Thursday, January 04, 2007


I have poached this photograph from Steph's site without her permission. I hope she forgives me. I love the picture. The smile is vintage Mrs. X. She's really happy here, you can tell. Though I suspect that if she knew that Steph and I were spreading this picture around the internet we'd be getting an earful.

She died yesterday with her family around her and her cat at her feet.

I'm not going to Florida. I'm going to go to her memorial instead. I want to see Steph and Bud. Selfishly, too, I'm going because I won't be done, I won't feel the end of it, of her, if I don't go. I don't understand how the pioneers did it. I was watching Carnivale the other night and a member of the troop is killed. They bury her in the town where she died. Then they move on to the next town. No grave to visit. A lot of the people in the troop have left their families. Imagine someone going on tour and never coming back, never knowing where they're buried, not having the body returned to you. I don't know if I'd ever feel the person was gone.

They did something else in the episode, though, something I loved. Each member of the troop placed something of importance to them in the grave with the deceased. A dress, a pocket watch, a trading card, a scarf, a doll, things to send her off comfortably and well provided for. When I was 17 and my maternal great grandmother died I was charged to ride from the funeral home to the grave site with my great aunt and uncle. This meant I had to wait at the funeral home with my large, distraught great aunt while she finished her business with the funeral director. I was there when he handed Aunt Catherine a paper bag containing Grammy's wedding ring, her glasses and other personal effects. I was horrified. How would she see? Had she ever taken her wedding ring off before? Why would someone take it off now? I would have liked to have given her something to take with her instead but that wasn't an option.

I wish Mrs. X speed and peace. I miss her terribly.


  1. Anonymous11:23 PM

    hi liz. your post rang true to me. since my mom is going to be cremated we were pretty free in terms of picking clothing etc. last night i made sure that she was wearing a bracelet that i brought back from venezuela for her and her watch. Even when she was at her worst and tried to not wear it - she still loved to have it on and know what time it was. we also made sure she was wearing her favorite sweater.. so she would know the time, be warm and be wearing something red and pretty for later on i guess was the thinking.

    i am glad you're coming and hope you're well.

  2. Anonymous12:09 AM

    I'm very sorry about your friend. I've read the many things you've written about here, and what you've written here, which has the sad and wise and peaceful tone of a friend whose been close by on a tough road.

  3. I am so sorry. I am glad you were able to make the decision not to go to Florida. Going was admirable, but you need to do this instead. For Steph, for you, for Mrs. X.

    Steph, if you come back here again, I am so sorry for your loss. Your Mom sounds like one cool lady.

  4. Anonymous6:48 AM

    I add my love and condolences to the chorus here.

    Steph, I've not met you yet (I don't think) but I wish you as much peace and comfrot as can be had right now.

    Kizz, you know, without my saying - though I'll say it anyway, because that's what I do - that you can come to me for anything that I could do help you through. Anything.

    I agree with you about the things to go with the departed, but not, strangely, about having a site. My beloved great-grandmother's grave is in a very convenient spot, yet I've not been there since the day she was buried. I guess I just don't need a place to go to visit the people I love who've moved on. I find myself compelled, though, to leave something with them, maybe so they'll have something to use to remember me...

    Again, seriously. Anything, anytime.

    I love you.

  5. Steph, thank you so much for telling me (us) that. It makes me feel a little better knowing she has what she needs.

    I'm glad I'm going home, too. Call me if you need anything.