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About

Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

Funeral

We went to a funeral today. David's great Aunt Dorothy, passed away on Friday night. Despite living very close, I'd never met her, just her husband - David's Grandfather's brother - who is an amazingly sweet man. I have been to exactly one other funeral in my life, for a friend who was killed in high school. I've been to a lot of wakes and viewings, but I've had a rule of thumb that I "don't do funerals". I know this is probably insensitive to say, but dead people freak me out. And while I believe in heaven and can not imagine the glory that awaits us there, death in general is difficult for me. I faced it head on for the first time when Xavier was so sick, but even then it was clouded by distance and hope.

Anyway, back to Dorothy. Like I said I'd never met her. She had her own issues and reasons for staying in. And so I learned about her from talk and stories from family members and formed somewhat of an ambivalent impression of this woman, who I was related to but did not know. She was moved from her home into hospice care awhile back as it grew harder for her husband to care for her. We heard she really wanted to meet Xavier and kept meaning to take him by... but never made it. I feel guilty about that. And sad. I don't think really knew how serious it was, if we had, we would have been there long ago.

So at her funeral today, with family and their friends, I couldn't help but noticing how pretty she was and really wished that I had met her while she could meet me back. I moved out into the hall as the service began, so that my little song bird wouldn't disturb anyone, but I stayed close enough to listen. Through the partially closed doors I learned all these things about Dorothy I'd never known. She was born in Yonkers, New York, which for some reason I found wonderfully fascinating. She moved to Alabama and became a southern girl, where she met and married her Archie (for over 60 years!). She loved children. Had tried and tried again and again and again, to have children of their own. Dealt with the loss, picked up the pieces and moved on to enjoy each other. There was much more, and suddenly she became so real to me. I loved her before because she was family. But now I knew that despite her flaws, I could have, would have liked her too.

It puts a lot in perspective. And today I took extra time out to embrace my little family and our new life. This whole circle of life thing, the old and the new is pretty incredible. And as for death, I think I'm starting to understand that too.

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  • Blogger Adventures In Babywearing says so:
    8:59 PM  

    Very well said. Sorry for the loss of a beautiful person.

    I am not a fan of funerals also- it's hard for me to be around all the sadness. top

  • Blogger Heidi says so:
    10:58 PM  

    Beautiful. And I too am sorry for your loss. top

  • Blogger Robin says so:
    9:50 AM  

    This was a beautiful post. We lost my husbands grandmother 2 weeks after lil Monte was born. He was the first great grandchild. She never got to meet him. top