I thought of the name of this blog when I was trying to fall asleep last night. I feel so clever for coming up with it.
It first (and least importantly) refers to me ignoring the bad weather that came through Montgomery and Auburn on Wednesday. As I left Auburn, I heard on the radio that a tornado watch was occurring in Montgomery. I, being an incredibly stubborn person, ignored this warning and continued to drive straight into the oncoming storm. As I neared Montgomery, the reports were getting worse. I told myself that if I started to get nervous (weather doesn't generally scare me), then I would pull off. Out of absolutely no where, I hit a wall of rain and wind like I had never experienced before. Other cars were pulling off the road because we couldn't see where we were driving. I could feel my car moving from the wind. I followed the line of lights, all the while thinking I was going to die in this storm and praying to God to get me out of the storm. Luckily, I was close to an exit and hid out in a Walmart until I got the all clear.
Lesson learned. Never again will I challenge the weather.
The second purpose of the title of this post is in reference to the time my family is currently in. Pawpaw has passed on into heaven, his body has been laid to rest, and family and friends have all come to pay their respects. The storm that was cancer, hospice, and the funeral has all come and passed. Now that all of it is over, here we sit.
We had two days of a whirlwind of funeral happenings. After his military funeral (which is the most moving thing I have ever experienced), everyone was invited back to my house to eat and be together. As time passed, people began to leave. Eventually, even my mom's closest friends who had helped us all along the way through this process went home. We were left at our house, just the immediate family.
I felt this sense of emptiness at this moment. Even I, who has been around the least of all of us through the last few months, felt how quiet the house was. It was over. Pawpaw is gone and his funeral is over. All that we have left now are memories. I didn't know how to proceed at that moment, and I still am not sure what happens next. This type of loss is nothing that I've ever experienced before. We have reached the calm after the storm, but how do you move on? My mom told me before I left to come back to Auburn that the mourning process was just starting. It is one thing to mourn with the support of many friends and family members in an event that is thrown in memory of the deceased. It is entirely different to mourn as life goes on. As I've discovered over the last 24 hours, it is also extremely difficult to mourn around people who are focused on Thanksgiving food and college football and aren't in the same place as me at this moment.
I realize that there is nothing that can help make the mourning process simple or quick. I'm just learning what it feels like to experience a real and definite loss.
Regardless of all of this, I am not angry that my Pawpaw is gone. I'm thankful that he's with Jesus in paradise.