Now the real healing begins. For all of us. Yesterday, we had my children's Great-Grandfather's Funeral and Burial.
To say it was hard to go through is probably an understatement. I was doing good at the church until they wheeled Papa past me on the way out of the church. And I fell apart as Taps was playing and he received a 3-Gun Salute for his service in the US Air Force during WW2.
Being that Bryce stayed with one of my niece's that he is close to during the Chapel Service, he was calm but of course trying to take it all in as best as he could.
Then, he rode with his Daddy to the cemetery instead of me and the girls and Grandma. He needed his father and his Uncle. At this point it finally REALLY hit home what was taking place. True he KNOWS what death is. But he has NEVER been to a funeral and seen the true magnitude of how it LOOKS from his eyes.
At one point Bryce and his little sister came to me at the grave site. Once I started truly getting the full effect of my grief (Taps), Bryce looked up at me, patted me on the back and he too started crying.
Most times, Bryce has to be given "emotional cues" because his brain doesn't react to things (emotionally) in the "normal" sense you or I would have them. His brain cannot process and compute his surroundings as quickly as you or I can. It takes his brain longer to "get it" and to know when it's okay to feel certain emotions and how. For that, he looks to those around him.
And this is exactly what happened as we stood in heavy rain, saying our final farewell to a wonderful man who had loved his family so much and always put us all first (behind God).
As the kids, myself and my husband were getting ready to leave the water soaked grassy area, we said one last good-bye to the man that was a heavy influence to our family. It was bad enough listening to my youngest saying that she didn't want to leave Big Papa alone. But then Bryce too started to cry heavier and said he wished that we didn't have to leave Big Papa behind. I don't know which one of those two made my heart sink lower or give me a bigger lump in my throat.
Bryce was anxiety ridden most of the morning and part of the afternoon, before it was time to go to the Funeral. Like I thought would happen, he did a lot of "self hugging" and tugging of his jacket or shirt sleeves (comforting mechanism for self-soothing) and talking so fast that even Speedy Gonzales would have a time understanding him. And of course, due to the anxiety, talking about so many different things at random at once that you never (literally) knew what would pop out his mouth next..And let's not forget the CONSTANT walking and pacing.
But all in all, while he wasn't your "average" grieving child, he did VERY well under the circumstances. This was also his first funeral attendance. No pressure. He WANTED to go and he also WANTED to view his Big Papa laying in state. I'm proud of all three of my children. But I think Bryce made some HUGE steps yesterday, and I am so proud of him.