So yes, I am back. I have been home and exhausted since 9:30pm last Sunday, and trying to catch up with work, find some food, clean cat boxes, and do laundry all week.
It was a lovely funeral. The Trenton Diocese moved the excellent Portuguese priest who had been at St. Agnes for 20 years or so over to Newark a while back to hang out with the elderly Portuguese there, leaving us with a newer Filipino priest of whom my mom says, "His English has gotten much better since his arrival." But he had actually met Aunt Mary Jane. She called him to the house to take her confession a few weeks ago since she hadn't been to Mass in a long time and she was going on this trip.
The priest actually having met the deceased makes a funeral service much more moving.
My cousin Kristin works in hospice, and offered some darkly comforting insight. In her experience, lots of people just can't die under particular circumstances--hospice staff will persuade family to go get lunch, and then the family member they were waiting on is finally comfortable enough to let go, or they will somehow hold on for someone to make it to their bedside. You never can tell. So I find some comfort in maybe Aunt Mary Jane couldn't die in her house, although she said that was what she wanted, and either had to leave it or be with Aunt Kathy to let go. She had a very strong will for a quiet, self-effacing woman.
SJP! got to spend time with Poppy and Uma, Jesse X's parents, and meet 3 sets of cousins. She was her cheerful, adorable self despite the circumstances. She got extra adorable at the funeral lunch when we decided to feed her chocolate mousse. Dusie was hit by Catholic Matron Syndrome, Dan Savage-style, and came home with the 3 foot statute of Mary (minus the thumbs) my grandparents were given by the priest who married them 70 years ago.
I was okay. Seeing cousins was great. I was helpful with the baby. But honestly, I am still quite tired and trying to process everything.