Yesterday, we had to attend a funeral for a member of my husband’s extended family. We were there to support those who were close to him, although we were not close with him ourselves. As is the nature of funerals, the plans were not made in advance, and it took place about 2 hours from where we live. We’ve never used a sitter for the kids outside of family and our building co-op, so we had to take them with us. We were nervous about having them at the service. It was a sad event. This death was unexpected and untimely. We wanted to be there for those who might take comfort in our presence, not be a nuisance.
Here is where the miracle occurred. Both of my children behaved like absolute angels. I know that sounds funny, but I am being 100% sincere when I say that God was working in that church yesterday. The people who were speaking about the deceased needed to be heard, the family needed to be able to grieve, the people around us needed to be able to feel their sadness and dab their eyes. Everything went as it should. Brady sat at the front of the church with my in-laws and we sat further back to the side with Declan. No one heard a peep from Brady and Declan whispered politely when he wanted to talk to me. He made it a full hour before quietly asking me if we could go outside and I obliged. All of my anxiety about them (well, Declan really) being disruptive was unfounded.
We were even able to attend the reception afterward where we could hug the people we were there for and see faces we hadn’t seen since my husband’s sister’s wedding. We were met by so many compliments on our children’s behavior that I’m sure I was blushing. At the reception the kids did what kids should do at such events, they brought a bit of joy. Declan looked into the garden and wondered over every leaf and drop of rain with a woman I had never met. Brady entertained with his ability to eat one of every kind of dessert.
Every funeral since my dad died brings me back to the day of his service. This one especially because it is the son of the man who died that we are close with. Having my children with me gave me a new perspective on death, and life, and made that journey back to my father’s funeral much easier to take. I hope they gave a little of that to some of the others there yesterday as well.