When walking the path of mourning it is customary to rush death in the same way we often rush life.
Losing grandma suddenly felt too soon and too fast, while at the same time the pain and journey to death too long.
While caught in the grieving holding pattern as we awaited her funeral, life still moved on.
On the one hand I was grateful that we had finished school and were free. On the other, normalcy and routine would've been a welcome distraction.
Where do we often go when we don't know what else to do or where to go?
Home where dad and mom still reside. Home where hometown is a place that everyone knows you lost someone you dearly loved.
There you find a piece of joy, a strong place of belonging and that piece of your heart that never left.
Smiles come more easily there.
Grandmas and grandchildren remind you of the relationship that formed you deeply.
The one that now, while gone, takes up residence in your adult heart more than you realized.
As the days pass and each waking hour reveals memories long forgotten, you do what she would've done.
It was in that baking that she showed her love and kindness to neighbors, family, friends,
and even strangers.
When you finally go to say goodbye, you are comforted still by her beauty and the hint of a smile.
Here she has no more pain, no disappointment, no struggle for life.
Here there is a firm faith, family, friends and fond memories.
This day has come.
The one that felt like it would never come and yet now so casually arrives.
The day when one last time you behold her beauty and grasp every last moment to
capture in a still-frame on your heart.
The tears flow freely as each prayer is prayed and song is sung.
She would've enjoyed the meticulously planned farewell. From the white casket with the pink flowers to her favorite hymns sung by the choir she heard every Sunday for nearly all her life.
A goodbye for now. Her hello for eternity.
The book closes as we come to the end.
Somewhere there is a new chapter waiting to be written.
Driving out of your hometown a feeling of loneliness comes to the surface.
It is different now.
Grandparents are no longer along the path and across the meadow.
Their bodies are buried and hidden there on the other side of town.
Their headstone the mere remnant of who they were and the years their lives graced this earth with their presence.
A blessed life. A full life.
I am grateful I was chosen to be a part of it and be their descendant.