This Blog Post was originally published on adagia.org.
As I have written in my Grandfather was terminally ill. As you can already read I'm using a different time form. Today we will put him to rest. Don't wonder if I'm jumping times in this post. Currently, I'm preparing to drive my family to the funeraland I will continue this post probably this evening.
It all started last Saturday evening after my brother dismounted the tire of my car
and my mother sent a strange WhatsApp, that tomorrow will be a long and hard day. Normally she writes such strange things when something bad happened, but my brain was already too tired to click over.
The next morning she called me and told me she will be driving to her father the last time. Again my brain didn't click, as I thought they might have gotten a professional caretaker for him, so I asked why.
She told me straight ahead that he passed away sometime yesterday between 7 pm and 10 pm. As with past deaths, my brain doesn't fully get it until I will see the coffin later today. So the past few days weren't as bad as I've expected. I only catch my brain jumping back to memories I have with him: playing cards or when he told stories about the end of the 2nd World War, which he experienced as a child (he was born 1936). I'm thinking about noting all these memories down. There are several fun stories to tell.
I kept talking to my mother for a few more minutes and she told me that my grandmother was basically on overdrive. She already prepared the funeral notes for the mortician and wasn't handling the situation well. She told the sister of my mother (she's living close nearby and was taking care of my grandfather that day): "We don't call a doctor he isn't dead". I told my mother what do you expect from her, they have been married for more than 65 years? I can't even imagine how it must feel for her. Having somebody besides yourself for such a long time and then suddenly (well, his death was expected in the next months anyway) that person is gone?
It's a bunch of hours later since now, and as expected the crying of my grandmother didn't bother me before church. As soon as we arrived and I looked through the doors of the church it hit me. I got a "sneak peak" of the coffin and immediately tears started dropping.
Although I'm not religious, I found the whole two hours very relieving. Sure there was the typical catholic praying, but my grandmother made a great selection on the music. Interestingly also the organ was playing. I can't remember it did that when my cousin died years back and now I'm wondering how much the funeral must have cost my grandmother.
Also I didn't expect the church to be fully filled. As we approached the end of the priests speech, we started to walk behind the coffin and I realised how much people there were. I think the church has a capacity of at least a few hundred people and there were a few hundred people. Many of them I didn't know but they all knew my grandfather.
Grief came through to me in waves and so were the tears. As I've said, I'm not religious but being at a funeral definitely makes it easier to cope with the loss. But I fully lost it at the grave when I was looking down at the coffin. A person I knew for 26 years will be gone forever. It took me a few moments to fully realise this thought.
I dropped a rose down into the grave and suddenly I felt a huge burden lifting off of my shoulders. He is gone but not forgotten.