Thursday, June 21, 2012

End of Life Issues

 Kitty dress (sleeves removed) - All Saints, gift from Megan
Logic Oxfords - Cydwoq
Wrist cuff - gift from Lynne

It's been a tough year of deaths. We lost two cats (one of the kittens and my elderly cat who lived with my grandparents), there was the unexpected death of a family friend, and this week we lost my husband's grandmother.

I've always been grateful for a long-lived small family. I got to meet almost every one of my great-grandparents. I'm the oldest grandchild/great-grandchild. My husband however is the youngest of four, and his grandmother, a sweet woman suffering from dementia, was 91. I did not know the real Nanny. Her disease had progressed many years by the time I first started dating my husband. However I've spent the past three years helping to watch her and give my in-laws some help whenever I could.

Aside from her mind, Nanny was a healthy lady. One of her last moments of clarity before she passed, she told my Mother-in-law that she was going to "fly over the housetops", and not too long later she was gone.

Hubs in a Calvin Klein suit
and shirt with thrifted Dior tie
As someone who has studied grief psychology and end of life issues, funerals still feel odd to me. Especially here in the South. People are smiling and laughing and crying. I have only been to a few actual funerals. I worried about what was appropriate in my own wardrobe with a distinct lack of basics. I finally settled on my only solid black dress (because at least it was cotton) and my Cydwoq oxfords because wearing heels to the cemetery is a no-no.

I was quite surprised at the sartorial choices of the people visiting the funeral home. Many people eschewed black in favor of Nanny's favorite color, purple, or wore spring florals.

I actually got a few genuine compliments on my dress, so I assumed what I chose was alright. I think in the end it's important just to be there.


  1. Hugs to you and your husband too. You look very appropriate for a funeral.

    Being there is the most important thing, absolutely.

    I hope that this year starts to get better for you guys.

  2. I'm so sorry. I know how tough it is to lose a grandparent. My wishes are with you and your husband.

  3. dude I'm sorry. I know in this situation there is nothing to make you feel better. But know people care and get it.
    I lost 6 people in 2010. It began to feel like it was a damn cruel game. Life can be a real asshole at times. Those times are always so baffling. I was worried about what to wear to my pops. its like you are not in control of anything but you can control what you wear.

  4. It's never an easy situation. Wishing both you and the husband the very best. I'm so sorry to hear about another loss. But I hope the rest of the year brings an upward turn and bright days. Keep smiling!

  5. Oh Megan. I am so sorry. Not only is it hard to lose a loved one, but it is even harder when they are lost to dementia. My grandmother had it too before she died and it is so hard to watch someone that you knew so well turn into someone that they don't even know. My sympathies to you and your husband.

    As far as the dress I think it is very cute and perfectly appropriate. I always wear black to funerals too. It's a tradition that I just can't really shake.

  6. I`m sorry for you loss.
    I hope everything is going to better for you from now on.
    The both of you look very nice.
    I adore that dress!

    XO arezu

  7. I'm a traditionalist and would've worn black too. Think it's lovely that some chose to wear her favorite color though.

  8. So sorry for your and your husband's loss. You've had a lot of them this past year, and I hope they are done for a long time. Both of you look very appropriate for a serious occasion, although
    I completely agree that being there is what matters.

  9. My condolences. Funerals are very strange things and it's kind of nice that people are opting to wear more colours since they really should be celebrations of life.

  10. I'm so sorry to hear of your family's loss - even when someone is quite old (and 91 is up there), it's never easy. We are dealing with my husband's stepfather's dementia (he is 82) and it is a horrible thing. He's forgotten who L is, which is tragic.

    I think you dressed beautifully. Funerals and the attire seem to have shifted from black/mourning to wearing what the deceased would have liked and focussing on celebrating this/her life. When my grandad died I wore pink, because he loved his hot pink socks (he was a very dapper gentleman).

    Your husband looks splendid in his beautifully-cut suit.

    Hugs to you, hon. It's a lot of losses for you in a short period of time. Don't be afraid to show your emotion and work through it.

  11. So sorry you have had a rough year in that department. End of life is never easy, even when know the person/animal has had a good, long life.

    Lovely dress choice however. I've been to many a funeral and you guys are so dressed up. It seems dressing up for events in the west has gone by the wayside. It always upsets me when see someone in jeans at a funeral or wedding. If I know the person well I'll dress for the celebration of life as opposed to a more somber service. But that all depends on the service and the denomination.

  12. The collar on your black dress is quite lovely. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of the great-grandma, though I'm sure she is pleased to be flying over the house-tops. I know that the last funeral I attended that I was very taken aback by some of the garb that mourners wore. But then, different families do funerals in different ways. In my birth family, we would get together after and solemnly share a piece of pie. In my first husband's family, they would get together, slowly get drunk, and tell funny stories about the dear departed.

  13. I'm sorry, dear. Your face looks so sad. I know we worry about it, but what we wear to a funeral is unimportant; it's our presence (as you note) that matters. On such occasions, people think about larger subjects than fashion.

  14. I'm so sorry for your loss...and your sad year. :( I'm sending you lots of love and a great big virtual hug. I think you look very appropriate. I wouldn't have remembered not to wear heels to the cemetery, but you're right.

    In my previous life as an editor, I recently edited a medical textbook about caring for those at the end of life. Not the happiest thing to read, but I'm glad I helped doctors provide better quality care to the dying (at least in a small way).

  15. I'm so sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your husband.

  16. My sympathy to you and your husband. It is hard to lose anyone and when someone has had a life altering condition like hers it is even harder because you cannot say goodbye to the person you once knew.

    You have experienced a lot of loss in a short time frame. I wish there was something I could do or say to make things better. Just know that we are here for you and if you need to "talk" I'd be happy to listen.

    You looked very appropriate in your dress. That you worried about looking appropriate shows a lot about who you are - a very sweet, kind young woman.

  17. Im so srry for your loss. My heart goes out for you and your loved ones.

  18. First of all I am sorry about all your losses. It is sad. I have lost all 4 of my grandparents and so has my husband. They are so dear and awesome. So burying a grandparent is quite sad.

    You looked fantastic though and I love this LBD. The ruching is so pretty. Your Oxfords are adorable too. You choose proper funeral/death wear. =)

    Hugs <3 Ada.

  19. {{{{{{Hugs}}}}}} I was blessed to have my great-grandmother live to see her great-great grandaughter!


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