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My Grandmother Had a Beautiful Funeral

June 22, 2009
I've been MIA, but from the title of this post you can see Ive been busy . . . and distracted.

My grandmother passed away last Sunday evening around 8pm (a number that continues to appear in my life).

Yes, i was, well continue to be sad, but glad she was at peace after slowly succumbing to sickness and even happier she had such a strong faith in God that continues to live in our family.

I worked Monday and Tuesday and flew to South Carolina for a grip Tuesday night, happy I was heading down as I could hear in my mother's voice, as strong as she was, she was having a weak moment.

By 12:30am that night I was on a driving dark rode to the small town where my mother and her two sisters were raised with my mom in the front seat. The next day I was in full grieving family mode, cleaning up the house, playing hostess to old friends and family who stopped by to show their condolences, as my mother and her sisters finished the details of the service (make sure someone get's grandma's Easter Star sash out of the Dry Cleaners, confirm flower order, make sure grave plot next to my grandfather is clear and marked, etc, etc). I also made a display presentation of pictures throughout my grandmother's live and seeing her young let me see a side of her I never met. A side of her that looked a lot like me. Thursday my other cousins arrived and we checked into a hotel, the first time ive never not stayed at my Grandmother's when in town. With everything moving so fast, I had little time to process how much I would miss her.

Friday my mother pulled out my grandmom's jewelry for me and my two first cousins to get a few pieces to keep. Charm Trunk doesnt have anything on my grand. And putting on her pieces and looking through pictures to see where she wore it, it hit me she was gone.

That afternoon we watched Young and the Restless across the street at my great-aunt's house, a lifelong smoker in Stage Four of lung cancer that has spread. her 28-year-old daughter, who is pregnant with her fourth baby (conceived on Christmas, this somehow came up in a convo) and her two sons are still coming to terms with the reality of her condition.

That night was the wake followed by a seafood dinner at grandmom's with some spades, gin and phase ten card playing. I wore some of grandmom's jewelry to her funeral and wake. Both were so healing and comforting as people could not say enough how incredibly sweet and sacrificing she was. I pray for that kind of grace and spirit of sacrifice. Our family choir sang, with me and my cousin Aisha and my mom joining in and my aunt singing the solo to "He's An On Time God." We got the church rocking and the preacher shared his surprise at seeing a family do the comforting at a love one's funeral. Many of my mom's friends from Atlanta came up for the service and so did my dad who stayed the weekend. Writing this helped more then I realized as I flew back to NY sunday night (flight delayed 2 hours in philly, sigh) and back to work today, with little time to think before back to the serious grind. But one thing death does remind you is how precious life is and to cherish each moment. Back to loving reckless:)

6 comments:

  1. I'm so sad to hear about this. I'm very close to my grandma too. RIP. My prayers are with you.

  1. Caila K said...:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Cherish the moments you had always.

  1. Ananda said...:

    I am sending love and light to your grandmother's spirit and family as you navigate her life transition.

  1. Arlice Nichole said...:

    I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. My grandfather raised me, and we were so close that I considered and called him father. From reading your blog, I can tell that family is of utmost importance. Be glad you'll have memories of your grandma and that which is really intimate like her voice, laugh, and scent. Three things lost to me forever because I think I was so young, 7, when I lost my mother.

  1. CJ said...:

    Thank you guys so much!! IT really is appreciated. You are so right Arlice. I loved the way she hugged me and still can hear her voice calling me. Thanks for sharing

  1. shara said...:

    As long as you remember your grandma, she'll never leave you. I've learned that over the last 3 years.

    Cry when you need to; laugh when you feel the urge. It doesn't matter if people look at you sideways. :)