Before you ask, yes, this is about my beloved grandma. Last post about it, I promise.
And also: family. And, being brave.
My grandma’s funeral was today. It was amazing to see everyone and hear all the ways she touched people’s lives. I learned a bunch of things, actually, that I never knew about the woman also known as “Grandma”. It was an exceptional experience.
Earlier in the week, Grandpa had asked if I would sing her especially requested song, “I’m Going Home” by Hank Williams.
One would think, being the karaoke freak that I am, that I would have jumped on the opportunity, but I had this terrible sneaky suspicion that my nerves at singing in front of so many people combined with my general sobbiness on this whole subject, that singing something might not be the best plan for your favorite 2N.
So, instead I asked if I could make a video using photos of her and that song as the background. It was, and I did, and it turned out better than I even expected. I’ve linked it below if you care to watch.
I also put together a 25 minute slideshow of general family photos that played on loop in the foyer, on a TV surrounded by photos of my grandma and family. It seemed like everyone appreciated it, so I’m glad I did it and don’t regret the staying-up-till-3 for a minute. Well maybe a minute, but only because it was the night before and today I’m sporting the biggest dark circles under my eyes that you’ve ever seen in your life.
Yesterday as I was trying to assemble the video and tweaking it for the millionth time, I decided that I would introduce it by reading the letter to my grandma that I posted the other day. I was really nervous. I tried to keep it together and just tell myself to breathe through it and speak slowly and clearly and then break down later, but…it didn’t really happen that way.
I’m so glad I did it though. As my uncle said, there were things I needed to say and I would have regretted it for the rest of my life if I hadn’t. I also brought a printed copy of the letter and a photo of The Kid and I, and gave it to my grandpa to place in her casket before she is buried. I like to think that in a small way, she’ll take it with her where she’s going. To where she already is.
The Kid came up to the podium with me. I wish I had thought to ask him if he wanted to write anything to say, but I didn’t think of it. Regardless, he stood there with me, standing behind me and giving his silent support. I had so much support from so many people today, I would never have made it without the people that came not just for my grandma, but to help support me as well. It meant so much.
It was eye-opening to watch The Kid today. For the first time I started to see him how he’s going to be when he’s older, with kids and family of his own. He’s going to be wonderful. He is wonderful. He was polite, funny, outgoing, and even remembered most everyone’s names. I couldn’t be prouder.
He, and I are blessed with a very large extended family. A family which, I am sad to say, I have not been in the closest contact with for the last twenty-odd years. My ‘little’ cousins are all grown up with kids of their own, adults and heads of their own families in their own rights. I feel old, and sad, and joyful all at once. I can’t wait to get to know them and my…cousins? What are your cousin’s kids, second cousins? Whatever they are, I love their little faces and can’t wait to get to know them better. I even got to hold one for a whole twenty minutes.
I forgot what that does to your back. My kudos to my cousins with three kids each – more power to you, my family.
Anyway. I’m okay. Thanks to everyone for your kind wishes and outreach. I think losing a loved one is one of the hardest things that one can go through, and you all made it a lot easier. So, thank you.
(Warning: Includes Music)