As one might expect, my heart and my eyes cried a lot, and I tried to do it quietly. BMIL was a private person, and would have been embarrassed by unrestrained blubbing. After the service, we stood by the coffin in silence, each saying our own personal goodbye.
I stood there, with my hand gently on the coffin (telepathically explaining to my BMIL that I was only touching it gently because I know she didn't like to be hugged). I had already thought about what I wanted to say to her, and I said my speech to her (again, by telepathy). The internally spoken words, and the feelings they represented, intensified my need to sob. I wanted to finish my conversation, and I wanted to leave before I couldn't keep the sobs under control.
Ironically, my attempts at suppressing the sobs took up all the oxygen in my lungs, and I needed to breathe. The suppressing of the blubs backfired, almost literally.
Inadvertenly, and most embarrassingly, an attempted gasp for breath resulted in a howl.
I was mortified.
Naturally, people assumed I was wailing in grief.
I was very upset and I was indeed very emotional, but I wasn't howling. Having people try to comfort me, at my apparent enormous emotional distress, was awful. I felt like I'd made a scene, people would look at me and think I was a drama queen. I felt a fraud.
I tried to explain, to those attempting to comfort me, that I wasn't howling in grief, it had been an involuntary sound when I was gasping for breath... but as I was trying to explain, I realised that the explanation was almost worse than the howling.
I miss her.
I've missed her for a long time. Alzheimers is such a cruel disease.