Saturday, January 05, 2008

Grave Humor

After what's seemed like an extraordinarily long week, we finally laid my grandfather to rest yesterday. Don't worry, this isn't a sad post. Fortunately, on the day he passed, most of the family was able to visit his house and say our final goodbyes. Don't get me wrong, the funeral itself was sad, but it was also joyous, because that's the way my grandpa would have liked it.

In fact, a few times throughout the service, I got a case of the giggles. While it may sound disrespectful, my grandfather would have approved. He was faking heart pains the day before his passing just so his caregiver would get close to listen to his heart and he could startle her with an abrupt "boo!" That was just the way he was. My uncle advised the pallbearers to jostle him around a bit and maybe pretend to drop him, because he would have liked that.

The first time I got the giggle was actually while I was crying. I had managed to keep it together pretty well, until I caught sight of one of my younger cousins at the moment it finally hit her. Which got me going. Then I giggled when I had a moment remembering my grandmother. My grandmother used to love to go to the airport when my mom was younger just so that she could watch the families saying hello and goodbye and she could cry with them. I guess I got that from her. She would really have loved the intro and closing of Love Actually.

The second time the giggles struck were as the service was wrapping up. The funeral director was giving directions to the audience to get their coats and then go through a certain door. My grandfather was always full of anecdotes and one of his favorites certainly applied. He always liked to say that those who leave first get choice of coats. So when people kept asking me where my coat was (which was in the car), I kept having to say that I left first and chose the best coat and was now hiding it. Maybe you had to be there.

Anyway, life will return to normal for me tomorrow. It's been a long 2 weeks of "vacation" and holiday and funeral and I'm sure I'm going to be swamped beyond measure by the time I return to the office. Here's hoping I can keep my head about water.

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