Not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but the word “fun” just so happens to be in funeral. How on earth did that happen? An oversight or intentional? Is there such a thing as an optimistic funeral? From my experience, I’d have to say YES.
In early March, while I was in Vermont, my Grandpa Eddie died a few months shy of his 93rd birthday. Luckily, I was able to drive to Buffalo, NY – less than 8 hours away – to be my with Grandma Gene and other relatives who were able to make the trip.
My grandfather’s quality of life had decreased over recent years, and so this transition seemed like a relief in many ways. My main concern was for my grandmother, almost 88 years old, who was married to him for over 68 years and visited him at the nursing home almost daily. She was used to seeing him every day of her life since she was a teenager.
As a tribute to my grandparents – to the love they shared with each other and with our family – here’s a goofy home video I took the evening after the funeral as we followed my grandma’s lead and sang “My Melody of Love,” a Polish-American classic from the 1970s. It’s fitting that my uncle is wearing a shirt that declares “Give Hope” because that is what my grandmother does. She focuses on the joy, heart, and blessings of life, seeing the best in each moment, even in times of sadness and grief.
The message of the funeral service was that we are more than our bodies. Hope. Though my grandma believes this, she included a lottery ticket and deck of cards in the coffin. Hope? And when the family wrote the eulogy together, we laughed more than cried. There it is – HOPE yet again!
Thank you, Grandpa Eddie, for giving us the gift of coming together in your honor, and for allowing us to celebrate you with so much laughter and fun.