Death… How do you make decisions on what to do after someone close to you passes away?
I believe we know what we have experienced. At the young age of 9 I experienced my great grandmother getting sick and passing away- she was cremated. Then when I was 17 we lost our cousin, Aaron, who was 23 at the time. We held multiple wakes and a funeral. I remember not understanding how someone so young could leave this earth. Seeing kids my age coming to his wake and funeral confused me and felt so unnatural. Crying for days with my family. Watching people come in and out of my cousins house. Watching how sad my aunt, uncle and cousins were broke my heart. We then lost my grandpa, my uncle and then grandma. Everyone we held a wake and funeral for. The sadness wasn’t as confusing with my grandparents. It wasn’t as unnatural feeling as it was with my cousin and a bit with my uncle. Those were my losses I experienced before Aiden.
The day after Aiden passed away, all I could think of was what do we do? Nick and I never experienced loss together, nonetheless thought it would be our son. We asked for recommendations on churches. I knew Aiden needed to have an open casket and Catholic funeral. It was what I knew and was special to me. I wanted to see my son before never being able to see him again. We had a few choices and ended up headed over to Holy Name of Jesus, where my parents went to church and Grace sang in the choir while she was in high school. We lucked out by catching Father Steve before dinner. Instead of asking us to come back he was happy to talk with us and even brought us to where the plots in the cemetery would be. Nick and I wanted comfort and Father gave that to us that day. He didn’t tell us what we wanted to hear but gave us options, told us stories and made us feel comfortable. We knew that was where we needed to be.
He then recommended us to the funeral home that partnered with the church and we got in touch with one of the most amazing director. She happened to know my parents as well. With not being from Minnesota originally we lucked out with the people that helped us. She was informative, empathetic, kind and did whatever we needed. We were beginning to meet more “earth angels.” I like to call people that because we were truly taken care of with the people we encountered while Aiden was sick and after. Everything was a blur. However it all came out how we envisioned it to be. Nick and I found the strength to get our vision communicated to people and ensure it was done. It was important for us to ensure Aiden was properly celebrated and remembered. Our family rallied for us as well. Helping us with photo boards and slide shows. It was incredible seeing what people did for us when we were in complete shock of what was happening. People are what matter to get through hardships. They are your rocks and support system. If I did not have the experience and support I have I don’t know how I would be today.
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