A week ago today was my daughter’s memorial.
The funeral director commented that I was the most accommodating mother she had worked with. It is easy to be flexible when nothing matters. No decision made at a funeral home would bring my daughter back, so why care?
Initially, I suggested that she be cremated before the memorial service. This would have saved my parents $2,000, but like every decision made regarding the service, it didn’t really matter because it wouldn’t bring my daughter back. However, her father wanted her cremated after the service, so that is what we did.
Due to her emergency brain surgery, I didn’t want anyone to see Constance, so I requested a closed casket. However, her father wanted it opened when he and I arrived, and he had the funeral director put a winter hat on her. After our immediate family was invited in to pay their respects, the funeral director closed the casket. It was terrible to see her like that. My entire body hurt looking at her body.
In the days leading up to the memorial service, I visited the funeral home repeatedly to set up more and more photos of my daughter. I wanted people to remember her as she was. She was a kind, happy child who enjoyed swimming, reading, and playing with her iPad.
Her father asked a clergy member from his mother’s faith to bless my daughter and to speak at the memorial. To my recollection, I have only gone to this clergy member’s place of
worship twice and both times I stormed out after taking offense to hate speech. The first time the clergy member was condemning homosexuality as being evil. The second time, someone called my daughter a “half-breed.”
During his funeral remarks, this clergy member tried to comfort those gathered to remember my daughter by saying that her brain tumor was caused by the devil. I restrained myself from walking out or standing up and giving a rebuttal. His speech wasn’t for me. It was to give comfort to others. Nothing done or not done at a memorial service could provide comfort to me. The only thing that would make me feel better would be to have my baby back.