Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2/19 Grieving

It's funny how diverse we are culturally. It shows up in millions of ways--how we treat the common cold, how we discipline our children, and how we grieve, for example.

Today I attended a Mississippi funeral. The deceased was an elderly woman whose one goal was to get back into her home before she died. It didn't happen. Her death saddened an entire community, but her dying without her home also saddened those of us in the long-term recovery field.

Her caseworker is a dear friend of mine, and is suffering greatly. We wonder how we could have done thins differently. Could we have made a difference in whether or not this matriarch was able to return home.

Too late for those second guesses. We need to move on, and ensure this doesn't happen to any other people on the coast.

Ah, but this began with a sentence on diversity. The deceased left behind a huge family--four children, many grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. What a beautiful legacy. And the church was full of other relatives and friends who loved her.

Throughout the service you could hear wailing coming from one or more of her daughters, and one very close granddaughter. It didn't seem odd or out of place at all. And I thought how wonderful it was that folks can express their emotions so readily. That if someone wanted to scream and cry they did so.

If someone did that in our German Catholic community back home, people would think they'd gone off the deep end. We stuff our big emotions, and in my family especially we cover them with jokes. How I would have loved to have wailed at my Mom's funeral. She died way too young and it was more than sad.

Right now, I want to scream as well--for several reasons--not the least of which is grieving for my job and the jobs of others. Grieving for the clients whose homes are not yet rebuilt. Grieving for the 11,000 families still in FEMA trailers.

Wishing things were different.

So I stuff my emotions, and soldier on. Looking for a new job, a new home, a new life.

Just as sh!! happens, so does grace. Grace happens. That is what I'm counting on.

2 comments:

That Baby said...

Having been to the Gulf after Katrina and spoken to displaced families who wound up here and long to go home, I get what you're saying. How sad it all is. But it will get better for all of them eventually. And you I don't worry about - you have the most phenomenally interesting life!

Lynt (who can't get her e-mail to come up correctly)

Jer said...

Thanks, Lynt, for your kindness. By the way, I went to That Baby's blog and loved it. I'm already subscribed to a few other dogblogs. Jer