We took the day off to say good bye to Paul today.
It was a typical wake/funeral. Happy to see old friends at an awful time, awkwardness at relatives (some who had not seen him in many years), talk of how/why it happened, and people going up to the closed coffin to say good bye.
I came up during this time and stood next to the coffin and said what I wanted to, then spent the time meeting people and going to the corner comfortable chairs with Willow to answer her questions about life and death. She was really well behaved and when Paul's sister told us that she had seen pictures of Willow at his house (that she will return to us), it made our decision to bring her feel more right.
As it was getting time to go to the grave site, the funeral director asked people to please come up (if they wanted to) to say good bye one last time before it was put into the hearse.
I asked Willow if she wanted to say good bye. And she did. So, she and I went up together. I had avoided the kneeling podium before, mainly because I feel that is for the religious amongst us. But she went up and knelt. I knew she wanted to do what she had seen other people had been doing. So, I knelt next to her and showed her how to put her hands together in prayer. Then I told her that we could say good bye. She repeated what I said in farewell. Then she added: "Paul, I know your body doesn't work anymore, but I hope I will see you soon again."
The ride to the grave site was a disaster (see, typical wake/funeral--something has to go wrong!), with the funeral line getting cut off by a school bus...we missed the small service at the gravesite. Luckily, it was not as important as saying good bye at the funeral home. And later, we had the uncomfortable luncheon out with family/friends who have nothing common except the person that is missing.
Tomorrow...we say Hello. To Lilly. One of Paul's cats will be joining our family.