"'After the first death, there is no other' [Dylan Thomas]. That doesn't mean the ones that come after won't break your heart, but it is the first that punches your soul's passport. Welcome, fellow human, to a different country than the one you woke up to this morning. The air is different here; so is the scenery. Your knees don't work so well; in fact, you may want to fall to them.
For a precious little while, you are allowed to be stunned into silence, or to shriek, or to talk - recounting stories of who [she] was, what [she] meant to you, and how it all came to an end. Tell those stories.
For some of us the stay in the new country seems endless. But time passes, and, truly, would those we grieve for want us to mope? Come with me, back in the world. We'll return to this land all too soon, but in the meantime the garden needs weeding, the bills need paying. Your other loved ones need you."
- from How to Grieve, by Larkin Warren
As much as my mom did not want displays at her funeral - we felt we would be remiss if we did not honor her in this way. I think she would have been pleased.
This table displayed fine art representing her children.
Her lovely and unique botanical art.
My mother was born in St. George and had a passion for Southern Utah. We thought it was only fitting for us each to sprinkle a handful of red sand into her grave. We did this while my cousin played hymns on the violin. It was very moving and one of the most memorable parts of the day.
Extended family and friends also took part in the gesture.
At the end my father joked, "Does anyone want to make an ant farm?" It felt good to laugh. (This was the type of sand they used in the ant farms they sold at The Naturalist.)
Dave and Connie did us the huge service of watching and entertaining Sarah Jane through the day.
Grandpa Great pulled Isaac aside to sing him a little song.
I am so grateful for my dear friends. So many have helped me through this difficult time.
It was a very sad and beautiful day. One I will never forget.