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I didn't know what to do with myself. I was depressed and couldn't focus on anything yet I had been still too long and felt restless. So I called my mom. I miss my family so much. She and the rest of my family were busy planning my grandmother's funeral and the wake afterwards. What would people eat? What would they drink? Was the house tidy enough?

It sounded like so much fun I wish I was there to help them. I decided to do a mini-wake here. My brother was already planning on coming over. I called an ex-boyfriend who knew grandma, my best friend who had met her a few times, and some close friends who knew of her through my stories. Planning this get together energized me. Suddenly I was able to clean the house and go to the store to get flowers, cookies, cheese, and crackers. I pulled out all the good pictures I had and set them around the house with the flowers. I read from her diary and prepared for my guests. I finally felt moving again. It amazed me how healing this process was. My friends sat around the table and talked about grandma some but not excessively. I shed a few tears but the smiles far outweighed everything else.

I understand now the importance of funerals and death rituals. It is away to process - to keep moving and busy while honoring the dead - to share your grief with those you love. Until I went through this I wasn't able to move on with my life but in throwing a wake I feel I started the transition from grieving grandmother's death to celebrating her throughout my entire life.

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