Post funeral thoughts

My grandmother's funeral was beautiful, personal and heart-wrenching.

Writing the obit was an honor, and I was happy to have my mom, dad and sister all add some details and thoughts I wouldn't have come up with on my own.

My grandma looked wonderful and at peace- she looked twenty or more years younger, like the Mamaw we remembered. Pretty skin, eyes that weren't red and swollen, those same loving little hands folded at rest.

My family and I did a splendid job selecting and setting up a slew of memorabilia. And during the service, my sister and I each had one of our mom's cousins read some memories we'd each written about our Mamaw and our favorite times with her and what she meant to us.

At the graveside, my Mom planned to stay as the casket was lowered into the ground, but there was some mechanical issue and they were having a hard time getting it to steadily and easily descend.

We were all #facepalm about it.

But then we laughed a little - after watching her actively die over 72 hours - yet again, she lingered.


I'd be remiss not to point out how thankful we are for family and friends. Mamaw's funeral was well attended for someone her age. At nearly 95, so many of those near and dear to you have already passed on.  They were some wonderful unexpected attendees who traveled over two hours to be there. Extended family, friends of my parents, some old Bible School and church ladies who knew and loved Mamaw.

And I'd be remiss not to point out how well my Mom did. Sure, she had a few moments of ugly crying during the service. Hey, so did I.

And I'd be remiss not to point out how well the kids did. My sister's three, and my own sweet Stella. The night before the funeral, my sister and I were reading our funeral-thoughts aloud (well, we had her husband read them) when her oldest LOST it. (She's 14. I don't know if I would have been able to display that emotion at 14.)

And Stella looked at her and said, "It's okay, Carley. She died. It's sad. We'll probably all cry."

Stella sat with her cousins during the funeral, across the aisle from me. As it ended, I went over to her and she told me, "I cried a little." Stella was comfortable touching "Grandma Burch" in the casket. Maybe intrigued more than comfortable.

Lastly, I'd be remiss not to mention the indescribable support of my boyfriend. Those he's the newest member of my flock of family, he has quickly and without doubt become my absolute rock, the most wonderful and tender provider of: tissues, his arms, good conversation, a distraction for Stella, and goggles for kids in need at hotel pools. He's been a pizza purchaser, beer procurer, chauffeur, bed put-together-er, Stella's number one soccer fan. He's everything to me. I'm so thankful he got to meet my Mamaw on her last Friday of life. She couldn't introduce herself, but I explained, and I think Mom had told her about Matt in the previous weeks.

I choose to believe she knew I'd found my person.


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