Sunday, September 20, 2009

First Impressions

Walking into a viewing is always very awkward. It is most definitely a private moment, yet it is shared with the rest of the folks in the room, the ones who also would like to personally say their good-byes.

As I walked toward my Gramps's casket last week, I flashed back to Momo, his wife's, viewing. I was eight and very much afraid. I remembered how a few nights before that moment I had tried to comfort my brother in the middle of the night when we both woke up in tears. I had told him that certainly they would find a cure for cancer - in the next few minutes! Scientists worked around the clock for that sort of thing, didn't they? - and Momo would be ok. That might have been my first lesson regarding the fragility of hope. She died that day.

The reality of the circumstances hit me at Momo's viewing. And as I walked towards Gramp's body, I remembered how, on that day, he leaned over her body and held her hands. He kissed her nose and whispered to her. That was his final private moment with her and it may have been the most intimate moment I've ever witnessed. Now he was the one in the casket and I was the one by his side.

I took my Gramps's hand and whispered to him that I remembered how tender he was to Momo and that I hoped he understood how much he was loved - that there was so much of him that I admired, that I wasn't brave enough to kiss him right then but that I wanted to. I whispered that he would always stay with me and that I would protect the memory of him very carefully. "I love you I love you I love you I love you.."

I felt the pressure - the awkwardly felt, yet very private grief - of those next in line.

I took a deep breath and let go.

14 comments:

Jen said...

I am in tears as I write this! Such a lovely and beautiful post! I believe Gramps heard your words. He loves you very much and so do I!

Hugs!!!

Jen

Sandy said...

A lovely tribute to your grandfather. My condolences for your loss.

Charlotte said...

That was very brave of you, I could not walk all the way to my grandfather's casket, I just couldn't. Seeing the tip of his nose sticking out of the casket was enough sadness for me, I just wanted to remember him alive.
My condolences.

Tammy Howard said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Pam said...

So sorry for your loss. Your gramps sounds like a wonderful man.

Jessica said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing. My deepest sympathy to you.

happyfunpants said...

I am so sorry for your loss. :(

If I can do anything - anything at all - please let me know.

Love,
me

P.S. The goodbye between your grandparents was beautiful...the next time I ask myself what love looks like, I'm sure I'll remember your words.

Christine said...

beautifully written. absolutely lovely.

Mimi said...

My deepest condolences...such a lovely post...<3

*BIG hug* :)

Mariam

K a b l o o e y said...

A beautiful tribute; hope they are together again, your grandparents. now that'd be wonderful...

slacker-chick said...

What a beautiful and touching post. Thanks for sharing and my condolences to your family.

Preston said...

The reality of life is that we will say many final good-byes before our turn comes for others to have theirs with us. My condolences are with you and your family.

Helen McGinn said...

Oh, hon, I'm so sorry. What a lovely post, how fitting. x

The Daily Dose said...

Thank you for writing this. I had a similar experience to weeks ago at my Mawmaw's wake. Sorry for your loss. I stopped in to tell you that I gave you an award. Check out my blog to see it. You may already have it, but hey- here's another! :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First Impressions

Walking into a viewing is always very awkward. It is most definitely a private moment, yet it is shared with the rest of the folks in the room, the ones who also would like to personally say their good-byes.

As I walked toward my Gramps's casket last week, I flashed back to Momo, his wife's, viewing. I was eight and very much afraid. I remembered how a few nights before that moment I had tried to comfort my brother in the middle of the night when we both woke up in tears. I had told him that certainly they would find a cure for cancer - in the next few minutes! Scientists worked around the clock for that sort of thing, didn't they? - and Momo would be ok. That might have been my first lesson regarding the fragility of hope. She died that day.

The reality of the circumstances hit me at Momo's viewing. And as I walked towards Gramp's body, I remembered how, on that day, he leaned over her body and held her hands. He kissed her nose and whispered to her. That was his final private moment with her and it may have been the most intimate moment I've ever witnessed. Now he was the one in the casket and I was the one by his side.

I took my Gramps's hand and whispered to him that I remembered how tender he was to Momo and that I hoped he understood how much he was loved - that there was so much of him that I admired, that I wasn't brave enough to kiss him right then but that I wanted to. I whispered that he would always stay with me and that I would protect the memory of him very carefully. "I love you I love you I love you I love you.."

I felt the pressure - the awkwardly felt, yet very private grief - of those next in line.

I took a deep breath and let go.

14 comments:

Jen said...

I am in tears as I write this! Such a lovely and beautiful post! I believe Gramps heard your words. He loves you very much and so do I!

Hugs!!!

Jen

Sandy said...

A lovely tribute to your grandfather. My condolences for your loss.

Charlotte said...

That was very brave of you, I could not walk all the way to my grandfather's casket, I just couldn't. Seeing the tip of his nose sticking out of the casket was enough sadness for me, I just wanted to remember him alive.
My condolences.

Tammy Howard said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Pam said...

So sorry for your loss. Your gramps sounds like a wonderful man.

Jessica said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing. My deepest sympathy to you.

happyfunpants said...

I am so sorry for your loss. :(

If I can do anything - anything at all - please let me know.

Love,
me

P.S. The goodbye between your grandparents was beautiful...the next time I ask myself what love looks like, I'm sure I'll remember your words.

Christine said...

beautifully written. absolutely lovely.

Mimi said...

My deepest condolences...such a lovely post...<3

*BIG hug* :)

Mariam

K a b l o o e y said...

A beautiful tribute; hope they are together again, your grandparents. now that'd be wonderful...

slacker-chick said...

What a beautiful and touching post. Thanks for sharing and my condolences to your family.

Preston said...

The reality of life is that we will say many final good-byes before our turn comes for others to have theirs with us. My condolences are with you and your family.

Helen McGinn said...

Oh, hon, I'm so sorry. What a lovely post, how fitting. x

The Daily Dose said...

Thank you for writing this. I had a similar experience to weeks ago at my Mawmaw's wake. Sorry for your loss. I stopped in to tell you that I gave you an award. Check out my blog to see it. You may already have it, but hey- here's another! :)