Today we buried my dad. He did not die a few days ago. Actually, he died two days before Thanksgiving, six months ago. But, in the cold north where we live, the Catholic cemetery will not dig graves between November 15 and April 15. The reason is, there could be snow squalls during that time, or else the ground could be just too frozen to dig. Either way, we had to wait.
My mom did not look forward to opening up all the unhealed emotional wounds which would necessarily accompany the delayed burial. But we had to do it eventually. We had heard of people who hold on to their loved one’s remains for years, not wanting to see that final action. I applaud her for taking this big step.
In the days before the burial, Mother and I discussed mourning. How can one continue to mourn so long? When does it go away? Well, it doesn’t.
There is a permanent rift in your life when the center of your existence moves on to his reward. For a while we tend to forget that the husband or wife is not supposed to be the center of life. God is supposed to be there. But God does not sit across the breakfast table from you. God does not kiss you goodnight. The minute to minute, day to day lifestyle which a couple has shared for half a lifetime, or more, changes.
When people are left widowed, the fear of being alone is high. Not that widows are usually looking for another mate. That is often not the case. This is when it is time to turn our faces towards the One Who has been there all along. He is our Father and we are as close to Him as a prayer, in much the same way as we are close to our earthly father with a letter. This is something mourners do not realize. They only see their loss.