Today is Bunny's combination birthday party and life celebration. I have previously written about the reasons for her party earlier in my blog, just in case you need any background info.
Bunny died on May 25th, just about a week shy of two months ago. It wasn't a surprise, it wasn't some horrific accident, it wasn't a long protracted illness like so many we have all read here. It was quiet, peaceful and painless, with both my daughter and I holding her as she left us. To the extent the act of dying can be called beautiful, Bunny's was.
Now, just about 2 months later we are celebrating her life with a big party, food, drinks, live music, and a large "+1" birthday cake (Bunny's 71st, for those who may not know). For me, this is finally placing the stamp on a letter written well over a year ago, when we knew this time she wasn't beating the cancer. While I am eternally grateful for her peaceful, generally painless passing, it is really time to send Bunny home.
Many of the roughly 100 folks that will be at the party today haven't seen Bunny since the fall of last year; she was barely mobile for the last 5 months of her life and didn't want to meet family & friends "looking like this", something I understood and respected, even though she was always beautiful to me. These family & friends don't know how she fought to stay with them, or how much they meant to her, or how much she'll miss them. And that is kinda my job today, after all, deliver the message of love from Bunny to all who are left behind.
I would have thought 2 months since her passing would have cushioned the blow. I would have thought that living the past year with this eventuality looming would have allowed me time to go through the deep grief of the death of a spouse. I was wrong.
But .... I do see signs, lots of them. Bunny is being pretty blunt with these signs, she knows I can be stubborn and a bit thick-headed so these messages are loud and clear. One of those signs is that I need to be the party host SHE always was, the one who keeps things moving, the one who makes sure everyone that comes to a Bunny party walks away saying "Damn, that was a good time!!"
So today is Bunny's combination birthday party and life celebration. She can finally go home, go enjoy herself in her new surroundings, celebrating with other loves that have gone before her. I'll be here, cleaning up after the party and smiling, knowing we have, once again, done all we could to work as a team, just this one last time!