We said our formal good-byes to Mom today. Except...we have to do part 2 tomorrow. A severe storm flooded the cemetery. Mom's four surviving siblings were able to make it, along with numerous relatives (all the "Mobile cousins" came in, plus three more from Texas) and friends.
Later, at Mom's house, I was in the back yard with a grieving four-year-old. It was a whiplash-inducing experience, I assure you! For my 9 and 7 year old nieces, I was able to give my brother a book that was published after my experience of Dad's funeral. I created about a quarter of the content (activities and so on), and then a professional counselor completed the work.
Thank you all for the warm messages of condolence. I will go back to them over and over, I am sure, during these early weeks.