the funeral.

When the prayer service is done I am struggling to walk away; I just want to kick the damn chair. I want to throw it as far as I can. That chair is symbolic to me of being in a place where there is no escaping your feelings and having to feel the pain of loosing someone so close to you.
If I never have to sit in one of those chairs again, I will be happy.
Screw the damn chair.


Diane Gessic said...

Alison you break my heart. I sat in that chair 17 years ago. ---so many feelings rushed back to me when I read this post. you gave a voice to them for me; beautiful honest and true. And the ONLY thing that matters is that our mothers LOVED us!

As the anniversary of her death approaches that is what I will remember...all the other stuff is background noise..

thank you my and momma Irene will remain in my prayers.
love you

Myjken Roberson said...

Dear Alison, I feel your pain. I am so sorry. While reading your post it brought back memories of when my Dad and my Mom went home. Everything you wrote is exactly how I felt then. Thank you.

Cass Forkin said...

I was 16. I sat in a cold hard pew in St Anselms Catholic Church. Noone thought to bring tissues for the 5 teenage children who just witnessed their loVing, kind mother's cold stiff bloated body from drowning with a face painted a strange orange color that in no way resembled her snow white fair skin. Now, 39 years later, I think my mom for the gift. I appreciate all she taught me and I live life every single day like tomorrow may never come.