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Monday, November 8, 2010

No Words

Listening to all of the eloquent speeches on TV at the memorial service honoring San Diego police officer Chistopher Wilson last week, I realized nobody spoke at my parents memorial service.

We should have asked someone to say something.

Their deaths were so untimely and tragic that I'd like to believe that everyone in attendance was in just as much shock as we were.

After all, there were no words.

I should have said something though.

I really wanted to, but I just couldn't make my legs stand up to walk to the front of the room.

Where were my words?

Talk about shocking, we only expected 10 people to show up and instead there were maybe 60. A pretty good turn out considering my parents died overseas and didn't know that many people in Tucson.

We were pleased that my dad's brothers and their wives and some of their children made the trip from Texas and I was comforted that my in-laws were there and felt nothing but loved when I saw my closet girlfriends. To this day, having them there with me on the darkest day of my life, is one of the kindest gestures I have known.

The obituary ran the same day, October 21, 2007 and my phone rang all morning. The service was held at 2:00 and people all over were finding out for the first time, yet I had known for seven days by then.

In those seven days, along with my sister and husband, we selected urns, chose photos for a montage, put together a CD of my parents favorite music, created the text for the program, edited the obituary and bought something to wear to the dreadful event.

I will never forget the shopping trip that Leah and I made to buy those dresses. We were numb and we didn't care, so we chose the ugliest black dresses we could find knowing that while we may never get rid of them, we would never ever wear them again.

As soon as my husband saw them, he marched us right back to the mall to return them for more flattering ones. I am really glad he did that.

What would we have done without our voice of reason? There are no words to express my gratitude and love for Todd, who was an absolute rock throughout the entire process, not just that week, but for weeks and months to follow.

I wish I said something at the service.

There were no words, but still I should have gotten up and had the courage to, at the very least, thank everyone for coming.

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Blogger Leah said...

It's crazy when I think about those first few days. I don't really think that was me, I mean, it was like some kind of an out of body experience. That was Leah on auto-pilot for sure.

I am really glad Todd made us go back and buy other dresses. I actually like mine and have worn it twice since the memorial service. I just didn't want it to be "that sad dress" hanging in my closet.

I have regrets that I didn't get up and say something as well. I was so close to getting up a few times but just felt too hopeless and shocked that words wouldn't form in my mouth. To this day, I don't really know what I would have said. I still don't think there are words to describe how I feel in the English dictionary. We did the best we could that week and I have to believe that mom and dad would have been proud of us.

November 8, 2010 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

You have said something now. That is good. And you will continue to say something everytime you remember them. And that is good.

November 8, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

... I'm sure those 60 people were thinking the exact same thing... "There are no words". And I'm sure they knew just by looking at you and your sister exactly what you would have said, and that you thanked each and every one of them for their presence.

I lost my father, after a battle with cancer. There are never any words that seem appropriate for the loss of a parent. But they know.

November 8, 2010 at 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Hope said...

You're using your words now. We all grieve in our own way and in our own time. I'm sure that everyone at the service understood. I know I would have.

November 8, 2010 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

How to find the words, when the deaths were so unexpected and shocking? I just spent the weekend at a family funeral, for a 90 year old woman who died when it was her time to go. So obviously people had time to think and prepare, and my brother, cousin, and stepmother all had wonderfully prepared things to read. BUT, I have to say that in your situation, my legs and lungs would not have allowed me to utter even one word.

You know what you did do? Years later, you wrote wonderful words in your blog about your parents. At a time when you were ready and had an outlet for your words. Remember that, my friend.

November 8, 2010 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

Please don't feel guilty. Words aren't always necessary. You're the most courageous person I know.

November 8, 2010 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Suebug said...

I was there and really wanted to stand and express thanks to your parents for their generosity with their home when I was in college. It really made a difference. And of course last year I received the very same generosity again from you and Leah. And it really made a difference again.

I believe that everyone in that room that day could understand the goodwill and also the heartache that was being felt. You and Leah did beautifully under unbearable stress.


November 8, 2010 at 7:49 PM  

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