Life is ironic sometimes.
Tomorrow we hold the funeral for S’s father and Monday we have a big birthday party for Clara. It is strange to me that humans can shift their emotions around so rapidly. Such is the beauty of this life. When we face a storm it is almost always followed by a rainbow. It has been a few weeks since S’s father died, but I know the family is still grieving. I can tell whenever Lukas points at the sky and says ‘Himmel’ (sky/heaven). The looks on K and S’s faces are somber when they say ‘yes, Opa is in Himmel’.
The 18th is Clara’s birthday, and she turns four! It’s going to be a big, exciting day full of ‘kinder’ running around babbling in German and tossing balloons. I feel like this would be a lot easier if I spoke German.
Sometimes I feel inadequate because when the children are upset or having a fit, others can talk them down. Meanwhile I just say ‘it’s okay, it’s okay’ and they barely understand that. How is that supposed to work? The housekeeper is a pro at changing Lukas’s diaper, whereas if I even bring the subject up he starts screaming. I know these things will get easier with time (and a better grasp of the language) but right now it’s just a challenge to overcome.
A lot of cleaning was done today, and flowers were arranged. Lunch was mozzarella and spinach pizza, and dinner was takeout Italian (YUM). The babysitter (J) came again. She is really cool. I like it when she comes because the kids understand her and she can help translate to me. She is a kindergarten teacher too so she is great with them.
Have you ever just felt weird at a funeral? Or just awkward in general because it is a funeral (are you even allowed to smile?) or because you feel out of place. Today ‘out of place’ was my name! I don’t think it was as bad as I pictured it, but I was the only person on the premises who had never met the man. I felt compassion for those around me, but how could I truly grieve someone that I had not lost in the first place?
Not only that, everyone around me was speaking in German. I sometimes pretend that it is English and the only reason I can’t understand it because so many are speaking at once. A few spoke English, and I had good conversations with those who did (some good, some awkward). I got to meet K’s older sister, she is very sweet! She and K remind me of my sister and I, because they are 11 years apart. It made me miss my own sister terribly!
The whole ceremony was well done and very beautiful. The ‘after party’ was entertaining. We had coffee and cake and I held Elle 90% of the time. People kept saying things to me in German even though I think they knew I didn’t speak any.
The first guests arrived at 11 and the funeral started at 1. The last guests left around 5:30, so needless to say we were very tired! Despite our exhaustion we took the kids and walked down the road and up the mountain to see the whole lake (‘See’). I carried Lukas on my back, then my shoulders, nearly all the way up. Then I had Clara on my shoulders nearly all the way down. That has to count as some form of exercise.
Life can change in such an instant. I’m sorry for your loss. I am grateful you had a happier occasion to celebrate and get together soon after the funeral
It’s especially awkward being at a funeral for someone you never knew. But it means so much to the people who are grieving to have people show up for them ❤️
Such a learning curve! I’m sure you will feel a bit better over time, and you’ll learn a little more German as well!
Tessa kirby says
I love reading your thoughts as you go through something so foreign to me and probably to you in a lot of ways. What a great learning experience!