February 07, 2008
May Perpetual Light Shine On Them
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust...Me pouring handfulls of soil into my Mother's grave. Fir Lawn, Rose Hills, Whittier California
…O loving God…I pray You welcome my deceased parents into heaven. Forgive them their sins, and reward them Your goodness, provided by Your grace alone. Grant that I may be with them again in Your Peaceful presence, Amen….
Today was a day that I have longed for and dreaded. For a person that is used to constant upset rather than a workable relationship, this day is a milestone, a period, and ending that signals a new beginning….
In November I received a call from the mortuary that handled my mother’s arrangements when she died in September of 2006. The lady said that a dreadful mistake had happened and that my mother’s cremated remains were never interred. They had been sitting on a shelf in a stock room all of this time. This was due to a number of issues, that involved some missing documentation, my brother’s unwillingness to return phone calls or contact me, and the unfortunate sale and resale of the firm that was handling or rather not handling this situation. A wonderful young lady took the bull by the horns and called me. Throwing herself and her company (mortuaries have been sued for less than this) on my mercy they told me the story. I agreed that a lawyer was not the answer but rather getting to the bottom of the situation was. The mortuary rolled out the red carpet, setting up the internment and covering all of the expenses for that.
One of the issues was that my mother was to be placed in the same grave that my father is in but no documentation was signed to this affect. I got that all cleared up. Legally my brother should have some say on this but after again trying to contact him,. I was awarded sole rights to have her buried according to my dictates, and I signed all of the documentation. I arranged to have a committal service for myself and Woody and the lady that assisted me through this process three months ago. I also said I would tell no one in the family and didn’t. I didn’t want anyone to feel badly or think that they should have followed up ect…
I also wanted to handle her committal myself. I called no clergy and asked no one’s advice. I wrote a short prayer service based on the Lux Aeterna prayers adding some scripture readings and prayers that I wrote that would end a Holy Souls Novena that I had been praying for 8 days. Woody and Delaine followed along and the Latino workmen who came to assist said the responses in accented English which I thought was a wonderful counterpoint and reminder of my mother’s love for the people of Latin America, and the Spanish language. After a series of prayers, the Lords prayer (in English and Spanish) a prayer asking for help from my new mother Mary, and my new sister Edith Stein, I prayed the Lux Aeterna
Eternal Rest grant unto them , O Lord
And let Perpetual Light shine upon them
And closed with
Incline thine ear, O Lord, unto our prayers
Wherein we humbly pray Thee to show
Thy mercy unto Thy servant Catherine
whom Thou hast commanded to pass out of this world
That Thou wouldst place her in the region of peace and light
And bid her be partaker with Thy Saints
Through Christ Our Lord
The young men asked me if I wanted to pour some soil into the small hole where the gilded container was being placed. The box of ashes was sealed inside and secure. I stood upon my father's grave and looked down into our mutual future...I poured handful after handful in and it felt like I was pouring my old self into that hole. All of the hurt and misunderstanding is in there. The flesh and its pain filled journey is now ended. I am alone in truth and answer to God and to Woody .
That done and over with , I have decided that I will now do my best to forgive and forget. Woody and I agreed that our parents are gone and all of that pain is best forgiven and forgotten. Life goes on and we need to focus on new challenges presenting themselves.
There was a bank account that I was not able to get closed up and it was a nousense thing too. But it is all worked out. The account had about 650.00 in it and I gave the money to Woody, he’s paid for nearly the whole trip. I know that he was glad to get it. I am sorry that I was not able to give it to the lady that helped my mother so much, but we used money we really didn’t have to get out here to get the account closed. I am just glad that is over and done with.
My parents are at rest now. My nearly 46 years of life and dealing with them are done. Again it’s a matter of turning the page, and being willing to forgive them, other members of my misguided family and mostly myself.
Have mercy on me
Your Holy Face
Is my desire
Grant me peace
And my loved ones
Perpetual rest in You
For they loved You
In their own way.
Help me to move forward
Into a new and better understanding
For you are my Father
Your Son is my Brother
Mary the mother of Your Son,
Is now my only Mother…
Place of Rest Rose Hills Memorial Park Whittier CA
Labels: California, Faith, Family History, Traveling