Jun. 26th, 2010

wlotus: (pink lotus)
Early yesterday afternoon the limo picked the seven of us up from my mom's apartment complex and carried us to Rosedale Crematory. We did not see the cremation; that will be done later this weekend, I'm told. We gathered in the chapel for a simple memorial service in honor of Uncle Alvan.

I was taken aback by the white, cardboard box at the front of the chapel. It seemed far too flat to contain my uncle, who always seemed larger-than-life to me.

The minister said a few words of comfort; he spoke no more than five minutes. My remaining uncle reminisced about his brother and his shock when Mom called him with the news last Saturday. (Has it been only a week? It seems like a lifetime ago.) The undertaker sang one of Uncle Alvan's favorite gospel songs. And that was that. Any longer or any more elaborate, and Uncle Alvan may have made a repeat appearance to ask why we were making such a fuss. :-) That's the kind of person he was.

I like what the minister said. He said we have a hard time letting go, because we associate the person with the body he knew and loved us through. But the inevitable course of things means eventually the body returns to its natural elements. I felt a little better when he said that. Uncle Alvan as I knew him has returned to the collective consciousness. I had been feeling horrified at the thought of him in that box, but that wasn't him in the box...thank goodness.

The undertaker gave us each a white carnation, then began to lead us out of the chapel. T and I were at the back. "Is the box cardboard?" I asked the undertaker. He said it was. "May I write on it?"

"Of course," he immediately assured me. I took a pen and carefully wrote a message on the foot of the lid. [livejournal.com profile] labyrinthnight and her mom came back to the chapel to see why I hadn't come out with the rest of the family, and when they saw what I had done, they wrote messages, too. Whomever handles that box for the cremation will know my uncle was well loved.

My last message in honor of Uncle Alvan.


I appreciate every message of support over the past week. It has helped.

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