Saturday, February 17, 2007

Things I learned...

Having only been to a handful of funerals, but Grandpa's was the first of my family that I've been to. Here are some things I learned through this process.
  • It really helped to talk to people about him. I had several friends just ask me how he died and allowed me to process his death as well as to share some of the wonderful memories I had of him.
  • It was hard for me to initiate bringing it up. I'm typically a very private person and that made it even harder and more awkward to just bring it up out of the blue when talking with friends. I knew I needed to talk about it, so IF anyone asked how I was doing, I tried to be intentional in letting people.
  • We don't ask eachother enough about "how things are going". I am one of the worst at that. There were so many times that I wanted to tell a friend, but it just felt weird. I was waiting for them to just ask me how my week was or how I was doing. It made me realize how awful I am at doing this. I tend to be happy with the superficial remarks and even when asked, I usually respond with the perfunctory responses, 'good', 'really good', etc without really giving it any real thought. As a result, my friends don't really know how I am doing or what I am going through. Really it comes down to selfishness. I can be so focused on how I am doing, that I fail to see other people and really want to know how they are doing...
  • Funerals aren't for the dead, but the living. One of the things that meant the most was seeing people come to the funeral who didn't really know Grandpa. But they still came to support us! Many people from my Dad's work came, men and women who he has worked with for anywhere from 15-30 years! Also seeing Charlotte, Mary, Jo, Tonya, Luke, Lois - our old neighbor, Peggy and Shawn all meant so much. I never would have thought to go to a funeral to support a friend who had lost a loved one. I guess I'm showing my age as this is probably common knowledge, but it was something new that I learned through this process.
The service was beautiful. The honor guard did a military honors ceremony. The cemetary was so peaceful. It was the first cemetary that I had seen with desert landscaping.

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