Death is a Busy Business

The thing about the death of a loved one is that the world doesn’t stop.
You expect it to but people still laugh. Children still play. You shower. You eat.
The day fades and a new one starts.

The other thing about death is that it is natural and expected. But it is always a shock. Even when expected it is unexpected.

It flutters about in the background of our thoughts all our lives. And then it happens. For me it was life crushing. I fell apart as soon as my hands went empty and the To Do list was done.

The death of my Grandmother was a catalyst.
I tried so hard to be strong.
And I succeeded. Until I didn’t.

The business of death is a busy one. At the worst point in your life you have to pick caskets, write obituaries, plan pot lucks, find plots and vaults and this and that and headstones and insurance policies and financial paperwork. I learned a lot from that experience. Make sure you are organized. Plan ahead and leave documentation regarding your last wishes. Never keep your partner in the dark regarding money and document matters.

I remember sitting in the funeral home as though being in some sort of surreal calm beige hell watching my Grandfather fall apart and listening to this suited man talking about vault regulations.

Then it happens. You have to do the visitation. Go and see this warm soft animated person you have loved all of your life hard, cold and laying still in a satin lined box.

I am not too proud to say I kind of freaked out. I admit it. I didn’t expect myself to.

When I found out she had died I was at work. I didn’t cry. For 600 miles I didn’t cry. However as soon as I got to my Grandparents house and her little shoes were at the top of the steps I cried.

Then I stopped and got to work.

Then in the dark of night I cried again. And I wrote her eulogy.
Because in my family I have the words.

Eulogy For My Grandmother

First, thank you to everyone who is here to honor the memory of my Grandmother, Anonymous McNameless . My family appreciates your sympathy and support.

My grandmother was a quiet place in a noisy world. She is our families moral compass and backbone. I say “is” versus “was” because her lessons live on through us. She is the guiding voice in our heads.

My grandmother taught me what it is to be a woman. My grandfather says she did everything the hard way; she loved hard, she worked hard, she laughed hard. Being someone she helped to raise I know she could smack you pretty hard too. However regardless of how tired, dirty, or angry she was, she always was a lady.

She was my grandfathers faithful companion for forty six years. First, this proves that she was a saint. Secondly, it is something to be honored in this modern world of transient love.

Forty six years are a lot of memories. Those are her most valuable gift to you, Grandpap. Through those you will never be alone – even when you think you are.

I can’t imagine a life without her. However my grandmother was a strong woman who would want us to stand tall with the dignity she taught us.
Even in her death she reinforced lessons we often forget. So let my Grandmothers wisdom bless your families as well.

Never count on tomorrow.
It is better to live hard than not at all.
Always let the people you love know it.
Say it often, Show it truly.

My Grandmother was a wild beauty. A roadside brown eyed susan like the ones she and I picked when I was a little girl. She was beautiful, hardy and blessed by God to thrive in any soil.

I am honored to be of her family. I am honored to be of her blood.

In closing, from Song of Songs, Chapter 4 verse 4

You are all beautiful my beloved
And there is no blemish in you.

I love you Grandma. I’ll see you again someday.


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