I went to my Grandma’s funeral/memorial today. (Yeah, I know. What a way to start a post, right??) I didn’t know what to expect at the ceremony; whether it’d be boredom from a depressing monologue or discomfort from those mourning.
Personally, I didn’t sense the feeling of sadness until the service began. But as speaker after speaker reminisced and smiled occasionally as the memories of my Dad’s mom returned, the small room in which we sat – though it had a massive window overlooking a beautiful green hill – faded to gray. Outside the window, the fog crept in followed by a certain emptiness in the air as family and friends, endeavoring to keep their composure, choked back the flow of tears. Several men cleared their throats and the sound of sniffles was heard from behind us.
I didn’t know my Grandma very well. We would go to her house every year for Christmas but it wasn’t sufficient for a real friendship. I simply knew a couple facts about what her favorite things were (humming birds and teapots on the top of this list). But as I listened to people talk, I heard things about my Grandmother that I never knew of. I learned so many facts about her from this one-day than what I knew from fifteen years on earth!
A couple of the people that spoke said that my Grandma meant a lot in their life; that she was a comfort to them and was there when they needed her.
The most hurtful word in that (previous) sentence is the word “was”. “Was” is the word that sunk deepest into the hearts of the audience present at the funeral; the word that made their voices crack and quiver with sadness and grief. Because we know that people “are”, and people “will be”, but a person who “was” has finished their journey in this life and stepped through the exit/entrance door into an eternity of “always is”.