Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thoughts Before and After the Funeral

The last time I saw Grandpa alive on this earth. Going home to Alabama from his summer visiting us out here in the country.
Howard E. -------, August 28, 1927- November 14, 2011

All through out the first day that I had heard that Grandpa had died I thought there was something wrong with me. As if I was somehow a hypocrite and wrong to not be crying and going into a black hole of despair as I've always seen in movies and read in books. Isn't that the way you are supposed to grieve? Despite the fact that Dad told us, and has told in the past, that there is no one proper way to grieve, and that
 he himself didn't cry when he was a boy and his grandma died, despite all that I still didn't get it. I was kicking myself feeling guilty about my reaction. I never burst into wild tears as I did when our dog died, and I wasn't tore up inside. Something is wrong with me!

Some time, I don't know when, I came to know that I wasn't a hypocrite. I don't have to lose my appetite, mope around the house, and have a tear stained pillow to grieve. I miss my grandpa so much, love him dearly, but there never was a formula given for the proper way to grieve. I have an assurity in my heart of my grandpa's eternal home. He is in that wonderful and longed for place, Heaven. I don't know how I ever could handle it if I didn't know that. My hope is in the Lord and I know that for a fact. Because of this knowledge given to me I am able to handle this terribly difficult circumstance. I can revel in the knowledge that Jesus loved my grandpa so much that he died for him, erasing his sins and buying his place in Heaven. My grandpa is there, watching us, loving us, telling us all is well.

The funeral was this morning. Everything was all good, nothing too hard yet until we were in the van getting close to the funeral home. My stomach began to feel funny. Then the terrible long wait while people visited in the viewing room with the casket up front. Pictures of Grandpa around the room. I stood around, tried not to think. Then the best and worst part. Everybody was shown out of the room while I and my immediate family stayed. The casket was opened and I saw Grandpa one last time. He was smiling. He looked so much at rest, handsome in his ballroom dancing shirt. Traitorous tears flooded my eyes, and a most inappropriate smile came to my lips. The casket was closed once more and extended family were aloud back in. Bishop Morley said a prayer and then the family were led to their seats. I went on ahead to play the prelude.

That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life. My hands were so shaky and I felt light. The service began, and I played the music at the appropriate times. Uncle --- said a few words about Grandpa, all choked up, which made everybody else cry. Sobs came from my cousins. My dad said a few things also, but by that time had control over himself. The chapel service was over, we filed outside, finished the service and I through a rose on my grandpa's final resting place. My grandpa, not just some unknown persons grandpa, mine.

Yes, my grandpa is gone. But he has gone home from his pilgrimage in this trying earth. Yes my grandpa is dead, but his spirit lives on in unimaginable glory in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Yes, my grandpa is not here, but he looks down from above.

Grandpa I love you so much, but I am not worried. I find my comfort and peace in my Father above.

Psalm 9:9-10

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
         A refuge in times of trouble.
 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
         For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

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