It’s the dawn of the third day after it happened and I finally reached the stage of tears and sorrow in my mourning, after shock and denial. I live on Romanian time, which is EST +7, which means I sleep for a couple of hours and I wake up in the middle of my American night. I talk to my sister who is there, in Romania, preparing the details for the funeral service. It’s mid-morning for her and she is running around with her husband, taking care of details one never wants to think about.
In short, I can’t make it there in time. My kids don’t have passports and my husband and I have nobody to leave them with for a week or so. I do not want to travel by myself and mourn on the shoulders of strangers on three different flights. Besides, Charlie Hebdo just happened and the US State Department issued a warning against international traveling.
So I mourn from a distance. My husband stands by me and I have finally reached out to a few friends and told them. Everybody is very supportive and sympathetic. Once I put it on Facebook and people started comforting me, I felt the power of everybody’s prayers.
I have not told my children yet. They are so small and lost another grandparent one year ago, almost to the day. I wrote here about homeschooling through tragedy. Death became real to them and I want to put them back into the time of their innocence again. The time when they lived without knowing about death.
I keep the schedule intact. We stay very busy during the day. I do my crying at night. It’s impossible to forget during the day though, even if I wanted to. Two huge flower arrangements in the living room remind me that something different is going on.
My kids never met my father. They spoke to him on the phone. I sent him pictures of them. I showed them pictures of him. My son played his violin for my dad, over the phone.
When I finally tell them he passed, my daughter says nonchalantly that we will see him in heaven. My son, tears in his eyes, gives me a hug and tells me he is very sorry for me. I have great kids.
We thought 2015 would be the year we would take a trip to Romania, now that our children are older and travel better. They would meet my dad for the first time. It was not meant to be.
My dad enjoyed the music of Dida Dragan and Bianca Ionescu, and the ballet of Aglaia Gheorghe. We were not allowed to move around the living room or make a sound when either of these women appeared on TV and made their art. I watch youtube videos of these artists over and over and float in a surreal space.
May he rest in peace until the return of Jesus, when the trumpet shall sound and the graves shall open. By God’s grace, we shall all be with the Lord and with each other for eternity. In such moments, the phrase “blessed hope” becomes real.
Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote his Requiem when his father passed away. Here is Pie Jesu: Pie Jesu, qui tollis peccata mundi, donna eis requiem. Agnus Dei, qui tollis pecata mundi, donna eis requiem, sempiternaum. “Merciful Jesus, Who takes away the sins of the world, Grant them rest. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Grant them rest, everlasting.”