This morning Bj and I drove to Salem for my grandmother’s funeral and wake (why is it called that?). I was totally fine until we got to the funeral home. It was a private funeral, just like 30 or so family (my grandfather’s had been this huge thing downtown), so that made it a little better. But it was open casket. I wasn’t going to look or anything, so I just kinda chilled in the waiting area, but then it was time to start and they still didn’t close it. She looked (I say this hesitantly) good, but off somehow. Like kind of plasticy. I don’t know, it was just weird to me, and I knew her soul wasn’t in there so it didn’t really mean that much to me. Except that I love that they put her favorite pink lipstick and nail polish on her. My cousin Laura said that they should have buried her with a bottle of it. My dad had called me this morning to ask if he could use my blog from the day I found out to read as part of the eulogy. I said sure, but that I definitely couldn’t read it (I’m a big time crier). Well my dad practiced reading it and couldn’t get very far. My little sister stepped up to the plate and read the whole thing. I am just so thankful for her, I don’t know how she did it. It was so cute too because she started off saying, "I normally don’t speak in public, but I’m making an exception." I didn’t know what people would think of it because I didn’t write it expecting the whole thing to get read out loud. My family was all very appreciative of it though. And one of my grandmother’s nurses (she always had a personal nurse with her the last few years) said that she was sure grandmother recognized me and that made me feel really good. Our family was so lucky to find such caring help for grandmother.
After the service we drove to the cemetery listening to a CD that my cousin Laura had made. It was so sweet, it had all of grandmother’s favorite songs on it, and I can just picture her listening to them. I’ll have to list the mix because if you like old crooners you would love this. Bj was one of the pallbearers which was so sweet of him. We just had a quick thing at the grave site, but it was nice. I really think that having a smaller funeral is nicer in a way because it’s just people who have a really close relationship with the person. I do think that big services are good so that everyone can pay respects though.
The wake was at my aunt and uncle’s place, which is just up the street from Nick and Lacey’s so I stopped to say hi. I was totally fine until I said the word’s "grandmother’s wake" then I started to cry again. I don’t know how Lacey felt about that, I’ve never cried in front of them before. The wake was nice because I got to talk to all my cousin’s, more distant relatives, and old family friends and people that worked with my grandparent’s (like my all time favorite secretary Marilyn who always bought Girl Scout Cookies from me when I was little). I really like my family members so anytime I get to see them I love it, even if it has to be under these circumstances. I had so many people comment to me on how much I look like my mother (which is like the best comment ever – despite what she says about the photo below). Some distant relatives hadn’t seen me in a while and they always act shocked when I tell them how old I am. 🙂
I took a nice drive the back way to Corvallis through the country. Lots of windy roads, and the smell of mint everywhere. I just let my thoughts wander since I was alone. Bj and Brent set off for so cal before I left. I got home and I was determined to get all the orders out (which I did, even the one that came in at 4:59, yeah me!). One of my customer’s also emailed me an awesome layout which I am going to use in the next newsletter (so sign up already!). And I got an email from Simple Scrapbooks saying that they are going to do a blurb on me for their next newsletter. I have to write a press release now, ahhh!
All in all I think grandmother was smiling down on the day. My cousin Dustin said that grandfather had probably remodeled heaven for her (they built nine houses together), so I hope they are enjoying themselves!
I love the way you are able to articulate your feelings and experiences. It’s never easy losing someone you love, but wonderful to be surrounded family & friends during a difficult time. Love you sweetie!
Hey There –
I’ve been thinking about you! It’s hard to find the right words when people go through these difficult life events…but just know that we feel your pain and send you best wishes for finding peace in the beautiful memories of your grandmother!
Hugs – J, S, J, and S
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