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My subject is I can’t believe I allowed this but. . .
It was submitted by Follow me home . . .
I can’t believe I allowed this but I let my kids take over a limo. At a funeral.
Death is such a difficult subject. How and when you broach it with a child; the depths of your explanation, your personal beliefs, I honestly don’t know how you prepare for these conversations.
I have longevity in my family. We’re descendants of strong Russian peasant stock. I really didn’t deal with death until much later in life. I was in my late twenties when I lost my great-grandmother.
My kids had great-grandparents too. But when the boys were 9 and 10, I lost my grandpa in the 9th month of his 99th year.
We were all packed to go to Marco Island to my mom’s winter home. It was a vacation we took every winter and we just couldn’t wait to go. It was cold in the Midwest and we had our shorts and bathing suits in our suitcases ready for the next morning.
My mom called the night before we were to leave to tell me that her father had died. She was heading back to her home in Boston and we’d meet her there. As I unpacked the bathing suits and replaced them with sweatshirts and dress clothes, my thoughts were scattered. I thought of my grandpa, my nana back in Boston, my mother who had lost her dad, and my kids.
My sister called from Boston to say that she had made arrangements for someone to watch her kids and mine at her house during the service. We’d sit shiva (observe the mourning period and receive well-wishers) at my Uncle’s house through the week. So plans were made, the tickets exchanged, conversations were had with the kids and we went home to bury my Grandpa.
Chocolate Raspberry Pie-tini
Before we arrived in Boston I had a change of heart and spoke with my sister again. I had come to terms with a few things and had decided that my children would go to the funeral.
I wanted my boys to know that they are a part of a family in good times and bad. I wanted them to know that death is a part of life; that there are traditions in association with death and they’re meant to bring us some level of closure and of peace. There are ways to show respect when there’s been a death and we’d be doing that, but we’d also be on the receiving end as well.
I did not want my boys to fear death or funerals. I knew that this was going to be a short grave-side service filled with stories and memories, not a funeral of sobbing and wailing. There would be sadness and loss, but not at a level that I felt could scar young children. They would be there with me. They would follow my lead. This would be their introduction. I didn’t choose the time, it chose me, but I was going to go with it.
When it was time to leave for the service, they boys saw the limo and their eyes lit up. They wanted to ride in it and told me so. My first instinct was “no”. The limo was for specific people, we were going in a car.
But then I thought again. I decided to leave it up to them. I told the kids that this limo was not a toy or a ride at a carnival. If that was what they thought they needed to come in the car with me. But if they understood that riding in this limo would be a woman we love going to say good-bye to her husband of 75 years, and another woman we love who had lost her dad, then they could go. And they did.
My boys did so well. Not just that day but all week long. They participated in all of the traditions associated with our religious beliefs. To say that I was proud of them is an understatement. And although I can’t believe I allowed this, I did let my kids take over a limo. At a funeral. And I’m not at all sorry I did.
Chocolate Raspberry Pie-tini
Ingredients (per drink):
1 squirt of chocolate syrup
1 shot coconut flavored vodka
1 shot whipped cream flavored vodka
1 shot of chocolate cake flavored vodka
2 shots Chambord
Opt: whipped cream and chocolate shavings to garnish
*NOTE: this drink needs to be served cold. Either make it in advance and allow to cool in the refrigerator or put the alcohol in the refrigerator for a few hours before making the drink.
*Put one squirt of chocolate syrup into the bottom of a martini glass. Add all of the liquors in the order named. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings if desired.