First you scream No
Working my way through the grief cycle. I knew it was trouble when the caller ID showed the folks' phone number so early in the morning. I thought, oh no. Dad fell and broke a hip this time. Of course, the news was much worse and completely unexpected.
First you scream -- No! It can't be true. It's a terrible mistake. Then you deal with the immediate aftermath. The arrival of the nearby family members. The hugs. The tears. Softly murmured recollections of good times. The sound of heart wrenching sobs from a behind a closed door. Sometimes they're your own.
The funeral home. The insensitive funeral director trying to talk Mom into a more expensive option than they had already paid for long ago. Gratefully, Dad made his preferences clear. A speedy cremation. No public viewing. A private strewing of the ashes.
Oddly the most comforting moment was when we got home again. The very religious neighbor came over to ask if it would be okay to mow the lawn. Then he asked if he could say a prayer. He prayed for us. The heathen survivors. To find peace. Somehow it helped.