I too was matter of fact, downright cheery even, all through the visitations and the funeral business and even while sorting through the decades of photographic memories afterward in the dusty apartment. It wasn't until the departures lounge that I became maudlin, surreptitiously wiping away the tears to avoid showing any weakness with those public displays.
Damned allergies. They made it hard to deal gracefully with the waves of ... oh I don't even know what it was ... loss obviously, nostalgia certainly for a life that I loved in a former hometown that fit me so perfectly, the sound of the door slowly closing on a page in my life, already missing my dear friend just recently met, and now fearing the overwhelming sense of loss that will be left in the void that the next trip will bring. Anticipatory sorrow is counterproductive and soul-destroying, but I don't know how to avoid it.
Having laid to rest the last parent that the Spousal Unit and I had, we are setting forth on a bittersweet adventure in the morning, bringing our only offspring to university, where she will be handed over to strangers and to her own well of self-reliance.
I know she will shine and I know this is the right thing to do, but the nest will seem unbearably empty. At least until Thanksgiving.
Next week I will share some highlights from both trips. The notable moments and the cast of characters I encountered in London will give me a perma-grin for the rest of my natural life. Seriously. Who knows what splendours Vancouver will bring.