Tag Archives: funeral

Laid to Rest

So this morning, got up and helped my daughter take a load to her new place.  It was misty all the way there and back.

Ate lunch, showered and got dressed to go to Ft. Worth, to bury Gpa.  When I left the house, the sun was shining.  Totally different.

When I got to the site, there was a hearse, a tent and a row of chairs.  Oh this was too much.  I wasn’t expecting this much effort.  Gpa didn’t want a grave side service.

I had to scramble to find my tissue.  I didn’t want to leave the car with out it.

The funeral director and the guy who would do the burying,  I don’t know his job title., were there.  We waited for the pastor.

They talked about the crepe myrtle beside the site.  It is a big one and has white flowers when in bloom.  Across the road and on the other side of the wrought iron fence, is the river and the geese come to roost in the trees.

Oh, the coyote is well fed and has a thick coat of fur.  A fox has been seen and so has a couple of red tail hawks.

Gpa and Gma picked out a good spot.  They’ll enjoy all the nature that surrounds them.

The pastor came, said a few words, read some scripture and the two of us recited the Lord’s Prayer.

Then we sat and watched as they buried Gpa.  The man was very careful and did a good job.  We thanked him and I came home.

Where Gena was waiting for me to load up and take a second load to her new place.  On the way, I realized I have a friend in her neck of the woods so I had dinner with him.

Now that the day is done and I’m back home, it is very quiet with just the little dog and me.

Tomorrow will be a busy day so we’ll go get some rest.

I hope you rest well also.  I know that Gpa is.

 

Rainy Day Service

We had the service that Gpa wanted on Tuesday.  It was a rainy day, with thunderstorm warnings.  So only 4 people showed up.

I am OK with that.  They represented his Sunday School class.  I was the only one who represented the family.  The small number made for a very intimate gathering.

I found out that one I remembered, who wasn’t there had just gotten out of the hospital.  Some had thought he had passed away but he had just moved to Dallas.

It was good to share stories.  I took the posters and showed them pictures that we had at the celebration of life.  I’ll be taking the posters to California to show the Gbabies.

I was invited to lunch and got to know that woman better.  Then I just beat the weather back to Dallas.  Whew!

The funeral home was so busy and I called too late to bury the the remains on Tuesday.  So I’ll call and schedule another day, and another trip to Ft. Worth.  The pastor wants to be there when they lay Gpa to rest.  I will let him know, and go.  (Though I hadn’t planned on going and watching. I will, it will be good to know Gpa is in a safe place and finally with Mom and Gma.)

Life and Death Goes On

This morning, I went to Gpa’s old church to plan his service for his friends in Ft. Worth.  Because I needed to stop at the funeral home, I got there early enough to attend church.  It brought back memories when they called the kids up.  I’ve done gone up front before.  That is how long Gpa and Gma have been members.

While I was waiting for my appointment, the couple who joined the church in the service and announced they were getting married, came into the office to meet with a different pastor.  When the pastor I was to meet with took me into the conference room, we were asked if we could share the room.  A couple were meeting another pastor for a baptism.  Their baby was so little.

It was hard being the one talking about a funeral.  It kept me from asking if I could hold the baby.  OK, that and he was so little.  I forget how little babies start out.

It was nice to see that there were people who were making plans that are happier.  And the mom said it was nice meeting me even though all we said to each other was hello.

 

To View or Not To View

I was seven years old the first time I saw a dead body.  My paternal grandmother had had a heart attack.  She lived in Missouri and we lived in New Mexico.  My parents loaded my sister and I into the car and we left as it was getting dark.

Usually when we traveled we would leave as it was getting light. So as we set out, it had a bit of adventure to it.  And not for the first or last time, my dad had to tell me, “Laura, be quiet and go to sleep.”

I do not remember how long my grandmother was in the hospital.  This was during a time when children were not allowed in.  So those of us too young, had endless days of passing time, waiting for adults to get home to give us a report.

I complained to my mother that I wanted to see my grandmother.  My mother replied, that grandmother had just come out for a visit and I should be happy with that.  It was not the same thing.

For the next time I saw my grandmother was at the funeral.  At the appointed time, we got in line and walked past the casket. Even with my limited knowledge of death, I could tell that my grandmother was not there.  This was just a body.  And it looked sad and forlorn.  I did not know where my grandmother was, I just knew she was not here.

We didn’t have a viewing for Gpa, he wants to be cremated. At least one friend has expressed sorrow for not being able to see him one last time and I am sorry for that.  I hope the posters with his pictures and time spent talking about him will help ease her grief.

I did see him one last time.  I wasn’t expecting to have to look at him when I went to the funeral home.  But I guess they needed to verify they were going to be cremating the right body.  (Like how many bodies did I have at my house?)

They were so busy, they asked if I would be OK viewing him in the make up area, which was right there as you stepped off the elevator.  I didn’t want to wait for a room to open up.  I had already be there much longer than I thought I would.

Yes, it was him.  Or more specifically, it was his body.  He was not there.  It was sad to look at him.  He didn’t have his hat (cap) on his head.  I can’t remember the last time I shaved him so he had a scraggily beard.  And his face was gaunt, full of angles.

Maybe it would have been better to let others see he isn’t here. And to say good-bye.  Hopefully the celebration helped.

In Life First In is Not First Out

I’m sure I learned this when I was a kid with a pet.  However, it hit harder when my mom passed away before her dad, Gpa.

She passed away 2 months after my grandmother.  One had cancer and the other was fighting kidney failure.  Both were great examples of finding out what needs to be done next and doing it.  I don’t think I ever heard them complain.  Well, Mom said she cried when she found out she had kidney failure and I saw her cry when once again the tubing in her arm clogged up.  She told me she didn’t think she could do it (hemodialysis) any more.  Shortly afterwards, she died, and doesn’t have to do it any more.

We watched over Gpa for a while since the two most important people had left him.  His church had a grief recovery thing and he did it. Volunteered at the hospital where Gma died and found some things to look forward to in life.

Last Sunday, my cousin died.  Her mother has survived her.  I am so sorry that my aunt is facing life without her eldest daughter.  I’m sorry that we didn’t make it to the funeral.

It wasn’t because we didn’t want to.

But my sister and I had just been to Missouri in April for four days.  It is an 8 hour drive one way.  With Gpa, it’s a little bit longer.  We stayed in a hotel and he thought we were going to leave him there.  We had to write him a note reminding him we were on vacation, in a hotel and would be going home on Monday.

He doesn’t like to drive in the dark and the funeral was at 1 pm on Thursday.  I didn’t have it in me to get up early enough to start on Thursday morning.  I talked to my sister about starting Wednesday afternoon and stopping somewhere in the middle.  I also said that if we went to the funeral, I’d want to stay for the dinner afterwards and visit with relatives.

So that would be two nights in a hotel with Gpa being confused and upset.  Plus 16 hours in the car over 2 days. We couldn’t stay longer as my sister has used up all her vacation time.  She’ll have to wait until August to get more.

When our other aunt passed away a few years ago, we made it to the funeral and back home in 24 hours.  However, Gpa was living independently and as this was Dad’s side of the family, he didn’t come.  And we were younger then.

My sister  received a voice mail from our cousin’s sister stating that we were missed and all the other cousins made it to the funeral.  I’m glad they did, last I knew they all live in Missouri.

Oh, two out of three of my children have let me know that they expect me to out live them.  Thanks a lot.  And if that’s how it turns out, I’m glad they gave me a heads up.

And some days, I think Gpa will out live us all.