With his final breath, came relief. My mind said, “now you can rest.” But hours later the realization that plans for a service were in need came into my awareness. I was *not* ready to do that yet, but people were already on planes or booking their flights and hotels. It had to be done.
Raised Catholic, but not actively practicing Catholicism in his adulthood, I wondered what exactly to do. Sure, Tom had joked about combining a Catholic Mass with his “other” spiritual community. Could I really get away with merging the two? He was joking, but I know that a part of him was serious about it.
While I initially entertained the thought of a Catholic Mass in the immediate future and a memorial a couple of months down the road, I changed my mind. I memory of Tom’s amusement, I have begun arrangements to play out Tom’s instructions (however jokingly he meant them).
We will be having my Uncle do the mass. He is currently the Bishop of Reno. He and Tom had a fond respect for each other and he puts on a very entertaining and lighthearted mass. I didn’t think that I could pull this part of the instruction off although Tom was pretty sure if niece Julie asked that I would be so. As it turns out, Tom was right.
It seems only natural to combine the two now.
His death, difficult as it was, was an eye opener to the “other side of Tom” for those who could have it. They were very aware that when his “meditation friends” arrived that he was calm and more peaceful. I am so thankful to those who helped to make that possible. They kept the room grounded so that Tom could work the energy of dying. It was, after all, his death not ours. It needed to be on his terms.