The ceremony was held at our Hospice center which is tasteful and new and really quite beautiful. I had never been there before as all of Kenny's hospice care was at our home. As I was walking down the corridor to the main meeting room I could feel the lump growing in my throat and I knew that this was going to be a very tearful experience for me. I placed my framed photo amongst the others on the table in the front. I sat quietly among the 25 or so other grieving guests, eyes mildly cast down or looking straight ahead, knowing other hearts were breaking just like mine. Even before things got started I was fighting the tears and grabbing for kleenex. It was what all of this represented...the loss....the overwhelming loss and the need to remember.
It was a simple ceremony. Poems were read. Words of encouragement about cocoons becoming butterflies....scripture readings.....and a candle lighting. On the table next to the photos of loved ones were a couple of trays filled with birdseed and next to them lay a pile of thin tapered candles. One by one people got up to light a candle and place it upright in the tray, speaking the name of their loved one and who they were. I knew I had to....wanted to do it... but I wondered how I could even get the words out. His name.....who he was to me. "Ken Jones....my husband....the love of my life". I did it...I said it....and it didn't matter that there were tears and such. It was ok to cry among these people because they too felt my pain as I did theirs.
I realize that I have my very private times of grieving and I mostly keep that to myself. I am by nature a people pleaser. I want people to feel "comfortable" around me. I want them to be happy. So I smile and laugh, I click my wine glass and say "cheers". I talk about all kinds of things and "yes...I am doing really well...." But I know better. I know that there are days when I am engulfed with the sadness of it all. When I am in the shower sobbing out loud knowing that no one hears. When time after time, through my tears I shout out "I miss you Kenny!" in a house that is so very empty. When I ask God "why......" WHY?
So being at the Remembrance Ceremony was good for me. It was good to be amongst others where grief was ok to display. Where we could cry.... be sad..... and talk about our loved ones and say how much we miss them. The hospice staff are all too familiar with grieving and they are not afraid to draw it out from you. It was refreshing in a strange sort of way. So I left that time, numb,...sad....but somehow....cleansed, or something close to it. I was glad I took the time to go. To spill the tears, to feel the pain, to light the candle.... but so much more than that ....to remember.