life life lessons love mourning

4 months ago… part 3… the funeral and the week after

18th of October, 2015… Sunday…

It was a miserable day for the whole family. I felt numb. I couldn’t comprehend what happened the night before. I kept my emotions in for so long, I was about to burst, but I held them in. I knew I had to be strong for the rest of the family.

We all spent the whole day at home, making arrangements for the funeral which was the next day. We didn’t talk much, we barely ate, we barely slept.

19th of October 2015, Monday

On Monday morning my cousin called me. She wanted me to read a few words she wrote at the funeral, a eulogy for her mum. We talked about it months ago and I agreed to do it because she knew she wouldn’t be able to do it herself. Living away helped me be calmer and more composed and I had to remain calm and composed once more.

She sent me the text (it’s in Greek but if anyone wants a translation, I’d be happy to do it ΕΠΙΚΗΔΕΙΟΣ (2)) and I’ve read it aloud a couple of times, to prepare myself. I managed to hold my tears during most of it but I always broke down towards the end of it. I knew I had to try my best at the funeral.

It was a warm, sunny day although it was the middle of October. We went to church at 3pm.

She arrived… she looked like an angel heavily asleep, so beautiful and peaceful. I broke down a couple of times. But every time I did, I managed to recover fast, I had to. I needed to make it through the day…

The church was full of people who loved her… Everyone she knew came to pay their respect to this beautiful person. It was very moving to see all of these people there.  It was an emotional ceremony run by 12 priests…

2015-10-19 13.14.03

The worst part was kissing her goodbye. It was a tragic moment for all of us but especially for my grandpa, her dad…

And then it was time for me to read the Eulogy. I stood in front of everyone, next to the coffin. My voice trembled, my mouth was dry. For the first time in my life my legs went numb and I felt I would faint at any minute. But I kept looking at her picture throughout the ceremony and in my head I imagined her saying to me ‘You can do it, do it for me, I know you can’.

And I did. I managed to read all of it until the end. I broke down briefly when I caught with the corner of my eye her son breaking down. But I kept going. And I made it. When I was done I ran into my cousin’s arms and let my tears out. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life… and I’m proud of myself that I managed to do it.

After that, the cemetery. What bizarre places cemeteries are. Haunting but peaceful…

There was a lot of crying and sobbing and shouting… And after that we all gathered at my grandpa’s house (I am not even going to talk about how my grandpa was on that day, I can’t even imagine how it feels to lose your child). And we all shared lovely stories, kids were running around, we caught up with relatives who hadn’t seen for years and we all had a laugh, celebrating her life.

LESSON 9 That moment I realised once again that life goes on no matter what.

Deep inside I knew all this left a big scar and I needed time to heal. I feel I still haven’t had the time to do that (more on that later). Kubler Ross five stages of grief  (they apply to different situations, not just death but also breakups, divorces etc) keep popping into my head since then. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance… I am not sure on which stage I am, but I have not reached acceptance yet…

My family and I spent most of the rest of the week at home. Everyone started going back to work, trying to move on the best they could. And things between me and my ex whilst I was away were deteriorating so I knew it was time for me to pick up my pieces, go back home and sort my life out.

Rest in Peace my lovely aunt Anna… you’ll always be in my heart…

2015-10-19 14.58.52

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