We made the 4 hour trip to New Brunswick and met with other family members before proceeding to the cemetery where her ashes would be placed in the plot where her husband is buried.
When I was Ordained it really didn't occur to me that I would be performing this type of service for a family member or the feelings it would evoke.
I prepared as if I would for any Sacred ceremony... making sure everyone knew what would take place, preparing copies detailing the Rite of Interment, and making sure I honoured the belief systems of those who were attending.
I knew it would be challenging. I also knew I had to set aside my own feelings, temporarily, so I could handle the task at hand. Thank God I didn't truly understand just how challenging it would be.
I focused on what my role was and the Rite, itself. I got through the process with a voice that shook, at times, when the enormity of what was taking place became overwhelming. You see, I had taken into consideration how challenging it would be to deal with my own grief, but I hadn't realized how strongly I would be affected by the grief of the other family members. I loved these people and they were hurting. And I felt that so strongly.
But we got through it. We honoured Elmonde Babineau in a way she deserved to be honoured. She would have been so proud of how much care had been taken to ensure the process was both dignified and loving. I'm sure she was watching because, knowing Memere, she would not have wanted to miss it.
And I am so very grateful that I had the opportunity to facilitate Memere's Interment.