Posts Tagged 'Atlanta'

Parting

It’s another dreary day in Atlanta. Hurricane Faye is still hovering over the southeastern states. We are leaving in a few hours to go fly back to Boston and hopefully resume the glorious late summer we left behind on Saturday.

The service for Linda was attended by many, pressed together under a tent in a beautiful park near her home in the Candler area of Atlanta. We were greeted by a blue grass band, the same that played at Erik’s funeral 18 months ago. Music was a big part of their lives; I learned that Linda had a beautiful voice and frequently performed in public with her dad when she was in her late teens.

Outside the tent swarms of butterflies and an occasional hummingbird were trying to get our attention; passing messages from the other side, I imagined, about beauty, caring, nature, transformation and joy, all words that had some connection to Linda. Her children spoke, with great difficulty – grief and words hardly go together – about what it had been like to have her as a mother, recounting moving and funny episodes of their lives with her. We sang Alice Krauss’ Fly Away through our tears and then watched a slide show of Linda’s life amidst all those who were near and dear to her, some sitting with us under the tent, others long gone.

And then came the saddest part of a funeral, the parting of the guests, family and friends. Death and funerals are of course about departing. The run up to the service takes and brings so much attention that the raw grief about the loss is held at bay; but when the departing starts and all is over and the ‘new life without’ has started, then large waves of sadness come rolling in from all sides. At least that is what I imagine for those in whose lives Linda played a big role.

We rejoined a few at the parental home, now without parents, with piles of papers, bills, possessions, unfinished business and a thousand reminders of them; a house and a household that had gotten little attention, as all was focused on Linda in her dying days. Axel was so overwhelmed by it that he left the house to simply be in the gardens, once beautiful but now utterly neglected because of the drama that had played out inside over the last few months.

We said our goodbyes and went back to our hotel for a nap. Although we spent much time searching the internet for dining and movies in Atlanta, we ended up at a local strip mall Thai restaurant, and watching a rerun of an inspector Linley on TV, which we remembered more and more as it neared its dramatic ending.

Happysad

We are in Atlanta now. We arrived last night and made it just in time to the restaurant where everyone had gathered for dinner, to see the bills being paid; we ended up eating leftovers at the house where everyone, family and friends, gathered around Ingrid and Todd, leftovers themselves now that both their parents have passed away; a house full of memories of Linda and Erik. The last time we were here we had come to bury Erik, less than 2 years ago; now it was their mother. It was nearly the same crowd that had come together the night before for a communal dinner of remembrances and reconnections.

Before we left for Logan airport we made a cameo appearance at the Magnuson family reunion which, in true Magnuson fashion, got off to a slow start. This meant we got to see only a very small percentage of the relatives, including Sita and Jim who arrived when we left. We were sad to leave and Axel had a particularly bad time, being torn between relatives in Gloucester and Atlanta; the Gloucester reunion a happy event in glorious weather, the Atlanta event a sad one in rain and overcast skies, caused by the latest hurricane to touch the South East. A death in the family can be like a hurricane in its devastation.


May 2017
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