The other day I subjected myself to watching, "Steel Magnolia's" for the first time in a long time. I am not sure why I do that to myself but I do love that movie. I am sure that you remember that I used a line from that movie in Jude's eulogy. "Oh god. I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when he drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life." I was telling a friend the other night through my streaming tears that it's still the most realistic depiction of child loss to me. Which is interesting since it was written about a true story but from a brother's perspective, however, he captured my feelings perfectly. I have written about this movie before and the same feelings still apply.
When Shelby passes and her mom walks into the waiting room on a mission to retrieve Shelby's clothes and pick a funeral home is so realistic to me. You begin to think about a situation you never dreamed you would be dealing with. It's your child's last ceremony.........no more birthday parties, no weddings, and no graduations. It's planning their final send off to the best of your ability. You think about their clothing and sit in shock in a funeral home as everyone chatters around you. You are just on a mission to make it beautiful and meaningful.
I related a lot to the friendships in this movie. My friend Kelly is most definitely the very embodiment of Claree and many my other core friends fill the other roles. I don't remember many parts of the day we buried Jude but I do remember my friends watching me like hawks. They did this purely out of concern for my well being. I tried to be very strong that day but at one point they came knocking at the church bathroom door wondering if I was okay. I wasn't. I was panicking because I knew that I was about to say goodbye to Jude for the very last time. They could tell when I came out that I wasn't okay so my friend grabbed her firefighter husband who helped calm me down. I then rerouted the entire entrance for the family to the funeral through a side door versus in the middle of the church. It just let me breathe a little easier.
My meltdown wasn't beside the casket like in the movie it was before and then after I put on a quiet smile as we attended a luncheon that was provided for us. My friends and family came together when Jude passed in a way that is almost indescribable. In fact my grandmother said, "I have never seen better friends and people move so quickly to make things happen." All I had to tell my friends was I would like balloons, large photo displays, and a few other things and they moved like clockwork. They didn't need to ask my opinions they just made it all happen.
At the luncheon, my friends asked for a photo and it felt almost wrong to me to try to smile on that day but I am glad we have a memory of all they did. I am thankful for them.