We sang, we laughed, we prayed.

Posted: November 1, 2010 in Family

Grandpa Ed’s funeral was on Saturday. The viewing was held from 1:00-2:00 (though we got there at about 12:30), the service was held from 2:00-3:00, and the burial immediately followed at the cemetery about twenty minutes away. It was a pretty emotional day for all of us – obviously, we had to say goodbye to Grandpa Ed, and we received and offered comfort to one another. There was the expected awkwardness of seeing estranged family members, and a tense moment when Bill drew his mother outside to continue a conversation that was best conducted in privacy. But all in all, the drama was kept to a minimum.

The pastor, an elderly and ENTHUSIASTIC gentleman, gave a lovely sermon – he even made us all laugh several times. A soloist performed a couple of hymns and at one point made me think, “Geez, this lady makes me want to go to church!” Grandpa’s two sons from his first marriage spoke, as did Bill’s sister Karen, and they all had me crying. I sat in the pew with Bill holding my hand to my right, my arm around Amanda’s shoulders to my left, Robert and Joy sitting next to us, and enjoyed the fact that so many people loved our Grandpa Ed.

The grave-side service brought Grandma’s funeral back vividly, and as they lowered Grandpa down into his final resting place I blew him a kiss and let the tears roll down my face. Grandma Claudine held herself together all day long, accepting everyone’s condolences with graceful calm. When her time comes, she’ll be buried with Grandpa. Which jarring thought struck me as we drove home – was it a comfort, or a fright, to see the open grave where she knew she’d be buried some day?

The five of us (me and Bill, the kids and Joy) had driven together, so after the services we went back home, toasted Grandpa Ed, and had a bit to eat. I pulled out the Big Box ‘O Family Photos and Joy and I cackled over them for a while, while Bill and Robert played video games. After the kids left, Bill and I looked through the pictures for a while longer, and since I’d come across my stack of hand-written journals, I entertained us both by reading angst-filled passages of my misspent youth. We had a long, heart-felt conversation and stayed close to one another.

Grief is hard, but so much more bearable when you share it.

  1. Bad Pants says:

    I wish all of you condolences for your sorrow, tenderness for your tears, and smiles for your happy memories. It is truly better to share these experiences than suffer through them alone.

    Overwrought sappy stuff out of the way…Hugs to all of you. I remember my last funeral, and I’m truly glad you guys found some peace together.

  2. iamheatherjo says:

    I’m happy you had each other for your grief and that everyone came out to say goodbye to Grandpa Ed.

    I have to say that I need everyone to leave me alone with mine so I can do what I need to do to get through it and come out on the other side to share what I wish. Unfortunately (for me) that’s damn near impossible.

    We laughed a lot at my Mom’s wake. At one point the funeral director poked his head in the door to see what was going on. She would have liked that a lot. 🙂

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