Posts Tagged With: funeral

saying goodbye to Nana

Family and friends gathered together in Georgia on a hot Saturday in August to say goodbye to Husband N’s precious mother.

In the front of the church, a gorgeous spray of roses (Husband N’s fave) carnations (Nana’s fave) and white daisies (Baby K’s birth month flower) around the urn. An American flag folded into a perfect triangle white stars on blue. (Nana served in the US Navy) Photos lined up along the communion rail, one of which was Nana with Donny Osmond. She loved the Osmonds, especially Donny and Marie, and meeting him was one of her happiest moments.

Friends and family spoke, telling stories through laughter and tears, sharing love, taking us on the journey of her life. My own daughter saying she didn’t simply get a mother in law, she got another momma.

Baby K sat mostly between me and her Aunt Gaga, but did walk across the aisle to her parents a couple of times.
The Navy color guard struggled a bit with the flag, but in the end got it done properly and presented it to Husband N.
Apparently during the extended flag folding situation Baby K wanted to come back to me, but her mom wouldn’t let her so she bit her! Thing 1 had a big Baby K mouth-shaped bruise on her forearm.
She was fascinated by the hymnals. “Books with words AND music!” brought her much excitement. She was keen to stack them up on her lap and then share them with Thing 2 and me. It shook out that Aunt Gaga and Baby K had the hymnals and I got the bible. Thing 2 whispered that Baby K knew what was up and the books ended up in the right place.

We celebrated her life with music from Spirit in the Sky to Butterfly Kisses, songs specifically requested by Nana, to Elvis singing In the Garden and Peace in the Valley (a song I’ve always wanted for my own funeral)
During Butterfly Kissses, Baby K got up and danced. That girl was vibing so! I watched her and wept, knowing her Nana would have loved that!

So many tears shed.
So much laughter.
Unbelievable amount of love.
We celebrated the life of Baby K’s grandmother with everything we had.
It was a mighty find shindig.

Categories: death, loss, love | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

celebration of a beautiful life

We laid YBW’s precious mother to rest yesterday with one of the most beautiful funeral services I’ve ever attended.

Her grandsons, Thing C and Thing G, and Nephew J welcomed us all and thanked us for coming to celebrate the life of their grandmother.
Pink and white carnations (her favorite flower) and family photos as far as the eye could see. Friends and family together to celebrate the life of this quiet, lovely woman who raised two kind and loving men.
Both her sons spoke of her with such adoration.
It was one of those rare experiences when every wonderful thing being said about the deceased was the absolute truth. We daughters in law also spoke and here’s what I shared:

“When I set about to find the words I would share as prelude to YBW, I knew it must be somehow related to stars. The first thing that came to mind was lyrics written by Joni Mitchell.

We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden

And then I remembered The Little Prince:

All men have stars but they are not the same things for different people.
For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides.
For others they are no more than little lights in the sky.
For others, who are scholars, they are problems.
But all these stars are silent.
You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them.
In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night.
You, only you, will have stars that can laugh!
And when your sorrow is comforted (for time soothes all sorrows), you will be content that you have known me.
You will always be my friend.
You will want to laugh with me.

Thing G suggested we need an observatory from which to see the stars and I stopped for a moment. Because he reminded me of a Hebrew word I love.
Mizpah
The original meaning is watchtower.

But, mizpah has a more commonly understood meaning in the modern world:
a strong emotional bond between people, especially those separated by distance, or death

Mizpah is a sacred blessing:
The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.

Think about that for a moment.

Let it fill you completely.

For whatever star dear E is laughing from, we are content to know her, we are always her friends, we will continue to laugh together.
And we have Mizpah, the ancient word of inspiration and protection.”

Thing 2 wrote the following in response to my request for her opinion:

Wow. You could not have written (or quoted) better words. I read it in your voice. I know that it will bring everyone comfort and peace. Those boys and their families/loved ones are blessed to have you in their world.

I think we’re all blessed to share the same world.

After the service, everyone came back to our house where we celebrated each other with love and laughter, and a fair amount of wine. YBW’s and his brother’s friends, our sister in law’s siblings, friends of mine, our neighbors, even Thing C’s closest friends he’s had since middle school.
I feel as though I’ve been going at a full-tilt boogie since Tuesday last. I kept saying, If I can just get through Wednesday.
In this time, we lost a beloved woman. Celebrated YBW’s birthday. Planned and executed a beautiful funeral service. Fed and wined friends and family.
Today after school, I cleaned the mess I couldn’t handle last night. I did dishes. I moved flowers to every possible place in this house. I returned borrowed items.
Tomorrow YBW and I are playing hooky. We’re both going to skive off work to spend the day together in celebration of his birthday Friday last, and mine Saturday two days from now.
As excited as I am to spend the day in DC, honestly, I just kind of want to sleep for a really long time. It’s been a hell of a week and I’m worn slap out.

Categories: death, loss, love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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