Thursday, August 21, 2008

Going Home

There is something inherently beautiful in the events that follow the death of a loved one. The gathering of friends and family at the funeral home, while sad, is a testament to the to the love that spreads out among us. There were people at the funeral home who didn't actually know my aunt, but who came out of respect for my father, or my cousins, or my other aunts and uncles.

Today as we sat in the church for the funeral, I looked at my family, all gathered, arms around each other, comforting, whispering words of comfort, passing handkerchiefs to those in need and I felt such a sense of belonging and strength. This family was created by blood ties, but those ties were strengthened by countless Sundays around my grandparents dinner table. By trips to the creek and hay fights in the barn. By Sunday afternoon conversations in the living room, sneaking naps into the gaps in conversation. And I was so proud of this family. As a family we offered strength to those members of us who needed it most.

And there is something about the music. Those old fashioned hymns that take me back to my childhood....Sweet Beulah Land. Here I am, Lord. Those old songs promising rest. Going home. All day I've been singing a song in my head, an old hymn that was used in a scene in the movie Junebug. This song.



Today I drove the old roads. I could have driven them blindfolded, I think. I drove past my grandparents homeplace, the actual home no longer there, a fact I discovered only today. It felt like two deaths. But still. Those roads. Those people. Those songs. It was home.

14 comments:

AndreAnna said...

I don't really have anything to say but I wanted to tell you how wonderfully this was written.

Fannie Mae said...

Family coming together, no matter the circumstances, can be very special. While I'm sad for your loss, I'm glad you have your family.

for a different kind of girl said...

Beautifully written. I've gotten a sense of what is conveyed here lately, just kind of stricken by it.

I'm sorry for your loss.

1blueshi1 said...

Beautiful. So true. Hay fights in the barn? we are reading Charlotte's Web (that is, if I can ever find the damn book again)and they play in the barn!

Lauren said...

That was a wonderful post...beautiful. One of my favorites...

The Motherboard said...

That was a beautifully written! Thank you sharing.

That hymn is one of my favorites. I have not seen Junebug yet and I'm thinking I'm having a movie night tonight!

I am sorry for your loss. Going home is always a nostalgic journey.

The Motherboard said...

ps. I should have proof read my comment first. sheesh!

Laurel said...

A beautifully written tribute to family and home. You do your aunt proud.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Sweet! That song was pretty, never heard it. Now I want to see that movie. I couldn't make out the face at first but then realized it's the guy from OC.

Sounds like you had as memorable time, I'm just sorry for the reason for it!!!

calicobebop said...

I loved the video clip! It reminds me of my family too. Though we may have gone our own ways there are some things that are deep, abiding and constant.

I am sorry for your loss. This post is beautifully and poignantly written.

Katie in MA said...

Comfort and peace, Leandra.

What you said about driving the old roads - that really hit home with me. There's nothing I love more when I go home than to drive the roads again. It just strikes a chord in my soul. Nothing is as soothing.

Hugs to you!

Susie said...

Yes, yes! I can see the barn, the old roads. I can see what you mean about funerals and coming home and being together...

Truly struck a cord with me since this weekend was my grandmother's funeral back home in CT. I couldn't be there.

Thank you.

Jonny's Mommy said...

This is a beautiful post. I'm sorry I haven't been catching up on my blog reading very well lately.

I wish I had seen this before. I feel as if I might cry. Just totally lovely.

The part about "two deaths" I can so relate....but only it was someone had moved into my grandma's house...a family member, but it still didn't feel like her house...

Colleen said...

you hit it on the head...when we buried my grandma 3 years ago down in Tennessee, just by driving those roads past all the old farms, watching the traffic all pull over to make way for my grandma, really pulled on my heart. And even now I cannot hear "The Old Rugged Cross" without crying...it not only reminds me of her, but of my whole family. How my aunts and uncle quit their dang bickering to bury their mother. It's weird to think that it's not just a wedding or a new baby that makes a family, but the death of one of its members.