Yesterday was the viewing and funeral for Max. JoAnn and I were very happy with how well everything turned out. Mind you this was a very daunting task to plan a funeral suitable for Max. Some interesting things have been happening.
Max wanted to make sure the dogs realized his passing. I had to make special arrangements for a viewing just for the dogs. Saturday morning I walk into the funeral home with a little dog under my arm and being towed by a big dog. Max's dog Tara, did her normal sniff sniff, but then wanted to jump in with him. I then picked up big dog (all 90+ pounds) so he could see him. That dog is too darn smart. He looked, sniffed, paused, and licked my face; he was done. That night, Big Dog (Zip) was crying all night. He has bad arthritis and I got up to make sure he was comfortable. His arthritis was no different than any other night. When I got up to feed him in the morning he jumped down from the bed and walked to the kitchen like normal. He has stopped sitting by the front door waiting for Max to come home. Closure comes in many forms I guess.
Max's viewing was the beginning. Max's family all sitting around reflecting while some music I put together from Max's collection was playing. About a year ago, Max turned to me and said, "I want this song played at my funeral." I replied, "Isn't it a little early to be planning the music selections?" He said, "Just make sure they play it." Max and his psychic abilities--too numerous to describe, too creepy to remember some. Anyway, the night before I burned the CD making sure I'll Fly Away by Alison Krause was toward the end. I included some other songs from his father's funeral were in there too.
During the viewing, everyone is sitting there and a Norah Jones song starts playing and WHAM! no lights, no power. Now mind you there are two candles burning so it is not completely dark. Interestingly enough no one panicked. The funeral director worked the problem and 3 more times the power went out. I was thinking someone hit a power line or they are doing more construction work on the road and hit something. Later, the director tells JoAnn they have 3 back up generators to avoid this problem--in his 15 years he had never seen this before. I guess Max did not want that song played or him and his dad are having a good time with us already!
The mass went with no hitches. The singer was outstanding, the priest hit on so many of Max's qualities without truly knowing him (just what JoAnn and myself could come up with). We finished with lunch at another Italian restaurant (my Italian heritage says we must eat our grief away!) Almost all the out of towners that drove in left after lunch. This morning I took the last group to the airport. So now I reflect with the dogs!
Events like this really open your eyes to your surroundings. I begun to examine some of the projects Max had started and trying to decide the best result. For example, because of the kitchen fiasco (that he so graciously took care of for me), we never really got anything settled in. I was reviewing his other blog and reflected. Max has a ton of art. Some of it quite good and some is, shall we say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Max had this eye for extremes. Those of you that met Max would totally understand my descriptions. Old paintings of women, next to modern designs, next to surrealists, next to photography...eclectic just does not capture his taste, but Max always made it come together in a tasteful, eye catching arrangement. The problem is that with the construction right after we moved in, he never had the chance to hang his art. A few pieces are up, but a majority still remain wrapped awaiting discovery. Max did explain how he wanted certain rooms and I agree with almost all his choices. I just now have to draw on Max to give me inspiration for how to hang his "Ladies".