I'm attempting to get back in the swing of things, which for some reason makes our loss seem that much sadder. I spent much of the day Monday in tears and wished I had time to take off and stay home; but, I will probably wish that for a while and life must go on even when I think the world should hit pause.
The visitation for my grandfather was last Thursday night and over 250
people came. One of my cousins was counting and stopped counting (for
whatever reason) after reaching 250. I think I can speak for everyone
when I say that the faces and embraces of family and friends provided so
much comfort to all of us. Before the visitation started, the family
had a few minutes alone in the chapel where we watched the slide show
that had been put together from pictures we provided. I think those few
minutes together did us all a lot of good as we were able to laugh and
have a few minutes of happiness before greeting those who came to pay
their respects. The slide show was great. Since each family pulled
together photos, there were many that others had not seen. The one that
received the most comments was a photo of the whole family at Christmas
in the early 1980s and I am picking my nose. We are supposed to receive a
copy of the photos and slide show on a disc and once I do, I'll try to
figure out how to post it so you can see it and perhaps laugh as well.
By the time the night was over, we were all pretty exhausted and my feet
and legs were extremely tired from standing for three straight hours.
The funeral was Friday and my dad, uncle, brother and cousin did the
service and it was beautiful. I thought they each did a fantastic job
and I am really proud of all four of them. I liked my dad's the best
because he told some great stories that had everyone laughing and I
think everyone needs a dose of laughter during sad times. My dad's
stories never cease to make me laugh and all the people at the funeral
enjoyed the stories as well. The church was packed and it was a blessing
to be surrounded by the love of all the people there.
At the cemetery, my dad, aunt and grandmother did a dove release which
seems to have become a tradition at our family funerals the past few
years. The weather was overcast and misting rain and as a result, it was
hard to follow the flight of the doves for more than just a few
seconds. A small group of us stayed as they tore down the canopy and
seats and waited for the dirt to be brought in. I wanted to shovel some
dirt into the grave as did my dad and aunt and so we each did that and
then my brother did as well. Once the grave was filled and the flowers
were placed on top we left, which was really hard to do. I just felt
like standing there forever.
On Saturday we had a celebration of my granddad's life with family and a
handful of close friends. Apparently my granddad had told my dad that
when he died he wanted us to have a big party to celebrate his life and
that is exactly what we did. There were 30 or so people in attendance
and we had steak, baked potato, salad and rolls and there was a
hodgepodge of desserts brought by some of the people who came. We also
did a balloon release which was very cool and kind of comforting in a
Afterwards people shared stories about my granddad and we were able
to enjoy a few laughs together. While we were sitting around listening
to and telling stories, my cousin
Lauren's baby Greer, climbed up beside my dad and sat next to him and
then got right in his face almost nose to nose. I think babies, much
like dogs, probably know when we are hurting and it seemed like little
Greer wanted to provide some comfort to my dad and it was one of the
sweetest things I have seen in a long while.
Sunday we all went to church together as a family and then my dad's
brother and his group went on home and so now we must adjust to this new
normal, which is not very easy. Monday was difficult - for some reason
getting back into a regular routine just didn't feel right. Instead I
felt like the world should stop for a few days; but life goes on and so
I want to say thanks to all of you for your prayers and support and
outpouring of love over the last week. It has certainly helped us all
through this difficult time and we are blessed and grateful to have such
a wonderful network of friends.
On another note, don't forget you have until Thursday night to enter the Fourth Blogiversary Giveaway!