By eighty-two, she’d lived a full life.
That’s one of the common consolations. But grief is like a fine wine: a blend of subtle flavors with a long finish of doubt.
The modern American funeral ritual is designed to push the family through the process despite the obvious issue. The matriarch is missing.
Even while she suffered a decline in her health, she was present. She was a focal point, and her strength of will provided a boundary for so many decisions.
Now the next generation must take the firm role. And live with curious anxiety. Did we do enough for her in her last years? Did our children learn from our behavior how we hope to be treated?