Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Friday May 26, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Full Moon Funeral

 

continued

Five years ago, when I learned it was possible to attend the dead at home, the light bulb lit again. As a hospice nurse, I had accompanied family members as their loved ones died; as a midwife I had been with parents as they said goodbye to a dying newborn child. I had seen overwhelming and all-encompassing grief. And now I would be helping Laura and Beth care for their mother during the time immediately after death.

Being with Laura and Beth after their mother died was so much like being with a woman in labor. I attended them, but it was very clear that this was about what they needed to do. Like a midwife, I was there to reassure them that this was natural. When we got scared, I told them it was all right.

Laura and Beth cared for their mother at home for more than two days. On the third morning, they arranged for the funeral director to retrieve her body. As they lovingly helped place her on a sheet on the floor, they tucked flowers, love notes, and mementos in her arms and wrapped her up. They escorted her body to the waiting black van.

We got in my car and followed the van the few miles to the crematory. It was an industrial looking place, about the size of a large garage. It had a cement floor, high ceiling, and metal walls. A technician in work clothes opened the door for us. There was no family waiting area or place to sit.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 ... 7 l 8 l 9 l 10 l 11  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Not Quite a Sanctuary
Mayor Taylor would rather call us "welcoming."
James Leonard
A Big Vacancy
Opportunity at Briarwood and other marketplace closings
Sally Mitani
Agave Arrives
In a seamless transition from Sabor Latino
Terry Gallagher
Nightspots: B-Side
Photo: The Chenille Sisters at Water Hill
Crime Map
A clickable, zoomable map
Coffee Shuffle
Burns Park loses-and gains-a micro-café
Sally Mitani
Vulfpeck
Music nerds
Patrick Dunn
Ann Arbor Art Center
I Spy: March 2017
Sally Bjork
Shehan-Shah?
Question Corner: May 2017
Tim Athan
Grillin' 2017 June 11th, 3-8pm - Ann Arbor MI
The Brain Injury Association of Michigan
A guide to senior living and services