Happy Monday friends!
What a weekend. Thursday morning we received the news that William’s paternal grandmother went to join the Lord and her husband. She had been sick for a long time, so we knew it was coming, but it still caught us off a bit. We quickly packed, asked our neighbors to watch the house, and headed south to Alabama. We thought about driving straight through, but hit a detour in Cincinnati and torrential rains from Louisville to Bowling Green, so we stopped for the night and finished the drive Friday morning. While it’s wonderful to see everyone again, I wish it were under different circumstances.
Friday we spent time as a family and went through old photographs to decide what to display at the visitation. I loved her dental hygiene graduation photo and her bridal portraits, but she also looked darling in her first communion picture! That night one of her sisters brought over a roast and the whole family got together at William’s aunt’s house to spend time together.
Saturday was hard. I always try to view funerals as a celebration of the life lived and creating intentional time with the family that’s together. We had a family lunch at noon, they brought Gana’s body around one, we had private family viewing until two, followed by the visitation and then the Presbyterian service at three. After the service we headed to the grave side to see her lowered into the earth to join her beloved. I know that she was sick and the last time we saw her it didn’t seem like she knew we were there, but it was still hard. Being graveside feels so final. I missed my PapPap’s funeral in 2015 and wish I could have been there. I’m fortunate in that the last funeral I attended I was in second grade. I missed the funerals for my great-aunt Rosie, her son-in-law Jack who I loved, and my dear childhood friend Ive when her brain cancer took her in 2001. I’ve had to process grief without the final goodbye, so I’m glad we were able to come down to say farewell to Gana and spend time with family.
Sunday we were able to have lunch with one of my dear friends whose on TDY at Maxwell. He and I graduated high school together in Montana and my parents were his sponsor family when he went to the Air Force Academy. He was deployed during my wedding and will be on his TDY still for Rae’s wedding, so it was special to get to see him again! We also got to meet our dear friends son who joined the world a couple weeks ago and wish his older sister a happy birthday – she just turned three. It was sweet to celebrate old friendships and new, little lives in the midst of the heaviness of the weekend. It was a poetic balance to say goodbye to someone we loved at the end of her life and hello to someone we love at the beginning of his life.