On Saturday morning, there was a special "family" viewing at 11:00. Irene was adamant about not wanting an open casket. She'd told us all many, many times that she didn't want people standing over her saying, "Doesn't she look good?" Her casket was not to be opened at any time during the visitation or the funeral service. So Saturday morning we gathered, the children and their spouses (and one significant other, namely me), a few of the grandchildren, and one of her surviving sisters, to see Irene for the last time. I told Randy later, "Your mother would HATE my saying this, but she DID look just lovely." :-)
One of the local churches provided a chicken dinner for us that afternoon, then we changed and got back to the funeral home by 5:30 to prepare for the visitation and funeral service. There was a huge crowd; not only did Irene know a lot of people, but each of her children have many, many friends. It was a very long evening, but the service was just lovely. I think Irene would be pleased.
The graveside service was at 2:00 pm Sunday. It was a beautiful clear day, but it was HOT. The Weather Channel said it was 92, and I think they were right.
The family is doing well; heartbroken, of course, but coping. We're all very tired and very glad all the formalities are behind us. Now we can heal.