A few days ago was Grandpas funeral.
It was sad, but surprisingly comforting to know he was reunited with his sweet love, Lorraine.
When i walked into the funeral home to start playing prelude..i passed my cousins, talking and laughing. (i'm glad for mormon funerals. no black and strange mourning...) i walked by my grandpa's casket, which was open. my first thought was nothing. nothing came to my mind. blank. then i thought that it wasn't real. then i thought it didn't look like him..at all. thats not the grandpa i grew up with. where were his wrinkles? where was his skin color, and why did his whispy hair look different? his lips were skinny and dark.. it wasnt grandpa. i felt strange and wanted to get away from the casket as fast as i could..even though it was just my grandpa. is that bad? i knew though that it was him, but it wasn't. his spirit didn't reside in that body at all. it was completely empty and we were all sure of that.
i played the piano during the service...didn't cry because i was too focused on not messing up. i glanced over at grandpa a few times during the prelude..but quickly looked away each time. when the funeral director asked if anyone wanted to get up to see him before he closed the casket, i hesitated. in my mind i thoguht i should, but my body wouldnt move. good thing i don't know how to make decisions... i don't like that i'm going to remember that image of him. no one should remember a loved one in that image. When we watched him closing the cakset.. the first thing that came to my mind was that they shouldn't be closing it. they need to let him breathe..he'll be shut away if they close it. what was i thinking?
things got lighter when we all discussed his jokes and the things he used to say "you can marry more money in a day than you can make in a lifetime" thank you, don.
we talked about when he met grandma right after he got home from the navy.. and how she was 'very impressed' with him. (she wrote a poem about 'that day in may' when she saw him being greeted by all his friends who were so happy that he was home.. she remembered seeing him the icecream parlor and being soooo twitterpated by him and how popular he was. cuuuute. she read it to me 2 weeks before she died. it was darling.) they fell in love and after five years, ran off to the pink flamingo in vegas to get married. haha i dont even know why. thats so random of them.. but they later were sealed in the temple.
i held it together pretty well until the graveside service. my cousins and uncles were the pallbearers for him, and carried his casket right next to where my grandma is burried...i didnt go to my grandma's graveside service after she died.. i just didn't want to. i have always felt weird about things like that.. but since this was right after the funeral, our whole family attended.
As they carried him to his final resting place, the navy colorguard soluted his passing casket. i cried.
When the bugle player played 'taps' i felt like i was in the movies. i don't know why.. it was just surreal. i watched the colorguard slowly and carefully fold the flag while the bugle player finished his song, and we watched him bend forward and hand it to my uncle who has been his caretaker the past 5 years.
"on behalf of the president of the united states..."
i wept. my cousins wept. voices held back shakes as prayers were given...and then it was done. the make-shift boutineers i made hours before were placed on his casket in a final tribute.
tears left and comfort ensued. over dinner we talked with cousins and other family about memories we had from when we were little.. sneaking into places.. games we used to play...funny memories of what awkward children we were.. and it was just comforting. peace to know that families are forever, and death is not the end. it isn't. and i feel so sad for those who think it is.