well, it wasn’t quite six feet under. the whole experience felt much more personal and less formal than that, and i have to say in a weird way i enjoyed the funeral. in hearing other relatives and friends speak of their memories of him, i felt proud to be related to my grandfather, who was smart, dynamic, and left such a strong impression on so many. it was obvious that he really did lead a long, full, and happy life and in honesty i think he was ready to go — just by nature, he wasn’t someone who was meant to be dependent on others, and i think living without control (of his body, time, and more) was not something he wanted to do.
the saddest part was seeing my grandmother. just 9 months ago she still knew me, and she still had moments of clarity. she would always tell me how good i looked and would absolutely rave about the dashing good looks and valiant nature of my husband (seriously, i think SHE would have married him if i didn’t!) and the fact that we were both doctors. this weekend, she did not know me. she was still sweet and amazingly still had all of her social graces, but her eyes, hearing, and the circuits needed to put all the input together are just gone. she still recognized her children at times but she could not grasp that her husband (with her for the last 69 years) had died, and i think everyone just decided to stop explaining. in a way, it was as if she never did have to lose him — her fading consciousness coincided exactly with my grandfather’s failing health. bittersweet, tragic, or lucky — i don’t know, i guess it just is what it is. i miss her even though she is still here.
anyway. i am glad i went. i was happy to get to see my family, and the reminder about brevity and finite nature of life made me feel committed to making time to be with them more in the future.
and now, it is back to reality. even so, i think i carry a bit more perspective with me as i am rushing about trying to get through a backlogged to-do list today. life really IS this short.